By Bayo Ogunmupe
Many working professionals make financial freedom their goal. But if the achievement of financial freedom is to be made inevitable, within their 35-year career, they must do two things.
First, you must choose the right and conducive path. Choosing the right path means you become a consultant in your chosen profession or become an entrepreneur investor in your field of endeavour. Second, you must refrain from choosing the path that leads you to middle-class poverty. In attaining financial freedom, good intentions are not enough. You must make your good intentions come alive.
Research shows that 80 per cent of professionals, including journalists, lawyers, teachers and architects, fail to make their good intentions inevitable by not taking adequate actions to protect and secure their future. Your first step is choosing the right role model. If you want to do a particular thing, find someone who had done that thing for you to imitate. Your right role model is anyone who once shared the same lifestyle with you.
The mistake most people make is taking popular success models as Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg or Aliko Dangote as models. Your model must be one who shared the same circumstance with you. Those mentioned above are businessmen and you can only model them when you enter into businesses that are similar to theirs. Moreover, unlike you, these winners were never employees. Musk, Gates, Jeff Bezos and Zuckerberg started their own businesses early in life. They didn’t wait for 10, 20 or working for 30 years before going into self-employment. The pedigree of Musk, Gates, Jeff Bezos and Zuckerberg doesn’t exist in Africa for they are geniuses, creating their types of businesses.
So you must choose a model with a complementary background with you. For me, Afe Babalola is my model. He is a distinguished lawyer who has never worked for the government. He was neither a state attorney-general, federal attorney-general nor minister. You cannot trace graft or money laundering to him. Yet he’s very successful as a practising lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria. He is the founder of Afe Babalola University. Dangote belongs to a class of privileged and protected businessmen spread all over Nigeria.
Once you understand the actions, mindset, attitudes, rituals and relationships that produce the desired results in your line of business, continue imitating your model. The more you imitate your model, the faster you will achieve financial freedom. In observing your model, you must write down the key success factors, dividing them into two, simple likeable categories and the hard unpleasant actions. Research shows that unpleasant actions produce the success and easy life we enjoy in financial success. You must model the unpleasant actions which produce results.
The second step toward making your financial freedom inevitable is to close the gap between your learning the ropes of success and actually doing what it takes to win. The problem is that there are more learners than doers. The solution is to be a doer. Start a business with your best friend. Gates started Microsoft with his best friend- Paul; Larry Page started Google with his best friend Sergey and Steve Jobs started Apple with his friend –Steve Wozniak. What are you doing with your friends? A goal without a deadline is a dream. A dream without action steps is fantasy.
You can never be insincere to others without being insincere to yourself. When you practice insincerity, it gradually becomes ingrained in you as a habit. Beware, for insincerity is a habit that undermines your efforts at realizing your dream of financial freedom. Only sincere people achieve financial freedom. The only way to bridge the gap between learning and doing is to upgrade your discipline. Discipline is the golden bridge to financial freedom. The only other hindrance is ignorance. When you are an encyclopedia in your chosen profession and business, active and disciplined, nothing can stop you from reaching your goal of financial freedom.