It is a good thing that there is so much call on developing skills in the 21st Century. Skills are an important thing and everyone must have them to get ahead in life. We are in a skill-dominant economy or era, and if you have none, you won’t do so well. While skills are good, the thing is, you can’t employ them to your benefit at some point in your life. For example, no matter how skilled you are as a footballer, you can’t play football at old age. It’s same for most, if not all, skills. You can have the experience and perhaps, be better at old age as compared to your youth, but your physical condition won’t allow you to perform at your peak.
Beyond skills, therefore, there is the need to develop assets. The good thing about assets is that, they don’t need your participation to earn you money. In this post, I will write about 2 ways you can turn your skills into assets.
- Intellectual property
In our part of the world, there are far too many skilled and talented but poor people. It is an irony to be skilled, talented, but poor. Let it not be said of you that you were skilled and talented but poor. You can only do this when you turn your skills into real assets. One of the most important assets you will want to acquire is an intellectual property to a work of art or just anything.
Consider the case of one of my drilling lecturers at the University of Stavanger, Norway, who worked hard as a young researcher and published his methods in textbooks. As of when I was a student, his annual earnings from his books were well over USD 110,000. This is what an old man, in his seventies, earns annually. I can bet you this is an amount many young families are still aiming to earn.
Is it possible to convert your writing and journalistic skills into a book? Can you develop a programme or software and have legal protection for it? If you are a caterer, can you come up with a unique recipe and have it protected? That was what Colonel Sanders did and today, we have KFC. If the colonel was still alive, he wouldn’t need to work again with his cooking skills. He would have been paid by the earnings he makes from his intellectual property. Don’t just express your talent and skills without developing a product that you can hold claims to. Write a book. Develop a recipe. Write a software…and get protection for it.
- Buy a land
It is a no-brainer that lands are a serious asset. If there is any one asset that promises very good returns, it is lands. Lands in some locations can give you over 100% annual return. A friend who bought a land in one location in Ghana and after just a year, he sold it for double the price he bought it. Not many investment vehicles in Ghana can give you such returns. Whatever earnings you make from the employment of your skills, go on a land shopping. The very way you go round shopping for clothes in a shop, go shop for lands. I was telling someone the other day that I wouldn’t even mind buying a land for GHC 1000. That tells you how “remote” the location may be. But the thing about lands is, as long as our towns and cities are developing and expanding, they will surely increase in value over time.
A word of caution though: when it comes to the purchase of lands, you have to be extra careful. A friend of mine is still battling with a chief for a land he bought from someone else. We later got to realize that the seller wasn’t the real owner of the land. In another post, I will give you some guideline on how to purchase lands in Ghana.
I believe without any shred of doubt that if you can turn your skills into these two real assets, you will live financially-free in no time. It is possible to live well. It is possible to afford as much luxury as you wish; but, what you need is the spirit of wisdom and prudence to make good use of the earnings you make from your skills today. Let’s go turn our skills into some real assets.