IN NIGERIA, YOU MUST HAVE A SOURCE OF INCOME, BEFORE PURSUING YOUR DREAMS – Says JOHN OBIDI
A distant mentee had been trying to meet me IRL (In Real Life) for about a year now. Last week, I was billed to be at a public event so I told her to meet me there so we could speak for 30 minutes.
She’s young, fresh out of NYSC and has big dreams of becoming a Counsellor and Public Speaker. She wanted to know how to make the road ahead easier.
I’ll share with you what I shared with her, as I know that this will benefit more than one person here.
Whenever I get this question, I look hard at the person and wonder if they can handle the TRUTH, the experiential truth. Or whether their stomachs can only handle a motivational regurgitation (stuff like, “Just believe in yourself and it will happen”). Some of you reading this might be quick to quip, “The truth of course!”
Calm down. It’s not that straightforward. Not everyone who asks for the truth is sufficiently mature or spiritually evolved enough to handle and process it.
“So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you.” – Prov. 9:8
I’m dropping this here on the half chance that you can take it.
The path to becoming a highly sought-after Personal Brand for a Nigerian is different than one for an American. The terrain is different. The cultures are worlds apart, literally.
In Nigeria, you don’t start out with your dream from day one. I admire that optimism, but when the Nigerian reality hits, it can leave you heartbroken.
In Nigeria, you must first get your money right. You don’t need to be ultra-rich, but at least have an income stream to cover your rent, bills and transportation costs to and from networking events. Start out with a ‘hustle’ (or job) to fund your dream.
The earliest members of this group would remember this video I made in this regard:
If you start out with your dream alone, you might die of hunger before you see its actualization. It can happen. This is Nigeria.
In the United States, there are standard healthcare options even for the lowest income classes. If you fall sick in Nigeria, where would you go? LUTH? UBTH? This is a country where people still die of typhoid (due to misdiagnosis).
As a thought leader in Nigeria, understand that your life is not entirely your own. People’s lives are counting on you to stay physically and psychologically fit. You need to be able to afford elite healthcare and be attended to in 5 minutes. This level of service costs money.
Try to understand, this isn’t a case of me hating on your dreams. I know that there will still be some who will choose to see it that way. You’re welcome all the same. You can learn it now from this post, or later from experience.
In ‘obodo oyibo’, it isn’t as crucial.
In Nigeria, IT IS CRITICAL.
Your path will take time to figure out. We need you to stay in the game until that clarity comes.
I understand that some of us have this God-given burden to deliver a message to our world. Remember too that the Biblical Apostle Paul was also given an assignment, but he didn’t ‘faith’ the money angle. He generated income from the business of tent making.
“I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions.” – Acts 20:33-34
As your brand grows, your monetization strategies will be clearer and your dream will get more lucrative. You’ll be able to drop the hustles until you need them no more.
This was my path. I did all I could to stay in the game until I made my first 40k, 100k and later my first 1m. I sold ties, I designed websites, I wrote software, I did livestreaming at public events.
I was talking on the phone with Remi recently and she said, “It’s strange imagining you from the days of trekking and jumping buses in Lagos. You’re so spoiled now, no one will believe you had that history.”
A time will come when your name and influence too will command high-end speaker fees, honorariums, VIP hotels stays and (business class) plane tickets. Until then, we need you fed, clothed, healthy, sane and happy.
This is why in the earliest episodes of The Smart Business Teleseminars, I focused on teaching (and inviting speakers to teach on) money.
I am smart. I am intelligent. I am articulate. I am good looking.
I have a large heart.
He also knows that’s not the reason 70% of people listen to me. I’m not fooled.
This is Nigeria. GET MONEY