I did not want to write this article because I was afraid my customers will read it and assume I am talking about them.
By the way, I dey sell sturves.
So I will start with a disclaimer. No, this is not about you. I appreciate your friendship and patronage. You always pay up that is why I am content waiting.
In my few years of selling, one particular customer did me ‘shege’. She gleefully purchased luxury items and then refused to pay. I even threatened her with the police. She never paid up and I have since moved on. People can owe sha.
When they are buying the goods, or requesting for the service or even just asking for a loan, butter will not melt in their mouths.
Have you noticed also how they always know when they will pay you back when they are asking for the thing in question?
“They will pay salary next week, I will send the money to you.”
Only problem is that next week just like tomorrow never comes. When you begin to harangue them with calls, they will stop picking.
If you get a brain wave and use a different number to call them, you will hear all kinds of stories. It will end with “Send me your account number, I will do a transfer.”
Your hopes are up, you plan how you will use this money and begin to jump on your phone every time an sms comes in. Na so you will join Yemi Alade look for Johnny only that your Johnny na alert that never comes.
Meanwhile, the person owing seems to be living ok. There is no news of poverty rendering the person homeless. This dude is still riding his car round town (fuelling and maintaining a car no be egoyin). His kids are in school, him and his family look well fed. You even hear of them travelling upandan but to pay you is now looking like you are asking Fashola for light.
What hurts is simple.
You have no idea how a person is getting by. Holding on to people’s money is wicked. If you do not sacrifice what you will eat or how you will transport yourself then why keep someone hungry and unable to progress. You buy goods and you do not think the person would need money to restock. You ask for a service and it is rendered, you do not know that you are the reason the business is standing on shaky grounds. Has it occurred to you that the money you are holding on to is needed to pay school fees, medical bills or rent?
It is witchcraft to owe people perennially.
Some people will decide to borrow money in January and pay back in December. Is that fair? N100k in January can buy more than it will buy in December. Because individuals are not banks, no one calculates the depreciation the value of their cash experiences in your hands.
Because I said banks, let me go there. Some people think that owing a bank is like owing no one. They think that banks can afford to be owed. From my little banking experience, when you default on your payments, a lot of times staff pay in one way or the other. Sometimes, these loans are booked against the account officer, sometimes people lose their jobs because of bad loans. You see, the bank will not suffer a loss alone.
Now to companies that owe salaries. I understand that for a fledging business, cash flow may be an issue. Be open with your staff. Let them have the option of sticking with you till you are able to meet your monthly obligations or leaving. Don’t owe months on end and still be shouting and demanding 1000% from them. That is cruel.
State governments that owe have a special pond of brimstone in Hell that is awaiting them. If you cannot afford your staff strength, please shed. You will cite the bad economy as reason for non payment, yet you are shuttling in choppers and private jets all over the place. Then you have the temerity to ask people not to be corrupt. YOUR FADA!!!! Stop owing people. How do you want them to survive? How many people have saved up stash to fall back on? You will owe 5months and then pay one month. The money disappears faster than a drop of water on the desert sand.
And those special people that owe and never pay, what do you have in common with thieves? Una no like people to succeed.
There is a guy that owes someone close to me a sizeable amount of money. Anytime he calls and asks for it, weird things happen. Before you tell me it is coincidental, forget that thing. Jazz is real. I had to advise my friend not to ever show up at the dude’s house just like that before the guy will decide to use a machete to write off the loan by himself.
So folks, pay off your debts. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
I do have some advice sha.
If you sell anything, do not release goods before full payment. If you want to give a gift, give a gift.
If you sell your services, treat them like goods. Structure your business tightly and ensure that you will only begin a service when there is some percentage of payment.
Do not give as loan what you cannot comfortably walk away from.
Once again, my customers, no be una o. I appreciate your patronage.
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