Men’s Talks

Why Am I Broke?

Over the years, avenues to wealth globally with mankind has transited from the era of hunting and subsistent farming, to industry, to service delivery, to information, and now to communication technology.

All through these seasons, men have made commendable effort to acquire and grow wealth so as to apprehend a life of comfort, peace and rest of mind. Many succeeded, however, many, many more failed at this attempt.

Even today, many people, perhaps you also, have lovely dreams of becoming wealthy. Everyone wants to be comfortable at least; and truth be told, to be comfortable in Nigeria, you must be rich.

I’ve seen many buy books, attend seminars, study the lives of some successful people, pray hard, and do all they know how, so as to break the lack and insufficiency barrier.

Some succeeded and many more have failed and are still trying. Even some that are wealthy today became so based on luck or chance. They do not have an understanding or a guaranteed template on how to recreate their wealth should they accidentally lose everything.

Many of us hope to become wealthy based on speculative attempts, trial and error or perhaps a miracle.

Think with me, why do we have so many professionals and skilled people in Nigeria and yet many of them are not wealthy?

We have very hard-working, brilliant, dedicated and intelligent doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, pharmacists, lecturers, economists and the likes. And most are broke and struggling. They can hardly make ends meet, some can’t even pay regular bills.

Why do we have so many skilled graduates even with masters’ degrees from overseas who are still struggling to become wealthy?

Why is the government under pressure to provide employment opportunities for several youths?

Why is wealth creation a major challenge for several people?

I can begin to imagine many of us, as usual, blame it on the government. It is so convenient. Even if you know people doing very well at what you’re failing at under the same economic conditions, you’ll prefer to believe they are succeeding through high level connections or illegitimate means.

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Please be sure I’m not suggesting the environment is good or encouraging for one to find easy success, what I’m saying is, you’re aging everyday basking in a life of blames and excuses and inactivity, instead of frantically seeking and finding answers and solutions that will help you live better, and the only person that will eventually suffer is you if you don’t redirect your metal effort towards productive and wealth creating thoughts.

It’s a fact that millions of educated Nigerians today have no knowledge of commerce – they have no clue on how to commercialise their skills, art or practice. Commerce is the only key to wealth creation.

Many educated Nigerians don’t understand the “what” and the “whys” behind socioeconomic policies, the business environment, funding and the general role of the government in aiding commerce.

The government is not supposed to make you rich, the government only creates the policies and structures for you to work with and within to become rich.

Do you know and understand all these? What you don’t know can make you broke.

It’ll surprise you many educated Nigerians don’t even listen to the budget, they don’t have a copy of the constitution, they don’t even understand Nigeria, and can’t interpret implications. Many don’t know much about money, business and avenues to wealth creation within their profession, their practice and sector in Nigeria.

Let me explain this, you see many doctors in Nigeria for example today have very impressive knowledge of their practice. They were properly tutored, and through hard-work and dedication they have become very good doctors. But because they lack adequate knowledge on the commercial or business aspect of medical practice they can’t create adequate wealth from the practice. Hence, they are constrained to getting employed and remaining employed for the rest of their career years in government hospitals, other people’s hospitals or running away overseas. Even after 20 years and more in the practice, with all the knowledge, qualifications and experience, they can’t venture into running their personal medical practice profitably. Some that have made this attempt in my submission are running a substandard commercial process. Hence in many private hospitals, you’ll find customers and clients frustrated, angry, delayed; waiting for hours for medical attention, and the medical team and staff most times are indifferent.

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This of course remains the case because many of these patients and customers have no options – it’s as bad or even worse in other hospitals. In the long run, a well-respected and reputable private hospital begins to lose clients and customers due to lack of commercial strategy, marketing framework and a business model.

This happens because the owners of the hospitals started with just capital, medical experience, and reputation. They had no business plan, business model, business strategy, marketing concept, branding, positioning, differentiation, unique selling proposition, target profiling, sales strategy, pricing strategy, customer service policies, corporate culture, business orientation, agenda for growth and development, market share acquisition plans and future growth agendas.

Sadly, it’s all about how much money they are making at the moment. Such a medical business orientation will eventually kill the hospital.

This challenge unfortunately applies to a lot of Nigerian professionals; Doctors, engineers, legal practitioners, architects, lecturers, pharmacists and so many professionals. They don’t have a clue on how to commercialise their skills especially in a business environment like Nigeria.

This unfortunate situation is confusing the Nigerian business and professional practice where out of desperate pursuit of wealth, you find certain professionals working in other fields. I know a pharmacist working as a counter clerk in a leading bank in Nigeria, and a theatre art graduate selling insurance policy.

Because many people want to be rich and don’t know commerce, hence can’t create wealth, they have resolved to dropping their professions and chasing money with so called lucrative employments, hence the mediocrity and confusion in our country.

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Some, unfortunately, have even resolved to steal from their employers and the government. Once they get employed or appointed into a position, the first thing they look out for is a loophole in the process through which they can enrich themselves illegally and cheat their employers or exploit customers and clients through bribery and extortion and the likes. How sad!

To acquire great wealth without theft, you must learn the business aspect of your practice. You must learn how to market your skill. I’m not talking about selling; I’m talking about marketing in the true sense of its definition. Applying the marketing concept, the 4P’s and an effective value chain management process.

Dear friend, learn to commercialise your practice; business management is an art as well as a science. You must know how to do the business of your profession especially in a country like Nigeria. This is your surest avenue to wealth without stealing and cheating. Study, study and study. In today’s business world, ideas are what you need to start a business not cash capital and good ideas come from information and knowledge. When you know, you will grow.

It’s possible to be rich again and again when you understand the business of your profession. Stop wishing, start learning, it’s in your hands. Let’s create wealth together – I promise you it’s more fulfilling than stealing. Dear friend, it’s time to Join the millionaires club in style….

Enjoy your day.

Culled Muyiwa Afolabi’s Blog


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