Hey all! Thank goodness is Friday right? Time to take a load off and enjoy the weekend. Well, before you end your day and dive into the weekend for some recreation, i thought to share with you an article i read earlier this year, precisely, at the beginning of the year (January). A little re-energizer and motivation never hurt anyone so be inspired by this wonderful article by Uche Pedro, the Founder of Nigeria's foremost Online Fashion Website Bella Naija titled "A richer you in 2016" ENJOY...

 You know how you make a major New Year’s resolution, you look at the calendar, it’s almost the end of January and you still have not done anything about it?..Yeah, that’s what happened to me.

I made a commitment to myself to share more on BellaNaija this year. Yes, I actually currently spend 99% of my time working on BN. While I do write on BN everyday, I have shied away from doing anything too public because I find that there is this “expectation of perfection” when you share knowledge. So let me be open and say that you will not find perfection here. I am not the perfect entrepreneur, not the perfect boss, not the perfect wife, not the perfect mum but I am passionate about all of the above and always try to be better than I was before.

In 2015, I realized that even though I don’t have it all figured out, what I do know is that lessons learned from triumphs and mistakes can help the next person. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to business!

Everyone is feeling the economic pinch at the moment and rather than going all philosophical, I will be sharing practical tips for YOU to make more money in 2016.

Some items may seem obvious, some you may have seen elsewhere but I really did not read any lists before coming up with these. These are all ideas that I have used myself and have seen others around me apply successfully. Cheers to a Richer (Insert Your Name Here) in 2016 (its still not too late - Ivy Marshall). 

It’s all about the Side Hustle
In 2016, having your 9 to 5 job or if you have been an entrepreneur for a while, your regular business simply isn’t enough. Having a side hustle will give you the opportunity to stimulate your creativity, meet more people and yes, make more money.

I worked on BN as a side hustle for years alongside very demanding jobs. Eventually, I had to leave my “main” job and my side hustle blossomed…
If you haven’t already, you need to start your side hustle in 2016. If you started and stopped, you may need to re-strategize and re-start. If you are stuck on what to do, keep reading.

Passion into Profit
Is there something you really love doing or have a natural flair for? It may be time to take it to the next level in 2016. It could be absolutely anything! It is usually easier to do something you love because for the first few months, there may be no financial reward and without passion, it will most likely fizzle out.

Comedians Craze Clown, Chief Obi and Oluwakaponeski aka Mama Tobi are great role models of Side Hustle meets Passion to Profit. Craze Clown is a medical student in Ukraine, Chief Obi is a full time student in the USA, Oluwakaponeski is a United States Marine and also about to start his Masters degree.

Yes, they have translated their passion for comedy into big bucks. All 3 recently got endorsement deals from NairaBet and Tecno Mobile respectively.

What do you love doing? I remember years ago, my friend Uzo Orimalade was an investment banker with a high flying job. I actually met her via BN as she was also a blogger at the time. Uzo started her cupcake company – Cupcake Couture as a side hustle while she was working full-time. She said “I would get home from work, bake overnight and deliver to clients before getting to work.“

She did this for over a year and eventually transitioned into full-time entrepreneurship. Today, she is the Founder of Uzo’s Food Labs – an innovative food company. I’m sharing Uzo’s story because there were no handouts or special help. She put in the work and got things done. It does not have to be baking and cooking, it can be whatever…Just Start!

Create your Personal Brand
Turn your nose up as much as you want to people who are “so out there”…Whether we like it or not, the world has changed. There is MAJOR financial value in creating your personal brand. Let’s say you are a doctor, you can start working on your brand and there are potential opportunities for endorsements, social media earnings and so much more.

Arese Ugwu – She has a full-time career and has created a great personal brand as a financial guru for the younger generation.

A Million & 1 Online Opportunities
There are a million and 1 opportunities online. Seriously, please do not waste your time on the internet. Forget about all those weird schemes and being an online gambler. If you are willing to put yourself out there, consider YouTube. Top YouTube partners (the fancy name for people with monetized YouTube accounts) earn millions of dollars each year. Even regular YouTube partners can earn thousands of dollars each year.

I’ll keep it real, Nigerian content on YouTube will not get the type of numbers (exception is music video content) that can earn you millions – FOR NOW. However, if you can create content that connects to a global audience…Cha-Ching!

Alternatively, if you build a strong following in Nigeria like Sisi Yemmie has, you can certainly monetize through brand mentions which I regularly see on her Vlog or you can get direct sponsorship for your Vlog. Examples include Toke Makinwa‘s paid partnership with Durex on her Vlog channel.

Other opportunities online include innovative uses of Twitter, for example, Gidi Traffic which is a simple concept yet so influential and has even grown beyond its initial mandate.

Have you ever seen these Instagram pages with various themes such as what people wear to church, relationship goals, beautiful women, news, comedy etc…bet you were wondering, what is this about? Well, by just growing their Instagram pages, using user generated content and simply curating it, many make thousands each month from advertising.

There are really limitless legitimate opportunities online! (Caveat: stay away from get quick rich schemes and excessive online gambling).

With the combination of the last 2 points, being an online influencer is a major opportunity to boost your bank balance this year.

Develop your Special Skill
You may have a special talent which just needs a little fine-tuning and this may be the ticket to increasing your income this year. I’ll give an example, some people just have an eye for great design, they are not graphic artists but if you see memes that they have created, you will probably pick it over something by a professional. If you have a special skill, spend the first few months of this year grooming it. Perhaps take a professional course or apprentice with a professional. By the second half of the year, you may be able to sell your services.

People are eager to learn. You can monetize the knowledge you already have in so many ways. From tutoring to creating training courses to one-on-one training and webinars. This is a major opportunity.

Ride the Economy…Bad Economy = New Business Opportunities
Do you know that all our nation’s economic challenges are opening up new opportunities for business and innovation? Look around you, what are the issues people are facing? They are losing their jobs, it is difficult to send money and spend money abroad, our foreign exchange rate is super high etc…will consumers opt for local produce if it’s good value? Brainstorm…what legitimate ways can you create services that people will need at this time? If you crack it, you could cash in big time.

Review & Reorganize Your Finances
So let’s say you are unable to come up with anything new or even if you do, take a long hard look at your spending patterns and income. See how you can make your money go a bit further. Where can you save? Where can you safely invest? Simple reorganizing your current income, investments and savings will definitely make you richer in 2016.

The God Factor
I know a lot of BellaNaijarians are so disillusioned by churches and organized religion because of ballin’ pastors and questionable doctrines. However, this list is incomplete for me without God. In this crazy world we live in today, I have to say, this has been the centre of my life. True wealth comes from God.

Bonus – Giving and Just being a Generally Good Person
Giving and helping others never goes out of fashion. It really is a wonderful thing to do. If you want to be richer in 2016, give and just be a generally good person.

You cant possibly add or extract from this. Perfect words of advice from a knowledgeable woman! She is such an inspiration to me and this definitely gave me some boost at the beginning of the year. The year might be coming to an end and you might still be feeling a little or should i say alot of stress with little or no achievement. Well, dont worry, its never too late to start aligning your life goals and tackling the stress head-on. Key words "its never too late"! Surround yourself with positive energy and dont get sucked up into the norm of complaining. Thats all from me for now...

You can go ahead and see ALL of Bella's article here

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Ivy Marshall