Take charge of your time

Motivation for Success
\nThis article is a continuation from last week’s instalment which explored the various ways in which people can improve their lot, especially in circumstances where they have to look beyond work.

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Well, the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people lies in their time-spending habits.

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How do you use your spare time? You can never change the course of your life if you do not change your time-spending habits. I am not moved by people who claim to be busy, and even busy for their own development. You can never be busy for your own growth. Create time for your own growth.

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Those who have jobs finish work at 5pm — I know of many people who are punctual at leaving their workplaces, and some even leave work earlier than 5pm. Your employer controls your time from 8am-5pm, and the remainder of the time is entirely at your disposal.

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From 5pm-8am of the following day, you have 15 hours at your disposal. How are you using this time? Many people spend this time on television, watching programmes and news channels, some of which do not even add value to their aspirations.

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Imagine what will happen if you decide to positively use at least two hours of that time in order to pursue your own business, develop a business idea or grow yourself.

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Out of the 15 hours that you have, you can commit just ten minutes or 600 seconds to read an entrepreneurship book, or listen to inspirational teachings which can teach you how to start and develop your business.

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Take advantage of this time as well to communicate and link up with your potential clients after work.

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You do not change your life by huge gigantic steps, but by small consistent steps.

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“. . . For you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”

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This statement suits what is happening in Zimbabwe so well. There is always an element of uncertainty in business. Many people struggle because they are looking at just one source of income, and when that source is affected, they land on a hard place.

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This affects a number of university graduates and diploma holders who insist that they will only focus on what they went to school for. Well, it is very good to focus, but it is equally important to diversify and widen your sources of income.

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If you are an employee, expand your sources of income. Find and discover more of what you can do. We all have amazing gifts that need to be discovered. Jim Rohn once said: “ Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.”

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You do not know what will succeed, whether your day job or your work after hours.

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Job versus Work: Think beyond your job

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There is so much talk about unemployment in Zimbabwe, but this is not an excuse.

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You don’t need a job to develop your life. You do not need a job to work. You can work without a job.

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The challenge most of us make is that we confuse our jobs and our work.

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A job is what you are paid to do, but work is what you are born to do.

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Some people just turn up for work because of the pay-cheque. Their presence is not motivated by the desire to serve, but by the desire to protect a pay-cheque.

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Your job is temporary (this is why there is room for fixed-term contracts in our labour laws or termination on Notice (Section 12(4), (4a) and 4(b) of the Labour Act [Chapter 28:01] as amended), but your work is permanent.

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There are retired judges who are now working as arbitrators, mediators or conciliators. Some teachers now work as tutors.

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But here is how insecure your job is: Your relevance stops the moment you stop giving value or the moment you stop satisfying set requirements.

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You can just fall from favour and have your contract terminated.

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Should you quit your job?

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The answer is certainly NO. Many people leave their jobs the moment they think they have a great idea.

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You cannot afford idleness because it is expensive. It kills potential and wears the soul. The comfort zone kills and dwarfs those who dwell in it. This week I want to challenge you to take stock of your life, how you have been using your time. Ask yourself whether you have been using your gifts, whether you are making any efforts to maximise on your income making abilities.

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Remember, if you do not think for yourself, someone will think for you and make money through you!

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Basic keys to entrepreneurship

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Thousands of years ago, a certain woman was widowed by a husband who happened to be a pastor. Unbeknown to her, this gentlemen had left serious debts behind and the children were about to be taken into slavery for the debt.

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The woman cried to Elisha for help and the story goes as follows: “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”

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“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.

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Elisha said: “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbours. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.” So she did as she was told.

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Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim! “Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.

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“There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.

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When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her: “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”(NLT) (2 Kings 4:1-7).

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This in itself was a powerful lesson on entrepreneurship.

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1. You are not empty, and

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neither are you stranded

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The mistake many people make is to think they have nothing. Many people always complain about not having “capital”.

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Programme your mind to think of abundance instead of thinking of lack.

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Look around you and see what you have. Look within you; see what you are gifted in. You might actually be the next big thing.

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2. Start from where you are

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From a broke widow, one of the largest distributors of oil was birthed. Do not complain about what you do not have, be thankful for what you have.

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You do not need to worry much about the capital that you do not have. Start where you are, it might be an idea, it might even mean doing a few gardens for people, but one day you can develop yourself into a force to be reckoned with in the landscaping and gardening business.

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Stop wishing your life was like that of your neighbour, look at your own life and work from where you are to where you ought to be.

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3. Enlarge your vision

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The widow’s provisions ended where the vessels ended. Most often our thinking does not go far. This explains why some of the businesses in Zimbabwe have a short lifespan.

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Start small but have a big vision. Do not limit yourself. The only limitations that will stop us in life are the ones that we place on ourselves.

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The quality of your vision determines the quality of decisions and actions you will take.

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4. Strive for freedom from debt

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Many people are serial debtors, they owe practically everything and everyone. Some even owe clothes, mobile phones and airtime.

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The widow who is described earlier in this instalment had to work in order to exorcise her debt.

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I do not know what and how much you owe, but you will never be free in life if you owe anyone.

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Work on your financial freedom. Do not put status over financial freedom. Do not kill a business venture in order to impress people who are too busy to notice what you are doing, and possibly don’t even care anyway.

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5. Become good at whatever

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you will do

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Having a great idea or a great product is not the same thing as having the money. You need to develop your skills in business or whatever area that you are good at. Do not worry about competition, concern yourself with being a better you. The oil needed someone to sell it and to sell it effectively. It was enough to pay the debts, and also to provide for the widow and the family. The purpose of miracles is not to promote laziness, but strangely people in Zimbabwe look for miracles in practically everything.

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The greatest miracle is opening up your mind to realise that you need to think and work.

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Your entrepreneurial walk must not be based on sheer luck, let it be based on principles, vision, focus, determination, drive, dedication and a commitment to add value and serve people. Unleash the entrepreneur in you!

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Join me on Star FM on Wednesdays (09:30am-10:00am) for some moments of inspiration on the Breeze with Tariro and Iyati.

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Arthur Marara is an attorney, author and motivational speaker. He is the author of the “Personal Development Toolkit”, “Keys to Financial Freedom” and “Keys to Effective Time Management”. Send your feedback to greatnessclinic@gmail.com or Whatsapp: +263 772 467 255 or visit www.arthurmarara.com