26 Aug 6 Powerful Financial Advice for Millennials (Pt 2 of 2)
Editor’s note: This is a two-part series. In the first part, we learned about the concept of money, the origin of money, how to take control of your financial future, and how to protect your wealth. To get the full picture of the writer’s financial advice, read the first series here before continuing with this part.
Financial advice #3: Be motivated to win the game of money
“Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.”- Anonymous
To me, there are two sides in this world: you’re either on the offense, or you’re on the defense; there are no middle grounds. Life is that way, you’re either pushing forward, or you’re avoiding pain.
If you want to make a distinctive mark in the world, you have to go all out. To live, day-to-day is to be bound in what Kiyosaki calls the “rat race,” a place of survival where you don’t have the luxury to dream. Here’s the thing though, being in the rat race is not the problem. The real problem is, many people don’t have a game plan for moving into the next quadrant. As in the movie, In Time, they’re conditioned to living by the clock.
But you’re different. You have the winner’s DNA. So you have to choose to win. And when you make that choice, nothing in this world can change it!
Take ownership of your thoughts, direction, and reality. Refuse to be hemmed in by the circumstances of life. Fan the embers of your imagination, and then chase it down wherever it may lead you. Sink yourself wholly into a cause that is bigger than yourself.
If you’re going to do anything, push yourself to see how far you can go. Have a discontent with average. Ambition and desire are the currency for actualizing anything worthwhile in life. Without these keys, you’re almost destined to be average. Be the best at what you do!
“Success is your duty, obligation, and responsibility. You won’t get much done if you only grind on the days you feel good. Be great because nothing else pays. ” – Grant Cardone
You cannot reach for heights unknown if you don’t feel worthy. You cannot be exceptional if you don’t believe in yourself. Regardless of who you are or how old you are, every victory is first won in mind; you must see it, to become it. Until you see it, you cannot have it.
Do you have clarity? Is your life on course? Are you taking the steps and decisions that can help you create wealth? Are you caught in the thick of thin things, or are you making big bets and putting yourself out there? What stories are you telling yourself that is holding you back from going all-in?
Be motivated about your future; motivation is your fuel. It’s your anchor. It’s the bridge between the dark tunnel and the light of greatness. Motivation is the force that pulls you upward and forward.
Action leads to motivation, not the other way round.
Motivation is a concept a lot of millennials do not understand. It’s not something you wait for it to happen. Motivation is something you create through decisive action. Many of us have it backward these days. A lot of millennials are so numbed out, and they think what’s missing is motivation.
What you need is clarity of your vision and massive action to back it up. You can break your ambition into simple steps, but you cannot stay idle and hope for it to happen. The harder you work, the more your motivation increases. The more your motivation increases, the more your confidence grows. The more your confidence grows, the more you win and transform yourself.
“If your lens of the world is not updating regularly, then you are not learning enough. Your lens of the world should continually be updating through experience, learning, and relationships.” – Benjamin Hardy
Your future is directly proportional to your confidence. If your confidence grows, your future expands.
The beautiful thing about winning is the transformation that happens in the process. At some point, motivation becomes natural; it becomes a point of no return.
Are you morphing into something greater, or are you staying the same? It’s your choice.
Financial advice #4: Keep track of your expenses
“Don’t spend it just because you earned it.” – Eric Thomas
In the first part of this article, we talked about guarding your wealth. You have to understand something. There are lots of con artists in this world. Be wary of “easy money” and “low-risk, high yield” sales pitch. Wisdom is profitable to direct – don’t be in a hurry to make any financial decision. Many men have lost their fortunes because they didn’t take a moment to listen to the still small voice within.
Moving on, it’s equally important that you keep track of your expenses. I know this for sure, spending money is easier than making it. If you want to 10X your wealth, you have to keep track of your expenses.
When I left managing my sister’s retail business in late 2009, I started a procurement business to supply vegetables (carrot, cabbage, cucumber, etc.) to fast food restaurants et al. I would travel to Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria, buy these goods fresh from farmers and then ship them to my clients in the east. On one of those trips, I met a bookseller that eventually became my friend. He sold me Trump and Kiyosaki’s “Why We Want You To Be Rich.” I read the book as fast as I could. One of the insights that stood out to me is that everyone needs an understanding of accounting. Applying my learnings from the book and many others, I saved up enough money to come to Ghana for a B.Sc degree in accounting. The rest is history.
We all need an understanding of numbers and how to manage them at the basic level. Tools like wave apps can help you put your stuff together.
Delayed gratification is also a wise choice. If you’re blinging when you should be building, you may have to build when you should be blinging. Let’s get the sequence right, my friend. In the end, if you haven’t gotten to the point where you can spend whatever you want without offsetting your financial goals, you must control your spending and appetite.
Financial advice #5: Look the part of the life you want to build
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”– Mark Twain
Appearance matters a lot! When you look good, you feel more confident, you smile more and look people in the eyes. When you look good, people take you more seriously. In short, there’s an emotional juice that comes from looking good.
I once heard a lady talk about a jacket she bought at the beginning of her career. She spent all the cash she had at the time to buy that coat. But every morning when she put it on, she felt like she was on her way to doing something meaningful with her life. That changed the trajectory of her career.In today’s super competitive job market and entrepreneurship ecosystem, you have to give yourself every prop you possibly can. Click To Tweet
I like buying quality because they feel better on my skin – and last longer too. But, I don’t care so much about trendy things. They easily become tardy. The thing I realized is, you don’t have to break the bank to look good. Plan your shopping and pick colors that complement each other. Avoid the flamboyant colors unless you’re an entertainer. There are several Instagram fashion pages you can follow for ideas. For guys, I’d recommend menwithclass and their other subsidiaries.
Dress for success; you will always be remembered when you leave the room.
Further, your dressing is equally a self-signal. When you’re on a journey to creating wealth, everything must speak the same lingo – your thoughts, words, actions, and appearance. The more invested you are, the more the psychological upgrade. What’s inside will surely come out. And what’s outside can also affect the inside; like begets like. It’ll always be that way, guaranteed. Clean yourself up; you’re a prince; you’re a princess!
Number 6: Be intentional with your network
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” – King Solomon, Bible King
There’s this popular and probably overused saying that your network is your net worth. It’s true. Countless books, blog posts, videos, and films have been produced about this one skill as a determinant factor for financial success. The reason is simple. If you walk with the wise, you will become wiser.
We say this all the time: If you want to be spiritual, go to a spiritual camp; if you want to develop your muscles, go to the gym; if you want to reach enlightenment, join a book club. In like manner, if you want to increase your wealth, affiliate yourself with people who are headed in that direction.
Strive Masiyiwa had occasional lunch meetings with the late Bob Collymore to share thoughts and discuss business issues. “Theodore Roosevelt’s Tennis Cabinet included diplomats and friends who exercised together every day, and debated issues facing the country. Benjamin Franklin created a “mutual improvement society” called the Junto that gathered each Friday evening to learn from each other. The Vagabonds were a group of four famous friends — Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs — who took road trips each summer: camping, climbing, and sitting around the campfire discussing their various scientific and business ventures and debating the pressing issues of the day.”
Associate yourself with people who are already living the life you want. As Michael Simmons wrote in a medium article, “people in open networks have unique opportunities. Because they’re part of multiple groups, they have unique relationships, experiences, and knowledge that other people in their groups don’t.”
Finally, do you want to create wealth?
There you have it – six powerful financial advice for upwardly mobile millennials. No university will teach you these principles. These are keys that helped me move from zero connections and finances to collaborating with some of the world’s brightest people. Three years ago, I would not have believed it’s possible. So I can tell you this, anything is possible if you plan for it and work steadily towards actualizing it.
Over the past 5+ years, I have helped different types of entrepreneurs and corporate executives build sustainable growth engines for their businesses, develop and tell compelling stories about their brands, raise funding, and attract great talents worldwide. If you want to discuss opportunities or need outside insight into getting your business or career to the next level, let’s talk. You can schedule an appointment here or reach out via tomchris(at)sfanonline.org.
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Tom-Chris Emewulu is the Founder & President of SFAN (Stars From All Nations). When he’s not building SFAN and helping entrepreneurs and rising professionals create fulfilling careers, he’s telling African innovation stories or advocating for people-centered policy. Tom-Chris is a former consultant at Mastercard Foundation, Seedstars Ambassador for Ghana, and the author of the forthcoming book: Breaking the Limits. He is a thought leader on youth development, social entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and the future of work.