My dad would not let me go into property. He said, “No son, you work for me”. I was 16 years old; I was trapped. I went online and searched “my dad is keeping me poor” and I came across Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, because of the keyword ‘dad’ and ‘poor’. That book had a huge impact on me. I started going to networking events and spent some time out in Zambia working in a school. I ended up in schools and orphanages and seeing terrible situations. There was a five-year-old boy who would walk 12 kilometres to get water, and I thought to myself, ‘If ever I make it in business, I'm going to go back to the village and bring clean water across the village’.
Fast forward five years and I was back there building a well, all paid for by my business. In this article, I take a look at how money can be a force for good in the world and how I see money as a Christian.
You can’t serve two masters
People in my church would say to me you can’t serve God and money. In the bible it says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24.
So I went to bible college and did a dissertation in Biblical Economics. What I realised is you can’t serve God and money, but you can serve God through money. I don’t care if you are religious or not; everything on this earth is leasehold. We can’t take anything with us when we die. In the meantime we just hold things.
If you have the ability and the brain to make a lot of money and to help a lot of people, then don't because of laziness or fear, I think that's wrong. It is wrong not to use the talents that have been given to you in the best way possible. So it is good to make a lot of money as long as you use it wisely and understand you are only holding on to it for now.
I’m not a saint and I’m not a devil
With the money I’ve made I have been able to set up the Samuel Leeds Foundation, which is now a registered charity. It is one way I use the money that has been entrusted to me. But some Christians view me as bad because they see money as evil, while others think I am amazing because they think God must be blessing me because I am rich. The truth is, I’m not a saint and I’m not a devil either. I am just someone with the skills and ability to make money.
With this ability that God has given me, I believe, comes a duty to teach others how to succeed and to share the money he has entrusted with me freely.
I make my money in property. I don’t take a salary from my training company. The money I make from my training company is reinvested into the business and donated to the Samuel Leeds Foundation. This is one way I fulfil this duty.
80% of people want to build you up
I believe most people are good. Most people want to build you up. Most people want you to find your purpose. 80% of people want you to succeed. But there are 20% that want to bring people down. Run away from these people. They are usually the loudest. Don’t let them have control over you.
Whether you believe in God or not, you have a purpose. That purpose could come from yourself, the universe, fate, God or whatever you believe in. Don’t allow people to take you away from that purpose or lead you away from success.
Allow yourself the space to succeed, and when you do, treat what you have as leasehold and do good with what you control. Improving the lives of others is what will make you rich, and continuing to do good is what will keep you there!