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Insight & Analysis - March 17, 2022

Want to be Rich? Here are 7 Skills You Must Develop

Like they say, ‘there is no elevator to success; you have to climb the stairs.’ Nothing is truer. If you want to be rich or achieve anything meaningful in life, you must be ready to put in the work. 

This is a self-analysis piece. It is recommended that you score yourself on a scale of 1-5 (1 is bad and 5 is Excellent).

If you read to the end, you would have been able to identify which skills you need to develop over the medium term and which ones are your current strengths. 

It is wise to focus on your strengths for the short term and invest heavily into acquiring the remaining skills over the next couple of years.

In this article, you’ll find all the information you need to set you on the path to transforming your life and creating wealth.

Having said that, here are the seven most important skills you need if you want to be rich.

1. Discipline

To succeed in business and life, you must be ready for the race, and it’s not a sprint but a marathon. You must have the ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how difficult.

No matter what the weather is like, what other people say, or how are you feel each day, discipline is what will get you to the finish line.

It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to achieve, if you can not discipline your actions, you’re probably not going to get it.

Discipline is your ability to dig deep within yourself, identify your actual goal and then act every day in alignment with that ideal. 

If you want to get in shape, you have to master your nutrition and hit the gym every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s snowing outside or you don’t feel like it or other distractions you’d rather be doing.

Discipline means you will take care of the most important tasks related to your long-term goal before anything else. You can not let a single day pass without closing the distance between your current reality and your target.

This might sound easy in theory, but it’s the number one reason why people fail in life. They cannot discipline themselves to put in the work over extended periods of time.

How do you develop discipline?

I. Define what you want.

II. Evaluate why you want it.

III. Eliminate distractions.

IV. Prioritise the most important tasks over everything else.

V. Track your progress.

VI. Keep yourself accountable.

Discipline and habits, although different things – work hand in hand. If you’ve never tried to self-discipline, meaning you’ve scored yourself with a 1 or 2 here, it’s time to change.

We recommend you start with small things, so we have a challenge for you. Wake up at the same hour every day and make your bed for 21 days. 95% of you will fail this, but it’s more important than you think.

The first part will make you discipline your time. It’s up to you how many hours you wish you sleep per night, but you have to wake up at the same hour every day. You’ll find it more difficult than it seems because it’s so easy to oversleep.

The second part is the first step in organising your life. Making your bed every single morning after you wake up will give you a sense of control over your environment. 

Now think about what we’re asking you to do. Wake up every day at the same hour and make your bed. This will start creating order in your life and allow other things to come into effect.

21 days isn’t a long time to test this, but if you manage to pull through, you’ll increase your self-discipline score by at least 1 point.

ALSO READ: How Tony Elumelu Became a Billionaire

2. Emotional Intelligence

People think that IQ is really important if you want to be rich or successful. The truth is, having a high IQ could be a bonus, but it’s not what will make you rich. High IQs rarely correlate to financial success. 

Because money isn’t the result of word comprehension, math skills, abstract and spatial thinking, it has to do with understanding how people work, how they think, what they want, need, and how to really understand that information.

Emotional intelligence is far more critical in business and life than IQ. You don’t have to be smart in school to be rich.

The truth is, most A students end up working for B- and C students, because while the A students waste their time trying to memorise all the useless information they get in school which does not apply to real life, B and C students are spending that time learning about others, interacting with them and developing their social skills.

Business and life are not about how you can regurgitate information, but instead, connect the dots in the real world and find ways to build your life on top of that.

To assess how strong your Emotional Quotient is, ask yourself, how well do you understand people? Is it easy for you to tell how other people feel, what they want in general, and what makes them behave the way they do? Rate your emotional intelligence from 1 to 5 now.

If you’ve scored below 3 on this one, here’s what you can do to enhance it. We’re going to break this into a two-part process as well.

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The first part has to do with yourself. Take a piece of paper and start to analyse your own feelings. 

Write down how you feel right now; what about the last time you were really sad, what happened? and why were you sad? What about happiness? Try to do this exercise for as many emotions as you can. 

This will help you understand yourself better and get in control of your emotions.

The second part has to do with other people. Next time you’re having a conversation with someone, try to actively listen and understand the other person. 

When they talk, be present and not listen to the voice in your head that only thinks of what to ask next.

Very few people can actively listen instead of just hearing things. If you want to be rich, you need to work with others and be in control of your feelings.

3. Self-motivation

Things will get hard in your journey, and to be honest, you’re in this alone. Yes, your family and friends will be around you, but it’s within yourself that you decide to put in that time and effort.

If you’re unable to motivate yourself, we’ve got bad news for you; you’re not going to make it.

Self-motivation is one’s ability to overcome obstacles in your mind that tell you, you can’t do it or why should you even bother.

Self-motivation is when you get yourself to put in the work because you want it so bad that nothing will stop you. 

Even if everybody around you doubts you, your desire to achieve the life you want is so strong that nothing can pull you back from getting it.

Along with this list, you’ll realise how strongly all of the things we mention are interconnected and how together they form a strong net or structure on which one can create progress for themselves. 

People who are generally lazy lack this ability. Your inability to self-motivate will lead to time being wasted. It might not seem like much-skipping work today, but they all add up and snowball into a life of mediocrity.

Here’s what you need to do if you want to improve yourself in this regard. The first part is to once again dig deep within yourself and find what the perfect life would look like for you.

Let’s do this experiment right now. In an ideal work with no boundaries, what would be a day in your perfect life? Close your eyes and try to visualise it, to the very details.

What does your morning look like?

Where are you? Who are you with?

What do you do after your breakfast? What does the house you live in look like?

What do you do in the afternoon? What are you wearing? What do you feel?

What do you smell? What does that life taste like?

Now, what you’ve just experienced is your life goal. This is why you will put in the work. If you do everything right, you can make it happen. The second part is creating reminders of what that life is like. 

We recommend changing the background of your devices to fit that life. We look at them multiple times during the day, and every time you see them, it will remind you that you need to work harder if you want to get it.

This is how you motivate yourself when times are hard, the goal is bigger than everything, and all the hard work will be worth it.

Strive Masiyiwa
Strive Masiyiwa. Source: Africa Business Communities

4. Maintaining focus

Everything around you has been engineered to distract you. We live in a world where attention is the new currency.

We see a trend among people where it’s increasingly hard to maintain focus because more and more distractions try to hook you in every day.

Maintaining focus has to deal with one’s aptitude to choose activities that will serve your ultimate goal over activities that feel good at the moment but have little rewards for the long run.

“Carpe Diem” (‘seize the day’) sounds good on paper, but anyone who has built anything worth mentioning in their life didn’t live by this mantra. If you want to be rich, you will prioritise activities that move you towards your overarching goal.

How focused are you on your journey? Apart from reading this article, which actions did you take today which will impact your future? 

Break down what you did throughout the day from the moment you woke up to the moment you want to sleep or this moment right now. How many of them contribute to your journey? How many are just time being wasted?

We recommend analysing your day at least once a week to determine if your focus is increasing or decreasing over time. 

You’ll discover that you’re wasting incredible amounts of time on things that add little to no value to your current or future life.

You don’t need to binge-watch everything on Netflix or spend hours playing video games. That is if you want the life you visualised at number 3.

5. Reading

Successful people read a lot of books!

On average, they read around 50 books per year, while the average person reads only 1.5. You need to start reading and do it right now. 

Reading is better than watching videos or audiobooks because the brain processes text differently than it does with video or audio.

When you watch a video, the visualisation of the information happens on the screen. When you read, the information is processed within and makes correlations to your internal memories and reality.

Imagine you can absorb the knowledge someone gathered in a lifetime, in a single week just by reading a book. Reading evolves your main asset which is yourself. 

6. Play the long game

Everything you’ve done in life so far has been for the immediate future. You studied in school because you had a test the following week. You watched all episodes of ’24’ because it made you feel good in the moment. You’re eating junk food because that’s the more accessible thing for you right now.

If you want to be rich and successful, your mindset needs to change dramatically. You need to stop looking for shortcuts for get-rich-quick methods. 

It will take between seven and ten years to change your life. Being successful requires you to think ahead and take action now, which will impact the long term.

The quicker you realise there is no other way around it, the quicker you can start taking the right action. 

Ten years might sound like a lot of time, where plenty of things can happen, but time will pass either way and without a plan, you’ll find yourself ten years later, making the same mistakes but filled with more regret that you didn’t take action.

We recommend that you focus on the things that will take you as close to your goals as possible, and eliminate everything that could stand in the way. 

7. Continuous learning

Rich and successful people never stop learning! Not only through reading but learning from everything that’s around them. It’s incredible how much you can learn about life by observing what’s happening.

Your success depends on your ability to continuously learn, acquire new skills and use those to further yourself.

The goal is not to know as many things as possible but to understand as many things as you can. There’s a crucial difference between the two. 

The first one fills your mind with information, while the second one allows you to connect dots others might not be able to see. The first one will drive you mad, while the other will help you understand the world. 

When was the last time you’ve learned something of real value that made your life or those around you better? This is how you keep track if you’re growing or not.

Continuous learning is about improving your current self consistently. This will ultimately lead you to make better decisions and live a more fulfilling life. The moment you stop learning, you start dying.

This is not an exhaustive list of the skills required if you want to be rich, but if you can develop these seven skills, you are off to a great start.

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