Everything You Need To Know About Freelancing As A Beginner

Freelancing is a viable choice of work, particularly in this part of the world. It not only solves unemployment problems but also allows you to work in your comfort zone.

I would advocate freelancing for everyone. It’s easily one of the best ways to build a solid foundation of skills and clarify your life goals.

Although being a freelancer has its perks, however, it also has its struggling phases. In the subsequent paragraph, we’ll divulge the different types of freelancing, its pros, and cons, and basically, every other thing you need to know about it.

Different types of Freelancers

There are different types of freelancers. Sometimes, one stage could lead to another. However, it is advisable to combine traditional work with freelancing if you’re a beginner.

  • Independent Freelancers: These freelancers don’t have a boss, but their job is project-based.
  • Diversified workers: They combine traditional employment with freelancing and have a variety of income generation sources.
  • Freelance Business Owners: Even though this set of people may have a tiny workforce to whom they outsource projects, they nevertheless view themselves as freelancers.
  • Moonlighters: These freelancers combine their day job with freelancing. 
  • Temporary workers: Although they only have a single temporary employer, their employment is project-based.

Pros of being a freelancer:

  • You work at your convenience: As a freelancer, you may work whenever you choose – it has flexible working hours. You are free to sleep in till noon if you wish. Your most effective working hours as a freelancer don’t necessarily have to coincide with traditional company hours.
  • Working in your comfort zone: Another benefit of freelancing is that you can choose to work wherever you want, whether when you’re on vacation in another country or under a tree in your compound; you could even work at a saloon if it’s convenient for you. You are no longer confined to your house or even a workplace. Find the environment where you perform best. You could carry out your work while still in your jammies in a park, a library, or even your living room.
  • Control over Jobs you do and the clients you work with – Another exciting part of being a freelancer is that you have control over who you want to work with. If you feel an offer doesn’t pay you or it doesn’t align with your personal belief and principle, you get the choice to decline the gig or client. As a freelancer, you have a choice in who you work for. That’s how simple it is.

Cons:

  • The workload might be unsteady: One thing about freelancing, especially for newbies, is that the workload might be inconsistent. One minute you might have so many gigs to work, and the next, you might have little to no work to focus on, which equals less income. 
  • Late payment from some clients: A significant difference between full-time employment and freelancing is that when you work full-time, you get paid as promised every month. It would be odd if you weren’t paid on the anticipated dates, wouldn’t it? When you are a freelancer, you must establish your payment terms and be willing to defend yourself if a customer has trouble paying you, internal delays, or other obstacles.

Everything you need to know about freelancing

Before you venture into this work, I think it’s mandatory to fill you in on some of the basic things you need to know about freelancing.

  • It could take quite a while to be successful at freelancing

For some, it could be a success story right from the onset, but this success story from the onset is not peculiar to everyone; in fact, for the majority, it’s not. Don’t anticipate being wealthy as soon as you adopt this way of life.

The demands of freelancing are highly specific, including excellent time management skills, client networking, and financial preparation, amongst other things. You will soon realise that although you are relatively skilled in your creative sector, you must develop different abilities to succeed. It will require significant effort and time to figure out how to strike a balance.

  • It could be pretty stressful

If you’ve decided to be a freelancer, then you should know that it’s pretty stressful and be prepared for the stress.  

To avoid getting knocked out by stress and demands for work, you have to be prepared and able to protect yourself from it.

Then, set up your defences with enough cash to last you for many months, a solid backup plan if things do not work out as you had hoped, and a few self-care rituals.

  • Follow the proven steps of successful freelancers 

Follow the steps of those who have trailed the parts and have been successful. Experts and trends are prevalent because they are effective. The wheel and your line of business don’t need to be reinvented. Many independent freelancers had gone before you and paved the way. You’ll significantly make things easy for yourself if you take that way and embrace it.

Study the top performers in your freelancing line and learn as much from them as you can; adopt their routines, methods, shortcuts, setups, beliefs, and some personal traits that align with you. You could also be successful in this path; you have to want it enough and study the experts in the field and incorporate the lessons learned from them into your workflow; they are pretty transparent, not hidden.

  • Don’t quit your day job right away

One piece of advice I’ll always give to newbies at freelancing is not to quit their day job immediately. It’s not every time that freelancing pays right away. Try to balance working your day job and freelancing if it’s possible. Even though this experience might be distorted, you will get a glimpse of what it’s like to work for yourself. You can test your viability for a full-time position by working on the weekends or in your free time.

Make your choice after you have a better understanding of what freelancing entails and you are confident that you are capable of doing so. 

  • Budgeting is essential

Although, it’s not easy to specify the specific amount you’d spend in a month, especially when an unexpected budget pops up. However, try as much as possible to estimate the precise amount you must spend each month. Determine how many tasks you must finish to achieve that. The best and probably the easiest way to do this is to make a list on paper. 

  • It’s not easy being your boss

Few people are aware of the amount of work that freelancers do each day. Freelancing is many things, but it isn’t quick and straightforward.

It’s easy to feel lazy, especially when you have a working lineup, but you always have to boss up and act like one if you really want to succeed at it. 

  • Build Your Credibility 

Your ability to demonstrate your skills and output most times determines whether or not you’ll be a successful freelancer. 

Your university degree or sometimes your experience doesn’t mean anything to the clients if you can’t provide relevant samples of your works. Clients won’t hire you if you can’t demonstrate your expertise in your field.

The simple logic is that you can’t claim to do something and have nothing to show. Showcase your works and expertise in the public space. In whichever freelancing field you find yourself in, keep and build a track record of your accomplishment and credibility.

  • Build a portfolio

Many freelancers build online portfolios of their work for potential employers to view on sites like Tumblr, Contently, or About.me. Ensure you have a collection of files and other previous projects available in case anyone requests to see them if you don’t have a specific online freelance presence.

A company may feel more comfortable hiring you for a freelancing position if you have a strong portfolio of previous work, but be selective about the projects you reveal. The sample writing you offer should be appropriate for your desired freelancing position.

  • Communication is vital

Although you might not be a full-time employee of the companies who engage you as a freelancer, you should consider the person who hired you as your boss. Like a typical employer, this individual expects you to complete a particular task. To make sure that both parties are receiving what they require, you must maintain effective communication now and then.

  • One aspect of the job is rejection

There is less sense of permanency because freelancers manage multiple projects for multiple clients at once. Your clients will mostly change towards you, don’t depend entirely on them. This change could come either from finances/budget, your working relationship, or whether the business needs to hire a freelancer. For whatever reason the rejection happens, it’s essential not to take it personally. Accept it as part of the job. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Does One Begin as a Freelancer? 

A specific objective is the most crucial step in beginning a full-time or a part-time career as a freelancer. You must be sure of the number of hours you intend to work as a freelancer. 

To make this work for you, you must be completely clear on the cash reward you want to receive in exchange for those working hours. 

Additionally, you must be fully aware of the services you can offer.

Who employs contractors? 

People and businesses hire freelancers, including small and medium-sized companies, huge corporations like charities, local and central governments, etcetera.

Is Freelancing risky? 

Yes, it could be risky. Yet not any riskier than doing a regular job. 

In fact, working a typical job entails more risk than freelancing since you must rely on just one source of income to support yourself. 

If you are a freelancer doing this the appropriate way, you’ll know where to look and how much time it’ll take to find other clients if you lose one. 

Do I need a degree to work as a freelancer? 

Not at all, no. Employing freelancers frequently differs from hiring traditional employees. When recruiting freelancers, the individuals on the other end of the phone care more about your experience, areas of specialisation, and how you can assist them. Nonetheless, it might be needed if there is a necessary qualification for the project, for particular positions.

What are the highest-paying freelancing positions? 

Web development, marketing, project managers, writing, content creation, content management, accounting or bookkeeping, teaching, coaching, or tutoring, social media management, graphic design, and administrative or virtual assistants are among the most lucrative freelance positions, according to Forbes.

Final thoughts

With consistency, hard work, and following a proven method used by successful freelancers that had gone before you, you’ll eventually make it out as a successful freelancer. You might subsequently hire your 9-5 boss (that’s an aside).

Are you a newbie at freelancing? Or you’re just trying to glide towards it carefully? Read this content to have foreknowledge about everything you need to know about freelancing. I hope you find this helpful. Stay tuned for other insightful articles.

A little long absence and a new presence

Hi guys,

I have been away from posting on my blog for quite a long while. This is particularly because I have been exploring freelancing. I have explored freelancing for over four years now. However, I decided to take note of bettering myself and evolve consciously.

Freelancing is a gold mine for many. But for a lot of freelancers, with a heap load of talent but little knowledge of how to get huge gigs, it could be a lot of work. Either you work your ass off and get little pay, or you remain stuck. Would you love to be this person? Obviously, no.

If you are a newbie or a struggling freelancer, it will benefit you to follow me for valuable tips on freelancing. It’s a new feature on the blog, and it will most likely be recurring as this is what I do for a living.

Subscribe to my blog as I unleash invaluable freelancing tips. A new update drops soon.

Adverse effects of staring at your phone too long and possible preventions.

If you ask the majority if they can do without their phones for a week, the major answer is a resounding ‘no.’ Almost every one of us is guilty of this because the world has gone digital. 

The majority of the transactions we make are online, and it is done via our phones. However, it’s also expedient to note that some health hazards surround staring/glaring at the phone or laptop screen for too long. 

In a study published in the journal scientific report, Professor Ajith Karunarathne writes: “it’s no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eyes’ retina.” His team further argues that blue light is very hazardous to the overall health of our eyes; this is because the eye’s cornea can neither block nor reflect it. 

Some of the other eyes effects of staring at the phone or system screen for too long are:

1. Eyestrain

I guess the majority of the people whose day begin and ends on their mobile screen must have found themselves with dry eyes, tired eyes, and blurred vision at one time or the other, which translates to the fact that your eye is taking in a lot of strain and it’s also been affected.

Studies have it that straining or focusing your eyes on one thing for too long can cause Myopia. I’m sure the majority of us are familiar with what Myopia is. Myopia is short-sightedness. So, what’s the best way to prevent this since we all can hardly do without our phones? 

The most suitable way to prevent strain is by intermittently taking breaks from your mobile phones/systems. Avoid staring/focusing on your phone screen for too long to avoid eye health issues. Take conscious breaks from your system.

2. Blinking dysfunction

Blinking dysfunction is when you blink excessively without having the ability to control it, which can be pretty irritating. Although many factors can lead to blinking dysfunction, the most glaring cause is when something is on the eyes’ surface, which is, of course, temporary. 

However, some of the other things that can cause blinking dysfunction are eye irritation, e.g., dry eyes; eyestrain can also cause blinking dysfunction, and also vision problems such as Myopia can lead to blinking dysfunction.

3. Impaired vision

There’s no doubt that many have had a type of visual problem at some point in their lives. For some lucky ones, these problems can be easily treated with contact lenses or eyeglasses.

However, part(S) of the eye or brain involved in processing images can become paralyzed or damaged – this is when severe or total loss of vision can occur. Unfortunately, the eyes cannot be fully restored with contact lenses, eyeglasses, or surgery.

Although, according to an ophthalmologist affiliated with sharp community medical group, Dr. Arvind Sini, “there is no clinical evidence that prolonged screen use causes permanent vision loss. Dry eyes and eye strain, yes. But nothing long term.”

4. Eye pain and migraine

Straining your eyes on mobile screens can cause eye pains and migraines.  Asides from the eye pain, it could also cause blurry visions. According to the vision council, “over 27 percent of people have experienced headaches as a result of digital eye strain.”

So, we’ve mentioned a few of the health hazards staring at the mobile phone excessively can have on the overall health of our eyes. There must be possible ways to prevent these issues, especially when we cannot do without our smartphones and digital devices. Look below for the possible protection of the eyes against all these dangers.

Possible ways to protect your eyes health from your mobile screens

1. Adjust the size of your text

Try making the text on your screen bigger to make it easier to read. Try as much as you can to avoid squinting your eyes to read a text.

2. Always remember to blink.

Staring at your mobile screen excessively could cause dry eyes and other eye irritation. By remembering to blink, your eyes repel irritants, retain their moisture, and remain refreshed.

3. Take breaks

Always remember to take breaks intermittently. When you glare at your phone for a few minutes, you can look away from it for a few seconds. Preferably, try to look at things at a distance during these intermittent breaks.

4. Reduce the brightness of your phone

Adjusting your phone’s brightness to regular will make it much easier to use and comfortable for your eyes. Asides from this, you’ll also get to preserve the battery level of your phone.

Final thoughts

Although the phone has become a constant companion of everyone in the 21st century, the majority cannot do with their phones even for an hour. However, when we consider the adverse effects staring at the phone for too long can cause on our eye health, we shouldn’t hesitate to take little breaks from staring at our phones.

Why failure sucks more than anything in this part of the world

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm,” Winston Churchill.

The Mantra about failing many times before eventually attaining success is a real fact. Quite a lot of us have witnessed success stories that started from nothing. However, in recent times, Mantra has been debunked and proved irrelevant in this part of the world.

Many dreams have been shattered with ‘what ifs?’ – The fear of the unknown. The fear of not having the stability and emotional strength to handle failure. But who would blame anyone? I couldn’t, and I can’t because we’re all part of the masses who are afraid of failure. We’ve read so many success stories, but so have we read so many failure stories. But would we instead remain stagnant than fail?

Let’s look at these scenarios: 

I have a dream worth a million dollars, but the plan is just sitting at a corner in my heart with cobwebs at its side.  Why don’t I execute this million-dollar dream and be ridiculously rich? ‘fear.’

 We all have a fear of failure running through our veins. The fear isn’t just limited to our thinking; it extends to thinking about those we care about; it extends to thinking about those we can’t afford to let down. That’s why so many people will stick to their #20,000 naira monthly salary rather than take a bold step in starting something more rewarding and financially fulfilling.

The part of the world we live in doesn’t create a cushioned space when we fall. That’s why many entrepreneurs aren’t bringing something new to the market; that’s why we are so comfortable living below standards.

Why? Are people tired of hearing things that don’t work in this country? But what works in a country that has provided minimal comfort for the development of her people? Maybe success. But isn’t success pushing it too far? For some, it isn’t. Can we accept that we are programmed differently, and so are our stories and life.

I think there are more than enough reasons I could go on proving why failure sucks in this part of our world. So, I’d instead stop there and focus on the bright side of life.

The bright side

” My last two business ventures have failed. Three years and probably $50,000 later, I am left with nothing but more excitement, experience, and clarity than ever before.” Kevin Swan.

That piece of the quote is probably what we need to scrap out of our weird thoughts of not wanting to fail. The quote’s author doesn’t say anything about winning a lottery in the end, but he tells us how excited he is about the future. And would you care to know that this man is disabled? He is disabled, as in paralyzed; he couldn’t move any part of his body but his eyes and toes. Not even his mouth; he can’t feed. Yet, he’s hopeful. It’s not easy, but where’s our hope?

If this happens in Nigeria, I bet the person will be crumbled to nothing feeling like a complete failure. But the point is, would it solve the issue? Or would remaining stagnant lead to success?

I guess it’s about time we changed the orientation if we genuinely want to progress. 

The other side: We can’t rule out failure in the bid to succeed. However, we can succeed if we strive hard enough.

Three tips to avoid failure breakdown

Start small

Many of us don’t have the wholesome capital to start a huge business. My advice? Start small. Don’t borrow to avoid a heart attack. You can’t build an empire in a day, not even a year, go slow and be consistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

It is often advisable to start a very sure business – more preferably, a hand skill you’re confident about. Don’t follow a trend.

Have other side hustles.

The way we should be programmed in this country is to have other side hustles. I have a friend who has up to 4 legit side hustles, and he doesn’t get tired. I have another one who quit his job to focus on his startup business.

Both ideas aren’t bad, but the country’s situation will make a man who depends on one means of income regretful.

The situation of the country warrants having other things we can fall back on when one fails.

Change your orientation.

I’ve heard quite a lot of ‘That’s why I don’t listen to Motivational speakers.’ You don’t have to listen to Motivational speakers’, but what exactly keeps you motivated to be better? Do you know that your wife advising you to try your hands at other businesses is encouraging you? Wouldn’t she be called a motivational speaker in broad terms?

Here’s another dimension to changing your orientation – accept that failure is part of your progress story. While we may not wish to encounter failure, we should channel our thinking towards life and its ups and downs. Once we accept that things will not always go the way we want them, we’ll begin to see opportunities where we ordinarily wouldn’t have thought.

Final thoughts

The thoughts of failure plague so many minds, hitherto hindering their success. While we cannot afford to fail, we shouldn’t be comfortable at being stagnant – we should probably fall to raise another day.

Some youths say ‘the motivational speaker forgot to add “fail early.” Let’s redefine failure – You fail to succeed another day. Fail early so that you can do what your future self will be proud of.’

NB: not everyone will fail. Some are lucky enough to succeed at the first trial. Be bold to take a step!

The rubrics to personal development

Personal development is an essential quality for every person that wants to be better.

Personal development is a consciously imbibed lifelong process to achieve set goals, improve quality of life, and maximize your potential.

Anyone who wants to improve their living standards spiritually, physically, mentally, and in all other aspects has to strive for it to attain it.

There’s no trick to developing yourself except you put in the work. I’ve seen people who want to upgrade themselves financially – manipulate everything, get rich, and eventually get jailed for their frivolities.

Why? They manipulated things to get rich quickly; they didn’t put in the effort at the right places.

I have also seen those who want to upgrade financially put in the extra efforts and eventually become successful. It took them some time and effort, yet they made it eventually.

There are stories around us – stories of people who fought to be better versions of themselves. Stories of those who fought to break loose from a habit; stories of those who fought spiritual battles and conquered through personal development.

This article will briefly relate an authentic story of how a young man conquered battle through self-improvement. 

Also, the article will further explore the aspects of personal development, some awesome tips to attain personal development, and the benefits of personal development.

The story of Alli’s personal development.

There are different sides to personal development. It could be spiritual development, physical or emotional self-development, or we could even strive to be better in every sphere of our lives.

Ali’s story is, however, that of personal spiritual development, which further helped him in other parts of his life.

There’s a wide belief in spiritual manifestations, especially in African society. Alli’s case was considered one of those spiritual cases – his case was depicted as not normal, and, truly, he also knew it wasn’t a normal occurrence.

At the age of 15, Alli hadn’t stopped bedwetting. His younger siblings were far ahead of him in that aspect. His parents were worried, and his elder siblings knowingly would soak his school uniform in his urine – so that he’d smell of piss.

They intended that if he smelled that way amongst his friends, he’d be ashamed and feel inclined to stop the disdainful act. However, it only worsened.

At some point, he’d have a dream of mating with a female species in his dream and wake up to confirm it’s true he did. It was different from a wet dream. 

It was then he believed his situation wasn’t ordinary.

His parents equally got perturbed; they tried their hands at different traditional drugs used different things, all to no avail.

It wasn’t until all their efforts failed that they decided to seek help elsewhere. 

There’s an Islamic cleric who is believed to be very religious. Alli’s parents weren’t practicing Muslims, but they believed their child’s spiritual problem could be sorted through prayers.

The Islamic cleric prayed for him and took him in, taught him the art of praying and believing in the Oneness of God.

Alli not only got better, but he also improved his spiritual life – he got total healing through his conscious efforts to become closer to God, and now, he has upgraded to the extent that he prays for other people battling life issues, and God cures them because of his faith.

Alli’s story is one of spiritual development. What’s your story? What personal development stories have you heard?

Aspects of personal development.

The different aspects of personal development will be highlighted below.

Spiritual development

This kind of development often entails religiosity. However, some argue that having a deep connection with the world is spiritual development – they do not equate being spiritual to religion.

In the case of Alli, however, his level of religiousness brought him to a height of spiritual/personal development he couldn’t have achieved if he remained the same without progressing.

Spiritual development is essential to guiding you to other aspects of personal development.

Mental development

This kind of development plays a huge impact on our relationships, career, family, education, and the like.

Mental development is also vital to the other aspects of personal development. Mental development aids fast learning and interpersonal relationships.

It would help if you consciously relax and exercise your brain to strengthen your mental development.

Emotional development

It is essential to be emotionally strong – learning to handle your emotions will help you through many life struggles.

Life throws so many blows at us – one of the aspects of development that can help us handle those blows is emotional development.

Emotional development can be a bit tedious to achieve because of the complexity of humans. However, one should strive for it.

Physical development.

Another aspect that influences our growth is physical development. Physical development enhances our chances of attaining the other aspects of development.

Endeavor to eat well, exercise, work, practice a good skincare routine and relax to achieve an awesome physical development.

Tips on how to attain personal development.

Highlighted below are some best practices to help you attain personal development.

  • Read on/make research on things you’d love to improve on

To improve on a particular aspect of your life, most times, you need to seek knowledge – just like Alli did.

You need to read on/research the area you’d love to improve on to become refined and more knowledgeable.

Reading and upgrading your memory gland is an awesome way of impacting your personal development positively.

  • Develop a practice routine.

You could easily ruin your mindset and set goals with the wrong routine regimen. 

Develop a healthy practice regimen that will positively impact your personal goals. 

Try to avoid things that are contradictory to your set goals. One of the best ways to achieve a best practice regimen is through a reward/punishment routine.

  • The reward/punishment routine works this way –

if you work towards achieving your goals, you could reward yourself with something you love or have always wanted.

However, if you flop on your personal goals, you could punish yourself with something that will touch you deeply.

To achieve this, you need to be true to yourself.

  • Stay honest with yourself.

It’s not easy denying yourself some life pleasures. However, one of the doctrines of personal development is to deny yourself little things to achieve greater heights of fulfillment.

You have to stay true/honest to yourself to maximize your potential. 

The bitter truth is, it’s easier said than done; it’s easier to read books on your goals but difficult to work towards implementing your goals. Put in the actions and be your judge.

  • Get yourself a mentor/role model.

One practice that shouldn’t be undermined in personal development is getting yourself a mentor or a role model.

Alli’s father saw this when he chose the Islamic cleric as Alli’s mentor.

That was the turning point of Alli’s life – he not only became healed but become learned about religion and spiritually improved; that’s a form of personal development.

Also, having role models you look up to will keep you motivated and help you become better.

  • Take time to reflect.

Reflection is an essential aspect of personal development. 

It is vital to sit back and reflect on your progress or lapses – this will help you become better.

Asking yourselves questions equates to finding answers to the questions through conscious efforts.

Work with / stay with people willing to push the extra mile.

It’s not surprising when you see that highly successful people mingle amongst themselves – this is essential because the kind of people you move with have a telltale of it in your life.

Do you want to achieve some set goals? Move with people who share the same visions as you. Move with people who are willing to push you to success.

Sometimes, personal development isn’t a journey to embark on alone. You need people to ride with you to get to the shore.

  • Stay consistent.

Consistency is key in every action. To achieve a personal goal, you must be consistent.

Self-development is a lifelong process; it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and patience. However, in the long run, it pays.

  • Keep tabs on your progress.

Gauging your progress is an awesome personal development tip. 

This tip helps you know if you’re doing the right things or not. And you’ll also know the necessary steps to take towards actualizing your goals.

Benefits of personal development.

Personal development comes with a lot of added advantages. Some of the benefits of personal developments are listed below.

  • Fulfilling your set goals.
  • Enhanced self-esteem and self-identification.
  • Having the courage to face life challenges
  • Improves your interpersonal relationships with others.
  • Conforms a quality lifestyle.
  • Develops self-discovery and helps people propel towards utilizing their talents.
  • Strength development, amongst others.

Conclusion.

The impact of personal development or lack of it in many lives could not be undermined.

Taking conscious efforts in improving our lives will go a long way in helping us live a fulfilled life.

The article is quite detailed on personal development; study the tips and implement them in your lives to live a fulfilling life.

The mystery behind the colour of your nail

You know that feeling you get when you’re about to be tested in one way or the other? The angel on your right shoulder says, ‘everything is gonna be fine.’ while the devil on the other shoulder whispers, ‘it won’t go well; just walk out now and let go of the trauma of failing.’ That was precisely how I felt sitting in the examination hall, waiting for the examiner to bring in our questions.

It was a mathematics exam, and need I say, it hasn’t been my favourite subject for a very long time. I had tried to study, but it’s not like every other subject where you could just read and pass; you need to work it – and to work, there has to be an expert to put you through. I know it’s so simple to many people though, but people like me don’t find it interesting.

Random thoughts kept coming to my head. If I could borrow a brain now, whose brain would it be? Probably my big brother’s brain – that guy is so good; he doesn’t need a textbook. Or my runaway mathematics teacher? Man, I would be relaxed by now. Or I can make do with Abdul’s, man does not need studying maths; he’s practically the mathematics guru. The last option is more like it; he literally begged to be a part of me; I guess he needs to prove it.

I decided to ease my thoughts and focus. I looked sideways at my seat partner – he was praying with hands held up in front of him. Then, I stopped. I stopped doing whatever it was I was doing when I noticed his nails.

I know it might seem like an overreaction, but It wasn’t. I haven’t seen a fingernail so black and thick. I stared hard at the nails, thinking the boy probably used a ‘Lali’ or something, but no, that was his nail’s colour. The mystery of the black, thick nails got my spirits excited for research. My findings are highlighted in the paragraphs below.

What the colour of your nails tells about your overall health

The nail colour should generally be a colour pink, with the healthy nail plate being pink and the tip being white as it grows off. The change in the colour of the nails could be an indication of a severe health complication.

As I delved into the research, I noticed other nail colours that I would have found weirder than the colour black had I seen them. The nail colours are blue, green, pale, yellow, red, brown/copper, grey, white, and purple. Each colour symbolizes different ailments – these ailments/conditions are addressed one after the other.

Black Nails

Black nails could indicate underlying health conditions such as bacterial infections, vitamin B-12 deficiency, chronic kidney disease, trauma, liver diseases, cancer, or silver deposits.

Blue Nails

Blue Nails are medically termed cyanosis. Sometimes blue nails could be caused by cold or constrictions; if the standard colour doesn’t return after warming, it might be due to a severe underlying illness. Blue Nails indicate a variety of medical conditions such as:

  • Lung and breathing challenges include asthma, long-term bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory malfunctions.
  • Raynaud’s disease: The finger and toenails whiten, then turn blue. It may alternately benumb and painful once exposed to cold.
  • Wilson’s disease – Hepatolenticular degeneration.
  • May point out an unusual elevated form of haemoglobin in the circulation.
  • Septicemia: This often occurs when there’s a bacteria infection in the bloodstream.
  • Argyria: This is caused by exposure to some chemical compounds.

Green Nails

Green nails could be caused by cleaning agents, allergies, fungal infections, bacterial infections, and chronic Emphysema.

Yellow Nails

Yellow nails may indicate: diabetes, the nicotine from cigarette addiction, chronic bronchitis, swollen Han can also cause yellow nails, respiratory disorders, which might indicate problems with the lymphatic system.

Red Nails

This color indicates high blood pressure, lung disease, stroke, heart disease, carbon monoxide poisoning, and brain hemorrhage.

Purple Nails

This colour might be indicative of congenital difficulty, deprivation of oxygen, circulatory problems.

Pale/white Nails

Pale/white may be indicative of anemia, kidney, or liver disease. White line bands across the nails may also be a pointer to protein deficiency. 

White spots on the nails can also be an indication of iron and zinc deficiency.

Gray Nails

Gray nail indicates glaucoma, Emphysema, lung disorders, edema, malnutrition, and cardio-pulmonary disease.

Nail darkening on the sides

Darkening of the nails on the sides could be a pointer to kidney disease.

Brown spots under the nails

Brown spots under the nails could be an indication of psoriasis. Also, reddish-brown spots on the fingernails can be an indication of folic acid deficiency.

Final thoughts

The article didn’t start like I was going to be discussing the underlying health issues of our nails. But it is sometimes funny that we get to learn new things and find inspiration in the oddest days/ways.

I hope you check your nails like I did mine severally while writing this post. If you notice any abnormalities or signs, please do the needful by seeing a medical expert ASAP.

Which one would it be – going after the money bag or pursuing your dreams?

Let’s create some fantasy – close your eyes and focus on your inner thoughts, dream about one thing at a time. Go first with money, and let your mind free, think – ‘what would it feel like when you have a lot of money?’ Sure, It’d feel good. Terrific. 

Switch the thoughts to something else – to your dreams – how would you feel making money by creating value for others and fulfilling your dreams? You’ll feel fulfilled, right? Nothing beats making money through the value you offer.

Let’s look at the scenario where you don’t make money from your dreams from the onset. 

Many people feel discouraged when fortune doesn’t start their businesses; they stop halfway chasing their dreams and go for the money instead.

To be realistic, many of us want to get that money bag – to enable us to live a comfortable life and probably make us happy. 

But really, is money the height of happiness? For some reason, we might want to answer yes. But it might come as a shock that money isn’t the maximum height of joy.

We’ll take a look at some reasons why we should rather chase our dreams than go after the money bag below.

Reasons to pursue your dreams.

  • Your money status will be irrelevant if you don’t add value:

Yes, this isn’t a fib. People like Dangote, Linda Ikeji, and Funke Akindele remain significant in the country not only because of their wealth status but because of the value they’re giving out through chasing their dreams.

This value sets them aside, and people see them for what they have achieved in their lives. 

Some people say that people are more prosperous than famous rich men, but they aren’t popular. 

Shall we say they aren’t famous because they aren’t creating much value for people around them? Let’s answer the question with a more appropriate question.

 Are the rich men in your communities appreciated for their money or the value they create?

  • You feel fulfilled when you achieve a milestone:

The truth is, many people feel accomplished and fulfilled when they accomplish a milestone in their goal.

The kind of fulfillment you experience is different when you chase your dreams.

Forget the gram; many people smile at the camera but aren’t happy from within. Many stuck-up white-collar workers aren’t enjoying their work, but they love the money that comes with it. That’s not to state that all employees do not love their work, though.

When you make all the money in the world but still don’t feel fulfilled, check yourself – you’re probably not enjoying what you do to make money: Jim Carey posits that: “I wish everyone could get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they can see it is not the answer.”

What then is the answer? Creating values for people from your passion would be a more appropriate answer.

  • Money comes in the long run when you chase your dreams:

It’s mostly the lack of patience to focus on the goal when no money comes in that deters many people from pursuing their dreams.

Many of us think of the money aspect initially; why would we go into businesses without the money mindset? That would be ridiculous, right?

However, when chasing dreams, it will be more feasible to be fully prepared that little to nothing will come in the first few months and that it’s the value you give that will eventually bring the money in.

Many people use Linda Ikeji as an example of how chasing your dreams and passion can pay in the long run because she is a testimony to this.

Linda Ikeji started blogging at a time when the internet was not very popular. She would sometimes borrow money to go to the cafe to update content on her blog – she did this purely because of her passion for writing and because it has always been a pastime hobby of hers.

Wealth wasn’t the first thing on her mind when she was blogging—she blogged for about 6years before she could eventually get a financial breakthrough.

  • Money could be temporary:

The bitter truth is that the money you have could go as quickly as it comes. When this happens, what steps would you take?

Some will resolve to go the wrong way when the money they had dried up. 

However, for those who focus on their dreams, getting the money will be a bit hard at the start-up, but as time goes by, they would rise again through hard work and dedication, it might be slow, but it will come through.

Pursuing your dream makes you have something worthwhile to share with people: in pursuing your goals, you’ll pass through some essential phases/stages of life – these phases are what prepare you for the future. 

The experiences you pass through while trying to achieve your dreams will make you an authority in your chosen field. 

You can inspire others through your journey and create value in many’s lives by pursuing your dreams.

Final thoughts

I know some things could be easier said than done; I know that the money keeps staring at us, indirectly calling us to action, saying, ‘chase me and forget about chasing your dreams. I’m all you need.’

But the genuine part is it will not be accessible at first, but in the long run, chasing your dreams is worth it – it will add more value to your life and those around you.

So, what’s it going to be – pursue your dreams or chase after the money bag? The choice is always yours, make a good one.

Whatever a lawyer with 20years of work experience can do is the same thing the person called to the bar yesterday can do.

#Journey after school is a weekly series that captures Nigerian youths’ life, struggles, ease, unemployment, and employment opportunities after graduating from universities, polytechnics, and colleges.

Our interviewee is a law graduate who is doing quite well for himself. He shared some exciting information about his profession and job experiences after school.

Can we meet you?

My name is Azeem (fake name). 

I finished at Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, Ago Iwoye. I read law.

What specialty of law?

In the University, we don’t specialize. We focus on all branches of law. Unless you school in the North – and you specialize in Islamic law – I’m not even sure.

When did you graduate?

I finished University in 2018 and graduated from law school in 2019.

Awesome.

Afterward, I served, and I finished my service year in 2020.

How has it been since you graduated?

Well, I served in a litigation firm. After NYSC, I started working with a corporate firm. I resigned from there after about 4months. However, I’m working with another litigation firm now. So, it’s been fine. I thank God.

Was there a personal reason you left or was the pay not right?

The thing is, basically, in life, you have to move forward. If you see a better offer or even for some personal reasons, you could leave your place of work. I resigned from the position on mutual agreement with my employer.

Did you get the job offers on connections?

In Nigeria, you need connections for everything. But for me, I am very fortunate. I don’t search for a job before I get one. Jobs find me; I don’t find jobs.

Laughs

Wow, you’re one of those lucky people then.

Can law graduates work in any firm, or do they have to work in a law practicing firm?

Once you’re called to the bar, you’re a lawyer. Whatever a 20years lawyer can do is the same thing the person called yesterday can do.

If you don’t get a job offer from a law firm as you wanted, you can decide to start on your own, if you’re sure of yourself.

What if you don’t have the money?

You can walk up to a friendly person in a law firm and tell them you’d love to share an office space with them – they don’t have to pay you; you want to practice your profession.

But it would help if you had it for money.

Some people do it. As a lawyer, you can sit down today, and someone will call you for a job worth 100 thousand. You can wake up to be a millionaire as a lawyer.

Hmm.

You can sleep broke and wake up rich. I know people that do it. They only share office space; they don’t get paid. However, as a lawyer, the possibility of getting a job is 80%, but you might not like the pay.

Hmm.

But you can get a client that will pay you more?

That’s what it is. They can pay you 100k in your office, and you can get a client that’ll pay you 300k.

So, lawyers are doing fine without employment opportunities?

Hmm. I don’t know how you define fine.

I mean, financially okay.

Yes, at least you’ll have something to eat. 

Something about the law is, no matter what grade you graduate with, except you want to work in a top-tier law firm, you’ll get somewhere to work.

Laughs.

Yes. I know people that had 3rd class and pass grades from the university and are working.

Through connections, right?

Yes, through connections. Aside from that, what I think is the level of demand for lawyers is high in Nigeria. Some will say we have too many lawyers in the country – but there’s still a high demand for lawyers.

During my service year, we were 3 in the office. The workload meant for ten people is what the 3 of us would do. The workload is too much. Some employees don’t even check your credentials; once you’re called to bar, you’re a lawyer.

Wow

Please give us a more detailed insight into your life after University.

After I graduated from the university, I was very frustrated with my school because they delayed our admission to law school for about five months.

Law school was like hell for everybody. The only moment of stress for me after school was during law school.  After law school, I wanted to be depressed because I was thinking of what was next, but I was pretty fortunate like I said earlier.

What’s your advice to prospective lawyers?

Don’t give up. I know law school could be draining. I had panic attacks in law school – people cry without anyone beating them. But know that it’s a phase, and it’ll pass.

9 Reasons Working Long Hours Can Be Hazardous

As a growing child, I heard and witnessed some appalling, heart-wrenching stories/incidents which could have been avoidable. And, even as an adult, the stories are still unbelievable. It’s probably that it could have been avoidable that makes it worse. I remember this particular one; both parents are workaholics. They decided to hire a housekeeper, with the father’s brother’s support; let’s call him Lana. They thought with the uncle’s stay at their place, adequate care would be given to their children. Unfortunately, they thought wrong.

Lana and the housekeeper were shameless adults; they had sexual relations in the presence of the young, innocent kids and encouraged them to do the same. By the time the parents found out, it was all too late. The kids were addicted, and the brother eventually impregnated the sister. This is taboo, morally unjustifiable, religiously wrong, and a sin. But why do people choose long hours of work over family and their overall wellbeing?

Why do people work long hours?

The ideology of working so hard without a break to make it has been ingrained in most societies; this attitude is so bad that when nature calls and we fall asleep, we feel unproductive and lazy. But really, do long working hours make you more productive? How long of work is healthy? Or do we care so much about being a ‘zillionaire‘ that we are willing to jeopardize everything worth living for? What if the secret to being productive isn’t working long hours?

White-collar job isn’t making it easy on employees; one of the basic requirements for most jobs is working under pressure. The work environment and society judge your productivity level by the amount of time you spend working. The work environment glorifies long working hours, but does your physical and mental wellbeing glorify it? Does the havoc it wrecks in your relationship glorify it?

If we could recount stories of how long working hours have had adverse effects on family, marriages, relationships, health, and more, we’d be desperately willing to spend quality time after work before going back to it again.

The adverse effects of working long hours

  1. Broken ties with family and friend

I don’t think there is anything worth losing your family over. There are several cases of broken homes and broken friendships due to working overtime. Broken relationships could be slightly tolerable compared to the adverse effects working overtime has on such parents’ children. Many turned wayward, were sexually abused, and eventually became mentally depressed and miscreants in society.

2. Decreased productivity

Isn’t the reason for working overtime to increase productivity? But it’s however shocking that working overtime kills productivity. We think we’re working, but the brain has been shut down; the quality of work you produce will be very watery if you don’t relax your brain a while before picking up from where you stopped.

Study shows that the optimum working hours per week for productivity is 40hours per week, that is, almost 6 working hours in a day. However, every hour put in in over 40hours per week doesn’t breed productivity.

3. Overly stressed out

Working for long-overdue hours leaves a huge telltale on our bodies. The mind becomes overstressed that we barely have time to do other things. When stress sets in, other diseases are harbored. We become prey to various diseases, and we care little about people around us – people loathe you for what you’re doing to yourself. You barely have anyone to talk to because no one wants to be there for always physically and emotionally unavailable people.

4. High risk of heart attack

Many do not know that working long overdue hours could leave them with increased vulnerability to killer diseases such as heart attack. Studies show that people who work long hours have about 67% increased chances of the disease than those who work within the average working hours of about 7-8hours in a day.

5. Brain damage

Research has it that those who work for more than 55hours a week have a high chance of reduced mental skills, cannot recall words, short-term memory loss, amongst others, as opposed to those who work only for about 41hours a week. In essence: “Excessively long working hours can cause fatigue and physical and psychological stress, which potentially damage cognitive functioning.”

6. Higher risk of obesity

Another research has that people who work long hours are more susceptible to being obese than those who work for normal hours. A report says that: “Long work hours may be contributing to the rising obesity problem by reducing time for a physical activity…”

The mail online reports that “Obesity knocks 20 years of good health off your life and can accelerate death by eight years.”

7. Depression

A high level of depression could set in for people who tend to work more than the required hours in a week. As a result of long-overdue working hours, the worker has zero social life and finds it difficult to share happy and sad moments with loved ones.

8. Reduced hours of sleep and tiredness

Research has it that about 7-8hours of sleep must be enjoyed. Avoidance could lead to a high risk of severe health issues such as tiredness, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, acute myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular diseases, and the like.

9. Cancer

Studies also show that working long hours could increase cancer risk. According to an article in the British Journal of Cancer:

“Observational evidence suggests that working longer than recommended hours is linked to many behavioral cancer risk factors, such as excessive alcohol intake (Virtanen et al., 2015) and physical inactivity (Kirk and Rhodes, 2011; Angrave et al., 2015), possibly because individuals feel that they lack time to exercise because they spend extensive time at work (Escoto et al., 2012).”

Final thoughts

Working overtime is avoidable. You could be working the normal hours of about 7-8 hours a day and be twice productive as someone who works overtime. Working normal hours enables you to create time for family and loved ones, and importantly, guarantees a better health status.

If you think long working hours are the thing for you, why not sit back and strategize on your working hours for a while and see how productive you’ll be.

HOW A DISABLED MAN BUILT AN EMPIRE

“There are no shortcuts. There are no easy buttons. There are no magic techniques.

You just have to do the work, damn it.

The question is…

Are you going to do it? Or are you going to sit there whining about how hard it all is and let the world pass you by?

The choice is yours.”

Jon Morrow

. . .

The quote above is from one of Jon Morrow’s articles. I guess you wouldn’t be surprised if I told you Jon Morrow is a millionaire. But would you perhaps be astonished if I told you he is disabled? You might even be more surprised if I told you that the only part of his body he can move is his eyes and lips. The other parts of his body are paralyzed.


I’ll share the story of Jon Morrow in the paragraphs below- how he is an inspiration and some essential lessons to learn from his success story.


He is disabled, yet, he’s making it and living the life. How is that even possible? I know, I know this question keeps coming to your mind about this ‘ royal awesomeness’.


Jon Morrow is a blogger. With the help of speech recognition technology, he has written many awe-spiring articles read by millions of people, and which had, in turn, made him a millionaire. He’s an inspiration to so many people.

. . .

His story
Morrow is a great storyteller. And from his inspirational articles, I’ve been able to cop this few pieces. Sit back and enjoy!


Aged one, Jon hadn’t begun to crawl, he made attempts to crawl, he tried, but, he could only try. His worried mother, Pat Morrow, decided to take her son to the hospital against everyone’s opinion that she’s probably worrying herself over nothing, and that he’ll eventually walk. I guess a mother’s instinct is something that cannot be overemphasized.


At the hospital, Mrs Morrow received the most heartbreaking news ever, her son, Jon, suffers from a neuromuscular disorder, called spinal muscular atrophy – this means as Jon grows older, he’ll grow weaker instead of stronger. At some point in his life, he’ll be unable to move. And, he’ll not be able to breathe on his own. Also, someday, he will be infected, this infection will make its way to his respiratory system, and he will have very severe pneumonia. The doctor’s words in a sum are that Jon won’t be able to survive all these past the age of 2.


Mrs Morrow, who was more perturbed and angered by the doctor’s withdrawal to her son’s fate to die, was resilient and willing to fight the battle for her son. And miraculously, 16years after, Jon suffered from 16 severe cases of pneumonia, but he didn’t die. I’m quite sure aside from the medical tours, she invested a large amount of her time praying he survives it. That Jon, survives this, is a pointer that he’s destined to live and do great things.


Mrs Morrow didn’t stop at the battle for her son to live. She fought that he be also educated when the school’s principal didn’t want disabled children around. And, when Jon could no longer lift a thing as a pen, the selfless mother made arrangements for honours students at local colleges to help with his assignments after school hours.


Over the years, Jon suffered from several broken bones, and he recovered. He spent most of his life in the hospital but remained determined to make something beautiful out of his life.


In 2006, Jon’s minivan was hit by a car that was speeding so much. The speeding vehicle sped into Jon’s minivan, breaking the entire front end of his van. Jon was pulled out with fire in his shirt and with broken legs in about fourteen places.

The battle only he could face
Throughout his growing up years, Jon realized his family had fought so many battles for/with him. He couldn’t let them down. He began to fight many battles on his own. He fought the fight to be listened to, and not merely being shoved aside because he’s disabled. He fought the battle against the stereotypical Stare and judgement given to the disabled beforehand; he fought the fight against wallowing in self-pity, destruction and depression.


The battle after the accident was, therefore, a necessary battle for him to fight and win. Jon was in the hospital for the next month, enduring the pains that came with the broken bones.

Afterward, he focused his time on rehab as doctors had predicted he’d need a year to recover. Surprisingly, Jon only used half the year. During this period, he thought about everything concerning his life. He didn’t like where he was heading, so he quit. No, he didn’t stop his life; he quit his job and sold his belongings.

After Jon quit his job, he ventured into blogging. He dedicated all his time to it – no time for T.V., no time for friends, no time to check the time, literally.


Within two months, Jon’s blog was getting about 2,000 visitors a day, and it was nominated for the best blog for business/money of the year. Few months after the recognition, Brian Clark asked him to become an associate editor of CopyBlogger – one of the most popular blogs in the world. The job offer was a lifetime opportunity for Jon, he sold his blog On Moneymaking for five figures and joined the team.


Jon Morrow is now the C.E.O. of smart bloggers and other blogs where he keeps getting his bulks. He’s such an inspiration, I know. The story above is just a miniature of what Jon story is, to get to know more about him and get inspired, check references below.

Important life-changing lessons we can learn from Morrow’s story


Don’t ever give up

Even when all odds are against you, you have to hold your head up high and say, ‘I won’t give up’ -this is first an admonishment to me before you. I know it’s easier said than done, but hey, that’s one of the reasons I shared Jon’s story. I want to be inspired, and I want you to keep being inspired.
Everyone in this life has their fair share of life’s adversity; however, we can either let the adversity win or we keep pushing till we win. Be like Jon. Be an inspiration to others.


Your dreams are valid
I know a lot of people aim so high, that they stop to look at themselves and say ‘who will Even invest you? ‘who do you know?’ ‘others can do what you’re doing better’. Just stop there. I know this because I’m among ‘a lot of people’.
Regardless of whatever it is that we’re doing, we should always have it in mind that our dreams are valid and we are what we think. Who would have ever thought that someone who couldn’t move his body from his neck down could become a millionaire through blogging? Jon is a living testimony of valid dreams. He should be an inspiration to you, if you ever think of giving up.


You are not a lost cause
If Mrs Morrow had given up on Jon, and had wallowed in self-pity and accepted her fate, I guess we might probably not know nor hear of anyone as Jon Morrow. What if Jon had conceded defeat and accepted that a disabled couldn’t make it? We’ll never hear of him.


Your case isn’t the worst-case scenario ever. No matter how bad you might think you have it, there’s someone whose case is worst than yours. Please get up, and work on yourself. Your case isn’t a lost one. Read stories filled with inspirations and be inspired!


You’re not a failure
I guess I left out that part where Jon failed at his first 3blogs; well, there, you have it. That doesn’t mean you will fail, though. But if perhaps you fail at your first attempt or on several attempts, that doesn’t label you a failure. We only become perfect after doing something for a long time. Perfection here is relative because perfection belongs to God exclusively.
And most importantly, we should draw inspiration from our failures and work smarter for the next attempt.


There will always be pains
I do not think I have heard any success stories without problems nor endurance. The success stories I have listened to are bore out of patience, persistence, and hard work, coupled with pains. I know these, because my father is a living example, he’s successful because of many things, he is successful today because he endured – he is successful because he’s patient, he worked hard from being a messenger to being a boss. Jon is a more prominent living example.


Jon had it so bad, he spent most of his years in the hospital, yet he channelled his pains in the right direction. He made lemonade out of lemons. He talked about his problems in his blog, and he inspires millions of people through channelling his pain in the right direction. You can be Jon.


Don’t dwell on negativity
Most times, we find it easier to dwell on the negative part than focus on the positive side. We sometimes forget that we are what we think. There were so many times Jon wasn’t accepted amongst the cool kids in the school; people belittle him because of his disability, he couldn’t even lift any part of his body. But did he let depression overweigh him? No. Did he settle for suicide? No. He instead decided on the positive side. He aims to make it blogging, to become one of the best in the game, and he made it.


Jon Morrow is now an inspiration to many start-up bloggers and a go-to in the blogging field. You too can make it in whatever field you venture into, as long as you focus on the positivity.


Learn always to thank God
Do you know Jon thinks his life is fantastic despite his disabilities? He finds strength and inspiration in his pains and disability. From his behaviour is a hidden grateful nature. He’s thankful for life and doesn’t even think suicide is the best option.


Life throws a little adversity at us, and we’re already blaming God. Nobody has it easy, and there are some whose cases are worse than yours – always focus on this, and your life will be alot easier. Next time, when life hits you hard, thank God because someone out there has it worse than you. Then, pray to God to help you. Hard work with God pays a lot!


Final Thoughts
I read somewhere that great stories are timeless. I guess that’s one of the reasons I’m drawn to Jon’s stories; sometimes, I need to seek inspiration. I know in years to come, Jon Morrow’s story will remain timeless, and people who come to read of his story will still see him as an inspiration. I hope someday; I’ll be another Jon Morrow, even better, who will inspire the world.