Author and personal finance coach, Usiere Uko, writes on the
importance of mindset in achieving your financial goals:
According to Peak performance experts, success in most
areas of human endeavour is 80 per cent psychology and
20 per cent strategy. Another way to put it is that success
is 80 per cent mental and 20 per cent tactical or
methodical. Your mindset is more important than your
methods. You need the right method quite alright, but that
by itself is not enough to deliver the goods if you lack the
mental capacity to pull through to the finish line. You may
have an excellent blueprint but lack the capacity to
implement it. It will simply gather dust. If you want to
experience change in any area of your life, you have to
change first on the inside before it manifests on the
If you have succeeded in saving and keeping the money or
losing weight and keeping it off, you will understand that
making the internal shift is what makes the difference. You
may succeed in saving but lack the capacity to keep
saving, but fall back to old habits. You may lose weight
with a fancy diet and then gain it all back, and more for
good measure. The internet is full of “how to” articles. You
can see steps to achieving virtually anything under the sun.
You can get books on seven steps to financial freedom, five
ways of becoming rich, 10 ways of losing 10 kg in 10 weeks
etc, but reading it alone will not produce the result.
You have to see beyond your nose
In seminars, I keep getting the feedback that the returns in
the money market is peanuts, ridiculous, does not make
sense etc. That is very true if you do it the first month and
end it there. Whatever market you choose to play in, you
need to pay the full price of sticking with it to be able to
succeed. You cannot bypass the process. The amount of
weight you will lose if you cut down on your food portion
and exercise for one day only is also peanuts, ridiculous
and does not make sense. If you got a very bad
performance appraisal last year, doing the right thing one
day only will bring progress that is also ridiculous. If you
want result that makes sense, then you have to do it
consistently and persistently. It is in the mind. This is where
you win or lose.
If your mind operates on pay as you go basis, considering
only what is immediately before you rather than also
looking at years down the road, it will focus on instant
gratification. Many people are looking for a quick fix,
something they can do today that will bring instant results
without taking time to build a solid foundation. If you want
an instant win, you stand a better chance with the lottery.
You cannot get new results from just one or two days of
doing things differently. It took years to get you to where
you are today. It may take years to get out. How long it
takes actually depends on you.
The Be – Do – Have model
Most of us want to be rich, to have enough money to live
our lives the way we want it. That is not a bad thing.
Poverty is not a virtue or a desirable goal. Wanting to be
rich is one thing. Following through the process is another.
To become rich, you have to be rich first. In the now rested
Ken Saro Wiwa’s production ‘Bassey and Company’ the
lead character had one catch phrase that expresses this
principle – to be a millionaire, think like a millionaire. You
become one first mentally by upgrading your mind to think
like millionaires do.
This thinking process leads to certain actions. Those
actions did not just happen by accident. There is a certain
mindset and level of conviction to sustains this action
through thick and thin irrespective of upsets or challenges.
If you do not get to this place internally, you may not be
able to do the right things sustainably even when you know
the method. When that sustained action is missing, you
cannot get the desired result. Hence you have to be rich
first (inside) before you become rich (on the outside).
This follows the Be – Do – Have model. We all want to
have, so our first line of attack is to find out how to do it
(method or tactics). That is why we run after seven steps to
this or that. What happens when you finally discover the
seven steps, do you find yourself climbing the steps? If you
locate the steps, what about the strength and tenacity
required to climbing them to the top? What is the use
knowing the seven steps when the ability to climb them is
What moves us to action on a sustainable basis? It is
being. If you see yourself as a fit and healthy person, you
will not load your plate with unhealthy food or over eat. You
will not sit in one place for hours, buy things through the
window of your car or fight for parking spaces closest to
where you are going. You will park your car far away and
walk down. You will tend towards an active and vibrant
lifestyle instead of a sedentary one. It will not be a surprise
when the result shows when you climb the bathroom scale.
If you see yourself as one who is prudent financially, getting
richer by the day, you will save and invest before spending.
You will prioritise cash or cash flow over things. Rather than
turn your cash to things, you turn things into cash. It is a
There are people who don’t save because they don’t have
enough money. There are also people who save and invest
for the same reason – their income alone is not enough, so
they sacrifice and save so that they can generate another
source of income. Both face the same situation, one uses it
as an excuse while the other uses it as a motivating factor.
You don’t need a prophet to tell you which one of them will
Poverty is a mindset, not the state of your wallet, bank
account or finances. It is the poverty mindset that leads to
actions that produce what you see and call poverty. If the
person becomes ‘born again’ and starts doing the right
things with what he has now, you will be amazed years
down the road. If you give money to a person with a
poverty mindset, he will spend it with nothing to show and
returns to square one – poor. If you take away money from
a rich person, he makes it back and returns to square one –
rich. Ultimately, we manifest what we are on the inside.
For questions and comments, you can contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow or tweet at me on twitter @usiere,
08106788187 text only.
Post earlier published on PUNCH