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Happy New year to you! Or is it really a happy one…

Happy New year to you! Or is it really a happy one? Honestly, it is perfectly normal to feel some sense of dissatisfaction over how your 2016 went; maybe you’re looking for a new job (or just a job for that matter!), it could be you wanted your partner to pop the question and you’re still waiting, is it a regular gym habit you want to develop? Whatever it is, you can be rest assured that your past need not dictate your future prospects. You have so much more agency than you may realize and it’s Money Matter’s goal to help you tap into that. We contend that the first step is brutal self-honesty; put another way “short-term pain for long-term gain” and this will involve embracing culpability (where applicable) for any inability to achieve a particular goal thus far, or even for unfavorable occurrences in 2016. Ask yourself, “What could I have done to have avoided this experience?” “What lessons have I learned?” and, more crucially “what do I plan on changing to ensure a happier experience this time around?” confronting aspects of the past is not always easy; moreover it may even be painful and you may wish to respond with the popular adage “the past is better left to the past”. However, another adage that arguably counters this is “doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of madness”, taken another way, change is essential and believe it or not, your past is a highly valuable resource which should be tapped into as you move forward in 2017 and beyond; it serves as a vital reference point.

Once you’ve spent time ruminating on the above, you may wish to consider the following tips/questions:


Do you desire a job/career progress?
Moving forward, we urge you to set goals as to what you would like to achieve. If it’s a new job, ask yourself what you can do differently, whether that entails considering a different industry altogether, acquiring further qualifications, a more radical action like attending a hotel lounge or business centre to network with prospective employers, or even a more radical idea like considering a business opportunity.


Do you have financial concerns in general?
Maybe your finances are given you occasional anxiety and now’s as good an opportunity as any to evaluate the manner in which you manage your finances. Consider your present circumstances; are you paying substantial rent in a highbrow location? If so you should ask yourself if it is truly worth the possible anxiety and frugal living; perhaps you may want to ask whether keeping up appearances is worth more than a healthy state of mind. Ultimately, it comes down to a question of desire: is the pain of staying the same, greater than the pain of change? If the answer is yes, then this is a crucial step in achieving the kind of change you would like in your life.

Furthermore you may find that you’re fairly comfortable financially but you have future plans or an imminent life changing event such as planning a wedding or perhaps you’re a new parent and you want to make provisions to this effect: life insurance is a financial product which is designed to give you that piece of mind such that in the event of terminal illness or unexpected death, loved ones will have a nest egg. There also savings accounts and a number of financial products which can help to alleviate financial worries in this area.

Wishing to start a business in 2017?
This course of action has grown in popularity as a result of ‘entrepreneurism’ becoming more fashionable and also as a practical alternative to seeking employment due to the present labour market stagnation as an attendant effect of the recession. Whatever your imperatives are for pursuing a business, we sincerely wish you success and here are some tips/questions you may wish to consider:

What is your end goal?

Deep thinking isn’t always fun but outlining your end goal is crucial. This will determine whether you’re likely to benefit more modestly or whether you are the next Dangote or Otedola. Consider the industry you’re seeking to break into, what prospects are there at present? What evidence exists to substantiate this? It sounds like plenty of work and hopefully we still have your attention, but consider this thinking and strategising as you investing in yourself and your future; it goes without saying that some endeavours will yield a more modest return than others, but on the flip side, the more ambitious your goal is, the more risky it is likely to be and although this shouldn’t deter you from thinking and acting big, it should be noted that developing strong personal motivation and tunnel-vision will carry you beyond your expectations and closer to fulfilling your big goals.

Networking

This is an area you’re likely to be familiar with but it’s of significant importance. Sure you’ve heard the saying “your network is your net-worth” and this may seem clichéd but it nevertheless worth heeding. Peruse the internet and social networks for networking events to attend, prioritising those that are most likely to get you relevant contacts, set out goals that you may wish to achieve from attending the event(s) and evaluate your progress. Sustaining this habit will make you a prodigious networker and position you far more effectively in your journey towards success.

Capital/Funding

This tends to be the biggest bugbear as to why businesses don’t succeed or even transition from idea to reality. Depending on your circumstances, it is advisable to be very broad in your thinking; absolutely stretch the possibility frontiers in your mind and consider everything from moving back home with your parents, working a job that you’d otherwise not to save up capital, selling off items/possessions especially if they’re diminishing in value etc. Ultimately the responsibility lies with you as to what course of action(s) will take you to where you want to go, but being more creative and open-minded as to funding sources will not only draw you closer towards achieving success, but you’ll find challenging yourself in this manner a more rewarding and self-educational experience.

In summary, we contend that the start of a new year can herald the opportunity to begin anew in one or several areas; moreover, as time passes by, we urge you to consider the start of a new year as a mere pit-stop (think Formula 1/motor racing) rather than signifying a need for wholesale change. We hope we’ve covered your particular area(s) of interest, but if not please extract as much from the above as you can, especially as there is much transferable content which can be applied in many areas of life. We urge you to use the month of Jan for evaluation and recalibration as you pursue greater fulfillment in your life.