“If you think you can, then you can. If you think you can’t, then you can’t”
These two sentences are the cornerstones of success. Or Failure! They are so simple, yet so true. They simply state the facts as they are thereby reminding us that our successes or failures lie only in our own hands and the decisions we make. I do not think it needs further explanation.
This post is meant for those who have become brave enough to explore the possibilities that lie beyond their comfort zone. because that’s where the magic happens. It is meant for those who have resolved within themselves to create for themselves another source of income. It is meant for those who, through the desperation of unemployment, have also resolved to find a solution for themselves.
That said, let’s dig into it. First, lets put things in perspective. The methods of earning a living which will be outlined here are a mix of online and offline methods, all of them require that you have a skill set you are able to sell. Some of them you can handle on your own, some others are best handled if you have a small team. All of them require hard work!
But if you love what you do then it is no longer hard work. It becomes a walk in the park. So if you’re looking for a get-rich-quick scheme, sorry, this is not the address.
So, Where do I Start?
One of the very first places we have to start is re-orienting ourselves. There must be a change in the currently predominant mindset that dictates that you ‘have’ to look for a job. Like i said before in this other post, solving unemployment must become personal. The good news is that you can create a job for yourself (your income stream), and possibly create for others too! If you are currently unemployed, then it’s a good place to start. You have nothing to lose. If you have a day job, you can still create for yourself an extra source of income.
Many times when we were much younger, our parents would ask us: “What would you like to be when you grow up?” And we will look up dreamily with our finger on our chin thinking of what we would like to be. I always wanted to be a doctor, or a banker. I towed the science line and was on my way to being a doctor. Somewhere along the line, I found out that I loved other things more than being a doctor, so I followed my heart. I made pencil drawings and sold, I made greeting cards and sold, I loved art and still do! I loved science, but I loved art more! Today, my art is more of a digital kind, and if I had skipped the humble beginnings of selling my art, I would have missed out on their multiplier effects. I followed my heart.
The single most important step in being successful around your business is doing what you love! You will spend quite a lot of time on your business, it is better that it has a sweet taste in your mouth than a bitter one. In other words, your business should be centered around your passions, around things you love doing, something that comes easily to you than most people around you. Eg Writing, speaking, cooking, sewing, knitting, etc.
I do not have any skill, where can I learn a skill?
A lot of people may actually fall into this category! There is no need to despair. This is 2014, the amount of information available for free is absolutely staggering! In fact, the available information is so much that it takes quite some time to sort through what is good and what is junk. If you are looking to learn skills like photography, graphic design, web design, web programming, basic computer skills, audio and video editing etc that you can make a business out of, then there are many places on the web offering FREE tutorials.
One of the finest places to learn online is Udemy. They have a huge list of available courses that you can join in right away! Udemy’s courses are both free and paid. you will find a good number of free courses in your area of choosing and what’s more? They even have android and iOS apps for helping you learn on the go! Awesome.
This is another great resource. They also feature many free and paid courses as well as a healthy blog where all manner of topics around areas of interests are discussed.
Lynda.com is by far the most extensive resource for learning anything you want to learn. With over 4 million people using Lynda, it already tells you it’s pretty good. Lynda is however not a free service. You can watch a few tutorials for free but the real stuff is behind a payment wall. The cheapest subscription on Lynda.com is a 25 dollar per month subscription. (That’s about N4,200 per month). If you can afford it, and you are serious about learning from the pros, you can do a lot of learning in one single month.
W3Schools is strictly for those who want to learn about website development. It is a totally FREE Resource and its all there for you to see and practice. Go and take a look for yourself.
So how do I sell my skill online?
As there are many places to learn skills from, there are also many places where you can sell your skill online. The online market places exposes you to a great many possibilities. You can have clients from any part of the world while working from your bedroom. It also exposes you to a lot of very skilled competition, so to make any headway, you cannot be contented with being mediocre. You are now playing on the world stage.
Friends and family will always be your first customers, you will do some free jobs for them, you will also do some paid jobs for them, but most of all, you’ll get to gain the much-needed experience while starting out. Do NOT underestimate the power of a well executed job, it is what will always bring you return business! In fact, a good many jobs that may come your way will come from people referring you through good jobs you have executed for them.
Many places are also available for selling your skill and some of them are:
Your Immediate Network
This is your initial hunting ground. Your friends and family, your BBM Contacts, your twitter followers, your Facebook friends. These are the people who will become the ambassadors for your work. Let them know what skill you have earned.
You probably may have heard of it or even signed up on it. It’s a great place to showcase your skill, and also target people who are looking for to hire your skill in your same geographical location. Its free to Join, free to use. It’s a great tool.
Elance is a great place to work! They feature different areas of work from which you can choose. For instance, you can choose to work in graphics and multimedia or perhaps in writing and editing etc. You can browse through already posted projects and you can send your own bids for projects stating your price and how long it will take you to complete. Elance offers many ways in which you can get paid for your work. Wire transfers, Paypal, Skrill(MoneyBookers) and a Freelancer Debit Card. Here in Nigeria, Paypal and Skrill do not work, the Wire transfer will cost an additional fee for you to request your money but the best option for getting paid is the Freelancer debit card. It is essentially a MasterCard issued to you by Elance. You can use it at atms around the world that accept MasterCard and you get to withdraw your money in local currency. I applied for mine, and it got delivered to me in about 3 weeks! Awesome!
Freelancer is another great place to work. it is essentially another market place to hire skilled people. They also pay out money to freelancers using the same methods like Elance. That’s two places you can get your own fully customized freelancer debit cards from. Possibly your second income stream.
I have personally not used Odesk, but i have looked around there a bit! It looks like another good outsourcing platform and you can definitely try it too. There’s no harm in trying.
Another possible use for these platforms is to get a team of skilled people together, you bid for the jobs, and hand them the jobs to execute. The possibilities are quite endless.
Good Old Google
Although the internet existed way before Google, today a lot of services on the web depend a lot on the existence of Google. And it will most likely be where you start on your journey to being successful. In this journey, Google is your best friend. Do not hesitate to search for anything you need to know about anything at all, you will find results. Always. And you will also find people who are already doing what you want to do. You can definitely leverage on what they did and how they did it! there’s no need re-inventing the wheel.
Everyone craves success! but success is available to those who are ready to go the extra mile!