"Joining LEMP is the best thing that happened to me the first quarter of this year. For years I have been longing to meet someone who could mentor me and guide me. It seemed my wishes were futile, until late last year when a friend told me about LEMP. After going through the brochure, I knew for sure that LEMP was a program I could not afford to miss. I wanted to know my purpose, maximise my God-given potential, live effectively on earth and become an agent of change in my family, to my buddies, church, society and nation. My sincere gratitude goes to LEMP fraternity for selflessly giving their time, resources and willingly choosing to share knowledge, experiences, ups and downs to ensure that young adults live a life of purpose, and avoid the mistakes of youthfulness. The nine LEMP modules were eye opening to me. From each module I learnt important lessons that I am using, and will continue to use as an effective agent of change. On spiritual development module, I learnt that I am a spiritual being; who is a spirit, that lives in a body and possesses a soul. The Spirit of God dwells in me, and whatever I do in my physical realm has spiritual consequences. My soul determines who I am. I have resolved to guard my mind because this where my self-dwells by constantly reading God’s word to saturate my heart and my mind because from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. My purpose is now clear and I am living it out in my own simple way, and this has brought fulfilment in my life. The Bible is my reference book, my manufacturer’s manual. From Personal Development module I now value expansion of one’s self-awareness, knowledge and improving personal skills. My energy is now refocused to better my strengths, and see to it that I deal with my weakness to be wholesome. I have enrolled for Tissue Culture training to improve my laboratory skills and read diverse range of books to expand my knowledge. To explore my creative side, I joined a friend who does face painting for kids. I now set goals to motivate myself and turn my vision into reality. Professional Development is very core in the competitive job market, and thus I am working to ensure that my knowledge, skills and experiences meet the job market demand to improve my chances of employment. I am looking forward to go for attachment in one of the research institutes, where I have already applied for. I now know how to write a presentable cover letter and CV, and how to negotiate for a competitive salary. I understand qualities that employers value and the necessary skills that I need in order to be hired. I believe I will have a successful interview when I will be looking for employment in the near future, because I will be too equipped to be ignored. Networking was something I didn’t value that much. However, I have resolved to connect with my lecturers for they have vast knowledge and experiences that is essential in my career development. I have learned to keep positive people in my network, and expand the circle of my network using every opportunity I get when I meet people in scope with my career. I will ensure I am known by them not just knowing them. Furthermore, I have learned to use social media as a resourceful platform to brand myself professionally. It is always everyone’s desire to be financially independent. Budgeting my money and time are the core values I also adopted from LEMP. Currently, I am saving up for my furnishing business that I plan to start during the long holiday. My health is my wealth, for without good health my wealth is useless and my purpose won’t be accomplished. I am reading articles on good nutrition and exercise. I am planning to have a weekly program of exercising. I have resolved to take care of my body for it is the vehicle to fulfilling my purpose on earth. After the module on Leadership Development I took an evaluation of myself as a leader and an agent of change. This made me desire to be a transformational leader like Jesus Christ, who was principled-centred, with strong character and integrity, and above all, spiritually founded. I desire to be a wise leader who will lead by example as I direct and guide others towards achievement of set objectives. I have also resolved that books on good leadership will be part of my library too. I am planning to nurture those behind me with reference to 2 Timothy 2:2. I believe with these skills and knowledge, I am fully equipped to be an agent of change with felt impact on my generation through the guidance of God and the Holy Spirit." Loice Mukami Kariuki, LEMP Season 6 Alumni and student at the University of Nairobi.
"For lack of better words, LEMP to me has been awesome and deep. It has really impacted my life. All the modules were helpful. They were eye-openers and really challenged me to question how I live my life. I will just share my take outs from each module: Spiritual Development: God created us for a purpose and our lives begin when we discover why we were created. I now understand well what being created in the image and likeness of God means. I am now certain of my purpose on earth, which is teaching the word of God. I still don't know how I will do it though I have decided to start within my circles. However, I am now taking classes on christian disciplines, doctrines and apologetics at Pathway Institute (in Mamlaka Hill Chapel) in order to prepare for the task. Its my hope and prayer that God will continue using me for the advancement of His Kingdom. Financial Development: If the picture of your future is not clear, you are not living. We all want to achieve financial stability but that alone is not enough if we do not take actions. That's the reality that hit me hard in the face and I decided to have a clear picture of my future. I always told myself that the best time to invest is yet to come only to be told that it was 10 years ago. For a start, I have opened an M-pesa and a photocopy shop in Machakos University. It is now operational and I want to add more machines (computers and printers) so that it will be a fully equipped cyber cafe come May this year. From this one step, my entrepreneurial journey has started and I won't stop until I have more chains of business. Personal Development: I didn't know much about personal development before I joined LEMP. I am now working on how to activate my dormant strength. I have also added a new skill. I enrolled for a driving school and I will be completing my test next week. Professional Development: One of the most educative classes. I used to send the same cover letter and CV for every job application. You can guess well: I was never called for interviews. I have now learned on how to check for details in the websites of hiring organisations, know the skills needed for the position and edit my CV and cover letter to match the position. I am now confident since I now know how to apply for a job and how to conduct myself during interviews. Networking Development: How could I know that there's something called online brand? I always knew that what happens in my private social media accounts is private. I learned that "internet never forgets' and that employers check the profiles of employees and prospective employees. I have updated all my accounts and I will now be careful on what what I post online. I realized that the people who I thought were in my network were not. I am the one who knows them but they have no idea who I am. Networking is not about who you know but who knows you. I have taken an initiative to get in contact with the people who I desire to be in my professional network and also create new networks. Physical Development: "Without health, wealth is useless." That quote just explains everything. The class was very informative. I won't forget the effects of drugs in the body, the importance of water, exercise and good diet. I will apply the information for my own physical development and also advice others accordingly. GOD BLESS LEMP." Daniel Musili, LEMP Season 6 Alumni and Student at the University of Nairobi.
"LEMP has completely changed my life. I lack a better word for it, however, 360° turn around would do. My attitude, perceptions, beliefs, actions, thoughts, knowledge and understanding towards my life have changed since the first day of the program. Before the program I didn’t know my purpose in life, but now I do. Leadership, serving and encouraging others is why I am on earth. I have a better understanding of what the Manual (The Bible) talks about my mind, body and soul. The Manual is now my main reference point. I didn’t know how to package my CV but now I am well-equipped on how to package it; how to apply for jobs; to prepare myself for interviews; how to act and answer questions on the day of the interview, and finally when given the job what I should focus on before saying yes to the offer. I have a clear and better understanding on how to create networks, and how I will network with people I know. Keeping in mind it’s not who I know, but who knows me. On lifestyle and health, I have a better understanding on the various lifestyle diseases. For instance, diabetes, and that I should manage stress appropriately, exercise, eat a balanced diet and detoxify my body in order to have good health. My main problem about money was how to spend it and how to save and account for it appropriately. However, after the program, I now have a clear understanding on how to develop myself financially, how money works, how to keep money and how to grow it. Leadership, being my purpose in life, I intend to practice the leadership style JESUS used. This is servant and transformational leadership style. LEMP 360° has been an eye opener in my life, I have learned so much I didn’t know before." Lorine Kemunto Kangwana, student at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology in Siaya County, and LEMP Season 5 Alumni.
I always wonder why we shy away from talking about money. Yet, money is such an important topic not to pay attention to it. Its important to frankly talk about money because the decisions we make about money today will affect the quality of our lives tomorrow. Unfortunately, majority of us are trapped in the comfort zone. The comfort zone of 'hustling' just a bit to make ends meet. As long as we have a job and a salary (however, meagre), we are cool - we can survive. Our ambitions are limited by our comfort zones because we are afraid of the unknown or we simply don't want to put in the time. While others are taking risks around us and making it in life, attaining financial freedom and independence - we are busy cheering them on. All the while hoping that one day a miracle will happen and release us from financial bondage. Well, wonder no more, here are a few financial tips to help you attain financial freedom: Spend Less Than You Earn. Never spend all the money that you earn. Keep your total living expenses and outgoing payments at no more than 80% of your take home pay. This gives you a cushion that you can use to implement a plan for future needs and even a few luxuries. If you are close to 80% or over already, review your finances to find areas that you can cut back, or look at ways to increase your income. Warren Buffet says: if you buy things you don't need, soon you will sell things you need. Pay Yourself First. This means setting money aside for yourself to ensure that your future is secure. For instance, if you know you have challenges in handling money, one way to accomplish this is to arrange for your employer or bank to deduct a portion of your salary or income before you receive it. The deduction can then be deposited in a fixed account, investment group, Sacco or a project you plan to start or are already working on. You should aim for at least 10% and go higher if possible. In other words, don't save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. Needs First, Wants Later. Make a monthly budget for your needs only. This budget should include the basics such as food, rent, transport, and healthcare. You should consider entertainment and recreation, but give them a lower priority. This will help you separate mandatory expenses, you know the MUST HAVE's and the GOOD to HAVEs, from discretionary income. It also allows you to figure out how much of your income is being directed towards things you want and luxuries. A good plan for optional things (wants) is to plan how to get them without decreasing the amount that you save or taking the money from everyday living expenses. Delaying the purchase of non-essential items also gives you time to decide if your money could be better spent in another way. Set Smart Financial Goals. Set goals for managing your finances. Create a roadmap for your future, so you will know where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Your financial goals should be specific and measurable. Do not just say you will cut expenses. Decide how much you can decrease one or two expense items. Your goals should be achievable and realistic. If you want to buy a home, you need a plan for setting aside extra money to come up with the down payment. That might include doing odd jobs or seasonal work to reach your goal. Your goals should be timely. Set a date for them to happen. Even if you miss a milestone, here and there, you can get back on track by reviewing and revising your personal financial goals and strategies regularly. The Bottomline: Personal financial freedom and wealth creation doesn't happen by chance. Its takes an acquisition of knowledge to know what to do. No one was born with the ultimate monopoly on financial knowledge. Remember your biggest enemy to financial independence is not government's taxes, your boss or the devil, its ignorance - lack of knowledge. Decide today to start the journey towards financial freedom by acquiring knowledge. My people perish for lack of knowledge, the Good Book says. I hope you consider joining LEMP 360° Course where you will be equipped, not only to attain financial freedom, but discover how to create wealth. We look forward to having you in the program. Image Credit: budgetily.com
The funny thing about life, and moreso about money is that we all want to be rich and wealthy. We want to be successful, prosperous and live a good life. The irony however is that majority of us don't take time to study and understand the principles of financial freedom and wealth creation. Our concept and understanding of savings and investments is based on speculation, trials and errors, copy and paste, and what I call 'get rich quick big ideas hype' such as 'quail eggs' investment, pyramid schemes etc. Its important to understand that wealth is not created in confusion and disorder. It doesn't happen by magic, hype or speculation. It takes discipline, commitment, consistency, focus, and more importantly, knowledge and understanding to create wealth and be financially free. Unfortunately, for most of us our ignorance has subjected us to years of poverty and being broke. Its almost certain, acceptable and normal for us to be broke every January. Well, allow me to share with you 12 things on how to be poor in 2016. 1.You hope salary will make you rich. Don't exclusively rely on your salary to become rich, unless it reads like the bank statement of a corrupt African president. Look for ways of having an additional income besides your salary if you want to create wealth. Utilise your gifts and talents, opportunities and networks around you to make an extra coin. Don't be a slave to a monthly salary. It can only take you so far. 2.You busy building others’ dreams. Remember if you don't build your own dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs. What are you doing everyday to build your dream? Outside your 'normal 8am-5pm' work schedule, how else do you utilise your time in building your dream? Are you busy building other people's dreams and forgetting to build yours? 3.You dream instead of doing. The only difference between successful and unsuccessful people, is that unsuccessful people are busy dreaming while successful people are busy doing. Many of us have super great ideas that would make us rich and successful in life. Unfortunately, the most we do is talk about it, and do nothing. We are afraid to take risks. We have become experts in procrastination. 4.You spend more than you earn. Oh boy! I learnt this through the school of hard knocks, you want to be poor, sweetheart, spend more than you earn. Live beyond your limits. Ensure your expenditure is always more than your income, and you will be guaranteed a life of poverty, lack and daily struggles. 5.Humble beginnings ain’t for you. We all want to live in fancy houses. Drive nice cars. Be wealthy, successful and rich. But then again, how many of us are ready to start small? So, what do we do, we borrow to buy the car or things we can hardly afford, then end up in financial bondage because our pride and ego couldn't allow us to be subjected to days of humble beginnings. No house is built from the top, honey. 6.Don’t start saving until you get big money. One of the biggest lessons I have learned about money over the years is the fact that there's nothing as small money. No matter its unit, each coin has a value. Don't despise small change. Develop the habit of saving the little you have, and little by little you will be building your empire. 7.Biashara’s and hustling is for Kikuyu’s. I can't tell you how long I have heard that. Business and hustling is for certain tribes. So, what do the rest of us do, we hang around in dingy bars, with our loan-financed jalopies parked outside as we blame the government and "that other tribe" for stealing our money and taxes. In the meantime, the chap who is cleaning our Japan-imported juggernauts outside, will end up being our landlord in a few years. 8.Compete for flossets. Assets are things that bring you income, flossets are things that take your income. We are more inclined to flossing and showing off the newest phones, newest cars, trendy design clothes. For us, we think we have arrived. We are with the it. We have arrived. We compete with celebrities in our dressings and lifestyle. Only problem is, our financial 'flossing' is build on quick sand, for we are busy impressing and pleasing our friends by investing on liabilities, instead of assets. 9.You complain and blame others. Walk on the streets of Nairobi and ask anyone randomly why they aren't rich or successful and you will be hit by a long list of people they blame. They will blame the government, their teachers, their boss, their parents, landlord, spouse, pastor, siblings etc. Newsflash buddy: its your life. You are the C.E.O of your life. You are responsible for your own life. Whatever happens in your life, you have either allowed it, tolerated it or ignored it. If complaining and blaming others will lead to richness, trust me most of us would be trillionaires. 10.You live for today. Its called the You Only Live Once (YOLO) mentality. So, what do we do, we blow up the little coins we have in our pockets without a care for tomorrow. And that's why there are so many people right now depressed because they have rent to pay, school fees, car insurance etc... The irony, you should have seen them rocking like rockstars in December, and literally making it rain. 11.You look for shortcuts. We live in the country of deals. Tenderpreneurship is the order of the day. We all want to get rich, quickly. As a result, we are busy stealing from each other, killing each other and abusing each other. We live in a man-eat-man society. People 'conveniently' falling in love to be assured of a better life. Politicians stealing the little taxes collected. Preachers inventing ways of collecting 'seeds'. That's why we bribe our ways into almost anything, including getting married. 12.You just don’t get it. Finally, after all has been said and done - we just don't get it. We don't get it that the essence and meaning of life should be tagged on a higher calling, involving a personal relationship with Our Manufacturer, God. We don't get it that success in life shouldn't be measured by materialistic things. For one day, we will all die. We will be lying on that cold slab. Breathless, lifeless. Finally, silent. We won't be buried by the things we loved or worked so hard to possess. The most we will be buried with, if we are lucky is a fancy coffin. Perhaps a designer suit or dress. And it will be a wrap for us. That would be it. Dead. Gone. Forgotten. And life will go on like we were never around. We just don't get it that it profits no man to gain the whole world but loose his own soul in eternal life. We don't get it that there's more to life than a fancy car, house, lifestyle and all the wealth and richness in the world. We don't get it that the essence of life is living a life of purpose. A life which God, the Creator of all things, intended us to live. Finally, we just don't get it that when we die, which we all would, nothing else will matter, except how we treated fellow human beings, and more importantly how we related with the Big Guy Upstairs. Unfortunately, by the time we finally get it. It will be too late. We would be breathing our last.
Douglas Waudo shares his mistakes, experiences, lessons learned and achievements on personal financial freedom after going through the Centonomy 101™ – Personal Financial Management Course in October 2013. He delivered the talk during the Centonomy Open Day held at the Nairobi National Museum on January 18, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbKE4ytU8OA