Constant development is what humans should strive for, and not doing so means that you may be left behind while others are climbing up the ladder of growth.
Reading is a good way to acquire knowledge, and technology has made it easier as information about any subject matter is just a click away on the internet. Soft copies of books are readily available and YouTube DIY videos provide content on any skill you might want to learn. Elon Musk learnt how to build rockets by reading books!
A mindset I like to have is that though I may know a lot of things, what I don’t know surpasses what I know, and a lot of what I don’t know is out there waiting for me to know. So I strive to always develop the habit of learning and building on what is learnt.
Here are 5 subject areas I think a lot of youths can learn about within a short time frame and improve on their abilities to be better individuals.
We all studied economics in secondary school but how many of us as adults still apply the principles leant in those classes in our daily lives?
Microeconomics is basically the study of how individuals and businesses make decisions on how best to use limited resources.
A lot of us apply microeconomic principles in our lives knowingly or unknowingly; however, having a key understanding of it will help us make better decisions, whether in our private matters or in business.
Some key microeconomic principles include:
- Law of Demand & Supply
- Opportunity cost
- Scale of preference
- Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility
Applying these principles to a real-life example
Suppose you want to achieve a certain number of things in a given year and top of that list is renting an apartment in Surulere, Lagos, this becomes top of your scale of preference, you will then need to determine what your budget is. This will require you to analyse your income and expenses and determine how much you are willing to spend to maximize your utility.
Once you know your budget and you find out that others are willing to spend more than you – demand is higher than supply, which drives the price up – you will have to cut your budget on other things like travelling, clothing etc. All these are your opportunity costs of renting the apartment.
In summary, the individual looking for a house, or the landlord renting out the house will be affected by microeconomic principles. Having a deep understanding of these principles and using them to your advantage is very critical.
Basics of Game Theory
Game Theory is the study of how to come up with a winning strategy in the game of life, especially when you do not know what your competitors are doing and the options do not look promising – Kenneth Chang.
The knowledge of game theory will help you develop the habit of considering all the possibilities of an event occurring and making the optimal choice. In a given situation, the application of game theory will require you to know the following.
- The identity of independent actors
- Their preferences
What they know
- What strategic acts they are allowed to make
- How each decision influences the outcome of the game
Classic examples of game theory are “Prisoners Dilemma” and “Nash Equilibrium” which you can read more about.
Technology is not just the future, it is the present; hence, a lot of us should take advantage of learning more about computers to develop our skillsets.
Coding will give your job application leverage – everyone could have a B.Sc and possibly M.Sc, however knowing how to code will put your job application ahead of the competition by showing your employer that you are open to learning, hardworking and dynamic.
Coding will help you land freelance jobs – there are lots of websites willing to pay per hour for your skill.
It will lead to better job opportunities. For example, a software development job will require a prospective job seeker to know how to code.
Philosophy, which comes from the Greek word “philosophia” meaning “love of wisdom” can be defined as the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, ethics, values, reason, mind and language.
Philosophy is a very broad field and there are many reasons why you should study it.
- A lot of activities are beyond our control.
“A wise person knows they don’t control other people’s opinions, they don’t control traffic, they don’t control the weather, they don’t control the fact that we were born mortal, they don’t control the economy or the rude remark that just left someone else’s mouth. They don’t control the past and they don’t control the future. But they control their own choices and their responses to all those things that are out of their control. Everything else they ignore.” – Ryan holiday
Adopting this mindset in the statement above will prevent you from getting caught up in the daily outrage which occurs on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
- Philosophy will improve your critical thinking skills by challenging you to question the most basic assumptions you have and the decisions you regularly make.
Everyone should know how to sell– I’m writing this article trying to sell myself for more views, likes and shares. People confuse selling with marketing, thinking that they have to have a product and walk around the streets looking for someone to buy.
In life, you will need to get a job, maintain your job, sell goods, get married, negotiate contracts etc., all these require sales skills.
If you want to get better at selling or influencing people just read the book “Influence” by Robert Cialdini and apply the principles to your daily life.
The 6 principles outlined in the book are Reciprocity, Scarcity, Authority, Consistency, Liking, and Consensus.
Millennials changing the definition of work; doing the most with freelancing
Given the numerous number of changes in today’s world, millennials are gradually changing the definition of work, and beginning to embrace freelancing.
Given the numerous changes in today’s world, millennials are beginning to embrace freelancing. It is not just about thinking outside the 9-5 work hours, they are gradually changing the definition of work. This signals a new relationship between the worker and the economy; it is not just where they are working. It is what they are working for.
Millennials do not see companies as salary machines and do not also see themselves as ‘another chair-filler’. They actually see themselves as having the power to make choices, and their decision to work in one place or another is about finding value, not just the luxurious life attached to a conventional job.
How Millennials make the most of freelancing
Skills over degree
Nearly half of millennials have tried freelancing, and nearly three-quarters of freelancers say it is getting easier to find work. Most millennials begin their journey into freelancing by discovering their passion and finessing their skills in order to look unique. They often find time to develop themselves outside the scope of their disciplines by attributing more values to skill acquisition than conventional degrees. With unique skills like photography, graphic design, content creation, etc. millennials are able to make enough money to pay their bills and afford their lifestyles.
Millennials are taking advantage of working remotely. Working remotely affords millennials the much-needed flexibility they need in their daily routines. Working remotely also helps improve the productivity of millennials, unlike conventional workers. This way, they are free from distractions that cannot be taken care of. It is amazing that working remotely can have millennials working straight for 8 hours without thinking of food or break.
Gigs rather than restrictive job functions
Millennials use freelancing as an opportunity to harness their creative abilities rather than focusing on restrictive job functions. Millennials get certain jobs called side gigs which can help them explore their creativity. They figure out who their clients really are and what they want from them. More importantly, is that millennials find an untapped market and then quickly build a huge customer base on it which will be making enough cash in short notice.
Networking for Growth
Gone are the days when business cards were fashionable. This is because people do not really remember business cards. Millennials use networking as a way of getting to know the persons behind the business. They look for a spark in any conversation that a relationship can be built upon. Also, through the use of social media platforms, millennials are also able to collaborate to ensure the growth of the freelance economy.
Finding a freelance platform that affords skilled professionals flexibility and opportunities to grow is a concern for millennials. TERAWORK is a highly recommended freelancing platform that provides freelancers with an opportunity to work on flexible schedules, get rid of the daily commute process and have a perfect balance between work and professional life; not only because it affords local and international millennials opportunities to harness their skills, but the platform also allows these skilled individuals to showcase their past work experience and provide them with the access to new jobs every day.
12 lessons on business strategy from the game of Chess
Are you a chess player? Well, not a lot of people are. Therefore, if your answer is no, you really need to try it. After all, it is called “the game of kings and queens” for a reason.
Are you a chess player? Well, not a lot of people are. Therefore, if your answer is no, you really need to try it. After all, it is called “the game of kings and queens” for a reason.
Chess is a board game that has been around for centuries. It has to do with the art of war. It’s all about strategy, tactics, and the ability to outmaneuver your opponent; the final aim being to checkmate them (that is, capture their king). Once that happens, the game is over.
Chess has been shown to:
- Improve IQ
- Build confidence
- Improve problem-solving skills
- Teach planning and foresight
- Improve concentration
- Exercise both sides of the brain
- Improve memory
- Enhance creativity
It’s quite obvious that these benefits are indispensable when it comes to successfully running a business; especially if you are in a highly competitive market.
What goes on in the game is the perfect metaphor for business competition. In fact, you can learn a thing or two by playing chess. These lessons will prove very useful to you if you are an entrepreneur trying to plant your feet and control considerable market share. It will surely improve your ability to make sound business decisions.
[Read Also: CWG confirms Adeyipo’s appointment as MD]
No wonder you can find a Chessboard in the home or office of top CEOs (Bill Gates, Peter Thiel), world leaders (Barack Obama, Bill Clinton) and even famous TV personalities (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Julia Roberts of Pretty Woman).
How does playing chess relate to running a business?
The parallels between chess and business are clearly evident. The game is about war; specifically about protecting the invaluable piece (the king), and outthinking the opponent who’s trying to defeat you.
There are different strategies for both offensive and defensive play, and the best chess players should have experience with both. As a business person, you need to successfully navigate defensive and offensive positions in your industry.
If you’ve seen people play chess, or maybe you play, you’ll notice that the opponents patiently wait their turn, study the board, anticipate their next move, and go through potential scenarios in their head. This is not so different from what is obtainable in the business world.
Both are based on SWOT analysis. That is, recognizing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Chess also involves an opening, a middle game, and an endgame. This is quite similar to the business cycle (expansion, peak, contraction, and trough).
What lessons does chess teach?
To play the game you first have to master the rules, understand the players, and ultimately, play to win.
Master the rules
Before you can take part, you have to learn the rules. That’s also the way it is in business.
If you jump in without first understanding the dynamics of how things work, including consumer demand, market regulations, pricing techniques, and what have you, you are most likely headed for failure. That is why it’s important to start small and grow gradually, expanding your reach as you get more experienced.
Understand the players
Just like in chess, you need to understand your competition if you want to succeed in business.
Chess players spend time studying how their opponents think. This way, they can device countermeasures that will enable them to stay ahead, withstand an attack, and make a counter-attack.
That’s exactly what you need to do as an entrepreneur. Learn what your competitors are doing. Who are they? What are they offering consumers that you are not? How can you make your products, services, and marketing efforts better? These and many more are important questions you have to ask yourself.
Play to win
In chess, you have to keep the ultimate goal in mind. If you play emotionally or succumb at the first signs of hardship, you won’t win. You have to be ready to make tough choices.
[Read Also: 46-years after, Mr. Bigg’s is not so big anymore]
Some people play conservatively. They hang on tight to their pieces and refuse to make sacrifices. That’s also the way it is in business. To achieve your goals, you have to stay flexible. Know when to make adjustments, whether in your product combinations, management techniques, or marketing efforts.
Always keep your eyes on the big picture.
Don’t rush to make a move; there might be a better one.
Inexperienced players stop searching for a move once they’ve located a good one. They forget there might be a better one.
In business, you have to make sure you make choices based on the complete set of information from the whole landscape. Don’t jump into the first option that looks good. Consider all your options.
Plan several moves ahead
Chess players plan their moves and consider potential responses to those moves. Experienced players foresee moves several turns ahead. That’s how they manage to outwit their opponent.
This is what you must do as an entrepreneur. Making a good forecast is crucial to business success.
You also need to device contingency plans for situations that may arise in the future. “We’ll figure it out when we get there” might be a risky proposition you won’t be able to afford.
Don’t play the plan; play the board
When playing chess, your opponent constantly devices measures to undermine your plans.
While it is important to make plans, it’s even more so to know when to abandon them or simply make adjustments.
While you have your business strategies in place, competitors are also applying their own to capture more market share than you do. Your aim should not be to follow a rigid set of plans. What determines your success or failure is your ability to adapt well and on time and respond effectively to counter what your competitors are doing.
Know the value of the pieces
Each chess piece has a specific value. By knowing them, you are better suited to make decisions on how to place them across the board.
Similarly, when you know the value of your employees, customers, and associates, it will be easier to make wise decisions regarding job responsibilities, consumer targeting, and many more.
Manage your resources
To win, learn how to manage your resources.
In business, this applies to cash. If you run out of cash, you are done. You need to make sure you are not overspending. Every single expense you make should earn profit. Nothing should be wasted. You also need to ensure you are raising money appropriately as you go. Your expenses should never exceed your revenue.
Keep an eye on the clock
“Time is material” – this is a common saying in chess.
You not only have to manage your pieces, you also have to manage time.
In a tournament setting, the games are timed so you have a limited period to make a number of moves.
It doesn’t matter if you are beating your opponent on the board, once you run out of time, you lose and your opponent takes the game, although you were doing exceptionally well on the board.
To prepare, players spend months or even years memorizing potential strategies and moves. This way, they can recall at a moment’s notice the move they have to make so they won’t spend too much time thinking.
This is why it is important to prepare in advance. A wise entrepreneur can make decisions which appear to be quick, but in reality, are a result of months of study and preparation.
In chess, you learn to make necessary sacrifices that will give you the upper hand, or enable you to capture the king (Checkmate!). There are situations where you have to offer up a piece with intentions of gaining an advantage later on.
Learn the value of patience
Before you can attack effectively, you have to take time to place your pieces in effective positions. A premature attack might backfire. The same idea is obtainable in business. Avoid making rash moves. Only make a move when everything is in place. For instance, don’t be in a hurry to start a business or launch a new product before conducting market research, no matter how excited you are about it.
Create a balance between skill and intuition
There’s a balance in chess between intuition and analysis. There is always a human element that can’t be replaced by months or years of study and preparation. Chess is an infinite game with millions of possible moves. Therefore, it’s not possible to know and plan for every contingency. There are moments when you have to make a move based on intuition.
Once a player finds the balance between intuition and skill, their game improves remarkably. Many great chess players have come out on top a number of times when they went with their gut rather than their skills.
As an entrepreneur, you need to find this balance. It is what thinking outside the box is all about. It is also the key to creativity and great achievements and may be the difference between success and failure. Be it unique marketing campaigns, new and unique products and services, and other products of intuition.
If you want to succeed in business, you have to be ruthless. This is exactly what chess is about.
Side hustles you can start in 2020
Finally – This is the ultimate guide to side hustles for 2020.
A new year and a new decade have just begun and there is no better time than now to start a side hustle if you do not have one.
As you take out time to relive your achievements of the previous year while preparing new goals for the new year, Nairametrics brings you an outline of side hustles you can do that have unlimited clientele as well as great monetary gains.
The importance of having a side hustle cannot be overemphasized, this is due to the needs that keep piling as well as the cost of living that keeps escalating. One sure way to overcome the twin problems of lack and poverty in Nigeria is creating multiple streams of income rather than solely relying on your 8-5 job. Here are 5 side hustling ideas that are worth considering;
Start a lending Business
The lending business is one hustle that would go particularly well in 2020, this is because people need money for so many reasons and as such, they are going to have to lend if they do not have it.
However, secured lending would be ideal as it is the only way to ensure guaranteed returns and not investing in stocks.
Sell Baby Products
The baby product business provides one of the most lucrative business opportunities. The fact that Nigerians will always give birth to children presents an endless opportunity for entrepreneurs as they can never run out of business. Baby food, baby clothing, diapers, baby body care products, and general baby equipment are all examples of what one can consider selling.
Start a health-related business
Health-related businesses is a lucrative side hustle idea simply because people would always need medical services. Drug stores, Maternity home, Medical laboratory, Massage therapy services, fitness centre, medical transport services and so on are examples of choices you might want if you are considering the health line of business.
Start an education business
Becoming a tutor is big business especially now that the demand for specialised lesson teachers is on the increase. If you have a skill in any of these subjects, you can join a freelance tutoring ring, where you can be called upon to teach children or anyone looking to write an exam. Online tutoring is also an option where you can use skype and other online platforms to teach people who desire knowledge and information in some specific fields and are ready to pay for the information.
Apart from tutoring, opening up a bookstore where you can sell students’ textbooks and other materials needed to study is equally lucrative.
Startup a barbershop, hair salon or a food transport service
Once you build clientele base, professional services such as barbershops and hair salons are good business. As long as hair continues to grow on our hair, this business continues to be profitable. The same thing applies to the food business. However, starting a food transportation service is far more profitable than being in the food value chain itself. Once you have a car, you can transport foods from certain areas or villages where you can sell at higher prices.
Food like eggs and chicken thrive in this business although there are times best for transporting certain farm produce. Live chicken is best transported at night for instance. This helps to prevent the heat from killing the animals during the hot afternoon.
[READ ALSO: Helpful ways to get your business to run without you)
In conclusion, one thing you should have in mind when opting for business ideas whether as your side job or your main one is that business opportunities exist because people have a need or demand for particular products or services. This is therefore what you should look into when choosing.
Also, note that your side hustle shouldn’t interfere with your job. The aim of your side hustle is to help cater to those needs that crop up unexpectedly.