Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Underestimated Forms of Capital

Most people have just “one reason” they have not started their business or embarked on a venture, and that is "Lack of Capital" While this may be a fact, it is generally misunderstood to mean just money or finance. There are four types of capital I will like discuss in this forum. 1. Financial Capital- We are all generally exposed to this so I will move on to the other forms. 2. Reputational Capital- This can also be seen as integrity. Can people take your word to the bank? Are you credit worthy if you don’t have a physical collateral? You can only leverage on this kind of capital if you have built it over the years. Do you keep to time, schedules, deadlines, commitments? This form of capital can easily help you attract financial capital. 3. Relational Capital – I find it strange when people complain that people in authority have shared all appointments to their friends, who else should they share it with? You do business with those you trust. You trust people when you know them. So how do you treat the people in your network right now? Do you look down on some people with disdain? Are you condescending when you interact with people who in your opinion are of a "lower estate"? People who are stranded or without assistance may perhaps have failed to develop and cultivate their social capital. People give to relationships and not to needs. People will give a beggar N50 and give a friend's son N1000 and tell him to manage the small money. 4. Educational (Know-how) Capital – This is the tool that helps you in problem solving. What curse can your course cure? What intellectual contribution can you bring to the table? Your skills and its commercial value comes to play here. The processes and systems you know and how you have put them to use comes to the fore here. In spite of the scarcity of jobs in this country, I have friends who have changed jobs 4 times in the same year. Head Hunters just keep pursuing them on the strength of their know-how, guess what they didn't even apply for those jobs. If what you have is a "pure water" credential, if your skill is common then your chances of attracting financial capital is slim. 5. Time – This is one form of capital we all have equal amount (24 hours each per day). This is the capital with which we can develop, pursue and acquire other forms of capital. How do you use your off-peak period? Are you utilizing fully your professional network and contacts? Are you passive or active in associations? Are you engaged or disengaged. Are you learning, unlearning and relearning? What you do with your time should be value adding. Perhaps I should end with a quote from the oldest book “For unto everyone that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has.” Mattew 25 vs 29. The first rule in capital is knowing that you have something with which to exchange. Don’t go with a cap in hand. Look within, you have all you need!

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