I have discovered that many of us are specially blessed with great ideas and could become great entrepreneurs if only we could work on the spirit of fear and procrastination that hinders us from acting to actualise our dream business. My mentor made it clear to me that the parable of Option B as a way of achieving financial freedom does not encourage employees to cheat their employers. My mentor stated that it is not out of order to see some employees having a business of their own so far as it does not conflict or constitute a divided interest. He emphasised that employees do not need to steal the employer’s time to achieve it as many employees have become big time entrepreneurs simply by engaging proxies like wife, husband, brothers or sisters, friends or by hiring a manager to manage the affairs on their behalf until the business is mature. He made me realise that there are so many ways one can achieve this, and he prescribed some systematic strategies which had worked for so many people on how best to go about it.
Just like many of us today have many excuses on why we think Option B is not easy to implement given the challenges we face in the office, I gave my mentor several reasons to believe that someone like me who is still an employee will find it difficult to notch up any business idea. For instance, I was closing very late in the office then, and I was always attending lectures every Saturday from a professional exam. Therefore I did not believe that it was possible for anyone in my situation to have time to run any business. The fact that I had a good job which I did not want to lose and since more money was not my problem then, I did not see any reason why I needed to own any business because my monthly salary was not, in any way, threatened. My mentor saw his attitude in me, and he felt he needed to work on me for that so that I could be able to differentiate between being comfortable and being financially independent. I engaged in several questions and one of which was to enlighten me better on why I needed Option B since I was well paid and my job was not in any way threatened.
He explained to me that Abraham Maslow provided one reason why he believed in the parable of Option B in his theory of need. According to him, the more central point of this argument is the fact that man tends to satisfy needs systematically by starting with the busy physiology needs like the job, shelter and then moving up the hierarchy. Therefore, meeting one’s need seems to give rise to another and since satisfying a physiological need like a paid job does give people self-actualisation and security. We must move up the hierarchy by seeking needs that can grant a security and self-actualization. My mentor believes that Option B is the only motivating alternative to paid jobs that can provide us with the need for job security and self-actualization. How does this theory affect you and me today? It affects us in that many employees lack job security and self-fulfilment and just because the jobs only satisfy the physiological needs. Hence they seek Option B to achieve these two needs.
Another reason why he wanted me to consider having Option B is the belief he has that the first layer of income such as salary does not guarantee the kind of financial freedom that one desires in life. For instance, he mentioned how he depended on his employers to provide him practically everything you needed while he was on a paid job. He confirmed that he became dependent on his employer in several areas of life. His employer provided medical services, official cars, housing, 24-hour power supply, free holidays abroad and many other domestic services like driver, maid, security and gardener. All of these comforts would have become a problem to him if he had not invested in Option B as an alternative source of income, as at the time he lost his job. As such he advised me to invest in the alternative option now that I’m still enjoying these facilities so that I can maintain a continuous good standard of living even after I disengage from a paid job when such facilities would have been withdrawn.
He explained further that I should not only plan to achieve financial freedom but must also ensure that I pass the legacy onto the coming generation. To him having Option B and managing it successfully the way notable entrepreneurs like Otumba Balogun Subomi of FCMB Group, Chief Adewoyin of Doyin Group, Chief Maduka of Cosharis, Jim Ovia of Zenith bank and many other successful people in business did, is the only way to build lasting financial freedom for my children. My mentor concluded by recounting his experiences in the early 70s when many Nigerian families could afford to live on only one source of income. However, today, the poverty level has risen beyond control, and as such he does not believe that any family can survive without engaging in one business or the other, to keep the family together successfully. He advised me to have multiple streams of income and Option B will provide an opportunity to have multiple streams of income. At this point, I became convinced everyone needs Option B if he desires financial freedom.