May 11, 2009

The RAT Race

6058b-rat-raceI hope it’s no more news to you that 300 (three hundred) Zain executives were laid off last week and despite the fact that I have some other articles to write about, I have no choice than to invoke my calling by educating those that believe that this kind of thing can never happen to them. It is actually not what has happened but the feedback of what has happened and the chain reaction that can easily develop from this kind of event.

Fear is the direct consequences of this action; everybody tend to sit tight following the same vicious cycle and wising that one day their condition would change. The worse thought line by an average worker in Nigeria is wishing that God would reward their labor of love and the time they have put into a company only to get retrenched, by-passed for a promotion, abused by their boss, etc. God would definitely reward your labor of love but those based on an exit strategy.

1897494835_4e48948fb8_mGod makes a distinction in the bible about the way we are expected to serve (or should I say work); we serve as either a bond servant or a hired servant. God prefers the latter admonishing Masters in Leviticus 25: 39-40; “And if your brother that dwells by you be waxen poor, and sold unto you. You shall not compel him to serve as bondservant: But a hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with you and shall serve you unto the year of jubilee.”

God expects you to work for a period of time as a sojourner and then quit to form you own. The difference between the hired and the bond servant is that one uses the job to garner experience, economic leverage and viable networks with an exit strategy in mind while the other has no exit strategy in mind. The bond servant believes that whatever is the Master’s own is his/her own. God warns the bond servant about this in Leviticus 26: 13.


529895658_a04aa0750e_mThe bond servant mentality is a rat race mentality. The whole concept of rat race conjures up the image of lab rats whose life is an endless series of activities that get them nowhere. Rat race can thus be defined as an endless and futile attempt to achieve something in competition with others that is unachievable. In your company, look at all your colleagues and ask yourself what are the chances that you can become the MD, DMD, GM or Senior Manager. Supposing your chances are high (which I very much doubt); how long? Supposing you can wait the time; how sure?

The expectation of the righteous man can never be cut shut but the righteous man is the one who listens to God not the one with a moralistic inclination. God does not want you to bond yourself to any company but to leverage the company for your exit strategy. In any given company, hired servants are thus more productive than the bond servant because they know that they have a limited time to learn and practice for their own outfit. They are not the 8-6 workers but the ones who are ready to stay odd hours and give what it takes to achieve success.

Jacob’s chase for Rachel shows the true nature of a bond servant; working for seven years to obtain a dream but deceived by his boss to work for seven more years. How many contemporary workers have been promised a raise or a promotion without getting exactly what they want? Jacob changed the whole dynamics for productivity; if you give me this, I would produce this. This particular change made Jacob wealthier than his employer. This particular story shows that working for time can never make you wealthy but working with the aim of getting out of the cycle makes you wealthier than you can imagine.

laptopThe paradox of the whole thing is that hired servants are hardly laid off because their productivity is always eminent except God sets them up because God has impressed it on them to leave but they have been scared thinking about what they would eat. Mahatma Gandhi could not have distinguished the essence of eating any better when he said: “You will not eat to satisfy your palate but your hunger. A self-indulgent man lives to eat; a self-restrained man eats to live.” 

To all those who have been laid off and those who may still be laid off in the nearest future; I would not reiterate the normal Christian encouragement that all is well because all is definitely not well. You have entered the night season of your life and things would not be the normal way you are used to but things would be far better if you corporate with the Holy Spirit. This is the pruning season of your life preparing you for greater action and achievements.


This is not the time to abuse the power that God has placed inside you by complaining, doubting yourself, lacking confidence and boldness or blaming Zain for the predicament that you seem to be in. This is the time for solitude and reflections, not the time to start throwing your CVs everywhere so that you can be bonded again. This is the time for new direction and a new level.

51jm57082sl_sl500_aa280_1To all those who are working as bond servant, it’s time to seriously convert yourself to a hired servant. A hired servant starts building systems that would take care of his/her every day bills. If you have ever played Kiyosaki’s board game known as Cash Flow 101, you would realize that the easiest way to get out of rat race is when the income generated from your asset is maximally paying your bills then you move to the fast track position. Always push your energies (even if you have to borrow) in building passive income because therein lies your way to freedom.

If you are working and interested in playing this game, I would be organizing a meeting called “Beating the Rat Race” in June (all my May weekends are booked). To secure an early seat amongst the 10 players, please click HERE. I also want to point out that no matter how long you work, you would end up going into one form of business or the other because your pension if it comes regularly can never satisfy you. You may listen to my podcast on Pension Conspiracy by clicking HERE.

Why wait 25 years or more when your risk tolerance would be very low. Sharpen your business reflexes as early as possible through your wife and vice versa. For those who know they would end up in business, it’s about time you start reading about business. I am giving out a book free of charge titled; “HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN”. It is more than 300 pages and quite easy to read. If you are interested in this book, simply make an intelligent comment below on this topic; it can be either against or for my views. I would love to read your perspective as we build the right mentality to work. 

The God Factor
About Dipo Tepede

I am a Project Management coach. I specialize in making delegates pass any Project Management certification at first try. I successfully achieve this fit through practical application of the knowledge and integration of our Project Management eLearning school at Welcome to my world.....