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Personal Development & Self Help

Personal Development & Self Help Column

By Kelvin Sondifu
The Nine Principles that Govern Success Series

Financial Independence


With money, you are wise, you are handsome, and you sing well too.

- Yiddish proverbs


This is a practical guide that will enable graduates of - The Nine Definite Principles that Governs Success™ series achieve financial independence and riches. In the beginning of this series, we listed Napoleon Hill’s 12 factors that constitute riches. And financial security came last in the list for a reason. One cannot achieve, sustain, and be fulfilled, with monetary success without first becoming successful, to some extent, on the first 11 factors that constitute riches.


The nine definite principles that govern success™ was created to do just that - help the reader achieve the first 11 factors that constitute riches. Here is a review of the factors that constitute riches: a positive mental attitude; sound physical health; harmony in human relations; freedom from fear; hope of future achievement; the capacity for applied faith; the willingness to share one’s blessing with others; to be engaged in the labour of love; an open mind on all subjects toward all people; complete self discipline; wisdom with which to understand people; financial security.


It is fair to forewarn that it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to achieve financial security if the prize is not paid to become successful in the first 11 factors that constitute riches. But if one has mastered them, making money, becoming rich, financial independence, becomes simple.


The easiest way to master these 11 factors was laid out in the nine definite principles that govern success™ series. If you missed any of the articles in the series; and you are serious about acquiring financial security, my advice is that you contact the editor of this newspaper. He will be able to supply you with the necessary articles.


The scope of this column is inadequate to cover in-depth a subject as wide as how to become rich financially. Like other things in life, if you want financial security, you must make it a study. If you want money, you must study how to make money. Even to be happy, you must study happiness. So the first instruction in this article is: read as much books on money making as you can.


To be informed is to be empowered; insight and awareness begets strength.


Let’s get some insights by answering these primary questions: What is financial independence? What is financial security? How much does one need to be financially independent and secure?


Financial independence means having the material resources (money) that will enable you to live comfortably to your taste without having to work anymore. You can be financially independent and choose to work, just for pleasure, but not to sustain your life style.


Financial security simply means being confident in your ability to meet your financial demands. Stephen Covey expressed it as, “Your security does not come from your job or from the patronage of other people; it comes from your ability to meet needs and solve problems”


In light of the above definitions, what is the amount of money one needs to be financially independent and secured? First, financial independence and security has less to do with figures in your bank account. They are emotions.


Enough, in this regard, is determined by lifestyle, dreams, and aspirations. If you elect a modest lifestyle, you will need modest sum in your savings account to feel secure and independent. If your dreams include private jets, limousines, chauffeurs, and the title ‘millionaire’, you will definitely need much to feel fulfilled - secure and independent.


Now, let me lay down the fundamentals of making and keeping money. To achieve financial independence, you must start with four foundational mental resources. They are: the right philosophy, the right mental attitude, the right plan, and compulsion for action. If these items are absent, nothing else can bring you a sustained financial wealth. Let’s expand on these fundamentals; but first, what is money? Money is simply a means to measure and exchange values. With this in mind, let’s proceed.


The right philosophy to make money is coated in these words, ‘we get paid basically for bringing value to the marketplace’. There are only two ways to bring value to the market place. One is to bring valued products and service to the marketplace. Second is to be valuable in the marketplace. On the other hand, the wrong philosophy to accumulate money is apathy and the intention to get something for nothing.


The right mental attitude to make money is the belief that money is a good instrument. Money or the love of money is not the root of evil; lack of money is the root of evil. Money is the maker of dreams and many good things. The superstitions and confusions that surround money can be traced to fairytales like the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. These myths has made more people poor than all other causes combined.


The parable ends with the Rich Man burning in everlasting fire and the Poor Man, Lazarus, sitting with God, enjoying unlimited pleasure. This points to why most people choose misery and poverty on earth as trade-off for a supposed everlasting bliss in the skies. The mere acceptance of this kind of “stupid philosophy” is the genesis of one’s doom. Such mental attitude is the ignition of hell on earth.


To use the right philosophy and mental attitude to make money we need a plan. This plan calls for the use of imagination. As Ann Rand puts it, “Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think”. To create a good plan, we need to gather information and arrange them with our brain into forms that are valued in the marketplace. This insight is very important, because, most people think you need money to make money or you need luck to make good money. That is wrong. All one needs to make any amount of money is the ability to assemble information to create value. Becoming rich is simple as that.


Peter Drucker, the management guru, stated the truth when he said, “From now on, the key is knowledge. The world is not becoming labour intensive, not materials intensive, not energy intensive, but knowledge intensive”.


Knowledge simply means useful accumulated information. A simple way to get knowledge is through formal education. Most people overlook the fact that schooling is still the easiest and surest ways to make money. If you take 4, 5 or 6 years to study law, medicine or other highly demanded profession, you are almost sure to making money in large amount.


Self study is also good; if one chooses not to attend formal schools. But this is very difficult, because it demands more self-discipline to study without compulsion from tutors and examinations. Whichever you choose, continuous education is the only way to financial security and independence. The rate at which knowledge becomes obsolete in this age prevents high-performers from quitting education. 


Acquired and applied knowledge is the key to riches. And, there are three ways to turn knowledge into money: First is to work with acquired knowledge for others. Second is to use acquired knowledge to create products. Third is to sell acquired knowledge directly - through consultation, book, video and audio.


Finally, to make money we must develop a compulsion for action. The number one reason people don’t take action is fear of failure. We must have the courage to fail. If we take action and fail, we have indeed succeeded - if we learn from the failure. Doing the wrong thing is better than doing nothing. All progress comes from movement. You might have the most intelligent plan on earth, but if you don’t act, you won’t make money. That is a given.


In summary, the act of earning money is an art. You can develop the skill of earning money like artists develop their skill to paint or write poetry. Read books, practice, ask questions, observe keenly, and study the lives of successful people. These are some of the ways to develop competence in the art of money making. In the last analysis, with few exceptions, our net-worth is directly propositional to our self-worth – our personal development.


Important cautions: don’t throw away all other values in pursuit of money. Money is just a value, like any other value. Second; invest in stocks, bonds, government securities, and maintain a savings account. You can start with as little as 50 euros. Go to your bank, they will be glad to help you.


As after thought, let’s muse over the possibility of immortality. Have you ever stop to think of how many billions of humans have died over the years which no one remembers of? The last thing you should be contented with is to become of those dead billions. I beseech you therefore, to leave a distinctive mark behind; make an indelible dent in the human collective unconsciousness.


One day, each one of us will become a memory, the question is will you become a living memory or a dead memory. Will you be remembered in memory after your death, or will you die twice - first physically, and then from the memory of all human consciousness. Like every other thing in life, the choice is yours to make.


As I end this series, my heart is filled with a deep sense of reverence for the defiant power of the human spirit. I am humbled and encouraged by it. I affirm your worth, dear reader. I sincerely believe in your ability to succeed. No matter how discouraging your situation is, be hopeful, for there are people that has been in similar, and even worse, condition and triumphed. My very soul wishes you success and fulfilment.


I leave you with these words of eternal truths from Orison Swett Marden, “Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionalize his life if aroused and put into action.”


*To reach Kelvin Sondifu or react to the above, send an e-mail to:

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