Smart, Gifted & Not Broke

Recently, I was blessed with the opportunity of speaking on God TV about the subject of monetising our gifts and expertise, especially in these unusual times. The impact of the pandemic has been seismic, causing all of us to rethink different areas of our lives – including our finances. Yet, I believe, as always, the Bible is a blueprint for us to model our lives.

Use what you already have 
As a child, I remember reading the story of the widow in the Bible (2 Kings 4). She was flat broke and in serious debt. It was so bad, the creditors were going to take her two sons as slaves. So the widow goes to Prophet Elisha to ask for help.

In my mind, as a child, I thought the prophet would simply wave his staff or pray and cause money to fall from Heaven. Or perhaps, he would cause the creditors to wipe the debt (or even make them forget… I had an imaginative mind as a child).

But what happened surprised me. Elisha asked the widow what she had at home.

In short, he was asking, “WHAT DO YOU ALREADY HAVE THAT I CAN USE?” 

In her case, it was a small jar of oil. The prophet then gave her instructions on what to do – which was a miracle in itself, as he asked her to fill as many empty containers with oil. Then, she was to sell it to clear her debts and live on the remainder.

Uncover your Jar of Oil 
Notice what the widow needed to get out of debt and poverty was already within her reach. The mistake I find many people make is to think they have to take a degree course, get qualifications, etc. While I am a firm believer in education, the fact remains that both you and I already have our very own Jars of Oil. This could be your God-given gifts, passions, abilities, experiences, skills, expertise, know-how, etc. Yet, after over twenty years as a transformational coach, I have come across many who place little or no emphasis on their jar of oil, even though it is available to be monetised, like the widow’s.

Let me break it down: Your jar of oil can be your ability to do hair. By the way, do you know some hairdressers get flown out, by private jet, to meet their clients? So do chefs, coaches, trainers, stylists, assistants, beauticians, care providers, nannies, etc. So nothing should be overlooked as a potential source of oil, because everything has its use.

Apply the Jar of Oil blueprint 
Going back to the story, I believe the role of the prophet was to help the widow understand she already had the solution to her own pain point: the lack of funds to pay her debts and take care of her family. His role was simply to give her a blueprint to get out of debt.

So here is my five-step Jar of Oil Blueprint to monetise your assets:

1. Get clarity on your assets: Identify assets around you, within your reach or that you already have access to. Do not discount anything, no matter how small! After all, in the story, the starting point was a small jar of olive oil. Remember, small things eventually grow.

2. Adopt healthy mindsets: The widow had to fill her pots with her asset, and think BIG whilst doing so. This was not the time for fear, small thinking, unhealthy or self-sabotaging mindsets.

3. Take specific action: Sell your asset to make money. Notice she was not told to give it away, to be a blessing, to sow into her neighbours’ lives, etc. She was told to sell it! Sometimes, we church folk get it twisted by not following the leading of the Holy Spirit. There is a time for everything, but on this specific occasion, the required action was selling. By the way, your pricing needs to bring in a profit.

4. Adopt a strategy: Use the funds you earn to clear your debts. This is not the time to eye a new handbag or set of wheels for your car. The strategy is simple: clear the debts and don’t create any more!

5. Reinvest your profits: So it does not just end with clearing debt. Rather, there is now an element of future planning too, to ensure you have enough for your future needs. This can be as simple as a savings plan, reinvesting into your business, etc.

If you want to learn more, download my free eBook, Five Financial Mistakes The Smart & Gifted Make That Keeps Them Broke which is available at 

Written by: Grace Gladys Famoriyo

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