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.
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.
Backend and Frontend Web Design and Development.
Graphic Design and Photography.
Okaragba Meckanzy Donald
Product Design, Software and Hardware Development.
Web Motion Designer
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.