How to make and keep making More Money this Decade!

What better way to begin a new decade than to educate yourself about financial Independence! As you may already know, aside time, money is one of the resources that you must manage wisely in order to attain some of your life goals. In line with this, about 20 people converged at the HMI Management Services Training Center to learn about how to set and achieve your financial goals on Saturday, 11th January, 2020.

Know your Present State

The session began with a word of prayer. Mr. Albert Kusi, an experienced investment consultant, began by saying the first step to financial independence is to assess you current situation. Here, he meant knowing your asset base and your net worth at present. In line with this, he said you have to know your net worth which is assets minus liabilities. Under knowing your assets, he made mention of investment, cars, clothing etc. He then continued by asking if clothing falls under assets. In response, a member of the audience said no but then another person said clothing can be considered as asset only if it can generate income for you. Mr. Kusi then said it’s very debatable as to whether clothing is an asset or not. He then continued to say all things you believe are yours (the things you own ) are your assets.
Liabilities are people and things you owe. He then continue to say that owings is not just about loans but can be borrowings and all other things you believe are not yours. He said if even you stay with your parents, it can be considered under liabilities in that the person who has rented his place might have a higher net worth than you. In essence, he said, liabilities are not just owings but all the things that are not yours. So your total assets less your total liabilities equals your net worth. He then gave a scenario by saying you have if you have GH¢1000 in your savings account, GH¢500 in investment, you have a laptop, a phone etc., it’s important to know all these these things fall under your assets. You need not to have all these things in liquid (cash) to become assets. Fixed assets plus current assets equal your total assets, less your liabilities gives you net worth.
Set SMART Financial Goals
In order to achieve financial independence, you need to assess your your asset base currently in order to set SMART goals. SMART, he said, is an abbreviation for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timeable. In order to set SMART goals, your current situation needs to be assessed. For example, if you have GH¢500 in your account, how come you want to end the year with GH¢1m in your account, what are the things you need to put in place in order to achieve the stated goal.
The first step in setting and achieving financial goals is to assess your current situation. When you are able to do that, it gives you a fair idea as to how to set your goals. It’s important to set a goal but you need to be disciplined. He then continued by outlining what you must do to achieve your financial goals:
  1. “You must not put all pressure on your job to achieve your financial goals; get multiple streams of income,” he said. It’s not your company’s responsibility to help you achieve your financial goals; you need to set your priorities right. “Be careful you are not under pressure when dealing with financial goals,” he cautioned. When dealing with financial goals, you must;
  • Avoid pressure
  • Live within your means; don’t spend more than you earn.
  • Avoid unnecessary spending. Desist from buying things you don’t really need. “Don’t change your lifestyle when your income changes,” he cautioned again. Here, he meant upward movement of salary. Plan for unforseen circumstances.
When dealing with setting and achieving financial goals, observe the following;
  • Assess your current situation which has early on been explained.
  • Set a financial target for yourself
  • Devise a plan for your target. Let your budget give you an idea of how to spend, pay attention to your spending.

Save & Invest Wisely

To talk of investment which is the next point, he cautioned the audience to know the difference between investment and savings. People keep so much money in their savings account instead of pushing it to an investment account.
  • Pay yourself. Here, consider ‘pay yourself’ as a replacement for the word investment. Don’t ignore family entirely when dealing with financial goals. He cautioned participants not to be greedy in their quest to earn money and achieve financial Independence in that people look for high risk investment with high benefits instead of low risk investment with moderate income or benefits. “Diversify your portfolio,” he said. Value mobile money because it can cause you to spend more than you have planned.
  • Learn to start small.
  • Get a financial advisor. Find out all your streams of income. He ended by saying participants can invest in collective investment schemes which include mutual funds and unit trust funds. There is less risk in doing this investment in that people pool resources together to do this investment.
The program ended with a closing prayer by a participant.
What a marvelous way to begin a decade.

This report was written by Gabriel Narh Tetteh, a level 100 Business Administration student of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Hobbs & Shaw: A Leadership Parable in its own Right

I’m not one to immediately go in for a movie upon its release or primiere but I seem to have done some of that this year alone. First, it was with Spiderman: Far from Home and now Hobbs and Shaw. If you have ever watched any of the Fast and Furious movies and are a fan of Sci-Fi and “action”, Hobbs and Shaw is your movie! My objective is not to hype the movie in this post but to simply extract some precious gems from the reel of this epic flick!

I like to call this movie a leadership parable in its own right! Just so you get a background to the movie, let me give you a brief summary. The movie opens up with MI6 agents trooping into a facility to secure a lethal bioweapon. Shaw’s sister, who is one of the MI6 operatives, obtains the weapon after slaying the guards on site. Just as she is about to leave with her team, these guys in black storm the place and begin to slaughter the MI6 people. Then appears this AI-powered cyborg who had a bullet to his head and two to his chest prior to his “resurrection.” Shaw’s sister notices she has to run for her life so she does, with urgency. Knowing she can’t get the weapon to safety without being killed, she injects herself with it and off she goes!

That was when these sworn enemies, Hobbs and Shaw, are chosen by two separate agents in two different countries to WORK TOGETHER on the case! How in the world would that work?! Well, if you are to watch the movie, you will know. Point is, if you have not watched the movie, I wouldn’t want to spoil it any further for you! So here goes 7 treasures distilled from Hobbs and Shaw:

1. Strategy is key in winning the war.

A couple of months ago, I got sucked into the essence of a verse of Scripture in Ecclesiastes 9:18. It says, “Wisdom is better than weapons of war:…” How true! Hobbs went back to his family in Samoa in a bid to mobilize help to defeat the demented cyborg being controlled by Eteon. Upon arrival, he checked on his weapons stash only to find out his mum had disposed them off. How were they going to defeat an army of men possessing the most-technologically advanced weaponry in history? I mean, literally, their guns are activated by a chip, meaning you cannot shoot with it if you do not have the chip!

But Hobbs, with only the tools of a mechanic and a team of mechanics, managed to overpower this AI-powered army! How? By a well-calculated strategy. I was highly fascinated by the scene in which they made a long chain of their cars in their bid to get the helicopter not to fly away!

What I learnt was that with the little you have you can still win the war! That mountain in front of you can be levelled if you plan and strategize properly. Your business can succeed despite your few resources. Think. Read. Explore. Research. Base your decisions on objective data. Use the little you have to obtain your goal!

2. The bond of unity is so important

Remember those guys who decided to build a tower that would reach the heavens? God said of them that nothing they had imagined to do would be withheld from them. Why? Because they were one. Unity is so critical to the success of any enterprise. Those Samoan mechanics spoke one language. Their minds were synced!

Seeing the same thing as your leaders, saying the same thing as your leaders and doing the same thing will always bring forth good success!

As Jesus said, “…I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28)

3. The leadership of a mother

Hobbs’ mother rallied those Samoan mechanics to turn those AI-powered soldiers to smithereens! Her stentorian voice commanded them to go forth in boldness! In every organisation, have at least one strong woman to lead at least one team. The results are astounding! Ask Bishop Dag!

4. The love of a mother

After 25 years of abandonment, your son returns home, not to render an apology but “to save the world.” What would you do?

Never once did I see her even criticise Hobbs for his neglect of the family. She received him lovingly and on top of that, she shut his brother up when he declined to help him.

Make room for the inadequacies of your subordinates, OK?

5. Teamwork makes the dream work.

I told you that Hobbs and Shaw were sworn enemies. By the time that they were in battle with that psycho cyborg, they had put aside their differences. Why? Because they had to defeat the common enemy: the main threat. How often we bicker and fight amongst ourselves while our common enemy laughs uncontrollably at our folly!

When Hobbs and Shaw worked together in defeating that AI-powered cyborg, they managed to disrupt his AI capabilities that were calculating their moves and enabling him to evade their every move.

Put away your petty differences and work as a team in the organisation and the dream will work.

6. Communication and reporting are essential.

Something worth learning I saw the cyborg doing was he gave an update on his progress. He hinted his plan but then Eteon told him plans had changed.

I love what that Roman Centurion told Jesus when he asked Him to heal his servant (see Luke 7:8). He said to Jesus, “I am a man under authority…” He realised that the only reason for his authority was that he was under authority. What makes your authority legit is the fact that you are submitted to legitimate authority.

Reporting and communication with superiors are key because that’s how you know whether you’re on course with the mission. Objectives may change.

That’s why prayer is so essential. Don’t rely on that which you received a decade ago to determine what to do now- there may be a little tweak in your current objective pertaining to that assignment you have. Pray! Fellowship with the Holy Ghost!

7. He who resurrects you masters you

That AI-powered cyborg thought he was immortal until Eteon pulled the plug!

Whomever you submit yourself to to receive from controls your future.

If you trust Jesus to give you eternal life, you are eternally His. That means you are no longer yours. You are not your own master anymore. He is now your Lord!

On the other hand, all the devil has to offer you is temporal and fleeting! It will all pass away!

Make Jesus the Lord of your life and receive eternal life and your resurrection will be a genuine one!

You wouldn’t have to die twice!

Education & Entrepreneurship Town Hall

Over two decades ago, HIV broke out in Zimbabwe and people were dying of it in scores. In one particular construction firm of about 700 workers, funerals were held often because some of them were dying of the virus. After the funeral of one of the workers, the elders of the family walked up to the CEO of the firm and asked him, “What about the children?”
So in response to that crisis, the CEO started taking care of the children, putting them through school. It was such a fulfilling thing to do.
Fast forward to this day, over 250,000 learners have been put through school as a result of this philanthropic effort effected by a Trust that was started called the HigherLife Foundation.
An extraordinarily brilliant young man from a rural area walks into an office seeking a job. The CEO looks at the young man’s academic report and he’s got straight As throughout. The CEO leans forward with a quizzical look on his face. He asks, “Why are you not in the University?” To which the young man responds, “I don’t have money to pay the fees.”
So the CEO offers to pay the young man’s University tuition instead of giving him a job.
One day, the CEO was in his office and then he was told that some men were looking for him. He went to meet them. They were Elders from the young man’s village who came to thank him for his gesture of paying the young man’s tuition, for he was the first person from that village to have gone to the University.
After his education, the young man came back to work in the same company.
In response to the moderator’s question “Why do you have a commitment to partnership in Education?”, Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, the chairman and founder of Econet, related these two incidents as pivotal motivations at the Education and Entrepreneurship Town hall held at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana on Tuesday, 13th March, 2018.

The event brought together stakeholders in education and entrepreneurship across Africa and the United States of America. The ‘Kweséfied’ pavement welcomed attendees to the gently lit ambience of the Great Hall.
This Town Hall was on “The Power of Partnership: Strengthening Education” and had Professor Ebenezer Owusu Oduro, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, as the Chair, as well as Peter Salovey, President of Yale University, Dr. Patrick Awuah, President of Ashesi University and Ms. Elizabeth Elango-Bintliff, CEO of Junior Achievement Africa, speaking to the theme.
The dignified speakers were heralded by a lively drum and dance ensemble.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Owusu Oduro noted that partnerships are relevant to enable universities reach their targets, emphasizing that “no man is an island”. He intimated that in order to build partnership, individuals and organizations must first be willing.
Peter Salovey, President of Yale University, hinted that the Yale Africa Initiative has been a success due to strategic partnership. He also disclosed that Mr. Masiyiwa has extended his support to the Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) initiative for another five years, lauding him in appreciation.
He concluded thus, “I am proud, glad and delighted to be part of the partnership.”
Miss Elango-Bintliff, CEO of Junior Achievers Africa noted that the future of Africa is its youth, describing her commitment to partnership in education as a calling.
Dr. Patrick Awuah, President of Ashesi University explained that we need a high velocity society and that is created by trust. He related that he started thinking about the future of Africa after his first son was born. Thus, he envisioned that Higher Education built upon ethics, innovation and leadership was the key to harnessing the future of Africa. That’s how Ashesi started.
Many insights were shared as some of the audience posed questions to the speakers. Some of the insight include the following:
# Do the best you can with the little you have.
# Problems can’t be solved by individuals working alone but through partnership.
# We must take entrepreneurship into the classroom in a structured way.
# Fathers must validate their daughters to bridge the gender gap.
# We need to do with education what we did with independence.
# At the undergraduate level, we are trained to think critically not to be experts.
# Curricula must bring in entrepreneurs to equip students with skills to engage the real world in their problem solving.
# The best partnerships are built on trust, mutual respect and open mindedness.
# Keep in mind the 3 Ps: Product. People. Process.
# Start the training in the household. Your children reflect who you are.
# If we want to fix and build our universities, we who went to the universities have to come back. If you want to be involved in philanthropy, go back to your old school.
Mr. Strive identified that we are moving into a totally knowledge-based global economy.
Today, there are more than 750 million phones, 300 million smartphones and this is projected to hit 500 million by 2020. Seeing this, a platform known as Ruzivo has been set up with textbooks of some subjects digitized. 1 million kids in Zimbabwe out of 3 million have been registered on the platform.
The Town Hall ended on a high note as the audience received satisfactory answers to questions on their minds.

Three Fundamental Questions Every Entrepreneur Must Ask Themselves before Getting Started

“Entrepreneurs walk when people board ‘trotro’; they board ‘trotro’ when everyone boards a taxi; they buy a motorcycle when everyone buys a car.”

– Hon. Ato Sarpong, Former Deputy Minister of Communication

At a recent convocation of young entrepreneurs dubbed “Get Started”, Honourable Ato Sarpong, former deputy Minister of Communications, shared very important insights on how to get started as an entrepreneur.

He shared that the fundamental for entrepreneurship is Genesis 1:2. Adding, he indicated that there is a lot of chaos. However, we must determine to have clarity on where we’re going in the midst of the chaos.

The truth is that if you are not clear in where you are going, you will not get there.

He further stated, “Without clarity of intent/thought, you can’t be successful.”

The next fundamental thing to consider is your choices. He emphasized that the choice of your spouse makes a significant difference.

Adding, he taught that your choice of the environment you want to operate in is vitally crucial.

He startled his audience by saying, “There is no hardworking man who is successful. Success never comes from hard work.”

He thus went further to state the third fundamental thing, which is your connections. He instructed, “The first person you should listen to is your pastor.” He explained that relationship is so vital and therefore hinted that we must be real and have integrity.

He admonished the budding entrepreneurs to be good apprentices.

He pointed out, “It’s not about who I know; it’s about who knows me…sometimes you have to work for free. In so doing, you build a relationship.”

He further taught that entrepreneurship is a long journey.

In closing, Honourable Ato Sarpong revealed to the young men, “The best woman you can marry is a woman who will follow you if all you have is a dream.”

Answer the clarity, choices and connection questions and then you can get started!