Monthly Archives: October 2014

THE WOMAN AND HER MONEY

women-and-money

Out of the many fears that most women, regardless of their marital status deal with, the money fear is a very major one. While I don’t know how this works for people in paid employment, I know that an average woman is worried about survival, paying the bills, etc. In my own case, I tried as much as possible not to entertain the idea of ever having to fend for myself. It may sound silly, but I am being sincere with you. It was unthinkable! But then, life always happens. By the time my husband moved out and later discontinued the monthly allowance, I was confused, not minding that I had a business. I had no choice than to face the challenge before me squarely and deal with.

One of the things that had to change immediately was my attitude towards the business. I stopped seeing and handling it as a mere passion. I decided to do business as business and not just as a past time. So, if you want to get past where you are with your finances, your attitude has to change. If you do have a business, this is a good time to take a second look at it and ask yourself if it is really what you want to do. If it is, then you have to bickle up and sit with the business if it must grow. You can’t afford to behave like the average business owner who leaves everything to her employees and strolls in at anytime. Do business as business and it will yield. If you are in paid employment, decide if you want to continue working where you are or you want to change jobs. Whatever you decide on, give your job your best shot. Don’t get so overwhelmed with whatever situation you are in that it begins to affect your performances at work. Buckle up and deliver. You can, yes you can!

The other thing I did was to get help. I knew I had come to a point where the only choice I had was for the business to work. But for this to happen, I had to put certain things in place. So I got help from people around. I remember having issue with staffing, so I called a friend who is a Human Resource expert and she helped out. Having her in my life has made a big difference.

Grow to go! Last year, as part of my personal development and means of creating an extra source of income, I enrolled for a certification course. Though the cost involved was steep considering my financial state, I can tell you it was a step in the rignt direction because the certification boosted my professional profile, given me more confidence and now generates income for me.

What I am driving at is if your current level of knowledge cannot attract enough income to sustain you at the basic level, then consider going for further training. The truth is, the more you know and the more exposure you have, the better you become at what you do and can even branch into other businesses thus making you more valuable. This goes for those who are employed too. If possible, go for further education, attend seminars, take certification courses. If this proves financially strenuous, read online about your profession or business. The time of separation is not the time to cry endlessly, asking why life has dealt you a negative blow. It is the time to pick yourself up and reinvent yourself. So, go do it.

Cut back. Because I was trying to regain my footing financially, I had to cut back on some things that I was already used to. I had to make slight adjustments in my lifestyle but I knew it was temporary. For instance, I couldn’t afford to take a holiday outside Nigeria or change my wardrobe for a while. With a whole lot of things to do, I had to get my priorities right by focusing on major issues. You might also need to make adjustments in certain areas so as to give you time to adjust.

Be disciplined: live within your income. Don’t purchase items that paying back becomes a burden. Until your finances ease out, spend only what you make.

Save! No matter how little, have something put aside for emergencies. I usually save 10% of my salary (which by the way may not always be regular)There are times all I can afford to pull out as my salary is N5000.00 (about $30 or £20) and so I save N500.00 which appears insignificant. (I’m sure my colleague at work must think I’m weird each time I ask him to deposit this stipend in my account!!!) But with consistency and discipline, it adds up to something over time. I have had to fall back on this savings once in a while. Life saver if you ask me.

Give! It is so easy to become focused on your needs that you don’t remember others. Avoid this by paying attention to others around you. There are so many ways you help. This doesn’t have to be about giving money alone. Give kind words, give encouragement and you are bound to reap same.

Don’t beg! Hmmm…I have seen people lose their self respect due to begging. Going through separation is tough, but it is not the end of the world. Carry yourself with dignity and be satisfied with what you have per time. I am not saying you shouldn’t ask for help, but don’t become a nuisance so you don’t lose your respect.

Above all, keep going because I know that there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel!

 

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pain

 

 

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HURT TO HEAL

reaching-out-helping-others

Hurting people hurt others, isn’t it? When you have been treated badly and hurt by people you love or loved so dearly (and maybe who also loved you at one point or the other), the tendency to go through life lashing back at people-even without knowing it is so high. You might not really mean to, but you find yourself reacting to people-including the ones who are trying to show you love, out of the abundance of your pains. It is so easy to feel helpless in this situation.

From my personal experiences, I have however found that our pains can serve a higher purpose than using them as an excuse to hurt everyone that comes our way. We can use it as the motivation to step out and help others so they won’t have to go through what we have. And if they must, we can aid and guide them as they do, so that they are informed and prepared for whatever life throws at them.

I have purposed not to empower my pains and the wrongs done to me by allowing them to bend me out of shape. They won’t become my reason for having a sour attitude to life and infecting others with same.

From where I stand, I can see that I have been hurt so I can heal, rejected so I can love and despised so I can embrace many others who will one day walk in my shoes. That is the purpose of my pains.

Whatever hurts or pain you are dealing with today, you can either empower it and become enslaved to it…or you can let it propel you to reach out to others. The choice is not only yours to make, but ultimately to live with…

Pearl …helping you find the gains in your pain.

 

CREATING YOUR OWN HAPPINESS

secret-to-happiness_web

For most women going through separation, or who are divorced or widowed, keeping body and soul together or making ends meet can be a big challenge. With mouths to feed and bills to pay, making money sometimes becomes a major focus. In cases where the woman was totally dependent on the man financially it can be really tough as she is now left to fend for herself (and the children as the case may be.) This is further worsened by the Nigerian legal system which does not really mandate the man to do anything for the woman in the case of separation or divorce

The first few year after separation was a bit rough financially for me. Yes, I had and still have a business, but I had never had to depend solely on it. Before marriage I had a job and was living with my sister so I was already used to getting one form of support or the other. But with the separation everything changed. And because I knew I couldn’t afford to fail and was to dignified to beg, I threw myself fully into the business. I began to do business as business. I gave every brief that came my best shot. I was determined to cross this hurdle and be as comfortable as possible. Over the years, things began to ease out financially. However I had grown accustomed to working with my teeth clenched and had no social life at all. My itinerary was office, church/fellowship, visits to family and few friends. Before I knew what was happening, I started having a deep sense of sadness in my soul. I couldn’t place it. Yes, I was going through separation, but I had made progress emotionally. It took a while to realise what the problem was. I was sad because I had no time to have fun and catch my breath. I wasn’t doing things that would make me laugh. In short, I wasn’t feeding my positive emotions.

I decided to make adjustments. I began to recollect the things that I loved to do and that brought me joy such as watching cartoons (especially Tom and Jerry), reading Christian fictions, going out with friends to eat or just chat. I started to incorporate these things into my life. I invested in Tom and Jerry collections and I must tell you I always have a good laugh each time I watch. I also bought and borrowed Tyler Perry’s Madea collections and create time to watch. I have also gone back to reading Christian fictions and once in a while, I go out with friends. Today, my soul is lifted and there is sunshine again. This experience has since taught me the importance of living a balanced life As much as I have to work hard, I also have to ensure that my joy tank is full. Yes, I have bills to pay and demands to meet, but not at the expense of life, because as I have recently discovered, JOY ITSELF IS LIFE!

So here is my advice, work hard and give it your best shot. But also don’t forget to create your own happiness-daily. Don’t just make a living, have a life. Deliberately do things that make you happy. Have fun, throw your head back and laugh. Feed your positive emotions and create joyful memories.

For the woman out there who has no support and must make ends meet, I feel you, seriously I do. But always remember that you still have a life beyond paying bills. Work hard but play hard and be joyful as well!

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pains.

 

Dont stay there!

 

KeepMovingForward

Over this Christmas by God’s grace, myself and a couple of other women will be having lunch at the Sheraton Hotel in Lagos Nigeria. I am actually looking forward to this outing. What’s the big deal you might ask? Well, when you consider that we are all women who have had our fair share of low self esteem, self doubt, emotional abuse, rejection, separation and all the works that accompany a bad relationship or a sour marriage, then, you will realise why the outing is special to us. When you also consider that some of us have battled financial setbacks at one point in time or the other-and maybe still learning how to truly make ends meet, then you’ll appreciate the fact that going to Sheraton just to have a great ‘me-time’ is a quantum leap for us.

Yes life has dealt us the wrong hand, but we have decided not to turn that into an eternal sore. Yes, we know when you are separated, you are expected to struggle financially forever, but we beg to differ. I know we aren’t expected to really want any extraordinarily good thing in life-like spending some thousands of Naira on a meal, but we decided to step out of the mould. We choose not to live up to anyone’s expectations except the ones dictated to us by our hearts. We were left at a level and are expected to conduct ourselves in certain ways, but we have made our rules according to what we deem fit and proper for us.

Hmm…when you are separated or divorced, I know all about the pitying looks (which I actually detest). I know how people feel so concerned for you. But I have decided to be an odd one out. I have chosen to be most enviable. I know I am expected to live in squalor, but I have decided to reach for things beyond my limit knowing that they aren’t out of God’s reach. I have purposed to attempt the unthinkable, dare the unimaginable and live an unbelievably rich and juicy life. I refuse to be defined by an event or the actions of a man! I shall be happy! I shall be joyful! I shall live and not just exist! Whaoooo…..

So, who left you? A friend, a spouse, a lover? Trust me, they expect to meet you where you were when they took off. Will you let them? Come on, get up! The world beckons! Take a journey of joy. Embrace delight all the way. Live each day purposefully. Do things you never thought you could. Maybe one day, you will run into those who left you in places they never thought you could be found-1st class cabin on a business trip, at a 5 star hotel having lunch with friends, in Havard enrolling for your MBA. It’s all possible, but only if you get up today-first within, then without! Come on…life awaits!

Pearl.

…helping you find the gains in your pain Continue reading Dont stay there!