The Road Back to Financial Independence

Introduction to Financial Independence

Getting back on your feet financially can seem like a daunting task. However, when you look at the alternatives if you don’t, therein lies the motivation to get started on a plan to take you back to the road called financial independence.

I think it’s great that we want to be there for our kids when they’re growing up but we often forget about who we will be once they are independent and don’t need us anymore. It is often after the kids are in school or in the unfortunate event of a separation or divorce or death of a spouse that some women think about returning to work or how they will support themselves. And, without a doubt, this can be difficult.

Being out of the job market for years can hamper the job search process once they choose to return. This leads to issues around self-worth due to feeling that they aren’t able to stand on their own, financially.

You need to keep your resume fresh and skills updated all the time irrespective of the seasons of life. There’s no reason to neglect your career, goals and dreams during this time when the baby has come as one never knows what the future holds. It may lead to you needing to re-enter the workforce and hoping that someone will hire you once again. 

As a single parent, as is with both parents homes, you also understand that money management is of utmost importance. Many a times we think that if we make the money, the money management skills will just show up. Not at all. In fact, the opposite is true. Teaching yourself the principles of money management will give you the foundations needed to be successful.

Financial Independence – Retool Yourself

Financial Independence – Recover from Past Mistakes, Failures & Successes

Financial Independence – My Testimony & Experience With Online Courses

One step at a time!

WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR FINANCIAL STABILITY

 
Go back to school

Start there, especially for teenage moms and dads or for those that their parenthood got them away from school. Did you finish school? Whether primary school, high school, college or university? What are you passionate about that requires a degree or certificate? Do you need to go back to school? These are all questions that you have to ask yourself if your path to getting to the work force involves going back to school.

If it is not feasible for a single mother to make it to classes during the week, there are online opportunities that allow for parents to stay home and complete their school work. There are scholarships that are available to cover online tuition costs as well so that going back to school does not necessarily mean an additional financial burden to you. I got through my Bachelor’s degree with the help of government bursaries to subsidize my little income that I used to support my baby and sort out my university upkeep. 

Any single mom or dad desiring to advance in their career can also take advantage of the massive open online classes that offer the education needed to stay relevant in their careers.What worked for me was the massive open online courses (MOOC) from which I have gathered so much knowledge and skills. These courses have enabled me to remain relevant in my industry and on several occasions got me a promotion and a much needed pay-rise (or extra income) that has helped me manage my bills. 

Having sat on interview panels for probably hundreds of recruits with various organizations over the past decade, I know for sure that employers are not looking at impeccable resumes. Every employer is looking for the person who can do the job at hand. Get the knowledge needed to enable you do the job and you increase your employability a hundred fold.

Start a business

Along the same lines of going back to school, what are you passionate about? Do you see a need in the market that hasn’t been filled? How can you work to fill that need while creating income for yourself? This can include producing your own products or services to sell.

In my second year of single parenthood, I tried to look for a job in Nairobi city to no avail. In some cases I was under qualified, in others I was overqualified and in many places, there were no openings. I purposed that in the meantime I needed to find something to keep my bills paid. I started several businesses for short periods of time based on the needs around me so the demand was high and revenue margins good for me. This is what we call in Kenya 'side-hustle’. I have sold second-hand clothes, notebooks, supplied vegetables, and run a book-binding business before I got employment and eventually started a successful business-consultancy firm. 

Ecclesiastes 9:10 encourages us (AMP, MSG emphasis added)

Whatever your hands find to do or turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it. For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think in the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.

So your part is to find what to do with your hands and God’s part in this is that He will bless the work of your hands and prosper you!

 Renew or update your skills

If you’re in a field like consultancy or training, then you’ll need to make sure that applicable licenses or certifications are always up to date as allowing them to lapse costs more time and money. Talk to the licensing or certification boards within your field and find out what you need to do in order to maintain your skills in this area. If you plan on applying to jobs that require a license or certification then you’ll need to make sure this is up to date. 

Attend workshops and conferences in an effort to remain up to date with the current trends in your field as well. This also gives you the opportunity to network with others. 

The people in the hall of faith in Hebrews 11 are there because of their works in obedience to God’s Word to their lives. Verse 6 says that without faith, it is impossible to please God and James 2:18 says that faith without works is dead. Faith is not a complicated concept, it is simply the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses] (Hebrews 11:1-2).

You renew your certificates because you are sure that you will get a consultancy job, may not be right away but at some point. You renew your licenses because you are sure that your business will reopen. You re-write and update your resume because you know that a great opportunity will come your way. After you have done your part, then patiently wait for God to do His part. In the meantime, as stated before, whatever your hands find to do, do it very well.

Find a support system

Who supports you professionally when it’s time to make hard professional decisions? Do you have peers or mentors you can turn to? Anyone who supports you and is able to provide professional guidance will do. Men and women are more successful when they have mentors guiding them both personally and professionally. 

I recently read a book on accountability cover to cover. It was amazing to note that God has always insisted on accountability for human development right from the beginning. Nelly Kagoru’s book “Accountability - a Biblical Principle” encourages Christians to find an individual to walk with them. This starts with choosing your accountability partner(s). These may include a good friend or peer, an industry expert, someone you would like to look like in five or ten years, a biological or not biological parent etc depending on your circumstance. 

Once you’ve picked who you want in your accountability journey, chart a plan to connect with them. This can be someone who is readily accessible or someone you’ve admired from afar. In the latter case, do your homework and make the process easier for them. Let them know how much their work means to you and that will open the door to discussions around lending their time to help make you a success.

In the modern times, many life and success coaches cost so much to walk with you. While the cost is most certainly value for your money because you get professional input to propel you forward, I advise single parents to start with free accountability partners. This way, you do not add to your financial burden. 

In my road to financial freedom, I had my Pastors, Vincent and Dolly, walk with me and hold me to my goals. At a time when I was feeling like I had hit rock bottom, I remember Vincent letting me know, in front of a group of people that I was his project and that him and the wife would support me to their level best. I had started one of the business ventures I talked about in previous points, and he instilled confidence in me to move forward. His words echo in my ears so vividly to date, because he and Dolly believed in me; in what I was doing; and they foresaw my being such a success in this life. That’s all I needed to hear… and I made a good success of my life alright. 

The business venture continued for about five years or so, and I eventually closed it when it outlived its purpose. The point here is not whether you make an empire out of whatever your hands find to do or not. The point is that you find someone who believes in you; instills confidence in you when the going gets tough; prays for and with you; helps you to open your eyes to making simple but life threatening mistakes; corrects you out of love; and keeps you accountable to your goals. If you get that person or persons, you are set for success in every area of your life. 

Find a support system

Who supports you professionally when it’s time to make hard professional decisions? Do you have peers or mentors you can turn to? Anyone who supports you and is able to provide professional guidance will do. Men and women are more successful when they have mentors guiding them both personally and professionally. 

I recently read a book on accountability cover to cover. It was amazing to note that God has always insisted on accountability for human development right from the beginning. Nelly Kagoru’s book “Accountability - a Biblical Principle” encourages Christians to find an individual to walk with them. This starts with choosing your accountability partner(s). These may include a good friend or peer, an industry expert, someone you would like to look like in five or ten years, a biological or not biological parent etc depending on your circumstance. 

Once you’ve picked who you want in your accountability journey, chart a plan to connect with them. This can be someone who is readily accessible or someone you’ve admired from afar. In the latter case, do your homework and make the process easier for them. Let them know how much their work means to you and that will open the door to discussions around lending their time to help make you a success.

In the modern times, many life and success coaches cost so much to walk with you. While the cost is most certainly value for your money because you get professional input to propel you forward, I advise single parents to start with free accountability partners. This way, you do not add to your financial burden. 

In my road to financial freedom, I had my Pastors, Vincent and Dolly, walk with me and hold me to my goals. At a time when I was feeling like I had hit rock bottom, I remember Vincent letting me know, in front of a group of people that I was his project and that him and the wife would support me to their level best. I had started one of the business ventures I talked about in previous points, and he instilled confidence in me to move forward. His words echo in my ears so vividly to date, because he and Dolly believed in me; in what I was doing; and they foresaw my being such a success in this life. That’s all I needed to hear… and I made a good success of my life alright. 

The business venture continued for about five years or so, and I eventually closed it when it outlived its purpose. The point here is not whether you make an empire out of whatever your hands find to do or not. The point is that you find someone who believes in you; instills confidence in you when the going gets tough; prays for and with you; helps you to open your eyes to making simple but life threatening mistakes; corrects you out of love; and keeps you accountable to your goals. If you get that person or persons, you are set for success in every area of your life. 

Stay Afloat

What's Financial Independence?

Financial independence is the status of having enough income to pay one’s living expenses for the rest of one’s life without having to be employed or dependent on others.

Income earned without having to work a job is commonly referred to as passive income.

 

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