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capppbThis is a story about a close friend of mine who lived within the proximity of my house.
In 2007, this lady approached me and asked me if I knew  any job opportunity, as she had just finished her Youth Service Program. She was a graduate of accountancy and then, as a chartered accountant, I was working as financial analyst in an investment banking firm.

The first question I asked her was this – “Do you know how to use any accounting software?” – She said “No”.I told her – “Go and enrol for training and learn at least any one of them”. However, if you want me to teach you, I will collect only N5, 000”, then training costs N25, 000.When she heard N5, 000, she felt reluctant about my advice – that she will think about it. Few days later, I called her and she did not pick my calls but about two months thereafter, she ran to my house one evening and told me that she has an interview in two days’ time, and if I would be pleased to teach her overnight, how to use Peachtree Accounting, now Sage 50. I told her to pay me N30, 000. She begged me earnestly and promised to offer me N5, 000 – I declined.

The end of the story was, she called me – A wicked person – but she also lost the opportunity.

Why Am I saying This?

People don’t like to prepare until they are faced with problems – trust me, “I hate such kind of attitude”. This is because opportunities only meet those who are prepared. This does not only apply to job opportunities but life opportunities. Must you wait until you lose your job before you start preparing for your future? Or when you  stop working, do you have a strategy that will constantly bring income when the salary tap is closed?

Now, before I show you what I am about to present to you, I want to tell you a story about myself.

My Story

As a chartered accountant, I had worked in trading, manufacturing, oil and gas, investment banking, commercial banking, shipping and logistics, transport – all for 17 years, at the time of writing this in May 2017.

During my working life, I kept building skills in line with my career, learning about tools that will help me to be productive in my job, right from 2002.

I spent money buying bulky books learning MS office on my own and on the job. I also learnt Peachtree accounting on my own by reading a 700-page book in 2003. I used this knowledge to implement accounting software in an oil & gas company I worked as accountant in 2005.

I continued building my skills and in 2007, my Advanced Excel skills landed me a job in an investment banking firm, though I made a mistake, being lured by an oil company to leave the firm for the oil company, after working one year at the firm and with a higher pay. Unfortunately, I only enjoyed this “big pay” for only four (4) months and in January 2009, I was jobless – jobless for almost one year but not skill-less.

What did I do?…

I deployed all the skills I had developed to income generating machine – I wrote business plans (courtesy of my Advanced Excel Skills, PowerPoint and In depth MS word), facilitated training on Advanced Excel & Financial Modelling, Accounting software, implemented systems for companies etc. I did this more than a year until I landed another job in June 2010, where they owed me salary for months. In fact, I was owed 4 months’ salary till January 2012 (and my wedding was just three months ahead). I resigned and went back to what I was doing before which provided income to foot my wedding expenses, just in three months – End of discussion on this matter.