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Financial Literacy

This two minute test can determine if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur

This two minute test can determine if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur

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In the world today, there seems to be an ever-present yearning for entrepreneurship. “Be your own boss” and “Become an entrepreneur to fulfill your dreams” are a few of the common phrases feeding the narrative that setting up and running your own company is to be seen as the final goal as opposed to a 9-5 job.

From this perspective, people often see themselves as cogs, lifelessly working in someone else’s machine. However, like many things in life, it’s all relative.

Gainful employment is definitely not something that should be disparaged in any way because it offers consistent pay and stability; stability to save, make investments and plan for the future. A 9-5 job also offers structure that is often important for personal development within certain fields. Numerous renowned individuals have worked their way up from “cogs” to technocrats within their respective industries through a 9-5 job.

9 to 5 job

[FIND OUT: 4 reasons why some entrepreneurs succeed when they build their startups at this age]

On the other hand, taking the leap to fly solo and become an entrepreneur also has its benefits. You are in full control of your time, your earning potential (on average) is higher and most importantly, you are doing what you want to do. Entrepreneurship helps you meet people who you probably would not meet under normal circumstances and achieve new levels of self-awareness.

You really have to dig deep within yourself to get the singularity of focus needed to continuously pursue your long-term goals. Apparently, there are positives on both sides of the spectrum, solely depending on what perspective you choose to take. You can learn more about some common misconceptions people have about entrepreneurship here.

The Big Question

For a better part of the year, I have been speaking to people about entrepreneurship and found that the decision to either stay in a 9-5 job, venture into entrepreneurship or shuffle between both is quite tricky for a lot of people. I have heard people ask various questions when trying to make this decision and one of the most common ones is:

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“How do I know if I am cut out to be an entrepreneur?”

who is an entrepreneurIn this article, I will address this question and walk you through the process of figuring out if entrepreneurship may be on the cards for you.

After years of studying numerous entrepreneurs and their paths to success, I believe that successful entrepreneurship comes down to two key things:

  • Willingness
  • Personality traits

Elaborating on Willingness

There is one common factor that all successful entrepreneurs have in common and I believe that this factor is the fundamental determinant of entrepreneurial success. That factor is willingness; willingness to do the work required to succeed. It is also known as GRIT.

grit image

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This may seem quite simple, but the honest truth is that a lot of people would like to be successful entrepreneurs but they are not wholeheartedly willing to do the tedious and initially thankless work required to achieve entrepreneurial success.

This willingness typically comes from a deep-seated fervor to solve a problem or satisfy a need that you and others have, not from money. Money is usually not a strong enough motivator in the long run. Searching for your source of ‘willingness’ will require a few hours of introspection but if you are able to find a need/problem that will fuel it, then you have the core requirement for entrepreneurial success.

[SEE: Why entrepreneurs should speak out more about their failures]

Explaining Personality traits

Although ‘willingness to do the required work’ is the core requirement to be a successful entrepreneur, your personality traits are also important. Your personality traits will go a long way to determine how smooth or bumpy your entrepreneurial journey will be.

I developed a simple 2-minute test that will outline whether you have some of key traits that aid entrepreneurial success.

The test contains 20 statements and it simply requires you to respond with a ‘yes’ (this is me) or ‘no’ (this isn’t me), but it is important to be honest with yourself while taking the test – the worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves.

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Take these two-minute tests

  1. I don’t like being told what to do by people who are less capable than I am.
  2. I constantly look for new and better ways to do things.
  3. I love challenging myself.
  4. I have to win (I am competitive by nature).
  5. I like being in control.
  6. I love to question conventional wisdom.
  7. I like getting people together to get things done.
  8. People get excited by my ideas.
  9. I am rarely complacent.
  10. I am action-oriented.
  11. I can usually work my way out of a difficult situation,
  12. Whenever there is a problem around me, my first instinct is to think of a solution and not just avoid it.
  13. I am motivated by challenges – I see them as opportunities to improve and not as hindrances.
  14. I work tirelessly.
  15. I recover from failure quickly.
  16. I worked after school and during vacations when I was growing up.
  17. I am more likely to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
  18. I get an adrenaline rush from selling things to people, even if those things are ideas.
  19. I constantly reach for new achievements.
  20. I don’t give up easily.

If you agreed with 17 or more of these statements, then it means you have a lot of the basic traits that aid success in entrepreneurship. If you have less than 17, don’t be discouraged. A lot of the traits required for successful entrepreneurship can be learnt along the way.

MARK ZUCKERBERG

For instance, Mark Zuckerberg was not the best at public speaking or expressing himself when he first started Facebook, but now, he comfortably conveys his thoughts to thousands of people at a time.

[DON’T MISS: 4 reasons why some entrepreneurs succeed when they build their startups at this age]

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If you have the willingness to do the work required and personality traits to go with it, you should definitely check out our MSME category for tips, information and tools to help you embark on your entrepreneurship journey because there is a good chance that you are cut out to be an entrepreneur.

This story was previously published in 2017, and has been revamped for public education.

Femi Awoniyi is a BSc Computer Science and MSc Investment and Finance graduate. He currently works as a Consultant and runs an online magazine called DailyKobo , which provides advice on career and personal development, entrepreneurship and investment to help you achieve Financial Freedom. Twitter handle is @Femi_fabio.

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    Financial Literacy

    How to invest for retirement

    Planning for retirement means planning to reduce obligation in the future by investing today.

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    How not to worry about money in retirement

    “If you plan to retire in five years what should you be doing today?” That’s a question I got last week, and talking with the client, a lot came up which I have decided to share.

    First off, What is retirement?

    Nigeria’s public service has an official retirement age of 60 or thirty-five years of unbroken active working service, but in financial planning, retirement is a financial, not a chronological event. Retirement can occur when your passive income can meet your non-discretionary expenses.

    You start to plan for retirement the day you start to earn an income. Your retirement plan will centre on how to generate passive income and reduce expenses. In Financial Planning, Four distinct stages are usually described in a so-called Lifecycle Chart. These are the Accumulation, Consolidation, Spending, and Gifting stages. Chart 1. Financial LifeCycle seeks to segment investing priorities, recommended asset allocation, and risk profile in a chronological timeline as the person gets older. I will take each of these stages and explain how they are linked to your retirement plan.

    READ: How to choose the right Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)

    Chart: Financial Life Cycle

    Early years: Use Your Time and Make Money, (Accumulate)

    The first stage is called the Accumulation stage. Imagine a 22-year-old who has just graduated and is a management trainee. He typically has a low credit score and assets and income are also substantially lower. What he has in abundance is time. So it’s important to deploy his time in the best way to make money. Hence in the accumulate stage, the goal is to generate cash flow either from a job, multiple jobs, working longer hours, saving, cutting unnecessary expenses, etc.

    The key measure in the accumulation stage is the Savings Rate which is essentially how much of income earned or generated has not been spent. On average, the participants in the accumulation stage have fewer dependents and maintenance needs which should theoretically make it easier to save.

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    READ: This thread exposed everything that’s wrong with Nigeria’s VAT

    Mid Years Use Your Money To Buy Assets (Consolidation)

    In the consolidation stage the focus shifts from saving to investing. At this stage, the income earned and credit scores have improved. This is when the talk of buying a home or starting a business takes concrete shape because, at this stage, those dreams can be funded. Hence capacity to take on debt is improved, and debt is used to invest in assets like a home. Remember debt is simply front-loaded consumption, which means we are taking our future income to invest today, intending to repay with future income generated from today investment.

    The key measure in the consolidation stage is the Rate of Return which is essentially how much has been generated from the investments made.

    READ: How to choose the right Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)

    Spending & Gifting Phase; Use Your Assets To Generate Cash Flow and Time (Spending and Gifting)

    Why is it called the spending phase? Because that’s what the individual is doing, spending down accumulated investments. The spending will include buying annuities or perhaps relocating to another city, your dependant’s college needs, etc. At this stage, typically very few are still earning “new” income but are rather spending from the return of prior investments.

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    The key measure in the spending stage is the Withdrawal Rate which is essentially how much of investment can be withdrawn as cash annually to ensure we do not outlive our investments.

    READ: How interest rates impact your wallet

    Retirement is All About Passive Income

    Passive income, which is the income we are making from investing from the accumulation and consolidation stage is now sufficient to generate income and reduce expenses to meet our expenses in the spending/gifting stage.

    To give an example, assume we took a mortgage to buy a house in the Consolidation Stage, in the Spending stage, we pay no rent, thus we save cash, which reduces our Non-Discretionary Expenses. In essence, retirement is planning to eliminate your future expenses to the point where you need less income when you retire.

    What Should You Invest In Before Retirement Or In Retirement?

    Our objective is simple, Income. In retirement, we invest solely to make income to meet our spending needs, Risk profile is also very low because there are fewer recovery options if your investments sink.

    The retirement portfolio is an income-generating portfolio that will be overweight in fixed income products. First, determine what the risk-free rate is. In Nigeria, we can take the yield on a ten-year FGN bond as a guide, this means we can have a target of 10% as our huddle rate for the long term. Thus I will recommend an 80/20 portfolio with 80% going to Fixed Income consisting of long term bonds, REITs, and other top-grade commercial paper.

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    However what happens if we lock in our funds for 10 years at 10% and rates jump to 20%, meaning a loss to our portfolio.  To avoid this risk we can create a bond ladder, where we break down the bulk sum and duration of our total bond investment outlay. Let us assume we have N10m in cash to invest, instead of one single lot investment of N10m, we split into 5 equal investments of N2m and place for 6, 7, 8, 9, and ten-year maturities. This means by the 5th year the first N2m will mature, if rates are higher, reinvest, if rates have fallen then reevaluate.

    READ: 10 Side gigs to venture into while working a full-time job

    What about Equities

    Yes, equities also pay a dividend. In buying equities, we must ensure we are only buying stocks that pay a dividend above our huddle rate of 10% which is the 10-year FGN bond rate. Which Nigerian stock meet that huddle rate?

    • Lasaco
    • Zenith
    • GT bank
    • United cap

    In closing, let us summarize. Retirement is not chronological age. The event occurs when our passive income pays our bills. Planning for retirement means planning to reduce obligation in the future by investing today. Investing in retirement is income-based with a huddle.

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    Financial Literacy

    Steps to take to bag international scholarships

    Here are the steps you should take if interested in pursuing international scholarships.

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    United Kingdom opens window of job opportunities for international students

    Studying abroad gives you exposure among many other things, and that is precisely why many Nigerians have been looking for ways to study abroad. However, not everybody is privileged with the resources to study overseas and this is where the international scholarship option comes in.

    If you are interested in studying abroad and don’t have enough funds, you should consider applying for international scholarships. This article lists the steps you can take to bag international scholarships but before delving into that, here are some types of scholarships available to you as an international student:

    • Location-based scholarships
    • Course or program-based scholarships
    • Sports-related scholarships
    • Research-based scholarships
    • University-funded scholarships
    • Organization-funded scholarships
    • Government-funded scholarships

    Having discovered the types of international scholarships available to you, here are the steps you should take to bag any of these international scholarships.

    Research: Research is vital if you don’t want to miss out on good opportunities or make mistakes during your application. Research scholarship opportunities available in your prospective college or location and be on the lookout for hidden scholarships.

    Check your eligibility: Having done thorough research and discovered the available scholarship opportunities, check to see if you are eligible for them. Many international scholarships have their criteria and requirement, so you should confirm that you are the right fit first.

    Get the required documents: After confirming your eligibility, you should get the necessary documents. If the scholarship requires you to write an exam, prepare for the exam, write a good statement of purpose and prepare all other documents.

    Start your admission process: Some international scholarships require that you start your admission process and probably get the admission before starting your scholarship application.

    Contact past scholarship winners: You might want to contact the previous scholarship winners to know what they did right and how you can learn from them.

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    Apply for the available scholarships: The last step is to apply to every available scholarship.

    The best way to get funds for your undergraduate, postgraduate, or PhD pursuits abroad is by applying for international scholarships. If you do thorough research, you can find fully funded scholarships that won’t require you to pay any amount. One of the essential steps to getting an international scholarship as a Nigerian is staying abreast of current information and this will require you to network with others.

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