Man and Money – Notes about starting out

I think Dan Awendo had a way of telling it better than I’ve heard it before. As he talked, I was caught up between listening and making notes.

My attempts below:

Man and Money

If God is not at the centre of why you’re pursuing wealth, you’re doing it wrong.
You need to have your objectives very very clearly.

Presentation in three parts:
1. God’s original plan
2. Sources of wealth
3. Life plan – our time here is counted

1. God’s original plan
In Genesis 1:28, God gives man dominion over everything. These were among the first words from God to man.
“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it . . “

God tells us to MULTIPLY, and replenish the earth. Not addition but multiplication. If there’s an area in your life you’re not multiplying, you need to do something about it.

Remember it is God who gives us power to make wealth.

2. Sources of wealth
Primary sources are either work or business or debt or a grant or investment (equity)
“If debt is for anything to do with consumption, it is bad debt. If it is anything to do with investment, it is good debt”

Is land an investment?
If it is not going to be converted to cash shortly, and has no cash flow, then it is bad.

Is mortgage an investment?
Mortgage if for yourself, it is bad debt. If for rental then good.

I know this is a controversial way of looking at it, but with our current lending rates, not many people can get enough to cover their mortgage from renting out property. You find you’re still getting money from your pocket to top up the rent amount.

Good debt should not take money from you.

It’s better when that mortgage money is coming from another source (e.g side business) such that you don’t have to wake up everyday to work for it.

When getting a loan that you will service out of your salary, you must keep reminding God to keep you safe and healthy for you to facilitate that loan. Not a good way to live.

Secondary sources of cash:
Salary – if it is key source of revenue, remember you have to wake up and work for it.

Self employment – if you fall sick or go on holiday so does your business. You must institutionalize your business against this risk.

Business – best source as it is not dependent on you being there. I. e there’s a system in place.
Investor cash e.g venture capitalist – you’ve invested into other people’s businesses whereby you receive a dividend or sitting allowance at a regular frequency. This is another great source of wealth.

You must keep asking yourself: How do I move from employee or self employment status to business or investor.

Listing of company should a major aim for your business, and there’s no reason why yours shouldn’t be listed.

The more mistakes you make earlier, the better. Falling is part of the game.

Be clear about the source of money you’re in and where you want to be.

What steps are you currently taking to get there?

At the end of it, it’s by God’s help: Favor disqualifies qualifications

3. Life plan
Life has certain important stages:

• When under 21 – you’re supposed to be in school
• Between 21 – 42 – many drift to employment. This is a stage for collecting networks and experience.
• Between 43-63 – if still employed, you are either a CEO or senior manager/ or you have already transitioned to business
• Above 64 – you have little energy. Even sleeping is a problem sometimes.

You must be careful to know where you are and what is expected of you at your current stage of life.
What is expected of me at this level? What do I need to do at this age bracket to prepare me for 43, 64. .

Life is different at different ages of life

Financial freedom
Financial freedom simply means that our expense base is very manageable.

When we are starting out in life, about 19 years, most of us are already experiencing financial freedom. But we slowly start accumulating unnecessary debt.

It is important to invest the money you earn and keep being financially free before obligations come.
We make financial mistakes often when we are in a hurry. And that’s when there are already obligations and we’re trying to be financially free.

Try be financially free first.

Why not focus on the important things in life first? Avoid going for car first. Go for investment of some kind to support your monthly expenses first.

Get into financial freedom first before you look for wealth.

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Dance with me :)

I want to dance with the lady in red.

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I want to see how she twists, turns. . .And feel the rhythm when she moves.
Maybe this alone will cure my two left feet.

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I want to sit quietly when she speaks.
Watch her earrings nod, and her hands sway this way and that. Hear her voice rise and fall.
She must have something important to say.

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Ha, I want to be playful!

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. . . and serious 🙂 IMG_6119

I want to smile so effortlessly,
and warm the world with my eyes.

When we finally dance, nothing else will matter.

Her name is Jane Mwangi. Walking home from church, she was accosted by thugs who shot her at close range after she surrendered her phone and other valuables. 

The bullet went right through her chest touching her spine, making her unable to walk

With your help, Jane will walk again.

Here’s Jane telling her story.

Support Jane by sending your contribution through: 

MPESA Paybill NO: 596018 Account Name: Jane Medical Fund

or Equity bank A/C No: 1450164274483

Jane’s Fundraiser takes place on November 6, 2015 at Marble Arch Hotel.

See you there.

A dreamer’s resume

Joseph CV

Life sucks when a sack at work happens.

First there is a subtle brush of excitement that you can breath at last! Then annoyance, anger, fear and all other gray energies that pull over shortly after.

With heavy bills quickly in tow, it’s not long before you start hoping for something, anything at all. So you pray and promise to be faithful handling whatever comes.

Then it comes. . .

First there is a subtle brush of excitement that you can breath at last! Then annoyance, boredom and all other gray energies that pull over alongside Monday blues. Friday becomes that one day in the week to really live for.

Two Sunday’s ago, I was convicted by a message on Joseph. It’s what I’ll be posting in the next few days, hopefully with a right tone of clarity, as God enables me.

Joseph’s corporate life – A dreamer’s resume

You are called to be excellent, no matter how humbling your position!

___

I have my job in case you’re wondering, and challenging myself daily to be excellent. .

Black suit, red bow-tie

Black suit, red bow-tie

A black suit, a red bow tie…

I sat listening to a most fluid speech last Thursday, and though I left pretty enraged by a pessi-African view of my skin color and what it had done to my mind, and my mind to my skin, my spirit is lifted today;

because a light has gazed upon me.

What was so remarkably imagesstriking in the speech by Prof. PLO Lumumba themed around the Biblical Nehemiah and Pan-Africanism cannot be diluted. I start with the few one-liners before I slide to the jugular. Any credits to the Professor; flaws are mine.

  • If this battle is a battle of the mind Africa has lost it
  • “Education that doesn’t change men’s minds is useless” – Mwalimu Nyerere (1960 Pan Africa speech). Today as we celebrate Pan-Africanism 50 years later, we have scientists specialized in agriculture yet we suffer from hunger. 50 years later we have engineers yet we wait for China to build our roads, 50 years later we have doctors but we are ravaged by disease . . show me one phone that Africa has made, show me one microphone that we have made. . . Even the clothes we wear are clothes already worn by other people, we christen them mitumba.
  • Pan-African founders believed in Africa. “Look neither east nor west, look forward” – Dr. Kwame Nkurumah (1963 Pan Africa speech). Today as we try to prop ourselves on the grounds of Pan-Africanism, it ends up being a contest of height, but it does not matter anyway because we are all dwarfs.
  • How can we be a successful race when our self worth is low?
  • What we produce we do not like, what we like we do not produce.
  • Africa canonizes thieves, and crucifies saints
  • Even as Christians, the blood of tribalism can be thicker than the blood of Christ.
  • Am afraid that Jesus will return someday like the master who gave his servants talents; to him who had, more was added. To him who didn’t, even the little he had was taken away from him. He will ask: what have you done with your talent? What have you done with all the minerals I deposited in the Congo?
  • Happiness comes disguised as work.
  • Kenya, Africa is waiting for you to amaze her.

But the speech given at the Pan African University’s graduation dinner this year, also had some pro-African arguments. I am unable to delve into them at the moment, hope I can find the whole speech soon.

My spirit is lifted though.

It’s lifted by the news of Mobuis II, the first Kenyan made mass produced vehicle that people can buy and use: a rugged, versatile and reliable low cost SUV designed and engineered to be used in the roughest of roads. It’s not your usual pretty face, that I’ll tell you, but what a start this is.

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Another glimmer of hope struck me when I visited the Keekonyokie slaughter house today. Situated in Kiserian is the world’s first ever biogas bottling – , is that even the right word? Packaging? – plant.  Apparently liquefying biogas into a cylinder is a feat few have achieved. When I heard Kenya government institutions like KIRDI and CIC have assisted to make this happen, I was proud. It’s the reason Keeko biogas will be retailing near you soon. The 3.5 kg will sell at Ksh 600, which is half the price of your usual gas.

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This already pantented innovation is now attracting global attention. It may not sound like much at the moment, but it’s the reason World Bank top boss had a sitting with the brains behind it, today. What was clear to me is how international organizations have jumped at this innovation, providing the bulk of the support. We are not quick to embrace our own . . . Currently the entrepreneurs are grappling with funds to take off – funds to begin filling the targeted 100 cylinders a day; and high rates/ taxes by various levels of government.

Sometimes it’s how we celebrate innovators, sadly. But this right here is a red bow-tie, on our black suits.

As Africa still awaits you to amaze her.

Music as a business – Juliani

It’s interesting how the debate on local content is shaping up. On one hand is the Communication Authority (Former CCK) demanding that all local television stations and radios carry majority local content for talent growth and employment; on the other, practitioners arguing that they should be allowed to decide what runs. In fact CA wants them to run 60 per cent of local content by 2018 and 40 per cent by next year.

But in a matter of time, this debate will settle on two things: quality and quantity of local content – which is why an interview on Juliani, although quite dated, provides an eye of what players in the industry should ideally be looking at, if local content is to grow on both fronts. . . Hang on though, am coming back to that in a moment.

The interview, (watch part one here, and subsequent parts from this list) is always my reference point in the music business, in fact success, because my decision to write this piece resulted from a conversation with Kendi, one what it takes to succeed.

Juliani is a big deal, below a paraphrase of his words at Mindspeak:

Juliani

Photo credit | africanmuzikmag

Investing in yourself
In some of my first major concerts I was paid Kshs. 30,000 which I thought was a lot at the time. I later realized if I was to get more money, I had to increase my value. And the more I invested in myself, the more money I was paid.

I look at it as an investment, I expect returns from what I put in. Emanuel Jal called me up one day, and offered to finance my first album, Mtaa Mentality. I used that money, every last penny of it to make the album, sourcing for the best studio. . the best everything.. .

Want success
I want to be successful so bad. . I remember meeting up with Nonini, and he said “I don’t (ever) want to be laughed at, (with people saying) that I made a bad decision.” I also didn’t want to be laughed at.

Musicians ought to set goals and targets
Most musicians don’t set goals. I made a 3 year plan on how I would become the biggest artist in Kenya. I set out to be among the top 5 artistes that came to anyone’s mind. By last year (2011) I was the top artist.

It is not just about being talented, but you have to add something else. You have to be sharp. But even as a business man, if the policies are not right, you cannot do well.
We need to focus on music as a business.

The question of content: why the local radio is not playing local music enough
The issue is that we don’t produce enough music (who is your favorite artiste? When was the last time he released a song?)
We’re not getting enough airplay because we’re not producing enough. We’re not producing enough, because we don’t see it as a business in the first place.

New perspectives for artistes: The music business of the future
When we record a song, we don’t think about all the streams of making money from the whole process. Also we don’t invest back. We only rely on concerts. (which is tiring).

We need to work on our distribution channels. Right now, the only thing that musicians are selling is service, the performance. But it’s not a must for me to be there to perform; you can put my music in your stereo and play my CD.

If we start selling commodities – the music hard copies before even going online, we shall be in business. Also branding e.g selling branded fashion wear. That’s something that can be sold every day of the week.

Relying solely on weekend concerts is not sustainable, it’s not even good for your voice. Get your music on the street, and ensure that people are actually buying it. A week before a concert, I release my CDs to the streets and participate in signing autographs for buyers.

In the end, I am able to even convince companies like Safaricom to sell their products alongside mine.
As it is, it is a scene and not yet a music industry

______
As part of increasing his worth, Juliani focuses on live-band performances, costing event organizers a fortune. Since not many are able to bring him on stage every weekend, it allows him more time for writing and recording while a company he founded: Red Black Green,focuses on distribution). In my view, the creative time/ focus for composing good music is a luxury many musicians grapple with, in between weekend performances and other hustles.

Epilogue

2011/ 2012 were certainly the biggest years for Juliani as top Kenyan Hip Hip Artiste, and probably highest paid. With such focus, I would have expected him to be a bigger star by now, producing even more music. Whether he’s making more money as ONE ambassador for agriculture, I certainly itch to hear more new music by him. Listen to his most recent collabo here.