Emeka was completely absorbed in watching the football match between Manchester United andBarcelonaon television, that he did not hear his mobile phone ringing.
Picking it up, his grandpa’s voice came over the line: “Happy New Year son.”
“Same to you dad,” Emeka replied as he chuckled. His grandfather, a successful entrepreneur, has been trying to sell him the benefits of becoming a wise investor.
“And how you grandpa?” Emeka asked.
“Plenty of business,” he replied. “I made good profit from my importation business last year and I am yet to decide whether to invest the money in stocks, bonds or real estate in view of the global financial crisis. But I am still examining the stakes.”
Emeka knew his grandpa to be a shrewd investor. Not wanting any tutorials on investments, Emeka cut in:
“Grandpa, do you ever talk about socials? What are stocks and bonds? I am leaving forAbujatomorrow so start my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) programme.”
“Oh, your NYSC begins,” the old man recollected. “Go toAbujaand serve the nation well. Begin to learn how to invest from what you earn as a youth corper. Develop business sense. It is a skill that will make you a successful investor and businessman.”
“Grandpa, I have told you several times that I don’t want to be a businessman. I want to work in bank after my NYSC.”
“Great, my son. There is nothing wrong with that ambition. All I am saying is that you begin to think like a businessman and wise investor. Invest in the financial markets with part of your NYSC allowance. The time to start is now.”
“But it is too early to start talking investment, grandpa. I do not know anything about shares, stocks, bond market and all. They are too technical for someone like me who studied Microbiology. Besides, my NYSC allowance can hardly meet my needs. There will be nothing left to invest.”
“That is the problem of many young people today,” said his grandpa. “What they were not taught in the classroom, we learnt by experience in the marketplace. Did you read the best selling book , Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” by Robert Kiyosaki?”
“I did, dad.”
“Great. In that book Kiyosaki observed that young graduates are hardly thought about money. They graduate, get a job, earn a salary and pay bills. They know how to spend money, but hardly know how to invest money. That is why many young persons are not investors and shareholders of companies quoted on the stock exchange.”
“Grandpa, how do you expect me, a microbiologist, to know these terms.”
“How come you want to want to work in a bank?
“They pay high salaries, Emeka explained. And …..
“I know all that,” his grandfather cut in. That is why I want you to develop business sense, understand how the stock market operates and become investment conscious early in life. This is the foundation of what I learnt the hard way in business. Business sense is all about applying wisdom in earning money, making it grow and knowing how to spend it . To develop this sense, you have got to change your mind set from working for money, to making money work for you.”
“Begin to think like a businessman and investor no matter how insufficient your NYSC allowance is. Every money you earn is made up of bread, which you eat (spend) and seed which you plant (invest) to make your money grow. The time to start is now. Do you read the book of Proverbs, son?”
“Occasionally, dad. I read more of Psalms.”
“That’s okay. But learn to spend more time on Proverbs. It will make you a wise leader and a winner. Proverbs says the principal thing you need is wisdom. Therefore get wisdom, get understanding. Riches and honour are with me. Enduring riches and righteousness . Translate this to your business; you get what I call Business Sense.”
“It iscommon sense in business. It is the use of ideas that are very simple. Watch those traders at the Alaba International market inLagos. Have you noticed that many banks set up branches where these traders cluster?”
“Yes, I have noticed this grandpa, and I have always wondered why?”
“Now you know my son. These traders operate with business sense. They sell and generate plenty of cash and plough back.
Business sense also means that business organisations should get connected to the consumer and sell. It is not taught in academics and managerial courses but acquired through real life experiences. I hope this tutorial has made sense to you.”
“It has grandpa,” Emeka said with appreciation.
Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com