“It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself that determines how your life story will develop.” Dieter F. Uchrdorf (A German aviator).
The Nigerian economy nay world economy would never be the same again. The advent of COVID-19 came so sudden and caught everyone napping and panicky. Even the world powers were very much unprepared as they thought it is another epidemic like the ones that came before it. African governments were busy waiting on the World Health Organization (WHO) for direction. In fact, people had rumoured that COVID-19 was a pandemic for the whites only and that; it does not kill the blacks. Before everyone realized it, it had crippled everything that binds us together and tore the economies into shreds. As at the time of writing this article, over 88,264 Africans have contracted COVID-19 with over 2,832 deaths recorded in the continent (source: africannews.com).
Businesses in all sectors of the economy have stymied and moldered to a state of inactivity and redundancy. Most companies furloughed – placing staff on temporary suspension; and some employees have already been disengaged. Inflation is hitting the north and prices of goods and services are following the same direction. Every country’s central bank world-over is struggling to keep the economy and prices of goods and services stable or at par. Devaluation of our currency is on a free fall as measures put up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stabilize the naira against its counterparts in the foreign exchange market are not yielding any results, at least for now. And the continuous dependent on government handouts and palliatives are nothing but a flash in the pan- temporary and fugacious. Government, particularly our type, does not have the muscle to carry the “don’t-have” and cater for their needs much more than the teeming Nigerian youth who account for more than 60% of our population. So, there is a need for you to reinvent yourself. Take charge and be responsible for your life.
Man must survive after all and that is the first law of nature. And to survive means one must engage in legitimate means of livelihood otherwise, criminality will be on the rise. It is based on the aforementioned, that this article is needed to pivot one into the right directions. Except one is a hamster wheel. Hamster wheel is that repetitive and unfulfilling activity that will not produce any positive result. Sadly, many of our youth and adult generation fall in this category. Doing the same thing and expecting to get different results.
Now, the big questions going through the minds of my readers are:
- How do I reinvent myself?
- Are there systems I can follow?
- Can I succeed as an entrepreneur or self-employed?
- How can I create that needed change?
Truth is, there are some people in Nigeria who are not bothered about the effects of the lockdown. One even said to me that the lockdown can continue as long as the government wishes. That comment is from someone who appears satisfied and fulfilled and does not care about the adverse effects caused by the lockdown. You can be fulfilled and sound braggadocio like the person I talked about. In fact, the young man just opened a new outfit and has employed some youth. You too can break the growth ceiling of your life and attain that desired comfort of affluence and utopia that you seek.
To reinvent one is to rediscover who you truly are by adding those values that can make you marketable and acceptable in the society. It also means the retooling of one’s mindset by bringing in positive emotions and positive energy into whatever you have set for yourself as goals or targets. Positive energy refers beyond just mere thinking of good things but includes one being able to turn things around for one’s good.
I say it everywhere, success principles and systems are universal. If they can work for Aliko Dangote or the Bill Gates of this world, they can work for anyone. One needs to understand the underlying principles of success. Until one is open to new knowledge or ideas, the person remains in the hamster wheel. To seek new ideas and creativity through innovation, one must be humble to learn and garner new ideation, skills and knowledge. Jack Canfield the author of the Success Principles said “take 100% responsibility for your life and be very clear why you are here on earth.”
Everyone can succeed as an entrepreneur. There are four quadrants in the cash flow: the employees, self-employed, that is the entrepreneurs; the investors and business owners. And the beauty of the quadrants is that you can be in more than one at the same time as a way to guarantee yourself of financial freedom. The entrepreneur requires either rendering a service or inventing a product. And of course, COVID-19 has opened up lots of new opportunities that aspiring entrepreneurs can take advantage of. Some of these will be listed in the concluding part of this article.
Change is one thing that people are averse to. People hate change because it upsets the status quo. But change is a constant thing which must happen. One needs to introspect on his environment. What are those things that my environment needs that I can help to create or solve? This is called studying the Gap Need of your immediate society. It is in solving other people’s problems that one can successfully be fulfilled and earns legitimate income.
I have suggested and enumerated some nuggets to help you reinvent yourself. First and foremost, one must be a man of dreams; you must turn them into desires. And only when desires become intense; it is then you will have the energy and innate or internal drive to overcome all the obstacles that arise on your paths (Brian Tracy). Truth is everything you ever set your mind to achieve is a possibility. So why are you under-estimating your dreams? Lunch out!
Again, be very receptive to new ideas, information and knowledge. The day one stops learning the person starts dying. Do not be lost in the wind of COVID-19. Do not fizzle out in the shuffle of life. Take advantage of the numerous free online courses to add to your skill sets and values. Ask questions on how you can improve yourself. Your solution may just be a call away from you. Never die in silence. There is a purpose for which everyone was created. Yours cannot be different or be in isolation. Wake up!
Besides, celebrate every success and never die in it. What this nugget simply means is the idea of one not letting any success be achieved to be one’s last. Set higher goals and aim at achieving them. Imagine the best marketing employee in a firm not being able to surpass his own feat and becomes retroactive thereafter. Management would be left with no other option than to relieve the employee of his position.
In addition, do what no one has ever done before. Be the first to be identified with a particular novel idea. Innovation and creativity are twin words that can be achieved by anyone who sets their mind towards it in every human sphere without fear or limitation. What is that talent you are hiding from people that can turn you to an instant millionaire? What is that gift you have not shown that you only know about? Commodify it and see yourself as the next millionaire.
Finally, learn from the mistakes of others. You need to get mentorship and be guided by that man or woman you admire in your neighbourhood, church or mosque, academia and anywhere. The experiences you will garner from your mentor(s) can help you avoid possible failure traps or failure paths. Who is your mentor? If you do not have one, look out for one now.
Build a community of wealthy and successful people around you. Your network is your net worth (Porter Gale). Try as much as possible to network. You can start from your family and friends and gradually expand your horizon of networks. Join organisations that share the same aspirations with you and build around them. Brand yourself. The world is closer than you ever think. Talk to people about your ideas or intentions. Many would listen and not act but do not be deterred. Meet the next person and keep on trying and using your positive emotions. You will make it with time.
Conclusively, I urge you not to work alone. In my next article, I would share the jobs or professions that can be relevant to you in this period and years to come. Your thinking trajectory- path should be redirected into hot jobs demand, so that you can acquire the needed skills on them and stay relevant in the scheme of life.
I leave you with the words of William Arthur Ward: “adversity causes some men to break, others break record.” Where do you belong?