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No Money? No Problem! You Can Chase Your Dreams Even When You Are Cash-Strapped

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The pursuit of success is the greatest gift of life.  But when money is a problem, it is not always possible to chase your dreams. According to World Bank estimates, 35% of Kenyans live under the poverty line. For people living on a hundred shillings a day, the focus tends to move towards surviving as a necessity.  And, more often than not, life goals take the back seat to putting food on the table. I know too many people who have traded their dreams for a source of income. They are all pretty miserable.

Going after your dreams will probably be the most exciting thing you will ever do. You are alive every second of the time you spend on the path of purpose.  There is no question that you will reach your goals faster when you have the resources to chase them, but the two are not mutually inclusive.  You don’t need money to chase your dreams.

It is not even a big deal if you are limited in this area. It just means that you will have to work a little bit harder than everyone else. The alternative, which is really no alternative, is to give up.

Don’t lie to yourself

I used to be an anti-social recluse. It is very easy when you are a writer. All I needed was a computer and a working internet connection. Thus armed, I would distract myself from how sad my life was by browsing on the endless internet. I wasted three years of my life this way. Sadly, many people live like this. Rather than figure out how to beat their condition, they distract themselves from reality. And here is the saddest part of it: it works!

Lying to yourself about your economic situation means that you never take any serious action to alleviate the situation. Up until mid-last year, I thought I was rich. I was raised that way; rich but broke. My parents are staunch Christians, but a kid doesn’t know the difference between faith riches and rent-payable riches. So even though we didn’t own a TV when I was a kid – and long into my adulthood, I never admitted this truth to myself until last year.

When I started living on my own, I had a wish-list two pages long. But the beliefs I had formed in my childhood regarding money still held me back. I never could figure out why everything I tried failed.  Now I wish someone had told me what I know five years ago. It would have saved me three years of my life.

The truth of the matter is that poverty does not define you. It is just your current financial situation. With a little hard work, you can definitely turn your life around.

Unlock the value of YOU

We are all endowed with unique natural skills, talents, and aptitudes. Some of us are just better than others at unlocking this value. These are the people who ‘own the world’ so to say. They are able to do this because they understand that to make money, you just need to find someone with a problem and solve it for them.

The danger of living under the poverty line is that many people end up believing that their surroundings define them. They give in to the scarcity around them and stop working to change it. Sadly, it is only when you believe that it’s impossible that you really become poor. As long as you are still working towards your dreams, you are on the right path.

Develop your human capital

We have all heard (and probably internalized) the saying that ‘you need money to make money.’ This could not be further from the truth. To create value, you don’t necessarily need money. You just need the skills, habits, and interpersonal skills that employers are looking for. You should do this even if your dream is to start a business. It gives you the momentum you need to start You also need them to make money in business, however much money you might otherwise have.

When it comes to chasing dreams, it is really about who you know.  Your network is the most valuable thing you own. It helps you to leverage your skills and talents with other likeminded people. If you have a friend in your network doing the same thing but you are not collaborating, then you are competing.

Listen, the journey of chasing your dreams is long and lonely.  When you start out, doing this without money will be intensely frustrating as well. If you can find someone to collaborate with, you should count yourself lucky and go for it.

Start with what you have

Chasing your dreams is hard, even when you don’t have to watch every coin you spend. On a tight budget, it is imperative that you pace yourself. Do the little you can whenever you can. It might be slow going, but it is progress. If you feel like your dream is too big, you can start by breaking it down into goals and objectives. This way, every task will be less daunting – more attainable.

Peter Gatuna

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