August.18.16‬ Personal Finance‬
Money Matters with Nimi

Don’t rest on your laurels; be creative – think outside the box. Identify your strengths, talents, and skills and do something with them.

You aren’t earning enough?
It has become commonplace to find a good number of hardworking, diligent, creative, and energetic Nigerian workers being owed several months of their salaries and entitlements by their employers. They are often forced to beg or borrow from family and friends for transport fares, rent and school fees. Nigerian Labour Law is clearly against a situation whereby workers are owed salaries; it is morally and legally wrong, and employers must fulfill the essence of the contract between them and their employees, irrespective of the circumstance.

Are you struggling to make ends meet?

If so, you are not alone. The high cost of living has prompted many Nigerians to seek out other avenues to earn extra income and still hold on to a full-time job. For all of us, diversification of earnings is advisable; not only does it boost your earnings, but it also provides a safety net should you experience salary delays which have become commonplace, a salary reduction, unexpected job loss or some other financial setback such as major unplanned expenses or significant loss in investments.

Have you identified your God-given talent?

Research shows most successful people earn multiple streams of income primarily from rental income from real estate investments, interest and dividend income from investments in the financial markets and investing in businesses. Even if you do not have the money to invest in the financial markets, real estate, or business, other avenues exist to supplement your income.

There are different types of people; some capable people are prepared to face the indignities and the consequences of a low income or no income at all, whereas there are others who are determined and are proactive about making efforts to improve their lot and lead a better life by thinking outside the box and seeking to earn extra income by utilizing their God-given talents and skills.

Most people have some inherent talent or skills that if properly nurtured can create a huge window of opportunity that will not only help them earn but will also give them a sense of fulfillment and happiness. Don’t just rest on your laurels; be creative – think outside the box. Identify your strengths, talents and skills and do something with them. Which one of them can you take immediate action on?

A potential freelance job or business should incorporate the skills and talents you already possess. Ideally it should require a relatively little amount of your time and require low oversight, be fairly low-risk, and not require huge capital outlay. Above all it must be customer–centric and deliver a high level of service, and must be unique.

So, what can you do?

Are you a communicator? Are you an organizer? Are you a budding entrepreneur? Here are just a few self-help examples of what some enterprising Nigerians have embarked upon as they faced the predicament of unemployment or low income. They have effectively utilized their hobbies and talents often resulting in the establishment of viable businesses that subsequently became their primary source of income.

Private Tuition

Several schools have proved inadequate in equipping children for significant examinations without additional support from private tutors. Further, parents often do not have the time or inclination to tutor their children, particularly during the long holidays, which makes for huge demand for such services to keep children engaged. Can you teach someone to speak properly? Do you have an exceptional skill in a particular academic subject or language? Are you a gifted musician or do you have an exceptional skill in a particular sport? If you possess the deep knowledge and skills and an ability to start a tutoring service in a particular subject, or skill, there may be an opportunity for supplement your income.

Computer Skills

Computers and the internet have become an integral part of our lives. Clearly, those with strong skills can seek to offer services in web designing, programming, and trouble-shooting. Individuals and businesses are often in need of high quality presentations for their marketing purposes and skills in the design of power point presentations are highly sought after.

Cooking and Baking

Do family and friends often compliment you on your outstanding culinary skills? If you are a good cook and enjoy cooking you can consider giving cookery classes or offer catering services at small events and parties. If you are good at baking, you can start take orders for birthday cakes and other special occasions. There is some demand for cakes and bakes or freshly made sandwiches delivered to local businesses during the lunch hour.

Art & Crafts

If you have creative talent, ideas, and the ability to work with your hands and are passionate about what you do, you can turn your passion into a profitable, part time, money-making opportunity. Sewing, jewelry making, artwork, novel crafts such as candle or soap making are much sought after particularly during the holiday season when people are looking for gifts.

Home Repair Services
Every homeowner needs the help of someone to do repairs as and when they occur. Some people are very good at do-it-yourself solutions but unfortunately most do not have the confidence, the tools or the time to do it successfully. We are all too aware that reliable and efficient workmen, and technicians to do the most basic repairs are increasingly hard to find. If you have such skills and are service oriented and have credible referees, you can offer your services to households in a niche area.

*Don’t jeopardize your day job

Be careful not to jeopardize your current employment income by being distracted and losing focus; you owe your employer your full attention so don’t let any other interests eat into your work time. The key is to keep them separate yet be well organized so that your side job doesn’t interfere with your regular role and vice versa. It is important to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. It often helps if you are in partnership so that you and your partner/s can cover for each other as the business evolves.

Whilst these efforts on a small scale will not make you rich overnight, you can certainly create some useful extra income this way. Even in difficult times you can acquire certain skills or build on your existing skills. The independence that you derive from less dependency on an employer opens up a wide vista of options enabling you to experiment with new opportunities and have a better chance at long-term financial stability and success.

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