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Uche Pedro: A Richer You in 2016

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Uche PedroYou 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. My laptop screen recently went bust because I was simultaneously trying to do this while wrangling our twins. Side Note: Why do babies produce so much saliva! Please keep your baby’s drool away from your laptop and phone screens. I totally learned the hard way.

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.

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. Craze Clown Oluwakaponeski SUNDAZE-JRoom-December-2015-BellaNaija00200-5-600x400Yes, 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 highflying job. I actually met her via BN as she was also a blogger at the time.
Uzo Orimolade Uzo's Food Labs

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.

Professional Services to Startups & SMEs
Do you have a professional qualification or specialized skill? Yay! You can put it to better use in 2016. I can tell you this for free, there is a major gap in the startup and SME market for access to quality and affordable professional services.

I remember when we first tried to seek professional services (Legal, Accounting etc…) for BN, the really good companies were wayyyy too expensive while the ones we could afford were not of the quality that we wanted. If you are a full-time entrepreneur already, you may consider specialized offerings for startups and SMEs. If you work full-time, confirm that there is no conflict of interest and consider offering your services during your personal time to startups and SMEs.

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

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

Omilola has built a great brand! Her "Do It Afraid" mantra is just so apt

Omilola has built a great brand! Her “Do It Afraid” mantra is just so apt

BN works with lots of Nigerian and international brands – many are moving away from celebrity endorsements and want more relatable figures. Basically everyday people who have created a special brand. Whatever your profession or focus – from being a housewife to a scientist working in a super complicated field, there are opportunities there but you have to build your brand value first. If you are starting from scratch on this, you may not be able to enjoy the benefits until the 2nd half of the year but it is worth it financially when done right.

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.

I really like what Akah Bants is doing, he has massive potential.

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.

I created a special section for Uber because it is not a typical online business. Do you own a car? you may consider exploring the Uber Partner program in Nigeria.

Real Estate
Lots of young people get scared when they see the words – REAL ESTATE. This is because they believe it is totally out of their league.

Real Estate by Haven Homes

Real Estate by Haven Homes

I admit, the cost of real estate in Nigeria is alarmingly scary! In addition, our sky-high mortgage interest rates (side eye to the CBN) does not help however, you can still make money from real estate even if you are not a millionaire.

Lots of real estate developers and agents give referral commissions. You do not need to be a real estate agent or anything like that. If you have a huge network or are specially gifted with sales skills, it can be very rewarding especially for high end real estate.
Please be careful so you are only involved in legitimate schemes because reputation is everything.

Flip This House
I used to be obsessed with home improvement shows and I am surprised that more people don’t do this in Nigeria. Do your parents or anyone you know have an old house which is being underused? Perhaps it is rundown. You can enter into a partnership, renovate the home and share the proceeds from the rent or sale. If you are a diva or fresh guy, this may not be for you. You need to get your hands dirty – paint, clean, install etc…

Climb the Real Estate Ladder
It may seem daunting but you can actually climb the real estate ladder in Nigeria. If you are a total novice, you need to start by studying the market. Castles and Lamudi should become your favourite weekly publication and website respectively. Visit as many sites as possible and learn online. This is a separate topic which I may discuss in a future post as there are so many layers. During this time, save as much as you can, when you are ready, consider investing in land in an emerging area. Make sure you do all your due diligence and you could sell months down the line for a healthy profit.

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.


I just heard some good news so I will be back on BN tomorrow!

All day today, I’ll answer questions in the comments section and hopefully help you define your plan for a Richer 2016!

Photo Credit: Haven Homes | Insigna Media | Uzo’s Food Labs | Omilola | Arese


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