CHURCH BUSINESS: In crisis lies opportunity
By Oludare Mayowa
“Until you stop looking for excuses, you will never attain anything good in life. Rather than looking for excuses, find out how it can be done, look for the tiny possibility that exists in the time of depression and go for it.”
One of many Chinese proverbs I love says; “If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.”
This proverb also finds expression in the common saying that a seed planted today if well-watered will become a big oak tomorrow. If you don’t plant anything today, then you should not expect to harvest anything tomorrow, life is as simple as that.
Some years ago, I was with the late Chief Oluwole Adeosun, who was many exes in the financial industry in Nigeria and he told me something very profound; “Aburo, the best time to increase wealth is when the economy is going through a hard time.” He told me how he bought most of his stocks back in the period when many investors are dumping their holdings and thinking the economy will not recover from its depression.
In my many years as a financial journalist, I have seen a number of investors going the way of the herd; what is usually referred to as herd mentality. Many people today are also still resorting to the social default where the choices that they make are mainly influenced by what others within their realm do. In the stock market, a number of people will not invest because others within their area of influence are not doing so, even for the reason they did not know. I could recall how many people, including my humble self got our fingers burnt during the last financial meltdown few years ago because we rushed to invest in the market simply because we were following the herd mentality.
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The banking reforms spearheaded by Charles Soludo, the then Governornor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the government of Olusegun Obasanjo opened up the stock market; with many people responded to the massive marketing strategies deployed by banks to sell their shares and raise the need funds for recapitalisation. Today, not many people have the courage to re-enter the market even when the price seems to have bottomed out and provide fresh opportunity for investors to take advantage and take positions in the market.
The truth is that opportunity often abounds in time of difficulty, when many people think things are not working well and willingly would like to give up hope, therein lies the best opportunity on the horizon.
Take the case of David in the Bible, at a time when many strong men, including tested warriors in the land, were hiding inside the cave, because of the intimidation from the Philistine giant, he chose to take up the challenge of confronting Goliat and at the end, God gave him victory.
In the battle against the Philistine, the noble, the general and even the king couldn’t recognised the opportunity available for a lifting in the battle field. They were all fearful to dare their tormentor, thinking of themselves in the lowest of esteem and incapable of taking up the challenge to end the reproach. However, one man, David chose to take the bull by the horn and succeeded in bringing victory to God’s people.
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Those who wait for the right opportunity before they can realise their dream never attain anything, rather it is those who dare to do the contrary that are rewarded. A farmer who waits for the right weather may never sow anything and may never harvest anything also. Only the daring ones reap bountifully at the time of plenty because they had paid the price for the rich harvest.
Many people are still struggling with life today because they are afraid to leave their paid employment to embrace their dream. The Bible says “fear has torment” so they are being tormented by the fear of the unknown, fear that what if things go wrong? Waiting for the economy to recover and more opportunities open up before they could reach for their dream. But, I have news for you, economic depression is a cycle, it will always be with us as long as we are not prepared to take risk and embrace our dream.
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So, the number one step you should take so as to tap into opportunity in the time of crisis is like we are currently in is to stop giving excuses. The man of excuse will find a million ways why things would not work, why it is impossible to grow wealth in the time of depression and why investing during the time many people are dumping is a glaring stupidity.
Until you stop looking for excuses, you will never attain anything good in life. Rather than looking for excuses, find out how it can be done, look for the tiny possibility that exists in the time of depression and go for it.
Secondly, like the Boy Scout motto; always be prepared. This much I learnt from Rev John Orgunze, my pastor in the 1980s now late and may God rest his soul. He always challenged us back then to be on alert at all times for the inevitable. One of the inevitable things in life is that opportunity could come your way any time any season when you least expected, it is your preparation that would enable you to seize such. Orgunze always say back then that assuming you are in a church and something happened and the pastor of the church was not available to minister, what would you do, give up and go home or take the advantage to showcase what God has deposited in you?
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Thirdly, increase in knowledge and be educated about time and season. We are living in a knowledge driven world and only those who are knowledgeable can survive in a difficult time such as we are now. There is no way you can take advantage of any opportunity you know nothing about: be knowledgable about your country, politics, economy and even social life. It is your knowledge that will make room for you when the time comes.
Fourthly, seek godly counsel in whatever step you want to take in life. Don’t just jump into any business or venture without taking proper appraisal of the situation and then seek further advice from those who are more knowledgeable in the business to provide the right guide before you take the final decision. Equally, as Christians, we must seek the face of God before any major decision is taken. God has given unto us the power and presence of the Holy Spirit which will guide us about things to come, so it is imperative that we depend on his directive in whatever journey we choose to embark on.
Lastly, prayer remains a major ingredient to water our seed for a sustainable harvest. Like it is commonly said, whatever is good needs prayer, while we also need prayer too when things turn around on the other side.
The question every Church leaders should ask themselves at a time like this is; what am I doing to change the situation for me and those who are following me? What options are available for me in terms of bringing my members to speed in the knowledge of the word of God to help them fulfill their destiny.
As a nation, we are in a time so difficult to comprehend what will happen next; it is the right time for leaders to help those who are following them to find the light and the way.
But remember that you cannot help others if you are drowning, you must first rescue yourself before you can help others. Therefore, it’s time to increase in knowledge and find the right key to open the door of wisdom and then pass it on to those who seek direction from you to success.
Don’t preach your experience, never preach the circumstance around you, forget about what the experts have predicted about the economy and look up to the one who owns all things for direction. Learn from the examples of Joshua and Joseph in the Bible; there are examples of leaders needed at our time, be the pathfinders, be the one who will hold the touch up for others to see the way up to their promised land and also remember not to be left behind as well.