If you are a regular reader of this column, I hope by now you have a clear personal strategy. My experience is planning for five-10 years ahead is better than annual planning and New Year resolutions. The year of these days is so short. As an individual, you will experience key milestones over a five-10 year horizon. Ask: what do I intend to have achieved within the next five years.
If you are 24 years today, obviously within the next five years you should consider marrying and having your first born! Don’t delay this decision until you get enough money. You are unlikely to get ‘enough money.’ And within the next 10 years, your last born should be starting Nursery. Surely, you don’t want to have your first born when retirement is knocking!
If you want to have a house by 2020, the question is: which house? If you want to have started a small business by 2018, the question again is: which kind of business? If you want to build say rentals, in which you will also live, in a prime location like Mbuya, it may cost you well above Ugx. 300m. You need soul searching whether this is realistic or not. What can you accomplish in 2017 towards that big long-term dream? As I wrote in these pages, resolutions are meaningless unless they fix the most pressing issue and are supported by an action plan or work plan.
Above all, decide not to tolerate mediocrity in 2017. The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, the more it increases your mediocrity. You must have impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. They are a pain as they suck all the energy in you. That is the same energy you need to achieve your aspirations. As you grow, your associates with change. That is a fact of life: to achieve something, you must let go of something. That is why most retired executives and former top public servants easily fall to a life of miserable living within a year they return to their villages of birth. The negative energy of peers is just too much to overcome.
Your friends will grow your dreams or choke them. Avoid receiving counsel from unproductive people or folks who want to advise on something they just dream of. You cannot teach me how to drive, if you do not know how to drive in the first place. You cannot counsel me on how to make money, if you are struggling yourself. Those who never succeed themselves are the first to tell you how you cannot do it. You have a choice of who to bring in your company.
Do not follow anyone who is not going anywhere. Be careful with who you stop to enquire for directions. Find a strong support social network – a group of three to five successful folks you look up to with demonstrable success. Not the success in books. But folks who have success (wealth, social respect and health) which you can unmask and attribute to brilliance, aptness, acumen and hard work. Wealth of stealing and short changing people by those entrusted in running the country on behalf of all Ugandans is not real. Avoid looking up to such people let alone asking them for advise. Wish you a successful 2017 & beyond.