Dear friend, you are earning today exactly the amount you have decided to earn, no more no less. Whatever your income is today, is what you want it to be. Your income is a matter of your choice, your decision and your resolve.

Your income is not a matter of what is coming to you, it’s a matter of what you’ve decided to make come to you. What you earn today is an outcome of your action, and also inaction.

There were some things you did, some actions you took, and some decisions you made in time past that brought you to this level of earning in your life. There are some things  you know if you lack, you could never earn what you currently earn.

So, it applies for an increase as well. If you want an increase in what you currently earn, there are some things you must also do, know, acquire and develop, in addition to what you already have, to be able to increase what you earn.

Whatever you earn today is a consequence of what you chose to do, and what you’ve refrained from doing. It’s also a reflection of all you did till you finally succeeded, and all you gave up on and abandoned midway.

This opinion to some of you may be annoying or even disappointing as you would wonder how and why you’ll choose to earn or settle for an income that has kept you broke, embarrassed and worried.

Why would you want to be broke, you are working very hard you’d say, you wake up early and return very late from work every day. You don’t play with your work, you’re hardworking, diligent and committed. You’re prayerful and honest. You’re putting in your very best always, so how can you blame me for what my employer has decided to pay me?

There goes the thinking that is keeping you down. Just take a look around you, there are hundreds and even thousands of people with the same or even worse limitations and restrictions doing much better than you are in earnings. They’re making more money, living more comfortable lives, can pay all bills conveniently, have peace of mind and can buy whatever they like. Not everyone richer or more comfortable than you in Nigeria is corrupt. The noisemakers are mostly the thieves, the corrupt, the criminal, the fraudsters and those fronting for treasury looters.

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Don’t let the noise of the dishonest make you assume legitimate wealth is impossible in Nigeria; don’t be deceived, the truly rich through legitimate means are silent because silence is also gold. It’s a possession of the truly rich.

You can become very rich and earn much more than you earn now if you pay attention, measure and regularly value your earning ability.

Your earning ability is the most important financial asset you can have if you want to be wealthy. Your earning ability is simply your ability to do things, get results and solve problems people are willing to pay you for.

People the world over buy only three things irrespective of the product or service you’re offering. The three things people are willing to exchange their monies for include a need, a solution, and a good feeling.

Even employers recruit and pay employees for these same three things; meeting the need of the business, solving problems of the business, and radiating positive energy and a sense of pride.

Your earning ability is the power that regulates the money you make per time; per season. Your earning ability can appreciate or depreciate year after year. It is possible to have a higher ability to earn when you graduated from school but now, it has completely depreciated and you’re not earning much anymore. And it’s possible your earning ability years ago was so low but today it’s appreciated so well you’re earning very much more than you can spend per time.  Your ability to earn depends on what you do with the components that make up this ability.

The components of your earning ability include your knowledge, your education, your skills, your experience and your capacity.

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  1. Your knowledge is simply about knowing the right thing. Knowledge is the edge you have based on the relevance of what you know. Knowledge, the edge when you know. The power of what you know is not always in its vastness, but its relevance. Knowing what is useful and important is where the power lies. For example, knowing the birth dates, wedding anniversaries, divorce details and scandals of all the celebrities in Hollywood, USA or Nigeria, in my opinion, is of no commercial importance to you except you’re a reporter or a blogger. Valuable knowledge is knowing something or having information that can help you meet a need or solve a problem for someone that would pay you well for it. Knowledge becomes important if it’s commercially viable. Seek and buy relevant information to enhance your earning power.
  2. Education is your ability to specialize and become an expert in a field or profession. Becoming extremely superior in your ability to solve problems compared to fellow practitioners in your chosen field of profession jerks up your earning ability. There are doctors and there are doctors, there are lawyers and there are lawyers. The best in these practices earn the most. People naturally want to pay more for the best. Don’t just be educated, be the best in your field. It enhances your earning ability.
  3. Your skills are simply the ability to translate what you know into vivid results through performance. A civil engineer that cannot build a bridge, is that one an engineer? That’s the point. Your ability is not just in how much you know or how educated you are, when called to perform, can you do it and do it excellently? The proof of how really good you are is in what you do, not what you know or say. If you’re good, you need not spend too much on hype or excess packaging. Your skills will enhance your earning power.
  4. Your experience particularly in your ability to earn is acquired mostly from the number of mistakes you’ve made in time past. Your experience is being able to correctly judge and predict outcomes and the future based on events of your past. The frequency of your attempts, the number of your tasks and the many things you’ve handled in the past also build up your experience. Experience doesn’t come by age. It is possible for an employee of five years to be more experienced than an employee of 15 years depending on the number of tasks executed, attempts made, projects handled and failures or success recorded.
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It is an aberration to feel entitled to a certain level of income today based on your earning power of yesterday. How well have you grown in knowledge? How well have you grown in education? How better developed are your skills? How much experience have you gathered in recent years?

If you do not appreciate, fertilise and grow the components of your ability to earn, they will depreciate, and you’ll become very broke. If you organise your days working on your ability to earn more, you’ll stress less chasing money every day; as money will naturally start flowing in your direction.

Dear friend, forget where you’re coming from, stop blaming others for your poor income. Strikes and protests won’t help you as an individual; don’t get entrapped in a collective system of mediocrity and wild expectations, becoming rich is an individual decision, focus on your future, focus on where you’re going, your very best still lies ahead of you. Your greatness is in your tomorrow, not your yesterday; be inspired, make a decision, and enhance your ability to earn.

 

Culled from Muyiwa Afolabi