I have a list of unconventional wisdom nuggets to share with you before we wrap up 2021.
I’m not mean. Whatever I learn, you learn and we move forward together, don’t we?
We are just counting a few hours into the new year. I thought it wise to write this post before we cross over. Isn’t that the next big thing? ama ni pekee yangu nangoja kuvuka mwaka?
People always have their own reasons that make them loathe the month of January. From where I live, it’s the month that the sun is always hotter than ever with a dusty wind blowing you right, left and center.
It makes your lips appear dry and cracked. Ooh, January! 😂🤣
Never mind that you made your deep pockets shallow during the festive season. All on what? Eating and making merry? By the way, Christmas is the only time people meet with their larger families, so it’s worth spending an extra coin, right?
13 Unconventional Wisdom Nuggets
I have lived long enough to know when someone is making me look stupid or would want to take advantage of me.
Some bad events in my life have occurred not once but twice because of my sheer lack of keenness about lessons I should be learning in life.
And so while traveling from one town to the next, I put together this list I call unconventional wisdom nuggets to break down life for what it really is.
Be wise about life and thank me later. On the flip side, play with fire and get burned.
1. Don’t Do Business with Relatives
I have been a keen reader of life enough to know that business with relatives is never the best of arrows to use in your quiver. This is unconventional wisdom you won’t read in books or magazines.
If things go south in the business, you will have yourself to blame. You will be the loser and there is little you can do to seek redress.
Where in the world will you take your uncle or cousin? to the police? C’mon, you know where this ends.
I didn’t say they shouldn’t be your customers. They can buy from you as much as they want but don’t make them your business partners.
The case of Tuskys Supermarket’s downfall in Kenya arose due to siblings’ rivalry and greed. It was a family business. Though not directly related to what I’m trying to say, to some extent it rings a bell.
Relatives will take advantage of your blood relationship to manipulate you, steal from you, or simply tarnish your reputation.
Relatives should remain relatives unless it’s an immediate family-owned business with well-learned people.
2 Lend Money you are willing to Lose
The person who comes to you to borrow money is never the same when you call them to ask for your money back.
Most people when borrowing money are always humble, respectful and honest looking until they get hold of your cash.
While this is not always the case with all the people who borrow money from you, a lot that happens is bad news.
All hell breaks loose when they don’t honor their promise and you have to keep calling them to ask for your money back.
Some will be outright rude or feign sickness that they have never suffered from before.
To keep your piece, lend money you are willing to lose or choose to be called stingy. Haha. Apply some unconventional wisdom in your money dealings.
3. You Can Give Money to Strangers but Lend
People can be sly. And mark me right, I’m not being pessimistic or negative. I have a first-hand experience of some of the things I’m writing about.
I met a lady online doing Network marketing. She befriended me asking me to join her network marketing team but I politely declined.
However, she was very persuasive and kept posting images of Mpesa transactions showing her team members making a kill.
Still, she didn’t woo me in. All I asked her was to train and mentor me to be a good network marketer so I could get the skills and use them for my own gain.
She agreed to my request and said there was nothing for free and so I will have to pay her $15/kes1500 for the training.
We agreed that I shall be paying the amounts in bits. We had known each other for less than 3 months when one Friday, she asked me for kes300 to be returned on Monday.
I send her the money because it’s the money I could easily spend on lunch. That was the last time I heard from her.
Any person you have known for less than a year is a stranger. Unconventional wisdom demands that you don’t commit to them any valuable resources you have.
The trick with them is always to stay closer to you as possible, know your vulnerabilities/weaknesses and pap!
They strike when the iron is hot.
4. People Watch your Actions, not your Words.
A lot many times we are always easy with words. And beware of people who talk too much. Even the Bible warns against too many words for in them sin is not absent.
Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shutProverbs 10:19 (NLV)
Almost always, people have leeway with words. If you get caught in a compromising situation all you have to do is to use your mouth to absolve yourself from blame. Aren’t lawyers making money with law interpretation and words?
However, we easily forget that people will hear your words but also watch what you do after. Be the person who keeps promises no matter how small.
You want to be the person whose yes will be a yes and no a no. The common Swahili saying goes “Tenda mema nenda zako”
Kenyan politicians have a way with words but a large zero on their report cards. A typical Kenyan politician could easily sing his way to parliament, get there and pass no tangible laws or mismanage CDF funds.
He later comes back to his constituents in the next election with a bag of empty promises and sings his way back to parliament again.
Unconventional wisdom dictates that you be a man of your words by honoring them through the right actions.
5. Bosses are the Most Unliked People 🙄
Sorry for being brutal with the truth here, but people seldom love their bosses. Most people sulk, whine, and loathe their bosses/managers for myriad reasons.
Sometimes the juniors complaining are right but some other times they are wrong as well. Your boss could be the insecure type who isn’t happy to see you outshining them. This is because to them that means you are about to take their position.
According to the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, it’s never a wise move to outshine your leader or boss.
However, sometimes people outshine their bosses even when they are not trying to. And that alone is enough reason for tension and friction in the workplace.
On the same knot, some bosses have character issues or are either poor at communication and this really creates a lot of friction with their juniors.
Nevertheless, not all bosses can be branded as bad. Some are really good mentors and can groom you to heights unimaginable.
If you can’t tolerate your boss, find another one or start working for yourself and quit your current job. It’s easier said than done, right?
Unconventional wisdom denotes that working for yourself is the surest way to grow rich.
Where there is a will there is a way
6. Motivational Gospel vs. Doctrinal Gospel. Be Grounded on Absolute Truth
Well, I began by saying I have some unconventional wisdom to share with you as we wrap up 2020. Some of my wording is going to be a little bit radical.
You are free to share your reservations in the comments section below.
I’m a believer and ascribe to the fundamentals of the Christian faith that Jesus was born of a virgin Mary, died, resurrected, ascended high above the heavens and is seated at the right hand of the father.
He is our great advocate and intercessor before the father. As believers, we are in him justified he is us glorified.
However, I have been in the church long enough to hear lots of sermons from different preachers and pastors of the word. I can only come to one conclusion: Much of what is touted as the gospel isn’t doctrinal but more of motivational/prosperity speeches with little grounding on doctrine.
The sad part is that people or rather churchgoers have been so accustomed to the prosperity gospel that when you introduce the gospel about who you can be in Jesus and how you can build a strong relationship with him, you look like a liar.
You become boring to their itching ears.
It’s true that believers are inheritors/partakers of the Abrahamic blessings. You will also agree with me that believers have been asked to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness and all things shall be added unto them.
But our focus shouldn’t be on the blessings, it should be on God and his kingdom and other things will be added.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.Matthew 6:33 (NLV)
Let me Preach 🙂
Unfortunately, believers today practice the above verse and vice versa. They seek things first then God later. By seeking things first, they pray less, attend fellowships less, study God’s word fewer times, and everything less.
And this situation most likely stems from insufficient to zero grounding on doctrine because of wrong teachings of the word or none at all.
For example, do believers give because they are blessed or they will be blessed? Everything Jesus has done for the believer is in the past tense. Any gospel talking about Jesus will do is another gospel.
For the non-believers, Jesus will do, because they are not yet in him but for the believers, he has done it all. But wait, Jesus did it and finished it all even for the non-believers.
He will not come from heaven again and be crucified to save those who don’t believe. All they have to do is believe in the finished work of the cross, repent and seek to grow spiritually.
I will not teach but I would encourage you to start listening to preachers of grace such as Joseph Prince, Abel Damina, and Andrew Wommack.
7. Build True and Genuine Friendships with People
I know of people on my phonebook who will only call because they are in distress or need a favor.
Once they get what they want they vanish only to remember you when they are in trouble again.
Those are not friends. I refer to them as parasites because they only show up to ravage your resources. They are like the devil who only shows up to rob, kill and destroy.
To amount to something in this world, you need people. You can’t keep behaving in a way that makes them second guess you and expect their support.
If employed, never make the mistake of believing all your office colleagues are your friends. When you lose your job, a few will keep in touch or even remember to say Hi.
That’s when you will know who your true friends are. Sorry but true friendship is about to give and take. You have to sacrifice your time, money, skills and energy to keep your friendship blossoming.
8. Guardian Angels in Life are Real. There is One for You
Unconventional wisdom denotes that their people in your life who will always vouch for you even when you suck sometimes.
I’m a freelance writer on the sidelines. While looking for work online, I happened to bump into my guardian angel.
We met in one of the Facebook freelancer groups. We were all looking for freelance writing work. He happened to get one sooner and even asked me to lend him a hand.
He loved my work from the word go. Since then, he has always been referring me to potential clients over and over. Even when I seem to do a poor job sometimes, he still believes in my skills and ability to deliver.
We always share our joys and successes and keep encouraging each other in the freelance journey. I believe everyone has this kind of person in life. Someone who is always rooting and vouching for you.
Methinks this kind of situation arises when you have proven your worth and are reliable in your craft or skill.
9. How Good are your Negotiation Skills? Believe me When I say you Can Negotiate through anything in Life
I recently got married. I’m from the Abaluhya tribe in Western Kenya. According to our customs, a young man intending to get married has to pay a bride price of 13 heads of cattle. And 2 goats to accompany the cattle.
So before a young man cements the marriage relationship with her wife to be, it’s a must he pays dowry. What precedes dowry payment is dowry negotiation.
In my case, I had very good negotiators who gave me a breather during the dowry period. Phew!
The message I’m trying to drive home is that you can negotiate through anything in life. Be it a job interview, a business deal, a contract and you name it.
You may not be the best candidate for the job but the panel may ask you “Why do you think we should give you this job?”
My Upwork Story
I’m a freelancer on Upwork and at one point my account got suspended indefinitely. UUUUiii. My account was dormant for so long because I kept bidding for jobs in vain.
I had also followed some bad advice from an acquaintance that got me suspended from the platform.
I was suspended from working on the freelancing platform. It was on the 24th of April 2018. One of the darkest days of my life.
Well, I was so disappointed, to say the least. I started telling myself I’m not cut out for writing. I took a break and forgot about writing on Upwork for a while.
But something changed in me after getting inspired by Walter Akolo’s weekly emails in my mailbox.
I chose to appeal their decision and Alas! These guys accepted me back. Couldn’t believe it. I was shocked I could be this good in making a case. See the screenshot below.
Check the date. hahaha, I had given up on Upwork for almost two years. Oooh, man. Giving up is easier done than said.
See their response below
One of the happiest days in my life this year was on the 31st of January this year. My Upwork account was reinstated.
Currently, I have an ongoing contract on the platform.
You can negotiate through anything in life. You can go to the American embassy in your country and negotiate why they need you in their country. ooh yes!
10. Siblings should Learn Teamwork Early before Adulthood
My dose of unconventional wisdom is still here.
Siblings! please! Learn teamwork when you are still young and leaving in your parent’s house. It becomes difficult to do anything meaningful as a team when you haven’t built this culture during childhood.
With age comes more responsibilities. Once you get a job or start a solid business, as a young adult, you are expected to move out of your parent’s home and start paying house rent and other bills.
Sooner you get married and you gonna start changing diapers. With your own family responsibilities, it’s increasingly hard to merge your resources with your siblings to run a project at your home place.
In most cases this happens, if you had never built the culture of doing things together as siblings.
As adults, one sibling is always trying to win the support of the rest in vain. It’s only through calamities or catastrophic events that you find such siblings pooling their resources together.
It isn’t the perfect scenario if you ask me. Build teamwork early in your family.
11. Borrow Money and Invest
The statement – Poor people save rich people, invest sounds like an insult to the efforts of the poor to become rich. But it’s another brutal truth you can’t ignore.
The poor and middle class save most of their hard-earned cash in banks, SACCOs and microfinance institutions. The rich and wealthy or rather those with a wealth mentality go borrow this money and invest.
Ten years down the line, the investors are richer, the savers are not even an eighth of their financial goals.
I would say this, don’t just save because of the 50/30/20% rule. Save with a goal for a certain period of time and go invest that money.
It’s better you buy a flock of sheep that give birth every 9 months than put your money in a bank that gives you less than 9% interest per annum on your annual savings.
Bonds and shares are other better investment opportunities you could explore.
Also, think of ways you can multiply your income streams to manage your current lifestyle. With more income streams, you will have more to save and invest.
Don’t be afraid of borrowing huge loans via your payslip to invest. That’s what the rich are doing and moving forward.
Economics teaches you to manage scarcity or what is there. So, for how long are you going to manage your salary? Unconventional Wisdom can teach you better.
Kes10,000/= in 1999 could buy a lot more than the same amount of money in 2020. I bet you are wise enough to see that. So why not invest?
12. Learn Early What Works for You so You Can Save Much Time and Energy
In life, there is always a stage of exploration and discovery before one settles down with a cutout path in life.
This reminds me of the common saying that life begins at 40. But sometimes we tend to waste much time with things that aren’t cut out for us.
The world, I believe would be a better place, if people knew well enough their purpose and calling. But what is the situation now? We are being defined by our education system and not who we are deep on the inside.
Someone went to school and studied Computer Science but their passion is not even in Computers but Agriculture. But society will want to pin you down by your degree and not your personal interests and passions.
In the journey of life, their things you try over time and they come to work out really well. On the contrary, some flop terribly.
Watch yourself, and know your strengths, skills, abilities and most importantly your passion so that you can leverage them into your destiny.
13. We have Many Success Stories but Few Tangible Mentors
In the West, when a simple, down-to-earth individual becomes a billionaire, you hear later they published a book or a memoir about their journey.
Of course, not all millionaires or billionaires in the West do become authors. In my country, success stories are all over, but you can count real tangible mentors who can walk with you through the murky waters of success in life.
That tells you something, the individuals behind the success stories are shady. I don’t mean to say all successful people should publish books. I don’t hate the rich and not all wealthy people are shady but you need to look at the top billionaires in Africa and make your case.
But the least they can do is to mentor young people to be the giants they can be. My hat off to the Zimbabwean tech and media billionaire Strive Masiyiwa.
Strive has been using the Facebook platform to mentor young people into entrepreneurship and self-employment.
A challenge for you: Become your own success story and mentor someone else into your path.
I hope you found it intriguing and interesting. There is more I could write but I feel 3000 words about unconventional wisdom are enough for today. I leave to read and be the judge. If you want to join this discussion, feel free to leave a comment below. Wishing you a prosperous 2022.