By Patrick Paul
I hear that Nigeria is in a recession. Rightly so, the economic data and indicators support that. Because I have been homeless for a while now and surviving out of a single bag that hold all the necessities I need, I moved alot and managed to live in two cities.. Anytime I am in either of these cities, the usual mantra I hear is the shout of ‘recession and in this Buhari regime’. When I moved on the street, I see people moving like robots as if being programmed by some invincible hands. They seem to belong to a herd consciousness moving about with a black spot in their consciousness believing that the government of the day is the cause of all of their problems. Although, hard to do I try to separate myself from this, atleast in my consciousness.
Life has been hard since the dawn of creation anyway. But most people carry on as if a giant hovercraft from an allien paradise just arrived here with our tribe and we are just discovering for the first time that life is hard. Individuals and nations experience economic boom and burst in the life circle of their lives during the course of a life time. However, no matter what I say here, the fact is that times are hard, and a lot of people are out of jobs, families can no longer eat a good meal. As I sat down to write this in a friend’s house who is magnanimous in offering a room in his flat for my use, I took an introspection of how people can take advantage of the times and find prosperity in their lives. The three steps I enumerated below can help anyone become wealthy.
Awaken And Make Use of Your Creativity: The word creativity seems to be over hyped nowadays. Nevertheless, if you ever hope to make any meaniful progress in life, you need to exercise and apply this God given tool. Like our physical muscles which can go weak from disuse, our creative ability can atrophy when we fail to utilize it. Creativity is the ability to use imagination and skills to produce something new. Most of us humans suffer from mental laziness and ignorance and are generally indifferent to the education of our mind. If you look around there are lots of work to be done but a lot of people spend time looking for work. A lot of things need improvement, people everywhere are looking for who would offer them values and make their lives easier. Many areas of our lives are begging for innovation and innovative ideas. With persistence, imagination and dexterity, many who are roaming the streets looking for work could be raking millions. More so, they are services which you may be disastisfy with, while others are contented complaining but doing nothing, you can put on your thinking cap,apply a little ingenuity, come up with 10 ideas to improve the situation. Although, they say ideas is a dime a dollar, if you come up with a good idea execution is half completed.
Richard Branson started Virgin Air by putting up a sign when his flight was cancelled selling tickets. He used the money raised from the tickets to rent an airplane. Today, we have the virgin airline. If Richard Branson had joined others to complain when the flight was cancelled he wouldn’t have spotted the opportunity.
Jan Koum is an Ukranian Immigrant who arrived in the United States with his mother, having lost his father in the process of escaping from Russia. His mother having been diagnosed of cancer died in 2000, leaving him alone in the world without any known relatives. He managed to get a job at Yahoo inc. but became increasingly disastisfy with the job he was doing. He also got tired each time forgetting his skype password and the no call policy of his gym. Instead of conforming with these conditions, and having been rejected for a job at Facebook and Twitter, he decided to do something. At the heat of the global recession he launched the mobile messaging service. After a few years Whatsapp was sold to facebook, who rejected him for a job, for a record $19 billion. Today, he is an executive director at Facebook with a net worth of $6.5 billion. Noticed both Richard Branson and Jan Koum did what they had to do to get ahead. They didn’t shout ‘recession and for this Buhari regime’ everywhere as most Nigerians are wont to do
Learn New Skills: Sad to say, most of the degree we acquired in the Nigerian Universities are obsolete now. That is why we need to ditch them and go for new information age as well as globalization skills. Surfing through most job boards in Silicon Valley tech companies. I was angst because majority of graduates would not find jobs in these companies. The jobs needed in these companies have titles like : senior ios engineer, lead ios developer, cloud/linux engineer, informatics scientist, senior ux/ui design lead, virtual reality engineer, cloud/big data/java architect, system analyst clinical genomics among others. Also going through many freelance sites, I am appaled by how much money freelancers make working remotely on their own. Most freelancers make 6 figures monthly, and some had to quit their job to become lifestyle entrepreneurs. Some of them never went to the University but are earning more than most University graduates. What skills do these freelancers have to be earning this much? Suffice to say, this skills look ordinary but they are in high demand in this age of globalization. Some of these skills are Video Animation, Programming for e commerce stores, Web testing/scraping, Web development and design, Content writing,3D Rendering and Architecture, Software Architecture, App development and Photoshop among others. Unfortunately, unless we change with the rest of the world we are going to be enchanted for a long time to come with economic boom becoming ever elusive. Nigeria being an oil base economy can not compete in the coming globalization. But you can acquire new skill and compete with the rest of the world as a global citizen because boundaries have literally collapsed, you can work and make million from anywhere in the world and from the comfort of your home. What are the new trends that will change our very existence? They are :
Vitual /Augmented Reality – removes the need of physical presence. You can remain in your bedroom and go to work in a virtual office everyday.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), -also known as machine learning, removes the need for basic and advance jobs, as machines and computers are currently being taught and given intelligence to do this jobs
. Robotics – replaces many manual labors. Amazon and Walmart stores are currently being stacked by robots.
Personalize medicine and genomics- will gradually reduce the need for medical doctors. We also have trends like the Internet of Things, (IoT), the flying, self driven, and electric cars as well as different on going research for different sources of energy to replace fossil fuel. If the researchers get it right crude oil price may never go up again. What is the way forward? They are sites like Code Academy, Khan Academy, Cousera,Udemy, and Lynda amongst others that teaches these skills, go there and prepare for globalization
Find A Way To Have Multiple Streams ofIncome: Because of the ever changing nature of the world. One stream of income (your job) , no matter the pay cannot make you financial independent. It is said that the average multi millionaire has over 7 streams of income. To combat the endemic and recurring nature of global recession,you would need to earn more money than you know what to do with it. A financial independent person is one whose income is more than his/her expenses put together. Better to start coming up with ways to diversify your income than expending energy shouting Buhari everywhere. It is easier to do this now because we are in the information age, an age of stupendous opportunities if you have the right kind of knowledge and awareness. We have opportunities in e commerce, tech, solar energy, mobile money, social media, Agriculture and Real estate to diversify your income. The problem is most people suffer from chronic employee mentality and until they change this they should brace up for more complaining.
As I end this post, a feeling of invincibility enveloped me. And I feel like I could go out and compete with Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page and even beat them at their own game. But then the realization came to me, it is not about creating the next billion dollar company but providing value in your own little corner of the world. I like to think that this blog post has achieved that.