I grew up hearing my dad often make statements like, ‘rich people are proud’; ‘the rich don’t sleep peacefully’, ’I am better than the rich because I sleep peacefully’. He will often make comments starting with ‘We the poor…’ These declarations turned out to become self fulfilling prophesy. Being a natural observer, one lesson became apparent for me; it is not circumstances that keep you where you are in live; it is what you think and say about yourself.
So to start with, if you are of the habit of using the phrase, ‘we the poor masses’; delete it from your vocabulary. Then join me as I share with you, 7 important decisions you must make to escape poverty. This video is brought to you by After School Africa. If you are new to this channel, you are welcome. Consider subscribing to continue exploring opportunities.
1. Decide to Remove Yourself from the Poverty statistic
The first step to help the poor is to not be one of the poor. With the limitless knowledge and resources available today, it will be too selfish of you to remain poor. Here is why.
By using the resources within your disposal to break free from poverty, you mathematically reduce the number of poor people in the world, not just by one but by many. That knowledge; that idea; that skill you have, can help take care of two, three or more people. It will be unfair if you don’t develop it.
Another important reason to remove yourself from the poor is that – If you want to get what you don’t have, you have to do what you have never done. And to do what you have never done, you have to be who you have not been. Poverty comes with a lot of mental baggage. You can’t become a person of success while still identifying yourself as poor. Eliminate all those labels associated with poverty from your lips. Stop referring yourself as among “the poor masses”. And start surrounding yourself with progressive people.
2. Decide to Stop caring what crab-minded people think
Little minded people are like crabs. You’ve probably heard about crabs, haven’t you? If you put, let’s say 47 crabs inside a bucket without covering the lead, none of them will be able to get out. In reality, they could easily climb on each other and find their way out; but not these creatures. They will rather pull down anyone of them that tries to find their way out. In their mind, “we all die here”. Little minds who don’t have the courage to work themselves out of their below average life, are often fond of talking down on people who want to try. These people will rarely support or patronize what you offer. But they’ll be the first to tell you why this is not for you.
If your strategy in life is to end up pleasing everyone, you will end up miserable; and you will never break free from poverty. So, you must train yourself to ignore crab-minded people. Let them keep their opinion and cynicism while you keep your dream alive.
3. Decide to Pay Your Dues
It’s not circumstances that keep us where we are; it is what we think and say about ourselves. But seeing yourself as deserving success is one thing; getting other people to see you that way is another. You may feel you deserve to be handed a job because you spent five years of hard work studying at the university. But for other people, you are just another millennial that has a lot to learn. You may think you deserve special treatment because you have suffered abuse and extreme poverty in the past; but most people are too busy dealing with their own problem.
If you are searching online for “How to build a parachute” and two videos show up; one has 415 views, the other has 1.5 million views, which are you going to choose? That’s it. You’ll choose the more successful one. People only respect previous results. That is why success begets more success. People unconsciously value sacrifice and result. They expect you to pay your dues.
If you haven’t done anything worthy of accolades, and you go about making demands, you are just being entitled. Get to work building your profile. Go out and start doing that thing you believe is beneath you. Learn that handiwork. Take up that job you believe is below your qualification. No one is going to lay that foundation for you; you have to pay your dues.
4. Decide to Start seeing ‘yourself’ in Successful people
We are all humans; and we have the natural tendencies to be selfish. Even religions depend on “What’s in it for the convert” like eternal life and prosperity. Poor people see these attribute of selfishness as belonging to the rich, so they portray this false humility to mask their true desire. The truth is that you can’t become what you hate. If you continue to see progressive people as antagonists, you’ll never understand what it’ll take to make progress.
No doubt, some people take greed and selfishness to the extreme and make decision that hurt and oppress other people. But you have to understand this inherent human nature, that everyone you meet is first and foremost more interest in “what’s in it for them”. People are always thinking about themselves. With this knowledge, start focusing more on what people want and what you can offer them. Jim Rohn puts it clearly, “you can have all you want in life if you can help as much people get what they want”. Turn the focus of your life towards identifying and providing what other people want and you will get what you want from them.
5. Decide to Learn a skill and get good at it
On a deeper level, the problem of poverty is not lack of money but lack of skill. The best strategy to escape poverty is to learn a skill people want to pay for. Interestingly, there is an avalanche of free resources to help you develop and brush up your skills; from programming, design to marketing, ecommerce and many other skills you can learn online. There is also carpentry, shoe making, car mechanic and other handwork. This is where you need to keep your entitlement mindset to check. As long as you are doing decent work, and earning a living off it, you should be confident and proud of what you do.
As you learn a skill resolve to move from intermediate to professional level. Keep this in mind. People do not hire you or patronize your business or service because they want to help you break free from poverty. They do so because they need to solve their own problem. Many people get trapped in the circle of poverty and mediocrity by offering poor and nonchalant services. They go about their work like hunting; every encounter is hunt and kill. They leave each prospect bitter and vowing never to patronize them again.
Instead, keep in mind that people want to be treated well; they want good result. Focus on helping them get what they want, so that you can get what you want. If you are in business, you need repeat patronage; in the professional world, you need referrals and recommendations. Don’t stop at offering entry level services. Take your service and skill set to premium level. You will grow faster.
6. Decide to Learn to sell
What do you think is the highest paid profession in the world? It’s not medical doctors or engineers. The highest paid profession in the world is sales. The richest people are the best at selling; whether it’s selling their vision, their product and service or their skills. They are masters at selling.
The ability to sell is not reserved for a few set of people. Anyone can learn to sell. The problem is that most people spend too much time on the product and too little on selling what they have. If you want to break free from poverty, the ability to sell can get you out faster than any other skill. There is no best-written author, but best-selling author.
7. Decide to Take Back Control of Your mind
Most of your opinions are not original. They were adopted from your environment into your mind. Each time you turn on the TV, go on social media, listen to people around, your mind is getting suggestions on opinions to hold or to let go.
Here is an example. Do you know that mega supermarkets are designed to make you buy more than what you had in mind to buy? You walk in to get a deal on one item and you walk out buying a cart full of items; some of which you don’t even need. How would you explain that almost everyone in Africa seems to fanatically support a football club in England or Spain? Or that millions of people lost their money in a ponzi scheme that promised 30 percent interest every month.
If you take the time to ponder, you will realize that you are not as in control of your mind as you think. You will realize that some of the things you spend time, energy and money on are actually not your own decision. Someone is deciding for you. Your mind is your most valuable asset. Take back control of it by deciding what you let into it. Read books and stories that inspire you to dream again and start taking productive action. Feed your mind with knowledge and information that will help you grow.
So to break free from poverty quickly decide to;
- Remove Yourself from the statistic of the Poor
- Stop caring what crab-minded people think
- Pay Your Dues
- Start seeing ‘yourself’ in Successful people
- Learn a skill and get good at it
- Learn to sell and
- Take Back Control of Your mind
This is where we wrap it up. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Also thumb up and share this video with your friends. If you are yet to subscribe to After School Africa, now is a good time to subscribe. Until next time YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!