Chapter 1, 3tools, Five secrets to your financial independence, tool 1

“Many people think you have to be very intelligent to be successful in life.  Exhaustive research shows that many self-made millionaires have only average

“Many people think you have to be very intelligent to be successful in life.  Exhaustive research shows that many self-made millionaires have only average intelligence.”

–Brian Tracy.

To succeed, you don’t have to make a million dollars annually. You need to balance your five Fs to a worry-free life. Some people have the million dollars but they are not yet successful. As you grow, you realize “success” is a moving target. It is not easy to hit unless you reflect and change your mind about what success means to you. Other people’s definitions of success should not drive you. Otherwise, you risk living your life, an unhappy person.

That is not the life you want.

Below are the five secrets to fixing the first F – financial independence.

Invest in yourself

You must recognize that the best investment you can make is in yourself. Your skills, knowledge, exposure, and experience are your best investment. Your future earning potential will depend on your level of education and ability to communicate the same.

As you read in this book’s preface, I did not know what success meant beyond our local technical school, TECO.

If you don’t explore the world through TV, travel (experiences) or self-study, you are doomed for failure or uninformed life which of course is not a good one.

You must make it a point to invest in yourself at least every month so that you learn something new. Read a new book, watch travel documentaries or go to a new place or restaurant. Keep exploring. In my personal experience story you are about to read, you will learn why personal investment is a pre-requisite to success.

As you read in Chapter 1, ever since Grandpa Atanansi counselled me, I always dreamt of joining Makerere University since 1992.

I did an advanced level (senior six) against all odds with the hope that it would be history once I qualified and made it to Makerere University. And when the results of the national examination were released, I had emerged the best in our school and among the top in our district.

Around 2000, I visited Makerere University (MAK) with a lot of optimism, expecting my name on the list of admitted students on government sponsorship. Being from an upcountry district, I had better chances of getting on the list given my scores. Or so I thought.  

If you were with me on that day, with my sweaty self-standing in front of the MAK’s main building notice board, at about 12:20 pm, you would have seen me breakdown and hold by your hand. My name was missing and I became hopeless.

I had travelled the whole night from the village on top of a lorry truck that was carrying tobacco just to check on the admission list and visit Kampala city for the first time.

I knew they had made a very big mistake, and enquired from students nearby of the admissions office. I was directed to the Academic Registrar’s office. I arrived just as he left for an early lunch break. I waited until 3:30 pm when he returned. I told him how I had travelled over 240kms from the village in Hoima, and needed to return that day. I showed the Registrar my result slip and enquired about my fate. He was concerned and asked his assistant to check for the admission forms from our school. They searched in vain. After an hour, I was told thus “it is unlikely that your school submitted any application forms (PUJAB/ coding sheets) to Makerere.” And indeed, on consulting our headmaster he confirmed that they did not submit the forms as they thought no student would make it from their school, for which we were the pioneer senior six class.

Thank God, my aunt directed me to the taxi and gave instructions to the driver of her place. I spent that night contemplating my next morning journey to the village. 

In my aunt’s house were a pile of old newspapers. I decided to pass time reading one. I saw the heading “Become a professional accountant, change your life.” It was an ACCA advert. I asked my aunt more about ACCA and said “it is a difficult course but on demand. Instead of doing the External Bachelor of Commerce at Makerere, I would recommend you do ACCA.”

It was a big sigh of relief. Finally, I had an alternative to Makerere University! And as they say, the rest is history. ACCA opened lots of opportunities for me early in my career in 2002.

Your secret #1: Investing in yourself does not necessarily mean spending money. It means reading daily newspapers, a new book every month, visit a new place or travel out of the country once every two years or more frequently.

You need new knowledge and exposure (visiting new places, playing new games, dining in new restaurants, test driving a dream car, travelling); skills (writing a new book, enrolling in a new course or learning a new language). And of course, meeting new people. Networking is one of the best investments you can make to your life’s success.

I would have gone to the village and probably became a nobody had I not taken interest in reading those old newspapers in my aunt’s place.

You too could be leaving many opportunities on the table because you are too busy to acquire knowledge, to improve yourself. Stop it.

To read the complete book, click here >>

To be continued…

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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