In my last blog post, “The Story Life Tells,” I actually promised that the next article on retirement planning would be titled “The Three Laws of Prosperity.” But as I thought about this article, I began to realize that the title had to change a little bit. So, instead of talking about “three laws,” why not talk about the laws of prosperity generally? That’s the reason for this new title you have here.
Don’t be discouraged about the length. It’s my usual style when dealing with issues of this nature. If you get tired, or you need your glasses at a point; just stop there and come back to it later. As an alternative, you may want to print the article and take it with you; reading a page per hour within the next 24 hours (laughter).
I have another issue that I must explain to you. It is NOT in my character to write about what I don’t believe in personally OR what I have never experienced before. In a future article, I intend to take you through “Why I Write” and “How I Write.” By then, you will know more about me and my right to write. That would also be a good opportunity for me to answer some of the various questions I’ve been receiving from readers in respect of my writing odyssey.
So what’s my issue here today? Hmm, as I said, I write based on personal convictions and experience. But the point is: Am I rich enough to write about prosperity? Here, I am actually talking about material possession. If Dangote were to write about the laws of prosperity, everyone, including me, will probably want to “read him.” But, as for me, I am not Dangote or Warren Buffet so who will believe me?
At the same time, my Secret Speaker nudges me on. It says to me, “Don’t worry, it all depends on how you see it, and your personal definition of riches.” I think my Secret Speaker is right. I may be thinking that I am not rich enough. To some other people out there, I am one of the millionaires in town – right? By my personal definition however, I have not “yet arrived” in terms of wealth; but I’m already on the way there. This, I think, qualifies me to talk about the laws of prosperity.
Why worrying my head, anyway? After all, almost every pastor in Nigeria has become a “prosperity preacher.” Yet, many of them can hardly boast of any reasonable personal possession. So, if a poor pastor can preach about prosperity, why can’t I?
My due apologies go to all the poor pastors out there. But the truth is that you must believe in what you preach instead of simply playing to the gallery because of tithes and offerings. How? You may want to ask. You may also want to counter that “pastors are not supposed to work.” My answer is: “I hear you sir/ma. We will talk about that some other time.”
For any reader who could be frowning at the occasional punches I throw at pastors in my articles, please accept me as I am. I can’t just stand some of the self-proclaimed Men of God telling us all sorts of things that they are not deeply convinced about. Most of them are without concrete “DELIs – Deeply Embedded Life Interests.” That’s another topic we will examine one day.
Unlike those prosperity preachers, I actually want to tell you some of the laws of prosperity that I strongly believe in. Not only have I learned about these laws, I have – repeat – I have personally put them into practice. They work!
I will not lie to you; these laws are simple but very hard to practice without a strong determination. I should be honest to add that in my previous testing of the laws, I have had cause to abandon some of them at one stage or the other, only to pick up again after a short break. You will get to know the reasons as we progress in this article.
As part of my Year 2012 Resolutions, I have decided to stay in line and refuse to fall off again. If you could be wiser than me and stick your neck into these simple laws without derailing at any time, I have every belief that you will arrive at your land of prosperity sooner than expected.
I am not unmindful of the fact that this post is about retirement planning. Yes, I know. But who says you cannot retire early? Who says you must wait till you reach 60/65 years of age before you stop working for someone else? Who says I must wait till I can no longer chew meat before crossing the Atlantic Ocean in my private yacht? Prosperity has nothing to do with age!
The fact that I have adjusted the title of this post doesn’t mean there aren’t any three laws. Three laws of prosperity very much exist. My mentor, as hinted in The Story Life Tells, actually tutored me on the three, and I will share them with you here. But I won’t stop at that. I will proceed by simplifying them into another concept taught by Dale Gillham. Again, he captioned them “Three Laws of Successful Wealth Creation.” I think there is something special about “three” when it comes to prosperity.
When I’m done with Dale’s views in this post, I will cap it up with an excerpt from one of the greatest prosperity books of all time – “The Richest Man in Babylon,” by Geroge S. Clanson. Please, if you’ve never read this book before, I want you to read it almost immediately. Your financial education is NOT complete until you have read the book. I have a copy for you here on this site. You can download it FREE from the Free Download Section (Money & Wealth Category).
So let’s start with my mentor’s three laws of prosperity.
If you are very serious about becoming rich in life, you must immediately embrace the following:
- The Law of Savings
- The Law of Insurance; and
- The Law Investment
You see! They are so simple, aren’t they? Let’s have a look at the three in turn:
a. The Law of Savings
How much did you save from your February earnings? Did you manage to keep something aside or you behaved like many other people who spend all their monthly income and go ahead to borrow more? Hard questions, aren’t they?
The fact is that many people are poor savers! The first law of prosperity expects that you, every month, keep a percentage of whatever you earn (e.g. salary, wages, business profit, or any other income). The minimum recommended percentage is 10%. This means that if you religiously keep to the 10% rule, you would be able to boast of having a whole month’s income kept somewhere after 10 months of compliance. It’s a matter of commitment.
We are all familiar with the 10% tithe. When you imbibe the culture of saving 10% of your income, you are actually paying yourself a tithe! Who says you shouldn’t? Who is the most important person to you after God? Of course, it must be YOU!
Well, financial experts advise that you should have a monthly budget; reduce your spending; minimize your exotic lifestyle etc. I agree with them. But they talk as the experts that they are, so many people find it difficult to understand them when it comes to the issue of savings. Just listen to me; I am not an expert, so I am not like them. My advice is simpler. Do two things: (a) Know your total income and (b) Save a minimum of 10% of it. Period! If you can increase the rate to 20% – 25%, go ahead and do so; the more the better. That’s like a financial advice for “dummies” so you should be able to work with it.
I doff my hat for ladies when it comes to savings. They tend to save more than us men. But why wouldn’t they? You as a man carry your financial burden personally and also add your lady’s financial problems on top.
It doesn’t matter whether you are married or not. At the end of the month, you must settle all your personal bills, your home front bills and other bills. Those other parasitic bills include your lady’s hairdressing bill; manicure bill; pedicure fee; lipsticks cost; aso ebi money; weekend lunch; Silverbird Cinema fee; and, of course, “text me credit” cost. God helps you if she uses a BlackBerry phone. By the time you add up all your monthly expenses, you are bound to be in red.
But your lady may not be that “unlucky” because you have already carried more than half of her monthly financial wahala. She pockets her money; but spends yours. That’s why she’s a lady. It’s a lady’s world, so stop complaining!
Don’t forget, the first rule of the game of prosperity is to pay yourself first. Keep at least 10% aside as savings before considering any financial obligation. A lot of people make the mistake of saving a percentage of their net income (that’s if something is left). No, your 10% should be the first charge on your income – a percentage of your gross.
By 10% here, I mean 10% of any money that touches your hand. It could be your salary, a cash gift, Christmas bonus, investment returns, interest, salary increase etc. When you’ve pocketed your own 10%, your true ajemonu – stomach’s share, you can start to think of every other thing. But pay your tithe too ooo! Tithing is good, and I have another FREE eBook on it that you can download from this site (See Miracle of Tithing in the Free Downloads section – Religion & Spirituality).
b. The Law of Insurance
How would you feel if someone should volunteer to replace your car if it gets stolen? Would you be happy if someone assures your family of a bulk sum of money in the event of your premature death or permanent disability? Wouldn’t you be happy if someone hands you a cheque should your house be gutted by fire? It’s like the feeling your lady has when you take care of most of her financial burdens. You feel much more relieved knowing full well that you have passed some financial responsibilities to another person – your insurance company!
So, the law of insurance recommends that you move ahead in life with as little risk as possible. Without this law of insurance, your first law above – the law of savings – may not be able to operate properly. Imagine what could happen if you had a savings of N5 million and your car was stolen. The car had become part of you so you couldn’t do without it. Of course, your first point of call would be your pot of savings. You must buy another car from it. Unfortunately, the more you break the first law, the farther you get from your land of prosperity.
In order to fulfill your dream of a prosperous life, you must insure as many of your risks as you can. Insure your life; insure your house; insure your TV; insure your car; “insure” your children’s education. You can even insure your lady’s jewelry, shoes, bags, and phones!
Insurance also gives you the freedom of mind that helps you to concentrate on your prosperity journey. It enables you to take higher but reasonable risks which will fetch you more money. And the more money you can make, the bigger your ability to save. That’s how it works!
c. The Law of Investment
Prior to this time, you must have heard someone say, “Let your money work for you.” This means that you should put your savings into use and watch as it doubles or triples itself. In other words, don’t just keep your savings at home. Don’t put them under your pillow like one past state governor in Nigeria. Invest. Invest. Invest.
Since I am talking to matured minds, I need not go into investment epistle here. But I must reecho the fact that savings alone cannot lead you to prosperity. Imagine how long it would take you to save up to N10 million. But when you put your savings into proper use – investing in property, stock, or a business venture – that target of N10 million becomes a child’s play.
Hear what the Richest Man in Babylon says, “You do eat the children of your savings. Then how do you expect them to work for you? And how can they have children that will also work for you? First get thee an army of golden slaves and then many a rich banquet may you enjoy without regret.” That’s investment concept and the magical way it increases itself through interest or profit accumulation.
I am not unmindful of the fact that failed investments have sent many to their early graves. I also know that many investment advisers have “murdered” their uninitiated clients in the past. In fact, when some people hear the word “stock” or “shares” these days, they quickly pick race.
I know your concerns. But that’s part of life. The responsibility rests on you to be careful with your investment decisions. Don’t let greed take hold of you. Be as sensible as possible, and be as open as possible as well. Ask questions, and don’t place 100% trust in anyone. “Trust is good; but control is better,” said Stalin. Someone introduces a property to you for possible investment. You get there and boldly written on the wall is, “This house is not for sale!” Wouldn’t you be much more cautious at that point? Shine your eyes ooo.
Are you tired yet? Don’t worry, we are almost done. Let’s move on.
If you don’t allow the three laws above depart from you, if you keep them close to your heart, you are bound to become rich. They are simple laws. I like Dale Gillham. He knows how difficult it may be for some people to understand some laws since they are not “learned friends.” For this reason, he has simplified my mentor’s three laws and renamed them, “Three Laws of Successful Wealth Creation.” Here are his three laws:
- Spend less than you earn;
- Invest your surplus wisely (at least 10% of your income), and
- Leave it alone so it can grow.
What else can I add to these three? Dale’s laws are very simple. But how many of us are ready to follow them? How often do we rush to break those golden eggs we accumulate somewhere? We eat them raw!
If you leave your investment for a reasonable length of time (even one year), however small it may be; you would be surprised to see what it could become. Having something somewhere as an investment gives you confidence. You will walk like a real human being, and feel a sense that life is worth living. With time, your poverty mindset will begin to change. You will start to think and act like a millionaire!
Don’t be surprised that insurance is not part of Dale’s three laws. He’s not an insurance man like me so he can be pardoned. But don’t forget what I’ve said about it. It is a nugget of wisdom from my mentor, and I have passed it to you. Abide by it.
Having spoken glowingly about The Richest Man in Babylon, I expect you to download and read it almost immediately. It is a small book of about 70 pages. You can surely finish it within a couple of hours, and it does make an interesting read. But let me give you a glimpse into what the book calls “The Seven Cures for a Lean Purse.” Thanks to Thrillionaires Network for helping with the summary below:
1. Start thy purse to fattening
“For every ten coins thou placest within thy purse take out for use but nine. Thy purse will start to fatten at once and its increasing weight will feel good in thy hand and bring satisfaction to thy soul.”
2. Control thy expenditures
“Budget thy expenses that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings.”
3. Make thy gold multiply
“Put each coin to laboring that it may reproduce its kind even as flocks of the field and help to bring to thee income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into thy purse.”
4. Guard thy treasures from loss
“Guard thy treasure from loss by investing only where thy principle is safe, where it may be reclaimed if desirable, and where thou will not fail to collect a fair rental. Consult with wise men. Secure the advice of those experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments.”
5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment
“Own thy own home.”
6. Insure a future income
“Provide for in advance for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family.”
7. Increase thy ability to earn
“Cultivate thy own powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skilful, to act as to respect thyself.”
DON’T REMAIN POOR!
I have no assurance that you would act on the wise advice given in this article because you are probably used to spending all your money. Indeed, we all like spending because it gives us some form of happiness. Think about what happens to you when you are in a happy mood. Chances are that you would feel like buying up the whole world.
Take a look at those who are depressed. They look for happiness in different ways and one of the things that give them joy is spending. They go on a spending spree and not until they go flat broke would they realize that they have not found what they have been looking for – true happiness.
For most people, their minds are wired towards spending right from their childhood days. You and I are not left out. Think back to the time you were a child or teenager and daddy used to give you little change for sweets and chocolates. How did you feel each time he did that? The first and only thing that crossed your mind was where to buy your chocolate from.
Sadly, majority of people carry this mindset into their adult age. So, when they have money, they must just spend it all. The remedy for this is for you to immediately rewire your mind in such a way that you start thinking about saving, instead of spending. When you have any money with you, think first about how to save and invest part of it, instead of starting with a list of what to buy. From now on, determine in your mind that you will associate happiness with savings, and not spending. Say to yourself, “Saving makes me happy!”
THE 1% FORMULA
Many people would argue that keeping 10% of their income aside would be quite burdensome. I can understand their predicament. It may truly be difficult for someone who has been “eating it all” to suddenly begin to put 10% into reserve.
But Brian Tracy has a suggestion to give. According to this self development expert, saving is a matter of self discipline. He proposes a 1% formula which says that if you cannot start with 10%, you can begin with 1% of your income. By the time you get used to spending only 99% of your income, you can further graduate to keeping 2%, 5%, 8% and finally 10% in saving. Before you know it, you would have mastered the game of savings to the extent that you can even go as far as saving up to 50% of your income. With the miracle of compound interest, your savings and investment will in no time make you a prosperous person.
There are so many things to say about prosperity. The more you write about the subject, the more ideas you get. Your write-up will just continue to swell without end.
While it could be so sweet to write or read about prosperity, practicing its rules could be quite tasking. But any good thing requires some form of commitment and efforts. That is why Brian talks about self discipline. With your determination to read this 3,500 words article to its very end, I can see that you are really serious about becoming wealthy. I know some other readers would have already abandoned the article midway. But you are a determined person so I commend you for your tenacity.
Now, you need to quickly make up your mind on three things. First, you must convince yourself that you want to become rich. Second, you must be prepared to take the steps highlighted in this blog. And third, you must stick to it come rain, come shine. If you can put the principles in this article into practice, your retirement period is bound to be financially secure.
See you at the billionaires club…soon.