If you have read my article “The Habit of Making Friends“ you already know that I do not come from a rich family. My family was not entirely poor though. I believe if my parents had better money habits, poverty would have been averted. Poverty and Habit are intertwined, and I will show you how plus tips on how to overcome the poverty mindset.
The Poverty Mindset Genesis
My father is a businessman. Ever since I knew him he has been in business. He tells that in his twenties he used to lease a ground floor of one of the most prominent buildings in my country. He had a lot of cash.
During my school days, my dad had an animal health business. He was in competition with the who’s and who’s in the field. But, he had one weakness, he wanted to go big now and he hardly ever completed any purchases he made.
He used to own a go-down once, but it was repossessed when he did not meet the payments. Why, yet his business was flourishing? He had formed a habit of starting something new and better and bigger.
When the go-down was repossessed, he moved the business to the town center. Wise because it saved him transport cost and the rent was lower. But when business was picking up, he brought in so many salespeople to cover the routes.
Not a bad idea, but it will not work well if you do not have proper money and people management skills to ensure funds are not embezzled. This happened a lot, and I could see a lot of the salespeople living better lives than us. We were constantly sent home from school, constantly had eviction letters in the mail and never went out to have fun during the weekends.
Go Big, or Go Home
Because his business idea was brilliant, my dad was shown a new route that would see him expand his business, and make him loads of cash. This route ladies and gentlemen turned out to be pure gold.
The idea was to move his products to a neighboring country and sell them there. My dad is a marketing genius and within months, he was making triple sales by himself. One of his associates told me he would even forget payments because money was in plenty. Imagine that, get paid over a quarter a mil and forget it on the table. haha!
During this time, we felt the money. He would come home with bags of veggies, from onions to tomatoes. He would buy nonperishable goods like rice and flour in bulk and we would stock up for months. It was wonderful. Rent was paid on time and fees was sorted. Bliss!
But at the back of my dad’s mind, another venture was forming. He invested in mining precious metals, which bore no fruit by the way. Remember, the money he is using for this venture is the same he should have used to inject capital into his already existing business. The end result, both went under.
As all this was happening, he also accrued debt that could not be managed and he had to seek asylum in another country. I try my best to have as little debt as possible. In fact, other than my student’s loan, I have no major loan with any borrowing institution.
I may not know what was going through my dad’s mind at the time. I strongly believe he meant well and wanted to make a great life for us. His habits betrayed him but his intentions were good.
Now back to why I am writing about this. I picked up a few of these habits myself. For example, I picked up the habit of not completing tasks. Start a project, run with it for a while and go missing when a challenge emerges. The habit of procrastination is you like.
The Vicious Cycle
I also picked up another habit. My dad is daring. He had quite the appetite for risk. On the other hand, I operate in fear. What if things go wrong as they did for him? What I am unable to pay this debt and be like my dad? What if I cannot get it done in time? What if I lose my money in that investment?
I need to save, not spend on investments I am not sure will yield fruits. And when I see something I would really like to buy and can afford I usually say “This is money I can save to use for a rainy day” or wake up in regret.
Please note that this is happening before I start the project, or somewhere in the beginning phase. So I chicken out and stay in my comfort zone. Or The habit of self-doubt if you may.
This has also formed a cycle.
Step one: Start a project
Step two: chicken out
Step three: feel bad for not seeing the project through
Step four: Mental rehearsal of affirmation and seeking reasons as to why I can make things work
Step five: Start a new project and promise to see it through
Step six: Go back to step two
Where has this led me? Straight down the path of poverty. No completed task is equal to no money. People do not pay for ideas they pay for solutions period.
How am I changing the poverty mindset and adopting a money consciousness?
1. Change the Language
If you are like me, then you use this words a lot “Save for a rainy day, too expensive, I can’t afford that, I am broke, one day I will have the money, I wish I could afford that” among others.
So instead of using these phrases, I am adopting a new language. For example:
- People like me can afford that, I can too. It’s within reach
- I can budget for this next month
- I have more than enough
- There is abundance all around me
2. Remain Happy
I have realized that the happier I am, the less I worry and entertain negative feelings. So When we eat the same meal three days in a row, instead of saying “Shit is real, I am broke!” I usually say “Thank God we have food.”
Joy is the highest vibration, and where there is joy there cannot be worry. Also, be realistic. I cannot wait for things to be happy. I have to be happy things or no things. Sure I want to ride in a cool car but I am not going to kill myself with worry because I don’t have it right now. I will work to earn it.
3. Learn money skills
There are three things about money:
- How to earn it
- How to grow it
- How to keep it
A lot of us know how to earn it, but the majority of us have no idea how to grow it and how to keep it.
I am reading the book “The Richest Man In Babylon” By George S. Clason. If you can get a copy, read it.
4. Stop procrastination and drop fear
I won’t talk procrastination much on this post because I have already covered this topic, but that link contains a great book on how you can overcome procrastination. But the idea is to finish what i start, finish it on time and delivery pure gold.
5. Have a definite purpose or Set a target
According to Napoleon Hill in his famous book “Think and Grow Rich”, having a definite purpose, a burning desire to achieve it, faith that it will come to pass, using the power of auto-suggestion and having a plan to achieve your financial goal will see your goal brought to life in the physical world.
I do not doubt him because Bob Proctor has used his principle for more than three decades and he has proven them right.
I don’t know about you but I don’t like being poor. And the Poverty mentality that has taken root must be eradicated. This time, I will win.