Understanding the creative economy (Part 1) | By Femi Olu

In the light of everything that’s going on in the Nigerian economy, I wanted to show you how you can harness and use your creative power to generate money-making ideas.

Before I go any further, let me share with you a story about how people are using their creativity to make money.

A few weeks ago I made a call with my Airtel line. After the call ended, Airtel sent me my credit balance and they also included a message with my balance.

The message said that I could listen to 2baba’s latest song featuring Phyno and Chief Obi at N5/min. A typical Nigerian song lasts about 3 minutes so it would have cost me N15 to listen to his song.

From that N15, Airtel will collect N10.5 (70% of N15 for fees and taxes). Another 7 kobo will be deducted for VAT (1.5% of N4.5; VAT is charged on the amount left after Airtel has taken their 70%). This leaves Tuface and the NCC-approved content provider he’s using to distribute his song to share N4.43.

I know Tuface has lots of fans and I think he’s one of the best musicians in Nigeria. Let’s assume that 5,000 people listen to his song in one day. That means Tuface and his partners will be making N22, 150 a day (5,000 X N4.43).

In one month, they will make N664, 500. This is far more than what the average Lagos worker who leaves his or her house everyday by 4:30am and returns home at 10:00pm makes every month! That is the power of the creative economy.

We are now in the era of the creative economy and that is why companies like Google (now known as Alphabet) have a bigger stock market capitalization ($547.1 billion) than Exxon-Mobil ($310.1 billion).

Another example of the power of the creative economy is necessary so let me tell you something about the author of one of the best-selling books in history, Harry Potter.

J.K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series, is the first person in the world to become a billionaire by writing books. She makes money from the sales of her books and in 1999, she sold the rights to turn the first four Harry Potter book series into movies to Warner Bros. for $2 million!

So, how can you take advantage of the creative economy?

You may not have a hit record or know how to sing (even if your life depends on it). You may not even be a very good writer but you can still make money in the creative industry. The first thing is for you to understand the purpose of the creative economy.

The real purpose of the creative economy is not to brag or boast on social media. The purpose of the creative economy is to help people solve their pain or struggle.

Let me explain…

Most people believe that success is defined by getting money, social status and acquiring things. But all these three things lead people into acquiring debt and ending up feeling depressed.

For example, you want to acquire more degrees by doing your Master’s in the UK but you can’t afford it right now. You desperately feel that you need a Master’s degree to advance in your career. So since you can’t afford it, you go and borrow money for it. This puts you in debt. At the end of the Master’s if you don’t get a good job to pay off your debt, you will be in big trouble.

Same thing happens when you desperately want to go to Dubai for a vacation that you can’t afford so that you can post pictures on Instagram.  You’ll end up borrowing money or doing something wrong to be able to afford it.

The way that society teaches us to view success (money, social status and acquiring things) leads many people into debt and when they end up getting these three things, they don’t have a sense of fulfillment. If you don’t have a sense of fulfillment, then you don’t have success. That is why you will find some rich people who commit suicide and have bouts of depressions.

True success comes from having a sense of purpose. We were all put on this earth to serve. Nothing feels better than giving to people in need and helping others. It’s the best feeling in the world!

Helping others solve their pain and problem is the pathway to your purpose. If you become an expert at solving peoples’ pain, you will realize your purpose and money will come to you along with a deep sense of fulfillment.

However, you can only effectively solve other people’s pain if you’ve gone through the same pain and you’ve discovered the solution to that pain. If you become an expert in solving a pain that you’ve experienced, you become like Arnold Schwazneger in The Terminator in the way that you can scan and asses people in the world who are going through similar struggles.

Because you’ve done the work on yourself, you can help the people going through a struggle you’ve already overcome. This is why we were put on the earth. This is our purpose. And when you’ve discovered your purpose (the pain or problem you can help the world solve) the money will follow.

When you focus on your purpose (the problem you can solve), you awaken the creativity in your subconscious mind and it will supply you with ideas and techniques which will help you reach millions of people with your solution. And by doing this, you will make money.

For example, if you used to be addicted to cigarettes and you found a way to quit smoking for good. You can help millions of people who are struggling with this problem all over the world.

By packaging how you solved your cigarette addiction into books, short films, podcasts, blogs, music and using the power of technology, social media and the internet to put it in front of all the people who need it, you will tap into the vast monies that is being made from the creative industry.
Focus on the problems you’ve experienced that you can help other people solve and in the second part of this series, I’ll show you the steps you can take to put your solution in front of thousands of people who need it.


AUTHOR BIO: Femi 'Olu' Oyelese is a farmer, engineer, investor and armchair psychologist. He is the publisher of Worry Free Worker and editor of Worry Free Investor. He loves to read, watch movies and listen to music. He is also a staunch supporter of Arsenal Football Club. Visit his blog Here


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TundeGold is Digital Media Certified and an H.R Specialist. He is a Blogger who loves writing on topics relating to Leadership and Career Development. Click HERE to view His Full Profile


  1. Great Post from Mr Femi, can't wait to read the part 2, do roll it out soonest. Nice teachings in seasons like this.....


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