The only thing constant for your survival besides life itself is income. Income is fuel for man’s survival and one of the basic needs for human dignity. But not all income can last for a lifetime. Certain incomes are fundamentally uncertain in nature. A typical example is a job income. A job income is uncertain because it is hard to predict when it will be interrupted or completely taken away. In every difficult economy, a job income is also one of the most impacted.
So how do you end income uncertainty when your only source of income comes from a job?
The answer is simple and it is threefold.
But before I show you the answer. Let me first show you the four approaches people use to try and shield themselves from income uncertainty. And the pros and cons of each of these approaches.
The first approach is to get a better job. The second approach is to start a Part-time Business. The Third approach is to supplement main income with a side hustle. And the fourth approach is to build an Emergency Fund. Below let’s look at each of these approaches in detail.
1. Get a better job
Getting a better job is a poor way to guarantee your income. This is because no organization is too big to fail. Today technology and the Pandemic is disrupting the business landscape so even the giants are falling. The only person with the power to secure your income is the Customer. Customers secure income when they patronize a business. So rather than look for a bigger organization look for organizations that customers love to buy from. And become indispensable in that organization.
The other thing is that not everyone within an organization has equal income security. A low-value person in a big organization can have zero income security. And a high-value person in a smaller organization can have high income security. Income security is thus a personal affair and not a matter of the company you work in.
So which people enjoy the most income security within an organization?
They are called wealth creators.
In every organization, there are two kinds of people.
The first are the wealth creators. And the second is the Wealth consumers. Wealth creators are those people without which the company cannot survive. They are the revenue generators. The salespeople and the profit-making people. In addition to the leadership that drives them. No company can survive without its wealth creators. And the financial strength of a company is determined by the strength of its wealth creators.
The wealth Consumers are all the other people within the organization whose job activity involves the consumption of wealth. While these people are also valuable to an organization, they are the first to go when an organization is shrinking down. This is because in every bad economy people are looking to shrink down wealth consuming activities and increase wealth-creating activities.
However, just because you belong to the wealth-creating team does not automatically guarantee your income. Income security is highest for the top performers within the wealth-creating team.
So the key is not to look for a better job but to rise to a position of relevance that is indispensable within your organization.
2. Start a part-time business
A part-time business is a full-fledged business run by a CEO that cannot be present full time. No wonder they are no successful part-time businesses in the world. Employees begin a part-time business with the hope of transitioning into it someday. But this transition never really happens because most Part-time businesses are not profitable. In fact, they destroy the income and savings of their owners. It takes an enormous time investment and absolute focus to lift a business off the ground. So putting in only part of the time that is required and expecting profitable results is Naive. Starting a part-time business may be the popular thing in the corporate world but it is the fastest way to destroy all your savings. The best way is to start a side hustle business. And then launch a full-fledged business when you are ready to face it full time.
3. Start a side-hustle business
A Side hustle business is any business that depends on another full-fledged business to complete its sales transactions. For example, Uber drivers depend on Uber Company to connect with commuting customers. Real Estate agents depend on real estate developers to complete their transactions and so do all other agents. Most Freelancers depend on other business platforms to connect with viable customers. Any business that depends on another business to complete a sales transaction is a side hustle business. The advantage of a side hustle business is that it can be run part-time. The full-fledged business does most of the heavy lifting for you. This is why it is advisable, to begin with, this kind of business before you establish a full-fledged business.
4. Build an emergency fund
One of the smart ways to shield yourself from the eventuality of an income loss is to build an emergency fund. Emergency funds are a great way of hedge against income loss. The only problem is only a few people have an Emergency fund or recognize its importance. But if you want to enjoy lasting income security you must build emergency funds that can sustain you for at least 12-24months. This is because it takes an average of 12-24months for most people to get the same type of job they lost or a better job.
To build an emergency fund you must know that there are two types of emergency funds. The first is the Necessity emergency funds. And the second is the Lifestyle emergency Fund. Necessity emergency funds are funds that can sustain your living expenses for 12-24months. While the Lifestyle Emergency Funds are funds that can sustain your current lifestyle for 12-24months. Having a solid emergency fund that shields you from the shock of a job loss is your best defense against an unstable job income.
So now that you know the current approaches people use to protect themselves from income uncertainty. Let me now show you the best cure for income uncertainty.
To enjoy income certainty and make your income Economy-Proof you need what I call the “Recession-Proof Income Security system”.
This system is made up of three critical components.
The first component is High-income Problems. The second component is high-income skills. And the third component is a wealth creation system. Let’s look at each of these components in detail.
1. High-income problems
To enjoy income security in any economy you must solve high-income problems for successful business owners. High-income problems are problems that generate high income. And the fastest high-income problem to solve is the sales and revenue problem. This is because all companies want to sell and generate revenue. So there is an enormous amount of this opportunity out there. Also solving a high-income problem makes you a wealth creator and puts you in close proximity with wealthy business owners.
All wealthy business owners want to relate with wealth creators like themselves. And they pay wealth creators the highest amounts of money. To earn the most income from successful business owners you must choose to become an independent problem-solver rather than an employee or subordinate. Employees and Subordinates earn only a small amount of income. Independent problem-solvers earn the highest amounts of income. They earn the highest income because they solve high-income problems on a strict performance basis.
That is they only get paid when they solve a specific income-generating problem. So if you want to earn maximum income and enjoy all-weather income security. You must master the art of solving high-income problems on a strict performance basis. This is how all successful people make their money and they respect those who are confident enough to make money this way.
2. High-income skills
There are certain skills that give you the confidence to solve high-income problems on a strict performance basis. These skills are called the high-income skills or the Rich skills. And there are three of them.
The First skill is Creativity skills. To solve high-income problems you need creativity. Creativity is essential to understand customer needs, what they want and are willing to pay for. To increase your creativity you need to feed your mind with loads of relevant information. You also need to understand what customers are trying to achieve and why existing solutions are not working for them. Then you need to package and present your own unique solutions in ways customers can’t resist.
The second skill you need is the ability to build a Rich Relationship. All wealth is created in the context of a relationship. So the more meaningful relationships you can form. The easier it will be for you to create wealth. Unfortunately, most people hardly know how to build meaningful relationships or convert their close relationships into wealth-creating relationships. But if you want income security in any economy you must develop the ability to build meaningful relationships and make them wealth creating.
The Third Skill is marketing. Marketing is the skill that converts your creativity and relationships into cash. It is the ability to convince customers to choose you and buy from you over all the other options available in the market. If you fail at marketing you fail at everything. Marketing is thus one of the great skills to have if you want to have lasting income security.
When you develop the ability to create, build Rich relationships, and market your products and Services. You become the indispensable wealth creator everyone wants to work with.
3. The wealth-creating system
If you want lasting income security there is a way to structure your finances. This way is to create your own personal wealth-creating system. A great wealth-creating system comprises three main components. The first component is the performance-based income component. That is your ability to earn multiple incomes on a strict performance basis. The second component is the big portion savings Component. This is your ability to save a sizable chunk of your income each month. And the third component is the passive income investing Component. That is the ability to fund your life from a passive income.
This means that for your wealth-creating system to work your income, savings, and investing must be working all at the same time. To make your income work you need to develop high-income skills and add other sources of income to your main income. To make savings work you need to save more than you spend by doubling your income and standardizing your expenses. To make Investing work you need to focus on passive income investing. And there are only two ways to achieve this. All of which require you to first have solid cash reserves. The first way is the Risky way. This is where you use a high-risk investment vehicle that produces high returns in a short time. But has a high chance of destroying your invested capital. And the second way is the Safe way. This is where you use a Safe Investment vehicle that produces a very high return over the long-term. And have a slim chance of blowing your money up.
So if building lasting income security that will stand the test of time is important to you. The safe passive income investment option should be your option. But if losing your money and starting all over again is not a big deal for you then you can try the risky option.
These are the three components of a solid wealth-creating system.
If you need help building your own wealth-creating system or you want to enjoy income security regardless of the health of the economy. We can help you. Send an email to [email protected]
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]
5C’s of creditworthiness: What lenders, Investors look for in a business plan
Business owners need to be aware of the criteria lenders and investors use when evaluating the creditworthiness of entrepreneurs seeking financing.
Banks usually are not a new venture’s sole source of capital because a bank’s return is limited by the interest rate it negotiates, but its risk could be the entire amount of the loan if the new business fails. Once a business is operational and has an established financial track record, banks become a regular source of financing.
For this reason, the small business owner needs to be aware of the criteria lenders and investors use when evaluating the creditworthiness of entrepreneurs seeking financing.
Will the business that an entrepreneur actually creates look exactly like the company described in the business plan? Of course, not.
The real value in preparing a business plan is not so much in the finished document itself but in the process it goes through – a process in which the entrepreneur learns how to compete successfully in the marketplace. In addition, a solid plan is essential to raising the capital needed to start a business; lenders and investors demand it.
Lenders and investors refer to these criteria as the five C’s of credit.
1. Capital: A small business must have a stable income base before any lender is willing to grant a loan. Otherwise, the lender would not be making, in effect, a capital investment in the business. Most banks refuse to make loans that are capital investment because the potential for return on the investment is limited strictly on the interest on the loan, and the potential loss would probably exceed the reward. In addition, the most common reasons that banks give for rejecting small business loan applications are undercapitalization or too much debt. Banks expect a small company to have an equity base investment by the owner(s) that will help support the venture during times of financial strain, which are common during the start-up and growth phases of a business. Lenders and investors see capital as a risk-sharing strategy with entrepreneurs.
2. Capacity: A synonym for capital is cash flow. Lenders and investors must be convinced of the firm’s ability to meet its regular financial obligation and to repay loans, and that takes cash. More small businesses fail from lack of cash than from lack of profit. It is possible for a company to be showing a profit and still have no cash – that is, to be bankrupt. Lenders expect small businesses to pass the test of liquidity, especially for short term loans. Potential lenders and investors examine closely a small company’s cash flow position to decide whether it has the capacity necessary to survive until it can sustain itself.
3. Collateral: Collateral includes any asset an entrepreneur pledges to a lender as security for repayment of a loan. If the company defaults on a loan, the lender has the right to sell the collateral and use the proceeds to satisfy the loan. Typically, banks make much unsecured loans (those not backed up by collateral) to business start-ups. Bankers view the entrepreneurs’ willingness to pledge collateral (personal or business assets) as an indication of their dedication to making the venture a success. A sound business plan can improve a banker’s attitude towards venture.
4. Character: Before extending a loan or making an investment in a small business, lenders and investors must be satisfied with an entrepreneur’s character. The evaluation of character frequently is based on intangible factors such as honesty, integrity, competence, polish, determination, intelligence, and ability. Although the qualities judged are abstract, this evaluation plays a critical role in the decision to put money into a business or not.
5. Conditions: The conditions surrounding a funding request also affects an entrepreneur’s chances of receiving financing. Lenders and investors consider factors relating to a business’ operation such as potential growth in the market, competition, location, strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. Another important condition influencing the banks is the shape of the overall economy, including interest rate levels, inflation rate, and demand for money. Although these factors are beyond an entrepreneur’s control, they still are an important component in a banker’s decision.
The higher a smaller business scores on the five C’s, the greater its chances of receiving a loan.
Written by Chukwuma Aguwa
Don’t be fooled by COVID-related scams
Always consult the institution in charge of health-related matters to confirm any fishy information you come across.
The nature of and the manifestation of the Covid-19 disease is such that there’s only a little time available to remedy the situation before it gets chronic. Although the infection begins by exhibiting mild symptoms, if you do nothing in a short time, it could lead to death in a matter of days.
This whole picture has caused many to become desperate about Covid-related issues, launching into panic mode at the sight of any information. As a result, such people are not far away from falling for fraudsters.
With the different kinds of news flying around, you mustn’t be fooled by Covid-related scams.
The Coronavirus threatens the health of millions of people around the world daily, also killing thousands along the way. To curb the spread and remedy the situation, bodies like the CDC, WHO, and every country’s local health organisation like the NCDC, frequently circulate information around communities. However, it has also led to fraudsters taking advantage to provide fake news, and even asking for donations.
Each day, there seems to be a new account or NGO asking for donations into the health sector, and though some are legit, many are just fraudsters posing to take advantage of innocent citizens. So far, numerous complaints about scams have been recorded, especially with people who are looking to support the health cause in any way they can.
Channels used for COVID-related scams
There are three major ways scammers take advantage of the haziness of the situation to dupe people. To start with, they appeal to the emotions of humans, who see the high death toll and suffering. As a result of what is happening, people have been willing to donate funds for medical supplies, isolation centres, and financial compensation for medical workers.
Scammers take advantage of this by posing as charity organisations and solicit for funds. Most times, as soon as their target is met, they clear their footprint without leaving a trace behind.
Another way they scam people is by manufacturing and selling fake or low-quality health products. Everyone wants to get their hands on a cure, or something that can at least protect them from the virus, and scammers are meeting their needs by providing just that.
The World Health Organization currently approves only one vaccine, and any other thing outside it is outrightly fake or just a supplement that will help your body. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is clinically tested and approved to work. Be sure to not throw your money in the wind by purchasing some of these fake drugs around.
Lastly, scammers create systems to extract a patient’s personal information, thereby having access to the person’s true identity. It could be in the simple form of opening a registration portal where you supply all your details.
Therefore, only give information to approved bodies and not any random online site that appears legit. These fraudulent individuals can do a lot of damage to your identity. Stay vigilant, only communicate with approved bodies, and always ask questions if you are not sure or suspect foul play.
The place of electronics in COVID-related scams
These fraudsters usually reach out to you through the digital sphere. Hence, watch out for cold calls, text messages, or emails requesting donations to certain bodies. The best way to confirm the legitimacy of such a message is to visit the organisation’s official website in a different browser. Never follow the link in the mail or text directly, as it can be easily embedded with spyware. Therefore, a single click could see them extract all your personal information, including bank details.
Also, please stay away from those who claim to have a cure, and accompany it with testimonies of people who have used it. They are low graders desperate for your money. Vet them by searching online and see what people are saying. In all, always look out for suspicious messages, and opt out if you are sceptical.
In a nutshell, you should not believe any cure, vaccine or supplement that the World Health Organization does not approve of.
The government or legit health institutions do not cold call citizens to request donations or coerce them into making one. If you receive a call out of the blues, chances are it’s a scam, which is why they mostly try to hurry you to donate before you realise it. Always consult the institution in charge of health-related matters to confirm any fishy information you come across.
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