Moneywise 8: Don’t be afraid of baby steps

Ovation International Magazine Publisher, Bashorun (Dr.) Dele Momodu with Pastor TB Joshua of Synagogue Church of All Nations 
It was obviously
going to be a very busy Friday, a day to my next appointment with my Financial
Mentor. It was about 8.00a.m and I was just settling down in our office in Ikeja, Lagos, to tackle the
accumulated tasks on my desk when my phone rang. The person at the other end of
the phone turned out to be my Mentor.

After exchanging
pleasantries, he asked if I could join him for a ride and sightseeing. It was
definitely not convenient for me, for Friday happens to be my busiest day and I
just like to stay indoors planning strategies and tackling some important paper
 But he is my Mentor and I am not willing to
trade anything for a chat with him. His words of wisdom are always deep.
We agreed to
take off from his house at 10.00a.m. I left the office at about 8.30 a.m. with
my driver, and we got to his place at exactly 9.50 a.m. He had already left
instructions that I should wait for him outside the compound. At exactly 10.00
a.m., the security man opened the main gate and he drove out in a black Mercedes Benz Jeep and asked that I join him. He was dressed in a blue Kaftan and a pair of
leather slippers. I instructed my driver to follow us in my car.
We didn’t talk
much in the car. He only briefly asked how I was practicing the lessons he had
been giving me. I briefed him on the extent to which I had gone and the few concerns
I had. He assured me that the concerns would be tackled in subsequent lessons.
In less than an
hour, we were in Ikeja, in front of a government-owned bank located somewhere in
the Central Business District area. He carefully
parked outside the bank premises and we both went inside the bank.
was a crowded scene. There were many old men and women in the queue, apparently
trying to get their monthly retirement stipends. Some, obviously tired, were
sitting on the bare floor. We just stood in one corner watching. And all of a
sudden, there was commotion. One of the old men in the queue, about seventy
years of age, fainted and people were trying to resuscitate him. My Mentor
dashed to the spot and
a helping hand. I joined as well and we eventually revived the old man. To my
surprise, my Mentor offered to take the old man to his house, located somewhere
at Ogba- Ikeja, in
. Inside the car, the old man was busy raining unprintable abuses
on the government for making them to spend their old age in pains. My Mentor
didn’t say anything. We dropped the old man off in front of his house and my
Mentor gave him ten pieces of N500 notes. On his way back to Ikoyi, he dropped me off at a convenient
location near my office. He told me to keep my appointment with him. the
following day at 12 noon. He drove off while I hopped into my car and rushed
back to my desk. I spent the next few minutes trying to figure out the lesson
he wanted me to learn.

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Time is money invest it; don’t spend It. I got to my
Mentor’s house at l1.50 a.m. the next day and went straight to his study as
directed by one of his aides. While in his study, I was busy studying the table
he had worked out on a cardboard paper and carefully pinned to the notice board
near his reading table. What attracted me was the title of the table: Let Time Work for Your Money. He joined
me about ten minutes later and we exchanged greetings. He wanted to know if I
had any issues that I wanted to clarify with him.
Two issues had
been of concern to me. The first was the difficulties I had in pooling all the
lessons I had received from him together into a meaningful guide which I can
follow to chart my way to financial freedom. The second issue had to do with
the exercise he gave me to calculate how much I would need to have in
investment to generate the level of income that would take care of my expenses
at retirement. It was very huge and I did not know where to start. I shared my
two concerns with him.
“My friend, I don’t consider any of the two issues
you have raised a problem. These are some of the challenges you are expected to
sort out as you shift from a poverty mentality to an abundance mentality”.
“But let me say that with the seriousness you have
attached to these lessons, you will be there in a matter of time. I am equally
very impressed with the progress you have made so far and I am willing to
assist you to increase the speed of your race to financial freedom”.

“Time is the only resource you need to
become a millionaire. You don’t have to come from a wealthy background. You
don’t have to have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You don’t need
any special advantage to enable you to climb the millionaire ladder. Time is
all you need, and interestingly, time is all you have”

“Let me solve the first issue this way”, he said as he
pulled out a document from the second rung of his drawer and handed it over to
me. “This is the guide I gave to the guy
who graduated last year from my wisdom class. I call it the Millionaire Guide to Financial Freedom. It
contains nine carefully-arranged steps you can follow to work out your
financial freedom. Follow the steps and you can’t miss the road.
 Greatness begins with just a step. “Your second concern will be addressed in
today’s lesson, which I have entitled: Don’t
be Afraid to Take Baby Steps.
Let me ask you these simple questions: If
you are given a plate of rice for your meal how do you deal with it? Do you
gulp everything into your stomach at a go?”
“No of course!, a spoon at a time”. I replied. “Good. And if you want to travel to Ibadan,
do you expect your car to jump from Lagos and land in Ibadan in a minute?”
“Oh no, metre by metre, kilornetre by
I said.
“That’s right. Then tell me, why are you afraid to
take baby steps on your journey to financial freedom? Have you not heard of the
saying that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step? And what
of the saying that Rome was not built in a day? Those people you consider
wealthy today did not get to that position overnight; they started by taking
baby steps. They knew that over time the baby steps will produce giant results.
Your friend in South Africa started
in 1997 to invest in shares and the effort has paid off handsomely in less than
five years. You know the rest of the story, of course. A lot of people have
missed out in life by refusing to take baby steps. They want to start their
businesses only when they have a lot of money”.
Time is the only currency on earth. “Let me share this secret with you. Time is
the only resource you need to become a millionaire. You don’t have to come from
a wealthy background. You don’t have to have been born with a silver spoon in
your mouth. You don’t need any special advantage to enable you to climb the
millionaire ladder. Time is all you need, and interestingly, time is all you
have. The rich and the poor have the same number of hours available to them in
a day. The difference between rich and poor people is in the way they use their
time and in what direction they are headed every day”.
“Time is the universal currency of the world. It is
not the American Dollar; it is not the British Pound Sterling and it is not the
Nigerian Naira. Once you master the use of your time, you have control of your
“You said you
don’t know where to start to make the money you need at retirement? My advice
is, start from where you are and start with what you have.
When I got my
first job in 1957, my monthly salary was 157
. I dutifully put aside 1.57
. And when the salary was increased to 257 pounds, I did not increase my expenses; I simply added 100 Pounds to my monthly savings. It is
the effect of that discipline that you are seeing around me today”
for today”,
 he said signaling he had
ended the lesson. We went upstairs to have lunch together. Thereafter, I bade
him goodbye.
 (Excerpts from the book: “THE
MILLIONAIRES CAPSULES” by AYO AROWOLO. Read “Stretch your talents to wealth
tomorrow on this blog)
Ayo Arowolo, Publisher The Millionaires’ Capsules