In this story, we’re speaking with a super-talented lady who is torn between learning the ropes in a structured environment and looking for how to earn more.
But quick one: This week’s story was pulled off in collaboration with mycashestate.com–they’re making it ridiculously easy for everyone to grow money by investing.
Occupation: Multidisciplinary Creative
Net Income: ₦100,000/month
Do you remember the first time you made money?
Is this like actual money or…?
Okay, actual money. When I was in Primary School. My aunt travelled Abroad and came back with a lot of Haribo–those gummy bear sweets–so I took them to school and started selling them one by one. I used to sell them like ₦10 each at the time.
Also, I used to make tiny little cards and people would pay me. I remember one boy wanted to buy for two girls at the same time, so I sold them for ₦50.
To be honest, I had no real use for the money, so I’d just save it up till my parents decide to help me keep it.
That’s an early start.
But actual money, that’d have to be in Secondary School. Blackberries were a thing, so I used to play around with photo editing apps. Like, I don’t really know why people didn’t really care to research these things, but they sha wanted me to edit for them.
So I started to charge them.
Like, I’d design today and they’d pay me the next day. Also, my parents used to give me ₦150 to school every day. To be honest, I think I just always had money.
Next, people started throwing secondary school parties, and I learned how to design flyers. So I started charging like ₦5k-₦15k.
But by the time I charged my highest for a flyer, ₦20k, I was already in 100-level at University.
And then I was suddenly introduced to this new world where everyone was a hustler. There were better designers and people just killing it.
A whole new level.
Then I was like “oh there are already too many good designers, I’ll try Print.” I had plugs in Mokola–which is like the print capital of Ibadan–so I used to get really good deals.
My first major gig was this woman who needed books and souvenirs, and I got paid ₦400k. I was 18 at the time. It was supposed to be for an event, and when the people at the event saw my work, they gave me another gig.
That one? ₦1.5 million. But then I had to settle labour costs, and my cut was ₦950k.
As I collected that money, I bought matching shoes for my friend and I. Bought an iPhone. Bought a Macbook. Even fixed my friend’s phone sef–that’s after she refused to let me buy her a new phone. Paid my sister’s school fees–my mum said she’d pay back but she never did. I rented my own BQ–had air-conditioning and everything. Bruh, I was balling.
In 400-level, my mum made me move to the hostel, because “how will you go to Uni and not even stay in school at all?” That’s actually when many other students first knew me.
I was still getting gigs and all, but nothing met that ₦950k. Also, I used to give a lot of that money out because I just felt I could always make it back.
One time in Church, they talked about this challenged family. I was shy to give them, but my mum helped me hand them the money. She was probably like, “so you this girl, you have this type of money?”
I was about to enter 400-level. Which is weird, because that’s when it started to take its toll. The stress of running around and walking about to get stuff printed was getting to my health. In fact, I actually fell sick. The solution to that was to find a plug to do the running around.
No matter how plugged in the person is, they won’t be loyal. Because they have their own shit to worry about.
Also, I started modelling just around that time, so I stopped pretty much. Although it felt like a downgrade, going from ₦200k to ₦10k design work.
Yep. With all of that. So, imagine in my final year–I’m trying to model, not doing well with school work, commuting from Lagos to Ibadan. Crazy times.
The first show I ever did, I got paid ₦120k. Agency takes their cut and you get 90k. My second gig paid more, and my cut was ₦120k.
The thing about modelling is that it’s highly competitive, and if it’s something you really want to do, it makes you highly driven. If not, you’re going to drop out. It makes you hustle, because everyone looks like you, the same height as you. Standing out is hard.
Anyway, I got another gig that paid ₦80k. Then I started to worry about consistency because there wasn’t really any order. You just get a random call for a job, or you don’t.
I was going to quit, then I started to worry about being a quitter. Like, I felt like I’d been quitting too many things; first design, then the slowdown on printing etc.
Ah, that fear.
What’s interesting is, I was making videos all this time and not showing anyone. It was also the thing I cared about the most, so I never really thought it was good enough. But I knew from the beginning that videos were exactly what I wanted to make for life.
As soon as I finished school, I stumbled on a job, I got a ₦100k offer. This is where it gets really interesting because when they were like ₦100k, I was like oh okay, shouldn’t be bad. Problem was, I was judging Lagos ₦100k with Ibadan brain.
The thing with Lagos is that everything is too cost. Ah. Like, when I first came to Lagos, I was paying tithes, but now I can’t even afford it. See ehn, I hope God understands.
Okay, let’s break down that ₦100k.
I barely see my friends because I’m broke. They ask me to hang out and I’m like “no thanks”, but they never understand that I’m not coming because I don’t have money like that. Some of my friends think I have a lot more money, but I don’t.
Last-last, I know I won’t make ₦100k for the rest of my life, I mean, I sold Haribos. I know I’ll make more. So I think I’m just being intentional and learning as much as I can. Also, I have NYSC allowee money that I can’t touch–some issue with my bank or something. So I know at the end, there’ll be at least ₦200k waiting for me.
Yeah, started at my job, then NYSC called, and I just posted myself to where I was already working.
Let’s talk about zero rent.
A scam–because I live with good people who I’m not exactly comfortable with. But I need to earn more if I’m going to even attempt moving out. That’s that.
I used to take a bus in the morning, and Uber at night because of safety. Now I do ridesharing with colleagues, but still, I don’t know where the money goes. People ask me why I still take Ubers, but it’s just like a ₦400 difference per day, compared to public transport. What just stresses me is that I’m broke all the time.
What does broke mean to you?
I mostly save just so I never get stranded, so being broke means when I have to dip into my savings, or even worse when I don’t have them anymore. Broke for me is living to survive. Everyone is living to survive, but in this case, your money is in a box. This box is just survival and nothing else.
Just randomly remembered that I can’t find all the shoes I bought.
Talking about those shoes, what has changed about your perspective–then and now?
First of all, it’s like my life went down. I mean, I was earning more. Only thing now is that there seems to be more purpose and intention with the things I create.
How much do you honestly feel like you should be earning?
Are we looking at my talent or just experience? I mean, I have a friend who does exactly what I do and earns ₦250k. Maybe I should be earning ₦250k.
Buttt, if you want to pay me for my talent, that’d be a whole different conversation.
How much would be great money right now?
Maybe like ₦300k? ‘Don’t really know–I haven’t had ₦300k in Lagos. I think ₦300k. Maybe that.
What’s your life like in 5 years?
I’ll be 25 right? Every time I think about this, I just think about being rich for the people around me. Also, I want to be making a lot of music videos. But most importantly, I really just want to be comfortable enough to make the people around me comfortable.
I want to be able to live alone. And be able to travel a lot. As much as I want to do my own shit, I always want a steady income, except I’m established enough to pay myself every month. Quite frankly, I don’t see myself being in that place in 5 years.
Also, I don’t ever want to retire. I want to die making videos. At least that’s how I feel now.
If you’ve never considered retirement, I’m guessing you’ve never thought about a pension.
Nope. I mean, I’ve had a conversation once, but I’ve never really thought about it.
What’s something you want but can’t afford?
A camera. It’s complicated, but I can explain. I got a camera but it’s not the one I wanted. So if I say right now-now, I need a new phone. Wait, what am I saying? I want a house. I need a house. I need to move.
If someone secretly texts you, please tell them I need a house.
What’s the last thing you paid for that required serious planning?
A camera. This makes no sense–I just said I need a camera–but I already paid for a camera that I saved up for. So now I have two cameras, and I’m in some debt. I paid ₦250k for that camera.
What’s your dream camera?
There’s a lot of them, for different purposes. Technology is a scam. The gear that has everything I want is not affordable. It’s about ₦1.2 million.
What’s the annoying miscellaneous you paid for recently?
So, I did some freelance work and got like ₦30k. Before then, I didn’t have any cream and all of that. So I said lemme buy some stuff o. Also, I wanted to buy a weave. I think I look like a child too much.
So you’re buying wig to look older?
Look, I’m trying to be a babe. I’m buying this thing to be a babe, lemme not lie.
In the end, I didn’t buy anything I wanted to buy that day and ended up buying a ₦20k perfume. Stupid, because that thing was expensive.
The first time I sprayed that perf ehn, I sprayed it with vex.
My real struggle now is: I don’t buy things because I don’t know where to go to buy them. I don’t know where to go because I can’t afford to go out. Everything is just long.
If you had all the school money now, what will you do?
I dunno, but I also feel like I would have blown it. I’d be going out more and buying more shoes. It would have gone to things that I actually need now.
Have you ever imagined steady income without steady 9-5 hustle?
I want work-from-home steady income. Okay?
Have you ever invested in anything before?
I wanted to buy a printing press in school so that all the money that went to labour costs would have been for me. That money I paid for labour, I won’t have had to pay for it again. Also, my friend built an app that I’m kind of invested in, so if that blows, I blow.
Financial satisfaction, 0-10?
-10. Are you wining me? After all my story?
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