By James Oluoch
The day you make your payslip redundant is the day you shall have achieved true wealth.
The almighty payslip is so powerful that loosing it gives many of us sleepless nights. It determines what we eat, when we eat, where we eat and if we eat. It is so powerful that people have been known to suffer withdrawal syndromes worse than those of hard drugs like alcohol and cocaine.
I remember the situation of a family friend who lost the opportunity to receive a regular payslip. It took the wife three months to find out that he had lost his job; as he would wake up every morning, dress up and leave the house. He would then go to the club where he would spend the entire day reading newspapers and magazines.
Fortunately the family did not really need the payslip, and that is why it took his wife such a long time to find out that he had been retrenched from his place of work. He did not need the payslip financially. But he needed it psychologically. It had gotten to a point where the payslip defined who he was.
In this case the man had invested well enough so that his family?s standards of living were not dependent on his being employed. He had declared his payslip redundant long ago: all that remained was to do the same with his mind.
Employment is not a license to financial security
It is essential that you internalise the fact that a payslip is not an end in itself but a means to an end. Employment till death is no longer possible. And even then, will the pension, life policy, mortgage policy and education policy be able to support your family?s current standard of living?
You also need to recite the following mantra every morning when you awake. ? My contract with my employer is a monthly arrangement. They have no responsibility or intention of making me wealthy. This is my sole responsibility and obligation.?
There is a joke that has been doing the rounds since the Nairobi
city fathers begun onslaught on street vendors;
Journalist: Why are you being chased away from the streets?
Street vendor: To make way for the banks to vend money in the streets.
The payslip has become so powerful that you can actually use it to negotiate for a loan on the streets, at the same level that you negotiate with ?mama mboga? (vegetable vendor) for your daily supply of vegetables. With the banks lowering interest rates on unsecured loans to 2 points, for long term secured loans, we shall soon be applying for loans online (web and phone)..we already are!
Unfortunately many of us will take those unsecured loans and use the money to acquire liabilities and ?doodads? (personal use assets). Many of you will use the money to upgrade your cars, seating rooms, wardrobes and mobile phones. Yet none of this works towards your creating wealth, it only deepens the hole that you need to fill before you can begin your journey to financial freedom.
The secret to financial security
As in alcoholics anonymous, the first step is to accept that you are an alcoholic; with the payslip it is to accept that you are a spend thrift. It is only after you have accepted this that you can begin the process of recovery and rejuvenation.
Many employers believe that the more dependent an employee is to their payslip, the more loyal, dedicated and hard working they will be. This is why your employer will never send you for training on personal financial planning or wealth creation. If they do it means you have been earmarked for redundancy, rightsizing or simply about to let go. Yet if these employers got out of their cocoons, they would realise that employees would work better if they ?wanted? to work, as opposed to ?needed? to work. When you are secure you become more confident and can therefore give your best to your work.
With the current downturn in the world economy, many companies have found it necessary to reduce their workforce, as the only means of cost cutting. Yet if they had helped their employees to have multiple income streams, the option of pay-cuts would have been feasible.
I tell you, leverage your payslip to create additional income streams with the sole intent of reducing your dependency on it. This will make you a better parent, friend, neighbour and employee.
This journey begins with you. Become financially literate and plan your finances. Do not depend on your employer or a wealthy spouse. The buck stops with you.
“Will i make it, …… i can make it!”