Uko, writes on some lessons one can learn from being broke

Every job has an expiry date. No job lasts forever. Common sense demands you should be ready when your tenure (which is not under your control) expires. That means you should be ready to go before you are asked to go. I am not suggesting you quit your job. I am suggesting you should be ready to quit before your employer asks you to go. It begins with managing your finances as though you don’t have a job.

The industrial age is long gone, taking with it the myth of job security. That world no longer exists. You have to wake up and smell the coffee. The biggest companies still lay off. In some instances, you are not allowed to return to your desk after receiving the good news. You resume in the morning with a job and leave by mid-day jobless.

We need to take ownership of the process

One hangover from the industrial age is waiting to have things done for you. You outsource your responsibility to others. You outsource your finances to your employer, your spiritual life to your Pastor or Imam, and raising your children to school teachers. Today, if you do not take responsibility, you will experience pain.

You cannot get what you want until you take new action consistently. Taking new action is not the issue, the challenge is in taking new action consistently until you have taken enough action to produce a new result. To take new action sustainably, you have to change until you get to that place where taking action consistently is the new normal.

I receive emails seeking advice on how to invest. It seems there is so much information out there that folks don’t seem to find what they are looking for. They want take-away packs rather than picking by themselves what they need from the buffet.

Finding information today is as easy as picking up your phone. If information were all we needed, we would all be experts in multiple fields by now, based on the volume of information circulating. Social media is awash with write-ups, images and videos shared as received. Some of the information has to do with finances. There seems to be no sign that the consumption of the content brings any change to the sharer or recipients. We are not ready to act on what we read. We are thrilled for a moment, and then we move on. We don’t want to own the process of bringing about the change we need. We are content being spectators in our own lives.

When the student is ready, the teacher will show up

The moment your mind is fully made up to achieve something, a way will start to appear. The way did not magically appear. It has been there all along. You are just becoming aware of it. A lot of the lessons I have learned along the way were forged in pain – my pain or the pain of others. That triggered the decision to change, which eventually led to taking action. I still remember some key people in my life warning me not to repeat the mistakes they made. I learned from their pain.

My journey to financial independence started when I experienced a significant pain. I was so angry that I vowed I would never allow my employer to determine my personal decisions. I will make my own money, even if it means using my income to earn more income. I worked on my finances until I was ready to quit my job. I did not quit until the right window of opportunity opened, and I went through without looking back.

The issue is not about quitting your job. It is about living your life on your terms, not your employer’s or anybody else’s terms. You go to work because that is what you want to do, and quit because you are done.

It starts when you are finally ready. It is like turning your back to your old life. If your mind is not made up, you will have a double mind and end up living a double life. You get pulled in two directions. The moment your mind is made up, you don’t need to ask many questions. You will seek out the information you need and act on it without waiting for fresh motivation or follow up. You will go the extra mile, make that phone call, visit that broker, get that information, fill that form, make that change, stop doing that thing etc. It all comes down to a decision. Nobody can make that decision for you.

I have spoken to many people who just lost their jobs. Their reaction to becoming jobless suddenly is based on how prepared they were. Eventually, everything turns out okay. When you are pushed to the deep end of the pool, you learn to swim by force. You can choose to do it the easy way or the hard way.

Everything that has a beginning has an end, including your job. You are going to leave one day – quit, get fired, laid off or retire. Only one option is under your control – quit. Whether you intend to quit or wait until it is your time to leave, you need to live as if your sack letter can show up on your desk tomorrow. Spend as if your job will not last forever.

Don’t wait until you are pushed to the deep end. Learn to swim by yourself. Get ready to quit your job before you get fired.