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How to go global

Creative Gist: How to go global: From the mouths of top creatives

When Life Gives Lemons…

A wise man once said: “Let the poor breathe. Don’t suffocate them.” Unfortunately, it seems this all-important maxim is on the lips of everyone but the economy. From spiking fuel prices to a minimum monthly wage that can’t support a person’s existence for a week, life has become a survival role-playing game.

Make Lemonade!

Scientists say that all life started in the water. Soon, though, the competition underwater became so tough with monstrous creatures whose stare alone would freeze average ones to death and tiny creatures whose itsy bitsy stings could as well be called the kiss of death. A lot of creatures could no longer survive as their numbers ran out.

What did they do?

They evolved, taking on new life forms that allowed them to survive in a virgin environment – on land. Luckily for us humans, we’re apex predators in our niche.

Okay, so what does that have to do with anything?

The Nigerian corporate space has become like the pre-evolution ocean – too competitive for the average person to survive. You must either be big enough to be oga or be small enough to clean oga’s shoe. However, there’s a whole new environment waiting for people to conquer. The amazing part is that this space is a global one, and with the current awakening to inclusion worldwide, hardly anyone asks whether you’re African or not. As long as you can do it, you’re on your way to earning in Naira and Dollars and every other currency the world can offer, most times from the comfort of your home.

Oh, you doubt me? Here are 5 different individuals from different niches that will prove to you that you don’t have to japa to escape sapa.

Richfield Dilosi

Backend and Frontend Web Design and Development.

I began learning programming at a government program held in my secondary school. I wasn’t even enrolled in it. I would pass by and glance at what the others were doing. However, it caught my attention, and upon leaving secondary school, I began to practice with my Android phone, learning Python from an expert on YouTube. I remember programming a calculator on my phone and showing my elder brother with all pride! After grasping the nitty-gritty of programming, I proceeded into full-stack development.
I started applying for jobs from Year 1 to Year 3 without much success. Then, I got my big break when I helped a guy on a Discord channel for programmers to solve a problem with his programming. Luckily, he was working with an international company, and the moment they had an opening, he recommended me for it. I was interviewed and got the job as a senior backend developer.
So, I’ll tell people to keep growing and trying even when the money isn’t coming in immediately.

Opulence Armstrong

Graphic Design and Photography.

It started from my love for pencil art, graduated to mobile phone photo manipulations and then to computer-aided designs. I think my becoming a graphic designer was just an effort to find the best means to communicate my artistic thoughts and imagination better. So I committed to learning everyday and following people and designing support groups who were better than me.
I started earning from design gigs in my 200 level. I kept growing from there and kept working on myself. Then, one day, I was contracted to handle the branding for an international event. It required some extra research, but I did it excellently. Since then, I have had similar recommendations coming at intervals. I still develop myself because I know my rates are directly proportional to the value that I give.

Okaragba Meckanzy Donald

Product Design, Software and Hardware Development.

I was in my 400 level, and though I had good grades in other courses, I failed some and couldn’t go for Industrial Training. I was depressed. However, while my mates were in IT, I learned product design under an OMO staff. It lasted for a month, but by the end of this period, I had learned the fundamentals of product design and had recreated, with improvements, every website owned by top brands like Apple. Fast-forward to 2 years from then, I got a job at an oil and gas tech company with the same product design skills.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I had done some great work with international organizations in Australia and around Africa. However, during the pandemic, I partnered with some foreign organizations to teach people digital skills. That got me in the news, and we were able to train over 10,000 young people! Currently, I own a health technology company serving real customers in the medical space.

Carl Osimiri

Web Motion Designer  

I started as a web developer but was intrigued by motion designs and animations. I immersed myself in my newfound love through self-study and online resources. As my proficiency grew, I began to handle small freelance projects which eventually led to more significant opportunities and collaborations like blending 2D and 3D elements into a motion design for a fintech company.
I consistently sought feedback and criticism from peers and mentors, and I pushed the boundaries of my creativity by continuous learning. My stepping into the international scene came from web design as my team and I, representing Nigeria, came first out of 79 other teams representing different countries in a hackathon held by UNESCO and Nokia.

Allgain Dilosi

Content Creation

I started writing in secondary school. I ran a blog and shared my stories on Wattpad. I loved to write though I wasn’t expecting to get paid. Then, in University, I realized I needed a means of earning, and I discovered that writing was a skill I could monetize. As exciting as that sounded, it wasn’t until about 2 years later - after applying for several jobs and hearing nothing - that I got the first yes. It was for a lady based in the US, and we collaborated via Upwork. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I told the lady I was fit for the job. To my surprise, I delivered on the job. Following that, I continued training and growing my skills. I vividly remember taking courses on Coursera and LinkedIn. It became easier for me to position myself. I also got accepted into the International Association of Professional Writers and Editors and wrote articles for different international magazines.

Bottom Line

The feats accomplished by these people are not ‘luck.’ Listen to stories all over the world, and you’ll discover that these people, inadvertently or not, followed general principles that have made different people successful in their niches. Put in simple English, here’s what happened:

  1. They followed global trends. The world is tilting toward a new phase where communication and visuals for branding, product design, and computer programming are becoming the most sought-after skills. The disciplines under these categories are super broad, and there is so much space for anyone who wants to get in. You better get in as e dey hot.
  2. They loved what they did. They didn’t just do these things because they were looking for cash. They began because they loved their niches. As we can all learn from Indian stories, love can be developed as the partners go along. In the same way, you can learn to love a skill after you’ve begun to practice. So don’t stand on the sidelines waiting to fall in love.
  3. They grew their skills. They didn’t just go about posting on their statuses ‘world’s best designer.’ They leveraged the internet in various ways to develop their skills, whether they were getting paid or not. From free courses and tutorials to paid training by seasoned professionals, there’s no end to the opportunities available to harness your skill. You have no excuse for remaining in one spot over a period.
  4. They networked. Each of these people joined communities that helped them to grow their skills. They didn’t just try to do it by themselves. They learned from other people who were in the same lane as them. They were inspired by other people’s work and experiences. As you grow, join Facebook, Whatsapp, or Telegram groups of people doing what you do. Attend conventions and conferences, online or offline. Make it a goal to have many friends walking the same lane with you.
  5. They solved problems. Whether personal or that of others, these people were committed to fixing problems that arose in their niches. They set goals for themselves and crushed them. They looked out for the problems of others and proffered solutions to those problems. They did not just sit down and clap for others. They challenged themselves and created value. The same principle will work for you too. With each new knowledge you gain, commit yourself to solving a problem at that level. This way, your value increases alongside your confidence.
  6. They showed up. Oh, they jumped at those opportunities the moment they appeared. Some of these people didn’t even have all the right tools to start with, but they showed up. So show up scared. Show up ‘unprepared’ (how can you be unprepared when you’ve been following the previous instructions?) Show up unsure. Show up and win. Look for those opportunities. Sign up on job boards, update your LinkedIn and Indeed job feeds, and do everything to get noticed.
  7. They got the gigs. The exhilaration that comes with finally winning is almost unquantifiable. Some of these people started with local gigs and then grew to become international players. Some of these people heard ‘no’ over and over and over, but they didn’t stop till they started getting “yes” and “please, I’ll pay you anything.” At last, they got the gigs anyway.

And that’s how they won.

Let’s Wrap it Up

One trend that repeats itself at the turn of a new era is that some people ride the waves to become mega-prosperous while others get left behind to scrape what’s left over. Everyone knows how silly it is to wait for white-collar jobs while you can create a space for yourself to grow and thrive with the rest of the world.

Don’t limit yourself. Dream and make those dreams a reality. The Scarlet Witch is not the only one with creative powers.

PS. If you would like to contribute as a respondent in the future episodes of the Creative Gist, send us an email to [email protected] or reach us via WhatsApp +2348088809311

Allgain Dilosi

Allgain Dilosi is an unrepentant tech enthusiast who loves to write for a living. When he’s not helping brands to stand out through strategic content creation, he’s most likely playing his guitar or reading a novel.

Allgain Dilosi

Allgain Dilosi is an unrepentant tech enthusiast who loves to write for a living. When he’s not helping brands to stand out through strategic content creation, he’s most likely playing his guitar or reading a novel.

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