Money is an enabler and we all need it, in large quantities. Money affords people options in life; with it, one gets to taste the true meaning of the words, ‘either…or’. Those who have attended my sessions in debt management are familiar with my assertion that money can either be earned, borrowed, begged or stolen. Each of these ways has a riding mentality which when adopted affects the way people handle the acquisition of money. Thus, we have people with an earning mentality, a borrowing mentality, a begging mentality and a stealing mentality. Let me randomly highlight a few points on each mentality.
The Stealing Mentality
People with this mentality believe that money cannot be made any other way except through stealing; through disadvantaging other people; through inconveniencing others. They are thieves in one way or the other. In this category, we have those who steal violently and others nonviolently. Armed robbers perform better as violent thieves. Fraudsters and all the corrupt guys who believe in embezzlement of other people’s funds represent the non-violent thieves. They do white collar theft using electronic means, pen and paper. All these guys with this mentality cannot figure out how someone can work, do business or invest and wait for the returns. To them, it’s a time waster. They want it, they steal it!
The Begging Mentality
These guys have good physical health with everything in sound order. However, they believe that other people should do the toiling for them and share the spoils. Every end of month, they call relative after relative and friend after friend asking for a thousand bob here and five hundreds there; asking for airtime here and food there; asking for rent here and bus fare there. They spend their time describing how others are mean yet they have plenty of money; cursing a relative whose shop seems to be doing well but has refused to succumb to their begging demands. Such people believe that the best way to make money is by reaping from those who have made it. They have equated their self-worth with handouts.
The Earning Mentality
These are the guys who make money procedurally; they plant seeds and wait for the harvest once crop maturity is attained. They will go to work religiously and wait for end of month to have their pay; they will open a business, sell and wait for the profits; they will invest and be patient for the returns to come. They are patient and believe in the rewarding of effort. All wealthy people (not rich) belong here. Ideally, money was meant to be earned; all other avenues create false money.
The Borrowing Mentality
Borrowing refers to receiving something from someone with the obligation of returning it or paying for it at a later date. In our context, it is the receipt of money or things to be paid for in monetary terms. People with this mentality treat borrowing (debt) as a shortcut to earning money. Ideally, debt was meant to play a helper’s role; to catalyze the earning process. Debt was meant to make things easier and wealth creation faster. Today, the situation appears different for many people. The same debt that was to ease life has become a pain in the neck for many; debt that was to facilitate progress in people’s lives now facilitates retrogression; debt that was meant to be a catalyst of wealth creation has now sabotaged that process for many. The debt trap has become a reality. What went wrong?
Things got wrong the day people embraced the borrowing mentality and disregarded the earning mentality; the day people started viewing earning and borrowing as synonyms. Borrowing and earning were meant to work together before people with the borrowing mentality started isolating earning and started falling for the quicker option – borrowing. Each time such people have a need, instead of figuring out how they can earn to meet the need, they figure out where they can borrow from! They treat debt as though it were free money.
Which one is your mentality? …YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Debt Management Consultnat, Motivational Speaker and Author.
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