So you think you are poor?

One of my biggest mantras this year has been “Your current status is directly connected to what you know”. When you know what you need to do about anything, you can take control of your circumstances and can influence your outcomes. That being said, no one is really poor, even in these economic times locally and around the world. Paper money, or bank balances aren’t the real value. How much is your bank balance really able to buy you these days?

The richest people around the world know this and that’s why they have accumulated such wealth, by working not just money but a variety of resources at their disposal. Resources and raw materials necessary to build wealth are all around us, if only we sought, discovered and gained knowledge them.

It’s pretty basic really. Most of the services, products and ideas which are bestsellers today started somewhere centuries ago. They were birthed from clearly identifying problems to which solutions were required and presenting those solutions to the right people in a mutually beneficial way, period. Simply put, what problem can you solve? Who can you solve it for? How many people have that problem? How much can they each pay? Does it add up? Voila, you are on your way to making money!

You say you are broke, even with your job or lost your job or never had a job…

  • You have a cluttered home. Has it occurred to you to sell off some of those things at reasonable or giveaway prices and see how much you can make of the returns?
  • Did you know you have a network of contacts you can serve with your skills and cost effectively too?
  • You are a tall, dark handsome, jobless graduate… have you enrolled to model for advertising or fashion shoots while you work out other possibilities? Or that’s beneath you?
  • Have you tried acting while you wait for your business to take off? How many auditions have you attended?
  • Have you offered your services free to an organization while they claim there are no vacancies so that in the end, you get your chance?
  • What have you built or created since you finished NYSC and started looking for work?
  • Your current job doesn’t pay much, have you tried offer something for sale to your colleagues on the side without affecting your work? Have you added them to your Clientele database?
  • Have you seen the number of weight loss products out there, can you help someone with fitness? Or can you become a products distributor?
  • Your Instagram handle can be put to more use than stalking people or catching up on the latest gossip, if only sat down to think.
  • You have no money but you’re in good health, can you run help individuals or organizations run errands or make deliveries across the city and turn it to a business?
  • Have you reached out to your network to collaborate on a business idea or help you find a new job?
  • Have you tried a barter arrangement to kick off some of your ideas?
  • You have always loved to paint, write codes, compute figures, write, dance or sing, have you interned somewhere to build your skills so that someone will eventually pay to engage your services?

Our economy is fast evolving even in the middle of a recession, people are now paying for services that were at best, ludicrous to us a decade ago. Need I remind you that Spa pampering services, Make up, Fashion shows, Professional Choreography, Social Media oriented transactions, sale of packaged home cooked meals, paid Online courses were foreign phenomena or figments of our imagination over a decade ago? Today, It’s a different story. The sucess Instagram comedian-superstars are recording daily, is unprecendented. They simply sat down to think and script, harness what they had to offer, called their friends  and got together to record skits.  Brands have discovered the need  for their so-called inconsequential  services. How many like-minded friends have you called for collaborations?

My submission therefore, is this: Look inward, look outward, you have something to give, you have something to harness, stop waiting endlessly for that job, promotion or future to come to you, go to it, create it. Chances are, it’s been done before somewhere, so it’s not ridiculous, work it and discover more.

Truth is, everyone has something they can work to their advantage. Everyone. If you don’t have money to trade, you have people, people for whom you can solve problems and earn money. If you don’t have money or people, you have talents, which you may or may not have worked. No one can claim they have nothing to give, in return for money- and I certainly do not mean sex! You’ve got so much to offer, just think and build something. It certainly beats sitting around doing nothing.

The future belongs to those who create their own opportunities. Ask the people ahead of you. Nothing is given to you. You create it and then everyone celebrates what a genius you are. Nobody is really poor!

By Ayodotun Rotimi-Akinfenwa

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