One For The Money

by Uche Nworah

I started reading Napoleon Hill’s book Think And Grow Rich in the toilet of a Paris hotel, I find that I do most of my thinking inside the small house, funny as it may sound but I can bet I’m not the only one that indulges in such enterprise. According to Mr Hill, this may be one of the reasons why i haven’t yet made my millions. Mr Hill advices we find quiet moments of solitude everyday, to think, plan and reflect. Ok, I admit i haven’t been doing much of that, my small morning sessions can only if anything be regarded as nothing but a decaf, barely strong enough to inspire any ground breaking ideas in today’s challenging world. But then come to think of it, that morning session in the small house seems about the only time in the day that I ever have for me, me and me alone, the moment i step out of the house i get consumed by other people and things, any little strength left in the life of me by the time I’m back again is then devoted to family and other sundry matters.

I have never been one to bother about these motivational books, if anything I’ve always seen them as clever ploys to get people like me to part with our hard earned money, and so i have never bothered buying any, not since I bought my one and only of such get rich quick books – Rich Dad, Poor Dad which i abandoned half way, not feeling motivated enough to carry on. Please let me know if you know of anybody that has made it as a result of that book, so much for hype.

I wouldn’t have bothered with Mr Hill as well, but when Chigbo Ugochukwu, a friend from my undergraduate days called recently and in the course of our banter over this and that – (life, dreams etc) recommended the book as the best investment i could ever make. What really sold me on the book was how it had so influenced my friend (a die-hard Nigerian who detests life abroad) to abandon temporarily a flourishing private legal practice in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital to come to Cardiff to study for a master’s degree in maritime and cabotage law. I began to feel that there really must be something to the book after all.

Now that i have started reading Mr Hill’s book, Chigbo’s decision is becoming more justified to me. Mr Hill talks about finding a niche and keying into it. With Nigeria having recently passed into law the Cabotage Act, I could now see where my friend is coming from.

You can’t really blame us in Nigeria if we are a bit sceptical about such fortune promising publications, the reason being that some of us have had to go through many not-so pleasant experiences in life, that if anything we should be the ones dishing out such ‘how to’ books. I once listened to Pastor Yemi Adeleke preach on the theme ‘If not for God, where would we have been?’ that message actually captures the life journeys of the average Nigerian both in the diaspora and at home. For many of us, it seemed like a lost cause from day one, a constant battle for survival against all odds but still see where we are today. The journey is not over though.

It is just like the charge on the Israelites to make the push on, having dwelt on the mountain for too long, the same charge is being made by Mr Hill for us to think of the next level, as it is about time to up the tempo and increase our game. With this mindset, i bought into my friend’s advice and bought Mr Hill’s book from, hoping to find his magical formula that will show me the way to my earthly treasures, something that Mr Hill takes so very seriously.

Contrary to our many indoctrinations both at home and in the church, he advices us to be money conscious, yes, he preaches the love of money. Looking at it, i can say that i buy fully into that philosophy, although i have been in self denial of that fact since birth. What else will make me to get out of bed on a cold winter morning to haul my self to work, if not for the money i will be paid at the end of the month, my conclusion here is that probably we have all been mis-educated and programmed to detest money, something that we all probably will spend all our professional lives chasing anyway. If that is the case, then we could as well get better equipped.

I think i will prefer to have the money now and worry about what to do with it later, think of the many things you could do if you were a millionaire, and all the many people in Africa you could pay school fees for. Who wouldn’t like to stop cursing the postman every time he delivers the credit card bills, as if he is the one that ran up those bills during the Christmas sales? Show me the money biko!

I have just about read a few pages of the book and i can say that the book is living up to its billings, so far Mr Hill is dwelling on the importance of niches and ideas, as the origin of great fortunes. it’s not like i never knew this before but then its actually in the implementation that i have fallen flat in the face, I’m resolving to push on and read on and see what other secrets the little book will uncover.

There is a little something though that I worry about, Mr Hill is all for a ‘burn the bridges’ approach for people willing to go on this journey, now that’s a tall order if you ask me, he has raked in some evidence to back this up, meaning that if you want the big money, then you must be willing to give up whatever little

money fetching activities that are currently pulling you back.

Wow, this is like going on a journey from the known to the unknown, I’m not sure my misses will like this, so who will pay the bills when I’m on the goose chase for the big money?, I may have to think this seriously, This is like leading someone on to the edge of the cliff and asking the person to jump, worse still probably pushing the person over. I would put a don’t try this at home sign here for now, although if weighed carefully there may be some sense in this risky go-for-broke approach, didn’t I read somewhere that fortune favours the brave?

One more thing, I really love this guy, he ‘thrashes’ education as we all know it, wondering why we would spend all that much time acquiring degrees only to end up in some dead end job, better commit that time to pursuing your business plans he advices. Fine idea only that it might be tough sell in Nigeria, a country with a high graduate to population ratio, how are you going to start convincing people that the education route we have all favoured may actually be the road widely travelled, which may actually lead to perdition. Mr Hills backs up his case by citing Harvard drop out, a certain Mr Bill Gates of the Microsoft fame and his likes.

One may not be wrong then to conclude that we may be suffering from over – education in Nigeria, time to bring on the hands-on vocational disciplines and work/business placements/shadowing, even if it means introducing a crash apprenticeship course for all Nigerians at Idumota market.

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1 comment

simplyfaithy September 3, 2007 - 11:37 pm

Enjoy you articles, always well written.


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