Life After Corporate Work; Maintaining Your Standard Of Living - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Friday, August 30, 2019

Life After Corporate Work; Maintaining Your Standard Of Living

The hall was packed full. No, it wasn't a gathering of just anybody; these were upwardly-mobile, middle and top level executives.

And so the guest speaker began...

"We were among the best in our company and we had meetups just for the five of us. We shared our victories, challenges and vanities.

But you know what?

There was this guy among us who stood out...

No, not in a flashy way but in the manner he chose to lead his life. 

While we bragged about our oversea vacations and latest cars and gadgets, he said very little.

So one day, we decided to get him to talk...

"What do you do with your fat salary, allowances and bonuses, dude?"

Calmly and precisely, he responded...

"Ensuring I can maintain and improve my standard of living no matter what happens to this company or in our industry."

The rest of us were a bit puzzled at that answer. Here were guys supposedly having dream jobs and a nice time and one of us just can't help but think about the uncertain future.

Noticing our puzzled look, he continues...

"What would happen to your SUVs, summer vacations, homes in high brow areas; all your symbols of the good life, IF this company goes burst?"

He waited for some seconds for it to sink in then continued...

"How would your life change?"

"What about your kids' schools and your plans for their future?"

"What about your many dependents?"
One of us snapped in...

"I am building a block of four 3-bedroom flats at Ikeja. That's solid asset and..."

"Wait a minute!" Our friend interjected...

"Let's assume that all your four flats are ALWAYS occupied by awesome tenants who always pay their rents on time, how much would be your gross earnings from their rents each year?"

"At 1 million per tenant, that would fetch me about 4 million naira."

"But you are currently on a salary of over 2 million naira monthly (24 million per annum). So how do you plan to maintain your current standard of living with just 4 million per year?" 

"I'll make adjustments IF that happens."

"Why not make those adjustments now and maintain an upward trajectory with your standard of living?"

It was a long and insightful talk and the beginning of many. We ended up with names too.

Our insightful colleague became known as the Wise One. Our most extravagant friend became known as the Wild One. Our friend who decided to follow the path of the Wise One became known as the Converted One.

Myself? The Wise One called me the Hopeful One because I had this belief that life could ONLY get better. The last of the five couldn't care less and was christened the Carefree One.

The Wild One kept enjoying his life as things kept improving. In fact, he completed his house in Ikeja and rented it out.

Life was so good that he decided it was time to build himself a big house. He took out a mortgage on his house in Ikeja and started the new building project.

He often taunted the Wise One at our meetups, asking him when he'd actually start enjoying his life.

I, on my part, made it a point to see as much of the world as possible. I had many awesome vacations with my family. If it was a special vacation spot, we just had to be there.

I also loved cars so I always had quite a few.

Then it happened...

There was a change of government to a new party and, with the change of government, came the usual policy somersaults we've become accustomed to in this part of the world. Our contacts were stopped because a new party was now in power.

We tried our best to get new contracts but things weren't as they used to be.

We thought things were bad but they got worse...

Our foreign partners decided to pull out. There was real panic in the company.

Everyone was thinking of the next step to take as each new week came with news of more people being downsized.

In fact, the MD called us and told us clearly we were facing liquidation. We had huge loans that we couldn't service again as our contracts had been terminated by the new government. 

His advice?

"Everyone of you should start looking for alternative ways to sustain your families. This company is folding up."

Fast forward to two years later...

The Wild One couldn't stand the thought of pulling his kids out of their expensive schools at first and so he started using up part of his severance package while setting up his new business. 

By the way, he also sold some of his shares to ensure Junior continued his studies abroad.

As if he didn't have enough problems as things were, their second son bashed their Mercedes Benz, nearly killing a passenger. That cost them about 5 million naira in hospital bills, compensations and settling the police (Junior had no driver's license). 

He tried selling the Mercedes Benz after fixing it and no one was even giving it a look. He managed to sell his SUV (he loved that ride) but the money wasn't enough.

Now he simply had to sell off all his shares to meet this obligation. 

The Mercedes Benz was now a REAL liability. He finally sold it off to an auto dealer who bought it for pittance.


No more vacations.

No more expensive shopping sprees.

No more lavish parties.

His wife was TROUBLE as she no longer got those things she loved and lived for. So he couldn't dare ask her to give up the SUV he had bought her on her 45th birthday. By the way, that was the ONLY vehicle they had left.

The country was hard and so some of his tenants started defaulting and so things went from bad to worse.

The Wild One started having high BP as he watched his life go on a mad downward spiral. Then one day his wife called that he had been rushed to the hospital. He had partial stroke!

What about the Carefree One?

Well, he had a few plots in Mowe and had managed to build a house he could live in. 

That guy who seemed to have an awesome capacity to NOT be bothered by anything was now bitter...

He had helped every member of his extended family while he was in a good job but now everyone has forgotten the sacrifices he had made to get them set up in life.

In fact, three of his siblings who he helped settle in the US have NOT deemed it fit to reciprocate his kindness by helping him find his feet back.

What about yours sincerely, the Hopeful One?

I wasn't so hopeful again. I had ventured into the cat fish business because I was told it was highly profitable.

I ploughed in most of my severance package into it but then learned the hard lesson of life...

That dumping money into a venture doesn't guarantee profitability. I came into it with the big company mentality and ended up losing millions of naira.

Just to give you an idea of how bad things were, we were expecting a harvest of about 50,000 cat fish across my various ponds (I was doing it in a big way), we ended up with just 5,000!

That couldn't even pay my workers' salaries and maintain other commitments. 

What went wrong?

Guys, I learned the hard way that the most important thing in the cat fish business was securing the fish from being stolen.

Unknown to me, a number of my workers were simply fishing in my ponds and running side businesses supplying fish sellers. 

I brought in the police and all I achieved was spending more money as these guys had squandered the money they were making from stealing my fish.

Yes, I was forced to leave my beautiful duplex in Lekki Phase One into a flat in my house at Abaranje. The rent from the remaining 3 flats ensured we had something to eat but then I couldn't fulfill the great plans I had for my kids. But it could have been worse if NOT for my wife...

Thank God for virtuous women.

She had pushed and pressed until I had grudgingly given her 5 million naira with which she started trading with. That was what was paying the fees and helping us maintain a level of decency. But it came at a cost: I felt a little less than a man.

And did I mention that our house that we moved into at Abaranje was a project I undertook grudgingly? In fact, the ONLY way my wife convinced me to buy land there and build a block of 4 three bedroom flats was to tell me we'd make it a surprise 75th birthday presentation to my mum.

Guess what? 

We changed plans once our company folded up and NEVER mentioned it to my mom.

Yes, we weren't going hungry but our lives had changed downward drastically.

Then one day my wife asks me...

"What really happened to the Wise One?"

"I don't know."

"Try and find out," My wife implored.

The truth was that we had maintained contact shortly after our company folded but we were so focused on maintaining our level in life that we weren't having our meetups again.

Well, I decided to reach out to him. Thank God for Facebook, I found him (That was after 5 years).

He gave me his number and we chatted...

"How's life treating you, Wise One?"

"Better than ever!" He responded.

We talked at length and it was clear that this guy was financially solid; much better than when we were all employed (and he was the least earner of the five of us). I asked him if we could have a meetup, the five of us, as in the old days.

He was open to the idea so I decided to reach out to the others.

I thought getting the Wild One to such a meetup would be impossible -- He always liked showing off and now that he had nothing to show off with?...

I called and told him I had spoken to the Wise One about having a meetup and he said...

"I'm in!"


I was shocked at his willingness and then he told me why...

The bank had repossessed his big house because he simply couldn't meet up with his loan obligations.

He was now living in one of the flats in his Ikeja house. But that one too had a big loan tied to it and he wasn't meeting up.

He was lying down helplessly in the hospital and couldn't pay his medical bill which was slightly over 1 million naira. 

As if that wasn't bad enough, he was told that the ONLY way he'd avoid a full blown stroke and live a normal life was if he went for a special procedure in India.

Everything was to cost about 8 million naira.

His wife had negotiated with the bank and they agreed to sell the house at Ikeja, offset their loan and move to an obscure area -- Desperate times called for desperate measures.

She had got a buyer and was willing to sell it at a give-away price if that was what it took to save him. She was TROUBLE but she really loves her husband.

But then, out of the blues, the Wise One shows up one day in the hospital and transfers enough for his bill, treatment abroad and some change to ensure they didn't sell that Ikeja house.

In the Wild One's words...

"Man, he just tranferred 12m naira like it was 1k airtime recharge! I couldn't afford that even at my best of times..."

He went on and on.

So well, we scheduled the meetup and as we shared our honest stories (everyone had outgrown "forming" now) we noticed that ONLY two people had maintained or surpassed their standard of living...

The Wise One and the Converted One.

What was it that the wise one did and taught his disciple, the Converted One?

He had a simple blueprint that enabled him build highly profitable and portable digital assets.

He broke it down for each of us and showed us how we could surpass our previous financial levels in just 3 to 5 years.

"Ladies and gentlemen, that's why I am now standing before you to show you EXACTLY what the Wise One taught me that helped me back to financial stability...

It will ensure that you maintain and/or exceed your financial level even AFTER you leave your corporate work.

Ours was a company that folded up. For some, it's downsizing. For others, it's life's curved balls. There are different reasons why people lose their financial strength.

But with the Wise One's blueprint, your finances will cease to be a problem. That is, for as long as no crazy country releases a nuclear bomb.

If you want to see this simple process for yourself, sign up through the link below (But, please, note that this is for serious people ONLY and is a double-optin process -- That is, after you sign up, you'll be asked to confirm your email address before you can see the blueprint)."

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