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Life Hacks With Toby: Are You Comfortable Earning Less Than 35k a Month?



A Facebook update from one of my friends got my attention earlier this week. The poster talked about a guy who I will call Kene.
Kene is in a relationship, but was seriously considering marriage to his girlfriend of about 4 years now. Kene is 33 years old and his girlfriend (abi na fiancé) is 25. (Okay I made that up)

The only problem was that Kene earns 35k a month. My friend’s post was to find out if any of his single female friends would agree to marry a guy that earns 35k a month.

Now, I didn’t really want to get involved because according to the poster, the question was for single ladies.

Unfortunately, the Amebo in me raised its head when I noticed that the post had already garnered more than 400 comments. Omoh, no be only me like amebo o.

Trust me naa, I no gree dull for that kain thing. I just jejely go collect some kwilikwili and zobo from mallam at the gate, balance well well for bed, and began to read the comments.

Some comments made me laff sotey I almost choked. One girl, Jenifa, was like, “In this economy? I jump and pass. So if em buy bag of rice 22k, and buy painter of garri 1k, how much go remain? No be me and him, God forbid o

Another one replied with a question, “Abegi, na spirit go marry the rich men ni? I no come this world come suffa o”.

Of course, some of the ‘mature’ men and women among the ‘commenters’ tried to be ‘reasonable’. They talked about how, “nobody knows tomorrow o”, “the only permanent thing in this life is change…”, “It is better to support a man that is still trying to find his feet so that when he ‘makes it’ with you, he will respect you”, etc.

Trust me, I just balance for bed dey sip my zobo like say na champagne, dey read the comments. Wetin concern me?

Of course the story is inconclusive. And in my opinion, my friend probably made up that story. But again, wetin concern me? All I wanted was a good story to relax with that evening and I got it.

However, I couldn’t help musing over the topic later on that day. And what beat my imagination so much was the type of comments some of the ‘mature’ posters made on that thread.

Now don’t get me wrong. I sincerely believe that everything is possible. I believe that God is a miracle working God, and it won’t take him more than a night to change anybody’s story just like he did for Joseph in the bible. I also think in all sincerity that every lady should support her man and his dreams irrespective of how small things look now, because dreams do come true.

NB: A dream in this context doesn’t refer to dreams of eating Eba and Egusi soup while sleeping at night probably because you slept hungry. I mean dreams of a future, a bright future.

But I couldn’t help but notice that the young men being portrayed in some of those comments seemed to be lazy people. You know, the type that are always singing “I can see everything turning around…”, or whistling “nobody wey no fit to make amoooo o”, and dancing Psquare’s “Cos my bank alert na gbagam”, while waiting for God to come and do a miracle and turn them to Eribe agwu-agwu overnight without doing anything, forgetting that success is a result of focused and intelligent hard work too.

These are guys who are comfortable (emphasis on comfortable) going to work every morning, and returning by 4pm in a place where they spend most of their days listening to the radio, chatting on Facebook and talking about Messi.

It pains me because these young men still go to markets where a bottle of red oil is now sold for #800 and a painter of rice is sold for #2,400, yet they are not perturbed.

A few years ago I quit a job in a bank even though I had no other job waiting for me. I quit because I felt undervalued. I felt it was demeaning to say that my mental output and youthful energy and every other skill I had, was worth 40k a month. I was convinced it was worth more than that, and even if I was selling puff puff and Kwunu, I could make up to that amount every month.

Was it an easy decision? Actually it was. I had a dream, and that dream was strong enough to push me towards making something better out of my life.

A passage of the Bible I love so much (Eph 3:20) says that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask or think. Then it added that it is according to the power at work in us.

Friends we all have unlimited power within us. We all have brains with unlimited potentials. Stop allowing someone else to determine what you are worth. Don’t allow yourself to be subjected to a mass assessment.

If your monthly pay does not take you home at the end of the month, quit whining about it every evening with your friends. Instead, go back to the drawing board and draw up a plan of how you can create work for yourself and improve your life. And start working on it immediately.

Is this a way to say that everyone earning less than 100k should quit their jobs and become entrepreneurs? Absolutely not! And even if you must, you must take some crucial steps before you quit your job.

This however, is my way of saying you should not rest your oars. Stop being complacent! Yes, you. Stop complaining about the hand that life has dealt you and turn things around. Why? Because you can!

I mean, I know you are a masters degree holder, but nothing stops you from supplying ice block to traders in the market, or frying and selling akara very early in the morning before you go to work.

Nothing stops you from using your very active social media pages for business.

Nothing stops you from driving an intra city bus shuttle when you get back at night.

Nothing stops you from being a real estate agent, doing a make-up job, cutting your friends’ hair, or being a caterer during weekends.

Yes there is recession. But who says you must go on a recess? Get back to your dream. It doesn’t matter how tough things seem now. If you are really determined to make that dream come true, you will definitely find a way…

Up Nepaaaaaaaaaaa! Abeg make I go charge my phone, I dey come

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Toby Nwazor is a free lance writer and motivational speaker who believes that life is meant to be lived and not just existed in. He is equally an entrepreneur with a lot of hands-on experience in business start-ups, marketing, and customer service. He passionately writes every Monday and Wednesday on about helping entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs build successful start-ups


  1. That African Chic

    January 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    This has been on my mind. I want to be rich and successful. I know I will be. At this point I have fulfilled one dream of mine which is to start my Masters. Next I want to find a way of honing my entrepreneurial skills. I need tostart a business of some sort. I keep getting different ideas and I know soon I will find the right now to start.

  2. Mitchell

    January 20, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    This is so apt for me right now. I’m at the drawing board. I need to learn how to grow money this year. Last year I learnt how to save.

  3. Missy

    January 20, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    OMG! This article spoke to my soul. I so needed this. I’m at a very confused state as I write this. Got $5000 in my account that I’ve been saving for a while now and I’m so clueless as to what to start up with this money. I’ve taken a few risks that left me with the pain of parting with hundreds of thousands of naira without profit. God help me. Still job hunting but who says I can’t create jobs ? But how to go about it? Confused men!

  4. Timi

    January 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Dear Poster, nice write up.

    I didn’t read it to the end but I feel a need to leave a comment.

    The person in question (even if he is fictional) is going through whatever he is going through at the moment for a reason. We should try not to judge people from our own perspectives. We all have a process to greatness. Yes, he can leave that job, but what if it isn’t time yet for him to leave that job? what if he is meant to learn something valuable (more pricey than a fat pay cheque) or is learning something from there. Not everything is about how much you earn per time. I can use myself as an example, but will choose not to. I have had to stick through unpleasant situations not because I was meek but because I felt it wasn’t time yet. Some times perseverance through life’s difficulty pays.

    Besides, not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur especially not in this recession.

    I have quit two jobs before just because I was not happy with them, bit it doesn’t mean everyone can do the same thing.

    Please lets show a little empathy to people’s situations. Life is much more complex than we imagine it to be.

    My two cents…

    • Cindy

      January 20, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      I believe you should have read it till the end. Anyway, I agree totally with the writer. When I see threads like this on Facebook, I just shake my head. The trick questions are of course to propagate the stereotype that we women of today are not like our mothers. We don’t want to suffer with our men and we are too materialistic. I always point out these arguments:
      1. Even I wouldn’t get married if I cannot afford to take care of myself and at least a child. Be rest assured that I’m not going to wait for a man to get his shit together because I’m also getting my shit together.
      2. For this same reason, it’s going to be difficult for me to marry a man that earns that amount. Why? Because as ridiculous as this sounds, at the point of marriage at least, I would want my husband to earn than me. Not because I think he’s better, but because I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with a man’s bruised ego. If life happens during marriage and I happen to earn more, I believe we would both have grown together by then with a level of maturity to handle the change in dynamics.
      3. My mum who suffered with my dad will tell you that she has suffered enough for herself and her kids so she doesn’t expect her own daughters to go and start from the scratch. According to her, it’ll render her efforts useless.
      4. As this is Nigeria, suffering with a man is no longer a prerequisite for a good marriage.
      I rest my case here.

    • LemmeRant

      January 21, 2017 at 1:59 am

      Your points keep contradicting each other

    • Egbuniwe mela

      September 12, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      ” Timi nobody is making mockery of anyone, the poster is just saying, no-one should be comfortable with earning 35k a month. And anyone who is earning 35k in a month should not be thinking of getting married because he won’t be able to handle the pressure that might follow

  5. @Timi

    January 20, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    You’re missing the point and that’s why it would have been a good idea for you to finish reading the article . He is not saying that people in these situations do not deserve empathy, rather he is saying that being focused, hardworking and ambitious would lead to success rather than sitting down and accepting the current situation just because “it’s not time yet”. Eventually, you’ll look back and realize you wasted so much time being stuck in that mindset. It is not every time “sit down and persevere”, sometimes galvanize yourself to action and push through to make a change, rather than resign to fate, because at the end of the day, God blesses “the WORK of our hands”. Summary of all Toby is saying is that, it is up to us to make a change to improve our lives for the better.

  6. Busola I

    January 20, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks for this article. It really spoke to me! well said!

  7. Spunky

    January 20, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    I wish some of my close friends could see this? Except a few, most of em feel cool spending over 100k on Henny ( weekly), staying in expensive hotels and gbenshing runs gals( 10k for 1 hour). These dudes do not give a care about channeling some of the dough to more profitable ventures. I was like that until I gave my self sense and did right. We need to be self aware of not just saving but investing. I get my monthly cheque from a corporate sector and I’m always quick to introduce my self as a farmer when quizzed…even though I’m on the verge of picking up a hoe and seedlings.

  8. Ruhamah

    January 20, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    very nice piece. I like this part ‘ yes there is recession but who says you must go on a recess’. More power to your elbow toby

  9. nene

    January 21, 2017 at 12:26 am

    great article. no surprises you are igbo, probably from anambra (i might be wrong). the world has evolved, just a degree is not enough anymore, so people need to work hard and work smart. create a plan for your life, it might take years, but it’s worth it.

  10. Tee

    January 21, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    @nene will you ever stop? Tribe got nothing to do with this. Chaiii!!! I pity your man and kids o. Nice write up Toby!

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