I like to think that Immigration has many faces; some people arrive in a new country as refugees [economic or political]; some for work and others through marriage or studies. I fall under the later. (And later met and married a handsome Canadian!)
What a lot of people do not know is that immigrating as a student costs a lot of money. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to pay your school fees you are either kicked out of the school and/or the country you are studying in.
The average school fees for an immigrant, from a developing country can cost over $10,000 a year [these figures don’t include housing, meals, supplies, & books]. In most cases you have to pay out of pocket because you are a temporary resident and not a citizen; thus will not qualify for student loans. Some countries permit you to work while others don’t [there are many restrictions international students face].
Chimananda Adiche’s book Americanah sum’s this up very well!
Of all the countries I have lived in; Canada has been the most welcoming, and it took me 6 years to get my permanent residency. I applied for every visa applicable to prolong my stay!
_ _ _ _
When I lived & worked in Ireland I got a job heading the advertising & business department of a small newspaper, I wanted to transition into Television & film badly; so I decided to leave my position at the paper for greener pastures. Sometimes, I wonder if this move was worth it career wise! Breaking into the media in Canada is not only challenging but very competitive. The pay is also minimal . . .
After several attempts from pitching film distribution companies to working in a local magazine in every department [advertising, sales and reporting] I decided to work for myself.
My first pay-check from blogging was 0.15 cents. I remember telling my sister (who lives in Ireland) and she replied, well that’s a start!
I have a degree in both media & marketing. A 1st class degree. I may not be good at a lot of things but I know the media well; plus I can develop marketing strategies blindfolded! So I decided to put these skills once again to the test.
Fortunately, I had help along the way from God. And my husband, mother, sister, brother, in-laws, mentors & friends; without whose help there will be no business to begin with…
My personal tips for running a profitable blog & business
- Find your talent & run with it!
- Monetize, monetize, monetize! Very cliché I know but your bills don’t take a break; why should you? If it’s not paying you it’s not worth it.
- Don’t be afraid to say ‘NO!’ it’s in the dictionary for a reason; i.e. don’t get entangled in projects that produce little pay and require you work long hours, some of these projects don’t even pay minimum wage!
- Cap your time on social media; there’s more to life than Facebook/Twitter. Let’s use basic maths. What percentage of your business [revenue vs. time] comes from social media?
- Strive to make a profit. Hustling with very little returns is NOT smart!
- Jack-of-all-trades: okay this title is a bit misleading, but during slow seasons I take on other jobs. I’m a paid speaker; mentor; and I offer beauty & marketing consultations too. I also got approved for my first grant in 2014!
- Keep your customers happy: they pay your bills!
- Success in NOT a right it’s a privilege, be good to everyone from the receptionist at the door to the boss!
- Learn from your mistakes; have no regrets! Everyday is a new day!!
Remember those 0.15 cents I talked about? Well they were re-invested. And today I yield very good dividends. 🙂
Blogger businesses that inspire me:
- Linda Ikeji [2006 to date]
- Bella Naija [2006 to date]
- Luvvie Ajayi [she’s been blogging for 11 years]
- Curly Nikki 
- The Kinky Apothecary [since 2010]
- VeePeeJay 
- Bella Kinks
- Nappturally Chic Jere! 
- Black Hair Information
- And so much more!!!
WATCH OUT FOR PART II…
AND FEEL FREE TO CHIME IN BELOW!
(c) Shakara Natural 2014