Six Figure is a biweekly PiggyVest series that focuses on how real Nigerians achieved dramatic income growth that made them millionaires.
For this week’s episode of Six Figure, we spoke to a marketing manager who earns around ₦8 million a month. In this article, he chronicles his income progression and the skills he had to hone to earn six figures.
What was your first job?
For my first job, I was a business development manager at a drycleaning company in Ogudu. I was earning ₦25k then. [Laughs] Good times.
What did your job entail?
There were three branches, and I was in charge of everything that happened at the Ogudu branch. My job was to ensure the drivers delivered on time, receive customers, tag their clothes and put them in the system.
On slow days, I would have to go hand out flyers to promote the business.
And what year was this?
This was in 2016.
What’s your current job?
I’m currently a marketplace marketing manager at a subsidiary of a multinational retail corporation and a Fortune 500.
What does this role entail?
I’m in charge of third party sellers that want to advertise on our digital properties. We have sponsored search and brands, and API partnerships with some of the biggest advertising firms around the world.
My job is to look for ways to onboard new sellers on our platforms and drive the adoption of our advertising services. I also ensure that sellers are aware of our solutions, enhancements and other initiatives that can help us build a bond and grow.
I’m intrigued. What is your base pay in this role?
Well, my annual base pay is $135,000. So that’s a little over $11,000 (about ₦8 million) monthly. There are other benefits like a sign-in bonus, yearly bonus and restricted stock units.
What a jump! How did you go from ₦25k to ₦8 million?
There were so many bumps along the way. From ₦25k, I went to ₦30k at a digital agency in 2017. Then I moved up to ₦80k in 2018. By 2019, I had gone up to ₦150k , but I took a career break and returned to the workforce this year.
Honestly going from ₦25k to ₦8 million/month took a lot of personal development. I didn’t study anything related to my current job, but I’ve always known that I would be different and create a new path for myself.
The lifestyle I want for my family and loved ones made me the hard-working man I am today.
You must have had to do some serious personal development. What new skills did you acquire?
I’ve never gotten formal training for most of the things I know. Of course, I’ve had some certifications here and there, but there’s been no certificate to say I spent years at different companies learning from superiors.
In 2018, in one of the companies I worked for, I would always drag my seat to my senior colleagues’ desks to learn from them. I spent only three months there, but I always tell how impactful that period was. Everything I learnt from them still comes in handy today.
What exactly did you learn?
One of the major skills I had to hone was research. I’m the kind of person who, once I find something interesting, I’m able to dig down and piece data together to find a way to get from A to Z. For instance, if we want to raise a certain amount of money, I can think up a strategy we can use.
Networking is another skill. You could be the best at what you do, but how you come across to people and build relationships can make or break you. At the end of the day, your colleagues or other industry stakeholders want people they can relate to and bond with. And even better, you’ll be at the top of their minds when they see opportunities.
Did you get noticed for these skills?
Ah yes o. My skills really got me noticed. I’m at the stage where I’m convinced that for any company I want to go to, I can easily walk in there. I’ve interviewed with at least three FAANG companies.
At the time I got my current job, I had to decline offers from other places. It was such a good time for me because I had challenged myself that I would not settle for less, and entertaining multiple recruiters at the same time was a sign that I’m really good at what I do.
I hadn’t worked professionally from 2019 to this year, but as soon as I went back into the field I was ‘hot cake’. There was never a time I just sat at home. I kept learning and growing. At some point, I even learnt UX design too. If I didn’t invest in myself, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I’ll say excellence. My pastor always says, “If you’re a shoe shiner, be the best shoe shiner. If you’re a director, be the best director. Anything you do, be the best.” I aim for excellence. If it’s not the best then it’s not good enough for me.
How good are you with your money?
I wasn’t always the best with money, but I’ve gotten to the stage where I can’t afford to act anyhow. So yes, I’ll say that I’m becoming more responsible. Last year, I bought two cars, which shows how irresponsible I was with money. But after I got this new job, I downgraded from an SUV to a saloon car.
I still indulge myself from time to time, but I’m trying to be more financially responsible and conscious. I’m thinking intentionally and long-term about starting a family and all. Basically, I have stopped thinking about only myself.
Inspiring. What did you learn along the way and what’s your advice for others who want to earn six figures?
Accountability is important. Some of these opportunities did not just happen on their own, it was due to the people rooting for me and giving me advice.
I also don’t believe that bad luck defines me, and you shouldn’t too. Take advantage of everything, instead of sulking and whining about not having as many opportunities as others.
Also, be excellent. Excellence is truly the hallmark of everything I’ve done. It’s never too late to go back and perfect things. If everyone is doing the same thing, do one or two little things that make things more exciting and memorable for others.
Last but definitely not least, have God on your side. I believe in the God factor because being able to get to this stage of my career is not thanks to my knowledge alone.
- Your personal development should never stop: Even when you feel burnt out or overwhelmed by life and the hustle, don’t give up on your personal development. Try your best to work on your goals. It’s little drops of water that make a mighty ocean.
- Build a network: No man is an island. The more people who know about your skills and aspirations, the more opportunities you are likely to get. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
- Stand up after you fall: Disappointments happen all the time, but so do opportunities. It’s alright to feel down after a missed opportunity or a rejection email, but it’s not okay to stay down. When you fall, dust yourself off and try again.