A few months ago I wrote here on The Connection Between Learning and Earning and we established that we invest so much in learning so we can earn in the long run. Sometimes though we are not strategic enough in what we are learning and we end up not getting any value from it. Learning does not always translate to earning and I will give you a few reasons why.

If you ask a few people what they are learning it might surprise you how disconnected the various skills they are learning per time are. Just imagine taking a course on carpentry and make-up at the same time, when the time for implementation comes It makes no sense. Now say you are taking a course on photography and make-up, these are two things that can go hand in hand.

The problem is that some people have no clarity on what their goals are. Before you invest your money and time in learning any skill you have to ask yourself what your goals are and how you intend to use that skill to achieve them. Avoid acquiring all these “high-income skills” and becoming a jack of all trades and master of none.

If you ever want to earn from the skills you currently have and those you will learn then you have to play on your strengths. Avoid following the crowd and find out what you are good at. In Secondary School you were great at Essay Writing and Literature, you aced all your assignments and helped others with theirs but now you are trying to learn tech because that is what is hot right now. You will frustrate yourself.

There is a place for passion and purpose, if you find anything that comes easy to you then look again, it might just be your answer.  Whatever it is you are good at or even just slightly decent at there is someone who is currently earning from it. You might even be better at it than them but then they know something you do not. Identify these people, follow them, and learn from them.

Another thing that might be keeping you from earning is the feeling that you do not know enough, you are waiting to learn it all before you start earning but the truth is you can never learn it all. Start where you are and then learn from there. Start that blog and then you can learn all about SEO and the rest on the way. Just start, look for the job, market yourself, and then figure it all out when you get there. You can learn on the job and still come out with excellent results. In the end, it is not what you know but what you do with what you know.

There is this idea of fast and easy money the media keeps trying to sell to our generation but we must not buy it. Making money is hard, it takes a lot of effort and a whole lot of time. No matter the field you have to put in the work and hang in there because the results will not materialise immediately. It may take months or maybe years but keep at it. Even if you try to make money through illegal or unethical means you will still find that it is hard, is it prostitution that is easy or online fraud, maybe try asking people who are married for money how it is going. You will always pay for free money at a later date.

Looking back I have always been a freelance writer, an unpaid one. In school my elder sister was ahead of me but every once in a while I would help her write something for school, read her literature book and tell her the gist of it, I wrote little poems for friends, and I would write for the school magazine, and I even contributed to writing my school anthem. These past few months have seen me finally transitioning into becoming a paid writer, I am currently learning all these skills that have to do with the business of writing.

I am not where I want to be yet but I am getting there, I just have to remind myself to breathe, pace myself, and keep putting in the work even when it does not seem to be working.

I have found that the journey to earning is more psychological than it is physical. You are never going to earn what your mind can not carry from skills you overlook and undervalue. Wherever you are on this journey, put some respect on your name today and watch it translate into your future income.

Precious Ufedoh-Ojo Akuh

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