Estimated reading time: 28 minute(s)
INTRODUCTION TO WEALTH WITHOUT CAPITAL, CAPITAL BEYOND MONEY
A VIEW FROM THE CLIFF
The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm when it broke out in China in December 2019 and spread to the rest of the world within a few months. While countries struggled to control it, the global economy slowed down almost to a halt as nations announced sit-at-home lockdowns, leading to widespread anxiety for various reasons.
First, it was the terror of the enormous damage that could result from the contagious and deadly disease. Then people who had always wanted to take leave off work or, at least, work from home, were being tortured psychologically by boredom and traumatized by their prolonged homestay and unusual isolation. Furthermore, fear began to cripple many as layoffs skyrocketed. Even business owners were not left out: like periods of famine in ancient times, cashflow ceased for most as economic activities piped low. Uncertainties beclouded the future.
During that period, I was invited to speak at several virtual conferences and seminars on how people could maximise the season and prepare for post-COVID-19. In one of those webinars, I was particularly requested to speak on the topic “Moving from Pain Point to Gain Point.” The objective remained the same: show people how they can make something good out of the seemingly odd situation.
I quickly fetched an article I had written on lessons from Joseph’s (alias Joe) illustrious rise to relevance. Joe experienced several lockdowns – in the pit as a rejected sibling, in Potiphar’s as a second-hand slave, and in the prison as a despised servant. In each of these lockdowns, his situation was undeserved, yet, unavoidable. Thankfully, though he was physically locked down, he was not mentally locked down; he remained open to possibilities in his terrible situations and grew through each of them. As he grew, he qualified himself for promotions until he became a national hero.
I expanded that article on Joe and presented it to my audience to show them how they can grow in the lockdown to prosper better and faster afterwards. Then I packaged the entire content into an eBook, made some additions and published it with the title Creating Your Own Luck in a Lockdown. I gave out the book freely to as many people as possible who would care to request it with a few clicks and the testimonies were nothing short of amazing. Then I was inspired to do more.
If Joe was this successful, there must be something about the person who had the most influence on his upbringing. Isn’t it? Well, so I thought.
And as I meditated on the life of Jacob (alias Jakes) around that period, I was intrigued to discover that he left his father’s house without any inheritance only to return as the wealthiest man in town twenty years later. “How did Jakes create wealth without capital?” I asked myself the million-dollar question. Then I found a billion-dollar answer: He recognised and utilised capital that was beyond money. Hence, the title of this book: Wealth Without Capital, Capital Beyond Money.
As I examined my personal journey to prosperity in business and researched various sources including asking my friends and mentors probing questions on their views on wealth creation, I realised that one thing that makes people poor is that they think almost strictly in terms of money. Wealthy people don’t always spend money like poor people assume they do; instead, they leverage their relationships and other forms of capital to create value, attract money and achieve much with their lives. Amazing!
I frantically considered the details of Jake’s biography in the Bible under a psychological lens. What choices did he make? What were the results of his choices? How did he come about his decisions? What was the probable pattern of his thoughts? As I contrasted his character with that of his twin brother Esau, I was impressed by the quality of his vision and the nobility of his choices. I was even more impressed when I contrasted his story with that of the prodigal son who also left his father’s house and travelled to a foreign land. The similarities of their situations, as well as the differences in their choices and results, led me to discover what I now call the poverty and prosperity cycles.
Jakes left with nothing but returned wealthy. It was a grass-to-grace story. The prodigal son left with everything he could get but returned with nothing. Grace to grass! The fundamental truth here is that people don’t discern the value of what they get by entitlement; hence, they waste it thoughtlessly. This was the same posture that Esau took when he sold his birthright.
Furthermore, once all that they are entitled to is gone, they lack the resolve and resourcefulness lack the resolve and resourcefulness to reproduce it so they settle in slavery just to survive. And in slavery, they become entitled to what is enough to keep them enslaved. This is what makes and keeps many poor: entitlement, consumption, and slavery/survival.
Jakes escaped that cycle. By travelling light, he took responsibility for all that he would ever have. Then when he got to his uncle’s house, rather than expecting to be treated like a prince because of the blood relationship that existed between them, he chose to serve in his uncle’s business and proved himself capable with visible results. He was no mere consumer but a producer. And even when his uncle gave him an open cheque to name his wages, he refused the offer, preferring something with superior future value, hence, proving that he wasn’t working just to survive but to be significant. So, we see what makes men rich: responsibility, productiveness and significance.
Another story that added to my understanding of Jakes’s journey is that of the unjust steward. When it became clear to him that his boss was going to fire him, the steward, gripped by fear and insecurity, said to himself, “… I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg …” He was pointing out two economic realities below his status as a steward. So, I realised that there are four important stages of financial prosperity that every successful person passes through: begging (dependence), digging (independence), stewardship (interdependence), and lordship (dominance).
We start in life as ‘beggars’ as we depend on the labours of others for survival in childhood. Then we start to take responsibility for ourselves, we move from dependence to independence, attempting to earn our rewards through our own efforts. This is the digging phase which is characterised by much effort but little results.
As is usually the case when digging a well, one who stays consistent despite getting little or no results would eventually strike the water table and find what he is looking for. His focus then changes from finding water to using it purposefully. This is the phase of stewardship where we manage people and resources to maximise and multiply value. Our relationship with people is that of interdependence. What more? We soon discover the deep-longing within ourselves to impact others significantly rather than merely amassing resources for ourselves so our focus shifts to building legacies. It is here that our vision becomes larger than ever and so does our earning capacity. This is the phase of lordship and dominance.
With everyday language as well as real-life examples from olden and modern times, I have discussed in detail the poverty and prosperity cycles and how they play out in every stage of your journey to financial freedom. The poverty cycle keeps people stuck and even retrogressing while the prosperity cycle accelerates progress. Hence, part of your objective in the journey would be to escape the trap of poverty and deliberately make wealthy-minded decisions that keep you in the prosperity cycle.
It would amaze you that even Jesus, the greatest of men, was enticed as such with the poverty trap. His three temptations in the wilderness revealed the instruments of consumption, entitlement and survival/slavery.
Understanding the stages of wealth creation will help you to assess your progress, discover where you are on the journey to economic emancipation, and take charge of your financial destiny. It will also give you the much-needed confidence to make crucial decisions and navigate each stage successfully till you come to your original place of dominion.
Whenever I mention wealth without capital and capital beyond money, the idea seems incredible to people. So, I have painstakingly documented my story as well as that of many other wave-making Africans who have made millions while resiliently and resourcefully building businesses without financial capital. Frank Edwards, Sinach, Alibaba, Oluyomi Ojo, Linda Ikeji, ‘AY,’ etc.
In this masterpiece, you will also discover how to build and leverage different kinds of capital in different stages of your journey: heritage, intellect, relationships and reputation. These forms of capital are superior to money. In fact, they can make money but money can hardly make them.
Let me make two important notes here. For the sake of modern language, I have substituted some the Hebrew names for their modern equivalents: Jakes for Jacob, Joe for Joseph, Abe for Abraham, Dave for David, Josh for Jesus (taken from Hebrew ‘Yehoshua’; ‘Joshua’) and Nick for Nicodemus.
Second, I believe in a balanced approach to Christian living: our destinies are prophetic, we have priestly duties to keep before God and we equally have a kingly mandate to practically take charge, establish dominion and shape the civilization of the earth. This is typically seen in the fact that the Promised Land was long prophesied, yet, while the Israelites journeyed in the wilderness, Moses communed with God while Joshua led the warriors to fight physical battles.
Now, I think that the average Christian is aware of the first two but the third is largely neglected; hence, many do not achieve the prosperity promised to us all. Faith that rests everything on God and neglects human responsibility is an “unreasonable and irresponsible faith.” So, while I absolutely believe in faith, prayer, fasting and sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit, I have focused more on the natural principles and pragmatic approaches to wealth creation in this book. The goal is to help people see how the supernatural translates into the natural. Ours is to plant seeds and water them; it is God that gives the increase!
For me, writing this book has been one of the most exciting things I have done with my life. I have always desired to see the economic
emancipation of African and Africans. So, to take wisdom from life, pack it into words and pen it down in the best way I know how is an activity so thrilling that I don’t think I want to ever stop. It is always a privilege to bless lives.
I, therefore, invite you to drink from the well that Jakes dug so that the One whom you meet at the well can equally dig a well inside of you that helps you to replicate and even exceed Jakes’s results.
Welcome to Wealth!
The Sixth Sense Leader