I am a firm believer that there is something to learn from everyone and from every thing. Even from things that we may view as being negative, we learn what-not-to-do. Sometimes these lessons are not new to us but act as a reminder to us of what we should already know.
I have a lot of friends that I have learnt from and inspired by bloggers like Overwhelmed, Uzo and London Buki, I have decided to start a series called LEARNING FROM MY FRIENDS. I have started with my favourite story. The story of Bobo.
Bobo was a fine-boy-no-pimples and had da body to boot. He worked in one of the top Oil companies in Nigeria. I met him when I was attached there. He had exquisite taste in everything. He looked good, dressed well and had the nicest ride in town. Looking from the outside in, he looked like the average guy (no offence intended) that would spend his last dime to look good and basically live from check to check as a result.
Then I got to know him. We became fast friends after his birthday party which I (uncharacteristically, I admit) attended. We hung out several times after that and I quickly to the realization that apart from beauty and brawns (wo, the bobo was fyne!! forgive me if I say it a lot), he also had a brain. How? Well, let’s start with the fact that EVERYTHING he bought was bought under the condition that it would not come directly from his salary. It had to come from one of his various businesses or investments. All said investments were originally funded by his salary. In addition to a state of the art cyber-café (which I heard he got rid of when the cyber café business took a nose dive), he sold gold jewelry (he was a supplier to a few retailers in our little town of in South-South Nigeria). He also bought high quality furniture for people from Italy. From time to time, if the market was right, he would also bring in articles of clothing (that was something that was scarce where we lived and always sold like hot cake). He was also always on the look-out for any business deals that would bring in more money. Any expense he had was taken care of from the proceeds of his investments.
Let me give you an example of how he lived his life. His house was largely unfurnished when I met him. He could easily have bought furniture that he would make do with, but he was not in a hurry to cram his house with things he claimed would not make him unhappy or that he would have to throw away in due course. More expensive in the long run. Whenever he had an order to fill for furniture, he would buy use the profit to buy at least one item, e.g a table, a set of chairs, a sofa and that was how he was slowly and surely filling his house. With classic items that would be relevant at least 6 or more years down the line.
Also, he had the best car amongst his peers. Make no mistake, it was just a Tokunbo (second hand) car (he invested the rest of his car loan). His colleagues tried to counsel him against buying such an expensive car and a few even tried to talk him into buying a cheaper Tokunbo (second hand) car. Bobo stuck to his guns, rocked his car for 2years, had minimal visits to the mechanic garage and when the car started flooding the Nigerian market, sold it at close to the amount he got it for.
He sold the car to one of his colleagues. Ironically, it was one of those that had counseled him against getting such an expensive car. By the way, he took that money and bought an even nicer Toyota. It was so nice that it sparked a rumor that he had been promoted at work and given a car to boot. His plan was to slowly climb his way to a brand new car.
Okay, enough for long story. Here are the morals of the tale:
* Treat your salary like it’s your capital.
* Pay for nothing from your capital
* Invest, invest, invest.
* Put a part of your profit back into investment. Don’t spend it all.
* Buy what you are happy with. It’s cheaper in the long run.