Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM)
Money is probably the most private issue in most modern day people’s lives. When it comes to money, our slogan tends to be ‘fake it till you make it’. It’s important to look like you understand it and have your act together. Asking for help when it comes to money is just not something many of us do naturally! But could it be that this approach is robbing us of some major benefits?
One of the best investors the world has ever known was King Solomon. He was the richest man of his time and the Queen of Sheba noted that everything his hands touched prospered. We want to turn to him for help with Foundational Principal #4, which is ‘Never Walk Alone’.
Read Ecclesiastes 4:4-12
Our passage gives us at least four reasons why it’s better to invest with others.
- Greater reward – v. 4 ‘two are better than one because they have a good return for their work’. An obvious benefit of working together is that you achieve more. The acronym TEAM stands for T– Together, E– Everyone, A– Achieves, M– More. Are you in a chama or investment group? You need a team around you, because together everyone achieves more!
- Accountability – v.10 ‘If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up’. Accountability will not only help you to invest well, but it will also increase your chances of upholding your faith and values in the process. When you invest with others who share common values and faith, then you have people who ask the hard questions and who support your desire to live differently.
- Companionship – v.11 ‘Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?’ Some of you will get to Runda and then realize that none of your friends live there! There’s no joy in that! They say, “It’s lonely at the top!” But it doesn’t have to be! Those of you who have been successful in building wealth need to share your wisdom with younger people in the church AND to mentor, and create opportunities for them. Prov.11:24 says ‘The world of the generous gets larger and larger, the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller’ (Msg).
- Strength – v.12 ‘Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken’. The words ‘overpowered’ and ‘defend’ imply that there is opposition. It’s important to realize that your enemy does not want you to finish well! His plan is to isolate you in order to ‘divide and rule’. In addition, there are many other obstacles that will keep you from being a wise investor including ignorance, fear. These are best overcome when you work with others. Ken Blanchard, management guru once said ‘none of us is as smart as all of us’. When you work with others, you are able to bring different strengths onto the table.
Interview with Lawrence ‘Sancho’
He started an investment group in 2003 with 9 other men who had a similar investment goal of each owning a house for their family. They set a very high goal for themselves, which was that each would raise 700k as their contribution within one year. Some fell off and 6 remained. At the end of that year, they bought a piece of land in Kilimani and fenced it. With the little money left they got an architect to draw the plans were able to pre-sell some of the apartments. They then got a construction loan from a bank and were able to complete the project, which had 23 apartments, in 2 years.
Their buyers were very happy with their flats and they decided to do a 2nd project in Athi River. They got their friends on board and found that they were able to buy the land without investing any money of their own. They are currently completing phase 1 of Gracelands Estate in Athi River which will have 52 units. When the project is complete, it will have 409 units. They are also constructing houses for another developer and have registered with the government as a road construction company.
The value of their company is in the range of around 550M Ksh. When the Athi River project is completed, it should be in the range of 1.2-1.4B Ksh. All this with only having put in 700k each.
Together everyone achieves more!
It would have been an impossible feat working alone. Firstly, he would never have afforded the land to build in Kilimani if he was alone. Secondly, the project proved tougher than first expected. At one point, the contractor resigned and they had to put in a lot more time than planned while still working in their jobs. One of them put his business on hold so he could supervise the project. Thirdly, each of them brought different gifts to the table; Lawrence has legal knowledge, he is good with details and is the one who takes minutes. Another is a great project leader who is able to bring people together. Another is a business consultant who helps with the business plans. Another is a networker who always knows someone who can help when they are in a fix.
The essential things you must search for in forming an investment group are:
- Have a common faith & values. There’s something powerful unleashed when they prayed together for their investments. Also, in a corruption-rife environment, it was easy to agree that they would never bend the law and that they will always give the highest value to their customers.
- Have a common vision and a leader. Many investment groups get caught up in long discussions and are unable to make decisions.
- Allow each person to bring their different strengths to the table
- Put up formal structures. Think through registering a company and setting up an account as you don’t want money or carelessness to divide you later. Also set up a dispute resolution mechanism which could be as simple as ‘when we disagree, we’ll invite Person X to make a ruling and we’ll all abide by what he says’.
A team of guys in this church are currently putting together a plan to pool resources at Mavuno through an investment company, buy and zone land and then develop housing estate so that many of us will own an affordable home.
I’ve also heard of a team that’s been thinking through setting up an arbitration or dispute-resolution mechanism for people here to support us as we do business together.
I look forward to the day when pastors here will not lose sleep thinking about where to find land for Mavuno or money to plant churches but we can be freed to preach because God’s people are working together, leading the way, & supplying for the vision faithfully, each person doing their part!
Together everyone achieves more!