Sunday, February 1, 2009

Billionaires In Training

I had the rare privilege of helping to organize and put together the first Billionaires in Training in Ibadan, Oyo State. After several weeks of planning, the event eventually took place yesterday. It was a time of fun, thinking and learning. It was so well planned and executed that we already have 2-3 requests to run the program in other places. Who knows? It could become a monthly event. It is my candid belief that a better life is a product of brighter light. When we see brighter, we will shine better. Cashflow 101 is one of the financial tools that can open your eyes to a lot of financial truths in a couple of hours! It has the capacity to make you richer. Infact, the more you play it, the richer you become.

A better Life is a product of brighter light

During the game that was played yesterday, and from comments I heard during the debrief session, I learnt a couple of things. Will you permit me to share with you?

You Can Live Your Dreams

To start the game, every participant was meant to place his/her cheese playing piece on one of their dreams. For 1st time players, this was really a tough task. What is my dream? What do I really like? What will I like to have if nothing in the world could stop me? Believe me, many people will not readily give you and answer. They do not know. What if I ask you? What will you like to accomplish? What would you call success? Do you have a dream at all? Writing down your dream in a way that it can be visualized in the 1st thing you must do in your journey to success. At first, it was unimaginable how people will accomplish their dreams, but people got more confident as the game wore on. Infact, we did not end the game until a couple bought their dream! Listen. You can live your dreams. You can get it if you really want.

Risk is not the same as Loss

One of the greatest hindrances to success is that people equate risks and loss. They are definitely not the same. That a deal is risky is not enough reason to walk away from it. In the school of success, the riskier it is, the more beneficial it is likely to be. Successful people do not run away from risks. They weight it, plan for it, and take it! If you are averse to risks, I can predict that you will not amount to much in your walk towards financial freedom. You need to take calculated risks as you plan to get out of the rat race.

You can be in the rate race forever!

This is a bitter truth. Billions of people all over the world are in the rat race and will be in it till they die. You are not just in the rat race because you are in paid employment. Some business owners are also in the rat race. You are in the rat race if your total expenditure is more than you passive income – no matter what you are doing. Till we finished the game, many people were still stuck in the rat race. Thankfully, that was just a game. In the game of life, the same is true. Many will be stuck in the rat race until they decide to do something about it.

You are in the rat race if your total expenditure is more than you passive income – no matter what you are doing.

Financial Independence had no respect for Occupation

This was a very interesting discovery. When people were picking their occupation at the beginning of the game, those who picked seeming good occupations (Pilots, Doctors, e.t.c) were making jest of those who picked poor paying jobs (Janitors, Truck Drivers, Police Officers e.t.c). Guess what? The 1st two people to get out of the rat race were both Janitors! They were getting very low salaries. However, their expenses were also low and they could strategize to earn passive income that will surpass these expenses. For the pilots and Doctors, their expenses were usually very high (to go with their status). They will need to build a high passive income to be able to get out of the rat race. Instead of trying to reduce their expenses, the focus only on increasing their passive income. Most often times, their expenses increase as their passive income increases.

Your occupation is irrelevant on the road to financial freedom. What matters in financial intelligence to make sure that your passive income is always ahead of your expenses.

It is Okay to Borrow

This was one truth that I had to personally deal with. I hate to borrow. I feel more comfortable not owing anyone. Infact, I used to brag about this and thought that it means I was headed towards financial freedom. I saw another angle to it. Borrowing is good. It depends on what you are borrowing for. Successful people have mastered the art of using other people’s money to make more money. They take money from others or from the bank and invest it to make more money. My advice is this- Do not borrow to buy liabilities. However, it is okay to borrow and invest in anything that will increase your passive income. Learn to use other people’s money to make money.

Successful people have mastered the art of using other people’s money to make more money.

Opportunities are all around us

Almost at every turn, one player lands on an opportunity. We are not poor for lack of opportunities. We are poor when we do not make the best of opportunities that comes our ways. We are poor when we Pass Over Opportunities Repeatedly. Opportunities are everywhere. Many see it as such while others see it as problems. During the game, someone purchased a piece of fallow land for a ridiculous amount. There were no roads and all there. However, he held on to it until a time in the game when he sold for over 10 times the amount! After that deal, he had enough cash to pay off his liabilities and in no time was out of the rat race. Can you smell opportunities? I believe that the power problem in Nigeria is an opportunity of someone to make billions on dollars. Could it be you?

The Place of Charity

One of the things I knew before was also reinforced. Givers Never Lack. As they solve other people’s problems, life presents them with more opportunities and speed. In the game, whenever you land on “Charity”, you had a choice to donate to charity. Once this is done, you can play your next 3 rounds with 2 dice, instead of 1. The same is true in the game of life. Poor people think that they can accrue more money by holding on to what they have. Rich people know that they can achieve much by helping other people. Have you being involved in a charitable deed of late? I have a friend who celebrated his birthday in an orphanage and asked all of us to convert the gifts we had for him to a gift for the kids. Can you imagine that?

I learnt also from a friend that the year Warren Buffet overtook Bill Gate as the richest man on earth was also the same year that Warren outgave him in charity! I do not think that this is a coincidence!

You can awaken your financial genius by playing this game over and over again. You do not necessarily need money to make money. You need a financial plan. As you make up your mind to get out of the rat race, my prayer is that we will meet at the top of the topmost top – where nothing is impossible!

Special thanks to my bosom friend, Adeolu Akinyemi (, who took out time out of his busy schedule to guide us through the game. Only time and eternity can reward you as you bless your generation. You will certainly be celebrated!

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You are destined for the top of the topmost top! See you there!!