Elombah
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How Trump Saved Me From Poverty

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Okay! I know they say success has brothers, sisters and equally begets friends easily, so you must not be surprised am already courting the guy! Truth is, he did save me of some sort, from some poverty mentality I had before I read his book recently just before the elections. I came across Why we want you to be rich, a book he co-authored with Robert Kiyosaki, sitting in my library, it was one of the gift collections I got from a send forth voucher my colleagues gave me while I was departing Lagos on a transfer.  With the phenomenon “Trump” on the loose during the US presidential elections, I couldn’t help but pick up the material to check out the character of this movement the world had never seen in recent times.

First thing that came to my mind was how Robert, a multi millionaire in his own right, was so “waohed” to be collaborating with Trump in the book, even to the extent of getting so excited like a baby at their first meeting at the Trump towers. No wonder he was so happy and I took notice that though he contributed most of the material, he is still better off having taken advantage of the franchise in Trump’s name, which I read is his greatest asset.

Reading the book challenged my thinking and gave me a first perspective about the man Trump, with respect to his business skills and why America may benefit from such. Prior to reading the book, I had a mental note to write some humorous essay about how I was going to become rich by the little things (owing to small savings) I did which I thought was going to get me there in a couple of years down the line. Things like, not borrowing anymore with the bad experience of borrowing a couple of years back and investing in the stock market that came crashing wiping away ones entire fortune, to having to wash my own car so I can save pennies while exercising my body and taking in some fresh air!, taking my own food to work so I can save pennies while enjoying my wife’s cooking so that her labour in the kitchen will not be in vain! The point then was that if I could put aside the money meant for those small things like some authors have suggested, then I was on my way to the promised land.

All that mediocre thinking came crashing when I read the advice about how they see that mantra “live within your means” differently. To Trump and Robert, we must not deny ourselves the good things of this life and instead of restricting ourselves to our means, why don’t we change our thinking and rather expand our means?

Though they focused on real estate and creating ideas that generate wealth, they did not entirely discourage investing in stocks but insisted that if you must invest in stocks, you must be sure to buy the entire company like Warren Buffet does, because that is the only thing that will guarantee you have control over your money!, a key success factor. They emphasised the need for control, hard work and patience in order to win. To them, making money was a game in which they play only to win and if they were to win they cannot delegate that control which is why they chided and laughed at some tycoons that drive to wall street in limousine only to hand over their fortunes to guys that take the train to work! My Olori summarized it in this way “ Owuru na isoghi na ihe ana eme, ejiri gi na eme ihe ana eme!” (My attempt at interpretation was “If you are not part of the decision makers, they use you as part of the decision), I was not comfortable with my interpretation so I went to the other rooms to ask for help. See better interpretations I got from the other rooms (not the one occupied by our first lady oh), “If you are not amongst the butchers, then you are the beef,” “in the class room, if you are not the teacher, you are the student,” “the more you look, the less you see,” “don’t go to a market you don’t know the commodity else you become the goods,” “if you make yourself absent from collective decision making you will end up as the object of sacrifice,” “the chicken’s decision to agree with every decision reached by his communal congress, left him holding the short end of the stick in matters that required appeasing the gods,” “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything,” and finally in the spiritual realm, “if you do not use something, you will be used for something!”

Leveraging opportunities like loans and tax reliefs were one of their selling points which interestingly came up as one of the heated topics in the US presidential debate. The opposition seemed to use that to their advantage when it was not supposed to be when looked at critically, truth being that the tax relief was an incentive for organizations to create more jobs, and would you rather have jobs or have the money go to government? The book also challenged my thinking when it comes to borrowing to invest in fixed assets. I earlier would always do the math with the outrageous interest on loans seeming to escalate any bank facility such that when you compare with the future value of an asset bought with a facility or returns there from, one tended to think it was not worth it. I began to have a feel for what sunk costs are and learnt to forget the past payments and factor in the appreciation on the fixed assets in addition to the rental income.

I guess the most profound one was the highlight of the fact that our societally perceived intelligent folks like the engineers, doctors and scientists are actually not the intelligent ones as they are only able to adapt to stereotypes (linear thinking or logic) as they think with the left side of their brains. The real power houses are the guys in “show biz”, the entertainers in art, music, who they observed are right brain dominant and the real creative ones, and that really got me thinking. No wonder they are the richest in the society. This should really be humbling to “all them” engineers, lawyers and doctors that have always wondered whether they were in the wrong profession and also whined on how they are more important to the society while the showbiz guys smile away to the bank. Now you have your answers, so if you want to be famous and rich, show your creativity!

In all, I guess the saying “never judge a book by its cover” is real and Americans may well give Trump a chance to lift them out of poverty as he did for me.

 

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