Sunday, March 18, 2018
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. How often do we think about our future? Where do we see ourselves at 50 or 60 years old? How often do we realize that life is capable of giving us apples or lemons?
I watched some videos on YouTube and I'm shocked at what I have seen. Life can change at any moment for any reason. There is no such as thing as guaranteed security (especially if you do not work hard at your young age to create wealth for yourself and your family for your old age).
Perhaps this is not the same everywhere. Most of the videos I watched focused on people in the United States. But for most of us from and in Africa, we are blessed with land and we are able to have our own homes however big or small and upcountry they may be.
This got me thinking even harder. If highly educated people can be homeless at their old age, what chances are there for the rest of us with just a diploma, or an undergrad degree or a masters degree?
We have a saying in Tanzania that says "mchumia juani, hulia kivulini", meaning he who reaps in the sun will eat in the shade. Between the ages of 20 - 40 years old is the time when we must work hard, give our 100 and make sure we have found our "thing", our "calling" and what works for us. There is so much pleasure in doing what comes natural to you. I mean, if you can go to bed and imagine a movie script, write it up and eventually film a movie - do you know there are millions of people who can't do that? That's your thing and invest on that. You may have a 9-5 job that pay your bills and keep you relevant, but don't neglect your passion as well. Someday, when your funds are right, you can start you own business or practice. Eventually, that "passion side job" of yours is what will keep you busy for the rest of your life (hopefully).
There are those who already know what they want to do in life, or have already started their business or practice, bravo to you. But remember, the only way up is through creating mini-yous. You can't do it all by yourself. You have to have people around you with the same goal, dreams, focus and aspirations as yourself. Train that person so that you can have someone to take care of the business in your absence. Two minds are better than one. If you work as an accountant, how about opening a consultation company? If you work for a law firm or work as a law professor, how about establish your own practice so that you do not have to rely on one source of income?
If you wait until you are retired for you to use your pension to start your business, then you are dead wrong. Businesses have their ups and downs. Start it while you still have the energy to handle the bad days. Start it when you don't fully rely on it for your livelihood. Start your "thing" when you are able to recover.
When you retire, your pension should be for you and not for your business. Work hard when your body is still capable of handling the pressure, so that you can rest with peace of mind in your old age.