Lucas Marang'a

A man at 40

Episode 5 – Money vs Currency.

I don’t have statistics to back this up but I believe most of us don’t give our dreams a chance because we have (or claim to have) no money. That’s what we tell ourselves. Lack of money is the most common impediment to pursuing our passions. At least that’s my observation over the years in my entrepreneurship journey. While I do agree that lack of cash is a real (and critical) requirement to realizing our dreams or desired projects, I have come to learn that sometimes we give it more prominence than it deserves. We often get fixated on our lack of cash that we can’t see any other route to achieve our goals. What we focus on enlarges folks. We arrive at a dead-end and miss other options (sometimes better ones) that may be available to us.

I’m here to say that there will be times money will be removed from us to increase clarity on what is at our core. I have found this to be the period where I grow the most internally. Every time I’m at major crossroads in my life money has mysteriously disappeared. It’s like the noise that money brings can only disappear when the cash disappears. I suppose that is life’s preferred option of getting my attention. I don’t like it, I didn’t choose it but I have to accept it. At least I’ve seen the good that has come from that arrangement. But we forget fast as humans. I’m now having to remind myself daily that good is around the corner because I’m at a major crossroad again.

You see, cash keeps us busy because it gives us options to do stuff and even afford distractions. We’ve often heard that money makes the world go around. That already sounds noisy. Now that I’m older I’m looking at money vs currency. I do need money to secure my family’s financial future (and enjoy life too) which is the plan for every self-respecting adult. But strangely I’m in a place where I don’t need capital to start a business.

I’m looking to leverage another type of capital. Social capital. That’s the currency that will open doors for me much more than my bank account balance in this season. Social currency is key for me now because it will open doors to my perfect role. That should then lead to improving my bank balance significantly because I will be operating within my gifting. I’m actively seeking to use the currency I’ve earned so far to open particular doors. And where I do not have the keys to a door I’m looking for the person who has the keys or someone who knows the person with the keys. The keys have to be found. And the door has to be opened one way or another. Our destiny depends on it.

Folks on the fourth floor I bet you have substantial social currency and if you are like me, you are not putting it to work for you fully. There is this ka shyness or humility that doesn’t help us. It’s time to be bolder, put ourselves out there, and ask for what we want. Remember 80% of success is showing up.

If we are to discover our true north then we must spend our social currency wisely and intentionally. Fortunately, your destiny doesn’t require you to be loaded (with cash) for it to be actualized. The life you desire is not asking you for a business plan. It is asking you to question the smoldering discontent within, take stock of where you are and attempt the journey (of inquiry and searching) towards your true north. The one-year program by the Halftime Institute is one sure way of helping you arrive at a life of significance irrespective of your money situation. Sign up for our halftime webinar kesho for a glimpse of that.

I’m not in any way downplaying the importance of money. I’m trying to show that while some doors have money as their key, others need social currency to open them. At this stage of my life, I tend to place a higher premium on the doors that only social currency can open. I also think such doors are easier to keep open. They lead to long-term impact and value for many because we are using our God-given skills and abilities. It is more than just cutting deals for chums here. It’s about what we do for legacy.

Allow me to share one incident that brought out the fact that money is not always the solution to our advancement. One of my first attempts to get funding for my business was about 15 years ago. I applied for a business loan from a microfinance institution. I felt like organic growth was too slow and I desired to grow faster. I was fairly optimistic that I would get the loan approved.

To my dismay, it was rejected. I can’t even recall the reason they gave for turning down my application. I was distraught for a while but a few months later I started realizing that I didn’t need the money. I put in more marketing that led to increased revenues which enabled us to grow our capacity at a fairly impressive rate.  I can now admit in hindsight that the loan was not going to help me much at that point. It probably would just have brought me stress trying to pay it back. I have since learned to thank God for unanswered prayers.

There are times we have to confront our view of money and the role it plays in aiding us to get to our true north. Often, it’s our money mindset that needs to change, not how much cash we have. What’s your money mindset?  what currency is at your disposal? how best can you use it to maximize your potential?

As difficult as this may be allow me to suggest that we try and overlook our money situation temporarily and give our latent and powerful currencies a chance to blossom. I’m almost sure that if we do that then the money door will unlock too.


Friday, October 30, 2020 | Just @40 Things, Leadership, Musings |

3 thoughts on “Episode 5 – Money vs Currency.”

  1. Chris Muniu says:

    This really speaks to me

  2. Bonny Ngabirano says:

    This makes a lot of sense! Currency is the key! Thanks Lucas

  3. Caroline Kania says:

    Hi Lucas,

    Y our articles have been resonating with what has been going on in my life. When I read them, I feel like my internal dialogue has been given a voice! I also come away with nuggets of wisdom for further reflection. I am enjoying some freshly boiled corn as I read this…which just enhances the homely atmosphere. May you continue to be true to your calling as you live fully.

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