Knowledge is power

Gofaone Nina Tladi

We’ve have heard this said most, if not all of our lives but the part I wish to draw your attention to the word power. Simply defined, power is the ability to get results. Synonyms for the word include influence, control, authority and mastery. Knowledge, therefore is outcome based, thus to know a thing is to do it. This means that we do not have knowledge of our finances if we are not in control. We live in a country that has invested heavily on education, a system which I believe allows for the building and training of minds to influence the outcome of the country and its people positively.
I love reading. I didn’t always consider a book store up there with clothing stores but now I own more books than I do shoes. I would google a topic and look up books, podcasts and my TedTalks on the topic and so when I decided to get my financial act together, I did the same thing. At first I read them like novels, getting through a book in a day. I was the weirdo reading in the car before work. I knew a lot about money-how to earn money, manage money and build wealth, from all the books and TedTalks and also from my work. Unfortunately, I was still making all the wrong decisions on daily basis. I kept buying more and more books on the topic. I saw a trend in all of these books which was that I had to execute what I had learnt. In school and in life we have tests, and we have to pass these in order to get to the next level as they are one indication of how well or poorly we have mastered the material. I knew then that I had to stop buying books and apply what I had already learnt. The truth is getting a new book was a shopping high. I would like to share a few of my favourite books and talks that have been a mirror as well as an encouragement on this journey.
• Nice Girls don’t get rich: 75 avoidable mistakes women make with money (Lois P. Frankel. PhD) – Women have been socialized to not be as brave in respect of money as men. We earn less than men and often do not have multiple sources of income. Ladies, get this book.
• The Richest Man in Babylon (George Clason) – I have read this book five times, its short and to the point for those who aren’t avid readers.
• The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey) – Ramsey’s straight talk and no excuses approach, is my favourite money guru and his #TeamNoDebt philosophy is one I have come to fully embrace. I am currently on step 3 of his Baby Step programme. I also listen to his show on YouTube where people call in to ask questions and he advises them accordingly.
• My Year of Yes: How to dance it out, stand in the sun and be your own person (Shonda Rhymes)- Shonda Rhimes is a master writer and her genius and writing prowess is aspirational to me, this book is not about money but more encouragement to say yes to yourself and take chances. When I started writing this column, my goal was to help people get started on this journey while starting myself. To show people that they weren’t alone.
• Outliers: The story of success (Malcom Gladwell) – Talks
• Tapiwa Chiwewe: You don’t have to be an expert to solve big problems- Not all heroes wear capes. If we all did what we can well, our country will be the better for it.
• Lisa Nichols: Barely recognizable – “Mediocrity is crowded but if you rise up to excellence there’s a lot more space”
• Meg Ryan: Why 30 is not the new 20 – This is the defining decade of life but we often squander it and end up with enormous 30 something pressure to get married, have children and make buckets of money. The quarter life crisis is real.
When I was about 7 years old I realized that my grandmother could not read or write and how she had fought to have my mother finish school. She saw value in something she did not possess and my mother went from a small village to Canada and Australia for university. This is the story that changed the trajectory of my life, and I am fully aware that it is only in a country as amazing as Botswana where it is possible. I see the value of true financial freedom, no one in my family has paid for a house or car cash, has given millions to NGOs and other noble causes and has left generational wealth to their children and ended Black Tax for good. Knowledge is indeed power. Power is synonymous with potential, influence and skill. Get yourself some knowledge!
PS: You don’t have to be a hero, you just have to be what most people aren’t, consistent.