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How to make your life work as planned every year

These are the five factors responsible for making your life work and what you can do to make your life work better this year and subsequent years.



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One of the biggest financial dilemmas for the majority of people living today is that there is a wide gap between what they plan to do every year and the results they actually achieve each year.

Now depending on how you have structured your life, this gap can be big or small. So, what are the reasons for the disparity between what we plan to do at the beginning of the year and our end results?

The reasons are simple…

  • The first reason is your Strategy. How are you doing what you planned to do?
  • The second reason is your Resources. What do you have? Is it adequate? And how can you increase it to match your goals?
  • The third reason is your Focus. Are you focusing on the right goals that leads to success per time?
  • The Fourth reason is What you get done. Only what gets done produces financial results.
  • The fifth reason is Who you model. Your role model determines your end results.

To give you a clearer understanding of how these factors affect your life, let me explain each of them in detail.

Read Also: Will the world of business change for good?

Your strategy

The first factor that can make your life work is your strategy. Imagine that I just found out about an oil well in my backyard and wanted to pay N1,000,000 to anyone who can dig and explore the well. Assuming that two people applied for the job and decided to approach it in two different ways.

The first person decides to use a shovel and begin to manually digging alone. It takes him almost a year to find the oil and I pay him N1,000,000 as agreed for successfully digging and locating the oil. If the second person on the other hand decided to rent a machine for N200,000, dig the well and discovers the oil within one month, I will also pay him the N1,000,000 for the worth of his service as agreed.

The same job and but different strategies. One strategy is smart, saves energy, and frees up time to earn more income. The other strategy is hard, wastes time, and limits income potential. Most people are earning in one year what they could be earning in one month.

When your strategy is not smart, you overwork yourself and still end up broke. Your strategy will to a great extent determine how your life Works.

Your resources

The second factor that can make your life work is your resources. A goal is a goal because you do not yet have the resources to pursue it.


Goals come to you not based on the resources you currently have but based on your capacity to produce these resources. To produce additional resources you need to reach within yourself, develop the capacity you need, and produce the income that will help you achieve your goals.

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One of the fastest ways to increase your income is to upgrade the kind of problems you solve. Money is made through solving problems. When you solve problems, you earn great rewards. To solve high-income problems, you need high-income skills. You also need the capacity to expand your current abilities.

Identifying problems that can make you rich and solving these problems is the fastest way to elevate your life. If you want to increase your income and make your life work, there are three kinds of problems to solve.

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  • The first kind of problem is the Revenue problem. The Survival of every human being rests on the consistent availability of revenue. Individuals and organizations need revenue to stay alive. Revenue is thus what runs the world. The closer your job role is to the generation of revenue. The more money you will make. The key to success with solving revenue problems is to choose revenue problems that has the capacity to make you rich.
  • The second problem to solve is Savings problem. Everyone wants to save and organizations want to reduce their cost of operations. If your current job role helps your organization saves money in ways that are measurable and accountable, you increase your chances of earning extra income. The key to solving the savings problem is to ensure that the savings are measurable.
  • The third problem to solve is the Time problem. Everyone is running out of time and time is the scarcest commodity in the world. Thus, most people are looking for ways to save time. There are two ways to help people or organizations save time. The first is to increase the speed of doing certain things. The less time it takes to complete a task the more money is made. The second is to make a certain activity more convenient. Convenience helps people save time and people pay for convenience to save time and energy.

These are the three problems to solve if you want to increase your resources and achieve financial success. Among the three types of problems, none other has the capacity to make you rich like the Revenue problem. When you solve revenue, you accelerate your own success.

Your focus

The third factor that can make your life work is the Focus factor. One of the greatest obstacles to financial success is distractions and the greatest kind of distraction that can abort your success or postpone it is financial distractions. Financial distractions emanate from three different sources – you, your family, other people.

These three sources combined can abort any vision and you suffer financial distractions to the degree of how you manage these distractions.

Read Also: Top 10 financial planning tips for newlyweds

So how are these three factors creating financial distractions? They create financial distractions in two ways.

The first is through the problems they create and the second is through the problems they solve. Every one of us comes out of a day with two problem reports. The first is the problem we create and the second is the problem we solve. The problems we create are divided into two types. The first is Growth problems and the second is Ignorance problems.

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Growth problems are created when you take action and attempt certain goals. Usually, you make mistakes and create certain problems. However, growth problems are good problems as they ultimately lead to progress, learning, and growth.

Ignorance problems in contrast are problems that lead to liabilities. They are problems created through ignorance, poor decisions, or indecisive actions and these problems are the kinds of problems to avoid. The key to making your life work each year is to create more growth problems, gain more knowledge, and reduce the number of ignorance problems you create.

The problem we solve also creates financial distractions and they create these distractions in two ways. The first is the problems we solve that adds value to the world and increases our wealth. The second is the problems we solve that sacrifices our own financial security.

It is also possible to be solving a good problem at the wrong time. To make your life work each year as planned, you must solve problems that increases your wealth and solve the right problems at the right time.


Read Also: Must-do things after you finally become debt-free

The second thing that determines how much financial distractions you suffer is the problems other people create that you take responsibility for. While certain problems are your problem, certain other problems are other people’s problems.

Drawing a clear line between your problem and other people’s problem and deliberately choosing the problems you accept is critical for financial success. If you shoulder everybody’s problem, accept problems that people throw at you, then you will at best win the best man contest for as long as your resources last.

When your resources dry up, you will lose the contest. Worse of all is that you will never be able to achieve financial success. The key to managing other people’s problems is to accept only problems that do not sacrifice your own financial security. You must deliberately create a distraction-free environment for yourself if you want to achieve financial success.

What you get done

The fourth factor that can make your life work is what you get done and the speed with which you take action. One of the biggest differences between successful people and average people is the speed of action. Successful people close the gap between learning, doing, and what gets done. Average people learn. Keep learning, keep planning, keep thinking, and never get anything done.

Read Also: The five hidden secrets for investing success

Thinking, Planning, doing, or wanting to do will not lead to financial success. It is only what gets done that swells the size of your bank account.

So, take a look at your life this moment from the beginning of the year until now. How have you fared? Have you done all the things you said you wanted to do? How many of them are still pending? And how many new things have you learned that you have not taken action on?

To achieve financial success and make your life work, you must close the gap between learning, planning, doing, and what gets done. This is the ultimate formula for success.

 Who you model

The fifth factor that determines how your life works is the Role Model you follow. Who is your role model? And are your daily actions aligned with the daily actions of this person?.

The person you model determines your end results. You cannot model a failure and achieve success. Although, the majority of us grew up in average neighbourhoods and around average people. We must strive to find successful models to model.

There is a big gap between the attitudes and actions of successful people and that of average people. Average actions and attitudes can never produce success. So, if you want your life to work, you must find successful people and model them. The key is to find the people you admire and respect and follow in their footsteps.

These are the five factors responsible for making your life work and what you can do to make your life work better this year and subsequent years.

If you need help and direction to make your life work especially as regards your finances and goals, we can help you. Send an email to [email protected]

About author

Grace Agada is the Senior Financial Happiness Director @ Create Solid Wealth. She is an Author and Column Contributor in Six National Newspaper. She is a contributor at BellaNaija, Nairametrics, and Proshare and she is on a mission to help working-class professionals and CEOs become more financially successful. To learn more about Grace and how she can help you, send an email to [email protected]

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    FG to support MSME contribution to economy to boost development – Minister

    The Minister said that the FG has schemes aimed at improving the post-pandemic climate for SMEs in Nigeria.



    FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans, FG says 174,574 successfully register for N75 billion MSME survival fund in 48 hours

    The Federal Government declared that it is working with stakeholders to improve MSME participation in the economy through improving the business climate which will create jobs.

    This was disclosed by Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, at the 7th EMPRETEC Global Summit,  on Tuesday, themed “The Role of Entrepreneurship, MSME and EMPRETEC in post-COVID-19 Resurgence.”

    The Minister stated that the MSME sector of the economy is the growth engine of any economy which contributes to its development, job creation and export, amongst others.

    “An MSMEs survey indicates that Nigeria’s SMEs contribute nearly 50 percent of the country’s GDP and account for over 80 percent of employment. No doubt, the sector is pivotal to Nigeria’s growth, including reducing poverty and unemployment levels.

    It has, therefore, become more apparent that supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses by creating opportunities for MSMEs to thrive is essential for increasing productivity, creating jobs, and boosting our economy.

    This is why the Government is working with stakeholders across all sectors, to create the enabling environment for entrepreneurs and MSMEs to ensure that they grow now and into the future,” she stated.

    On economic sustainability

    The Minister said that the FG has schemes aimed at improving the post-pandemic climate for SMEs in Nigeria. She also disclosed that the FG launched the National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), a framework for the resolution of the challenges faced by the sector.

    The programmes launched by the FG includes the Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes, operated by a Steering Committee in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.


    “The Government of Nigeria had, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, initiated the MSMEs Clinics scheme as a strategy, aimed at providing support for the MSMEs in the country.


    At the clinics, operators in the MSMEs space are engaged by regulators and business advisory experts, on issues ranging from entrepreneurship, skill development, finance, quality & standards, and on how to facilitate and grow their businesses and enterprises,” she added.

    What you should know 

    Nigeria’s unemployment rate as of the end of 2020 rose to 33.3% from 27.1% recorded as of Q2 2020, indicating that about 23,187,389 (23.2 million) Nigerians remain unemployed.

    A combination of both the unemployment and underemployment rate for the reference period gave a figure of 56.1%. This means that 33.3% of the labour force in Nigeria or 23,187,389 persons either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week, making them unemployed by our definition in Nigeria.

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    Financial Literacy

    How to move from a decent salary to a lucrative income (Part 1)

    First, create an anchor position for your decent lifestyle; next, increase your earning capacity; third, earn a lucrative income and lastly, preserve the income that you have earned.



    See the businesses experts have recommended you should start in 2020 

    There is a common element that is present among all working professionals that achieve financial freedom. This element is their ability to move from earning a decent salary to earning a lucrative income. A decent salary is an income that gives you a decent lifestyle, and a decent lifestyle is any lifestyle that is comfortable in the present.

    So, when you hear working professionals talk about having a decent income, what they mean is that their present life is working. And that they can pay their bills without financial stress. A decent salary is thus heavily invested in maintaining life today. This means that income from a decent salary is invested in income-consuming activities more than income-preserving activities. While it is good to maintain life today. It is even better to secure life tomorrow.

    This is because life is advancing towards the future and the future will soon be here. Also, jobs don’t last forever and when they go away, they take all the decent salary that is funding your current decent lifestyle. Thus, if maintaining a decent lifestyle throughout life is your goal, you must move from income that is heavily invested in making today comfortable to income that is invested in maintaining comfort throughout life. This is where having a lucrative income comes in.

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

    A lucrative income is an income that is heavily invested in preserving life today and in the future. Lucrative income is more focused on keeping and growing income for the days when salary is no more. This is because only preserved income will matter in those days. And those days are already upon us. So, if you are looking for the best time to prepare, today is the day. As the worst time to prepare is when you are already in the future. Becoming wise in the future will not do you any good. Thus, a well-structured lucrative income helps you prepare in three ways. First, it buys you financial freedom. Secondly, it expands your options and opportunities, and thirdly, it gives you financial peace of mind.

    So, if your goal is to achieve financial freedom someday and maintain the decent lifestyle that you have become so accustomed to over the years, you must build income for the future by converting your decent salary to a lucrative income. The purpose of this article is to show you exactly how you can achieve that.

    So how do you create your own lucrative income?

    There are four steps to follow and each step must follow in the right order. The first step is to create an anchor position for your decent lifestyle. The second is to increase your earning capacity. The third step is to earn a lucrative income. And the fourth step is to preserve the income that you have earned.

    READ: 5 financial choices you will regret


    Step 1. Create an anchor position for a decent lifestyle

    You need to define what a decent lifestyle is for you and there are two kinds of decent lifestyles. The first is the financial freedom decent lifestyle and the second is the financial slavery decent lifestyle. The financial freedom decent lifestyle is the lifestyle that meets your basic needs and yet preserves a big part of your income. And financial slavery decent lifestyle is the lifestyle that sacrifices your savings.

    To achieve financial freedom, you must choose the financial freedom decent lifestyle. This is the only lifestyle that can lead to financial freedom. The reason is that only saving a big part of your income can give you financial freedom. And You can’t out-earn extravagant living. Thus, you must anchor spending while you work on savings. To save a big part of your income you must save between 25-60% of your income. This means that you must anchor your decent lifestyle between 70 to 40% of your current income.

    READ: Right financial behaviours to develop in 2021

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    When you decide which anchor position is suitable for you, fix your expenses at this point and channel all extra income towards your savings. These include your bonuses, allowances, investment returns, and side incomes. Savings and expenses cannot grow at the same time. You must decide which one of them grows and which of them is anchored to a fixed position. Anchoring your expenses while growing your savings is thus, crucial to creating a lucrative income and achieving financial freedom. When you decide what a suitable anchor position is for you, you must stay anchored at this position until you achieve financial freedom.

    So how do you anchor your spending?

    To anchor your spending, you must first know how much you spend each month. If you are already within the 70-40% expense bracket you may want to look for other ways to push your savings beyond where you are. The key is to work towards saving more than you spend. But if you are outside the range, you are in a financial bondage position and are heading towards financial pain.

    READ: How to invest for retirement

    A financial bondage position is any position that puts your savings below 25% of your income. Most people are in this position and sadly they are anchoring their savings at a meagre 5-10% and growing their expenses. Saving under a quarter of your income is potential pain because you cannot maintain your current lifestyle at less than a quarter of your income. To maintain a decent lifestyle throughout life, you must save more than you spend and keep your spending anchored while growing your savings.

    There are three savings positions to choose from if you want to speed up financial success. The first is called the quarter plus savings position. This is where you save a quarter or more of your income each month. The second position is called the mid-point savings position. This is where you save half of your income (50%) each month. The third savings position is the supreme position. This is where you save more than you spend, that is, above 50% of your income. To achieve financial freedom, you must decide whether you want to work hard on your freedom or do so on your expenses. Whichever you decide, it will be reflected in your report card at the end of your career.

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    Step 2. Increase your Earning Capacity

    The fastest way to create a lucrative income is to earn more income. To earn more income, you must increase your earning capacity beyond what it is right now. Increasing your earning capacity means increasing your ability to solve high-income problems because money is made when you solve problems for other people. To solve high-income problems, you need four key elements. You need knowledge. You need skills. You need Productivity. And you need Relationships.

    Knowledge is information that helps you see how things work.  It is different from understanding. Understanding is derived from the application of knowledge. And from converting knowledge into skills and experiences. Productivity is getting more work done within a shorter time and creating more free time for yourself. When you produce more, you’re worth more. So, the key to productivity is to increase the quantity and quality of work that you do.

    Relationships are also critical because income is produced within the context of a relationship. If you want to earn more, you must be worth more in knowledge, skills, productivity, and relationships. The sad news is most people only focus on acquiring knowledge. And knowledge may be power but it is the least income-producing element among the four. In fact, knowledge is useless until applied. To focus your savings on acquiring knowledge that has low-income value is not wise. Rather focus your savings on acquiring knowledge that can produce high and almost instant income.


    The second mistake I see people make when they want to increase their income is investing in the wrong skills. They invest in skills that have little relevance outside the career world. And lose all their investment once they are out of a job or in retirement. They also invest in low-income skills. A low-income skill is any skill that does not add any specific and measurable value to company profits and revenue.

    The problem with low-income skills is that they produce low income no matter how hard you work or how much it cost you to get them. And the problem with career-related skills is that they can only be applied in the career world. In the career world, you have zero control over your income and the value that is placed on your skills. So, developing low-income skills or career-related skills does not only limit your income, it makes your life miserable at the end of your career.

    To achieve financial freedom, you must focus on acquiring high-income skills. And there are three high-income skills to acquire. The first is creativity – the ability to produce wealth-creating ideas. The second is relationship building – the ability to meet new people, engage in meaningful conversations and build trusted relationships. The third is marketing – the ability to convince customers that you and your product are worth more than the price tag on them. Without these three skills, you can’t create a lucrative income.

    The third mistake I see most people make when they want to increase their income is to focus too much on investing as the means for earning extra income. While investing is great and can grow your income. Investing is NOT an income-producing activity and cannot make up for the gap in your own personal ability to produce or earn a high income. If it could, successful business owners would have closed their businesses and faced investing full-time. But they don’t because they know that the only powerful way to produce income is through your own personal ability to produce and solve problems. They use investing as a means to preserve and grow earned income and this is what you must do.

    Depending on investment income to make up for your own low ability to earn income is a loser’s game. And there are three reasons why. Most people do not even have the size of cash reserves that can produce the amount of passive income they can depend on. What they then do is demand more than a safe return from their meagre investments and lose their money. And then they repeat the process all over again or are scared to death to invest which is even worse. There is a limit beyond which investing becomes harmful and not beneficial.

    The second reason is that growing income through investing is a slower process and there is a limit to how much growth you can achieve. While a person can earn N500 million in a day through their own personal ability to produce and solve problems. They cannot push the same results out of their investments without losing it. The only way to still earn high income today is to use your personal ability to solve high-income problems.

    Growing money and earning money are two different activities, and earning money is more powerful than growing money. The third and final reason why focusing on investing may not work for you is that it takes money to make investment money. Once you have the money it’s easy to find someone that can guide you to invest it. And money only comes when you have a personal ability to produce and solve problems.

    So, while you can use your personal ability to earn income from scratch, it takes a lot of money to achieve investing success. I know this because 80% of people end up broke and resentful in retirement despite years of investing. The problem is not that they did not invest. The problem is that they were focusing on the slowest path to achieving financial freedom. The fastest path is always and would always be through your own personal ability to earn income. To earn a lucrative income you must become an expert at solving high-income problems.

    Step 3. Earn a Lucrative Income

    A lucrative income is any income that is bigger than the workload. It is income you can earn part-time working less and earning more. You need this kind of income to supplement your already heavy workload. To earn a lucrative income there are six things that must do.

    The first thing is to learn sales. You must be able to sell yourself, sell your message and sell your ideas to other people. The second thing you must do is choose the right industry. Not all industries are created equal or have the same capacity to produce millionaires. To earn a lucrative income, you must work for industries that sell high ticket products and can pay high sales commission.

    The next thing you must do is choose the right company. Not all companies within an industry offer the same benefits. Some companies are more reputable than others and have strengths that others do not have. So, you must choose wisely.

    Next, you must choose the right products and services. Your success in earning a high income is dependent on your ability to sell. Do not make sales harder by selling difficult to sell products. You will not only delay your income you will be frustrated to quit.

    Next is to look for and join a platform that offers a diverse range of lucrative income-earning opportunities. If you cannot create these opportunities on your own.  And finally, you must take action and engage in income-producing activities in your spare time. These are the five things to do if you want to earn a lucrative income.

    To succeed even further, you must follow the lucrative income guiding principles. There are four income principles to live by if you want to earn a lucrative income fast. The first is the funding principle and it states – if it would take money to get started, make the money elsewhere in sources that do not require money to start. The second is the freedom principle and it states – if you can only gain financial freedom by building solid cash reserves, better add a lucrative income to your main income and speed up the process. The third principle is the time principle. It states that if it would take a long time to earn income in a particular path, better get started now. The fourth is the people principle and it states that – if it will take knowing people to earn a high income, better become the person that other people want to know.

    If you live by these principles and do the six things stated above you would increase your income dramatically.

    Watch out for the concluding part of this series…

    About the author

    Grace Agada is a recognized leading Financial Expert on Nigerian Soil. She is a Renowned Speaker, Author, and Column Contributor in Punch Newspaper, This Day Newspaper, Vanguard newspaper, Business Day Newspaper, Leadership Newspaper, The Tribune Newspaper, and Online Platforms like Nairametrics, Proshare, and Bellanaija. Grace is the author of “The Financial Freedom MBA Program, “The Passive Income Retirement Blueprint” and “The Wealthy Business Blueprint” for Advisors, Consultants, and Coaches who want to get off the roller coaster of irregular income. Grace is on a mission to shrink the middle class and populate the upper class. Her ultimate goal is to create a tribe of professionals that are thriving in any economy. Grace has been featured on BBC Africa. Business Day TV. Inspiration FM. and inside Naijatv. She has consulted for Numerous Top Organizations, Company Directors, Senior Executives, and Top performing Professionals.

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