Seven Fat Years; Seven Lean Years


We all know the story.

"Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of Nile and fed in the reed grass. Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt. And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke."

It is amazing how things look clear/obvious when you've got the advantage of hindsight. We all can now interpret that dream. So I can say we no longer have problem with the interpretation, the problem we now have is remembering the dream. Seeing the signs. The cycle.

It was not for Egypt that it was documented. It was not for history that it was documented. It was for us and the generations after us that God made it documented. That dream Pharaoh had, was for everyone of us. And the interpretation was also for everyone of us.

There will always be periods of almost inexplicable boom followed by equally almost inexplicable periods of doom. And there will be normal periods too -- no boom, no doom.

For those who live for today and party when the boom times come, they'll have it worse than Nigeria when the doom times come. And for those who don't skill up and work hard in the normal periods, they'll go hungry both in the periods of boom and in the periods of doom.

Don't confuse the national one for yours. Everyone, individual or country, has his own unique cycle. In fact, I think I am in my own boom period. Things have never been this great for me since my working career. And there is no end to the amount of ideas of what to spend on that is daily pouring into my head. A complete opposite of what is happening to the nation.

Now I am taking Joseph's divine advice. I am going to keep living like it is the normal period. I am going to save up (invest) to flourish when the doom period comes. Because as Pharaoh succinctly described, without proactive planning, the bad periods eat up the good periods and you notice no improvement. 

The developed countries know it and prepare for it. They even give it a name -- business cycle. The globally leading businesses understand it and prepare for it. Some people who pay attention to history understand and prepare for it. I hope Nigeria and Nigerians too will, someday, understand and prepare for it. But today, I have decided to choose the side to belong.

God help us (Nigeria) out of these lean years and, more importantly, help us not repeat the same ignorance driven mistake when the years of plenty come again.


  1. I had greatly underplayed the scale of this concept until a few weeks ago.

    It's phenomenal. You couldn't be more correct. Even global businesses funded by the world's largest banks take this into account ['Cash Sweep' and 'Mandatory Prepayments'].

    The trickiest part is probably being honest enough to admit what part of the cycle one currently falls. How often do we conveniently mistake a boom for a 'normal' - hoping and acting like it'll last forever.

    I leave this post to think long and hard about what stage I'm currently at and what to do to leverage it.



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