*Strictly for Nigerians and other Third World countries*
This is right down from my heart to fellow hustlers like me who go out there to do stuff that will get them survive in this country against all odds.
Before we start, I won’t paint pictures. So don’t expect to see much flowery words here.
Doing online business is hard. Especially in a country like Nigeria and most African countries.
From struggling with intermittent power outages, to network issues and people thinking that you deserve peanuts for your hard work, the Nigerian digital hustler has a lot to deal with.
I won’t even talk about the issue of Google and other digital behemoths discriminating against us. That’s a gist for another day.
But one thing I want to really share with you today… Is that despite all these challenges, there are a handful of people who are still making some decent living out of their online business.
You see it is quite sad.
Unlike what you have in other places, only a few successful online hustlers from Nigeria do share some secrets of their success with other compatriots.
Most people hoard it. Some put it in e-books and sell to even people who can hardly earn enough.
Of course, I’m not canvassing gifting out stuff you’ve put effort to learn free to strangers. I have written and sold books too.
But I believe, there’s what we call giveback. And yes if everyone were to hoard every little thing they learned, humanity would never evlove.
Going back to our topic.., Are you going through tough times in your business as an online business owner in Nigeria?
Here are certain things you’ll have to consider to help you stay focus until you bounce back.
Understsnd everything is not exactly what people say it is
Now this refers to two things.
1: Starting and succeeding in online business is not as simple as those digital marketers tell you it is. So get prepared for both good and bad days.
2: It is not everyone that tell you they are successful that are actually successful as online business owners. Don’t get surprised when people pass around unnecessary social proof.
The last time I checked, there are still processes to influence ordinary things as social media likes, downloads etc.
Now this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have scheduled target and measure your success from time to time with the competition.
What it means is that you should measure your success based on your goals and resources instead of your competition else you will soon run out of business.
Of course I’m not saying people don’t get genuine likes. I’m saying you should focus on building and growing your business more than you focus on comparing it with other people’s business.
Understand yourself, Differentiate between Hobby and Business.
You must understand yourself, the reason you’re in this hustling game, where you’re going from here and how you’re going to hustle until you break even.
After that, you must understand the difference between hobby and business.
Remember that while you can do your hobby anytime you want it, you must target your online business with foresight, setting up a reliable system that people can trust.
Systemize your hustle.
When i talk about systems this is what i mean… You must set up a framework that is easily recognizable by your potential clients.
If your digital hustling is about writing for instance, your readers and potential clients should be able to know the exact time they’ll find your content to read when they check you up.
If it’s about design or other services, they should be able to tell when and how their jobs will be delivered.
They should be able to identify the way you do your stuff from others.
Unlike your hobby which you’re doing whenever you have time, basically for the love of it, your online business should be distinguished and attended to as something that your aspirations and that of so many others will depend on.
You should be able to see it as your work. Have a time table for carrying out certain tasks.
It’s not that you will not fall out of the dateline sometimes. But a commitment to sticking to the systematic schedule will really help you gain traction with your online hustling.
Write down all the specific activities you do as part of your digital hustling. Allocate days and hours for each of them based on your schedule.
Divide up your time for Capital and Recurrent tasks.
As an online business owner in Nigeria, time is one of the most valuable resources you’ll ever have.
Unfortunately, like every other person, you have the same 24 hours we all have in a day.
So managing your time effectively is going to be one of the greatest decider of your success.
You’re going to have to divide your time into lucrative and non-lucrative hours.
Yes. You’ll can even divide your time into hours you’ll have electricity and hours you won’t. And even times you’ll have steady network etc.
Let’s call this division, Recurrent and Capital hours.
Every single day, your recurrent hours are going to be spent on those tasks you’re going to do over and again which might not add direct increments to the money you’re making through online hustling.
You can call this the normal day to day activities like sleeping, doing house chores, attending non work related meetings, hooking up family and friends etc.
Your capital hours on the other hand are going to be spent on everything you do that will in one way or the other increase your hustling. Or add more bucks to your bank account.
These capital tasks may include: Writing your blog and social media posts, Promoting these posts, Building and tweaking your brand reputation, Writing free books and hosting other free stuffs, Reaching out to other influencers, Spending time on groups and forums, Choosing and building relationships with possible leads, Marketing your hustle across different platforms etc.
You have to be able to help yourself first by setting up a system for your online busines activities before you get worked out.
Because the prelude to getting discouraged as a digital entrepreneur is the moment you start feeling you have done so much yet there’s very little results to show for it.
This is sometimes caused by spending time doing the wrong things. And yes, so many times this is not even obvious.
You work hard and long with the hope that everything is going to work perfectly because you’ve got it all well laid out but it turns out you didn’t.
This kills your momentum faster than anything especially considering the effort you put to work and the high expectation you had.
So split up your working hours and stay focused on the scheduled task for each hour.
Understand. The moment you lose your enthusiasm, your audience will notice it.
So you’ll have to define your capital hours and it’s assigned tasks. Give them time tags. Schedule each of them into your daily, weekly, monthly time table and stick to it.
This will help you to a large extent. It will also help your audience, giving your hustle a systematic approach.
Don’t cast all your eggs in one basket.
As someone new to digital hustling, don’t put all your eggs in one basket by quitting your job or whatever you’re doing to focus entirely on your hustle.
No. It’s not advisable. It’s better you start your digital business as a side gig. Focus on what’s already paying your bills while building up your hustle by the side.
You should only focus fully on your hustle when it has started generating income to the point you’re confident it can sustain you.
Giving up on other sources of income before your digital hustle kicks off can be disastrous.
It will lead you to expecting an instant returns on investment (based on the effort you’re putting in) even when it’s not yet time.
And when these expectations are not realised immediately, you’ll be discouraged.
This is one of the main reasons so many digital businesses fold up, after the first six months .
If you want to survive past your first year, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Keep your daily job while building your digital business.
Don’t micro niche your hustle immediately
If you can do more than one aspect of digital hustling, do it. Supposing you’re a graphic designer and you can also do digital photography, add it up.
Whatever complementary service you can add to your digital hustling, add it up. It’s going to help you. Especially at the initial stage.
You can then micro niche your hustle to a particular aspect of the business you want at a time you might have gathered clients and made enough to help you target a particular micro niche.
Some other established digital hustlers are going to ask you to niche down.
I can’t say that. You have to forget about focusing on a very tiny audience right now because it won’t help you.
As a start up digital entrepreneur, you need people to know you. You need recommendations etc. So you’ll have to reach out to as many people as you can.
When you feel satisfied with your established client base, you can then focus on a few more sophisticated target audience.
Brace up for the down times.
When it comes to owning an online business, it’s not always “Hallelujah”.
Ok. Let’s not scare ourselves!
Digital hustling is almost like your offline business. You’re going to start up, grow, expand and scale.
You have to understand that all business go through different stages of growth. So brace up and get ready for the time your business will undergo these stages of growth.
Understand, running an online business in Nigeria is slightly different from doing your business offline.
So there are things you won’t take for granted if you’re planning to have a successful outing.
Things like honesty should form part of your value system. I had to write that boldly..
Because you’ll have to do more than enough to get people who’ll probably never meet you physically, to trust you with their money.
Keep a clear picture of where you’re going with your hustle.
Be able to create a convincing picture of what you want to achieve in the long run, where you’ll be in 2-5 years and what you’re going to achieve when you get there.
Keep this picture in view during those days you get discouraged. Hang it somewhere you can see it more often.
Have mentors: People who are already successful as digital hustlers. They will show you the rope and cheer you up during tough times.
Understand that commitment is not the absence of other options. It’s a decision to stick to something you believe in… Because you know it’s going to turn out successful.
So when you feel discouraged, don’t begin to think oh maybe I’m not committed anymore.
Acknowledge that feeling as part of the process and then move onto achieving success with your digital hustle.
I know you’ll succeed. Yes. Because i was once like you but today, I’m advising and consulting for other online hustlers.
You’re definitely going to grow a successful digital business if you use these principles here. And like i said, i know you will succeed.
Need more on how to succeed with your hustle? Let’s talk.
Please share with friends.