Let’s not panic.

Let’s not make others panic too.

Let’s all maintain good hygiene during this period: wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer on your hands.

Keep a safe distance away from anyone sneezing, coughing or showing any of the (thankfully few) symptoms of the Coronavirus.

Stay away from anyone that has been to any of the countries with recorded cases of the virus (sadly for some this has become “stay away from your fellow countrymen”).

These are some of the healthy survival tips we’ve gotten from literally everywhere since Coronavirus started taking over the major headlines back in January 2020.

…but wait…

What about Financial Survival?

Nobody is talking about how to survive financially during this scary period?

The world economy is also taking some serious hits from this virus, you know.

Indeed, when it gets to a point, money becomes far less important to some other issues. But is money really less important this time? If nothing, we actually need money to fight this ugly virus – sure you’ve seen organizations and individuals donating billions of dollars to fighting this pandemic.

Trust me, it most likely isn’t the end of the world. We’ll definitely survive this!

But what then happens after we defeat this ugly virus? Many would’ve fallen financially, for sure – governments, corporate bodies and individuals alike.

For individuals especially, would the end of this pandemic be the best time to start running around about finances?

So how can you survive this time financially?

I think I should lend my thoughts here!

But first…let me ask you a question: have you acquired a Financially Valuable Skill?

With the way things are going now, if everything should break down completely, would you survive financially?

Not trying to cause fear or panic here, but it’s better to be prepared than sorry.

My charge to you is simple: Acquire a financially valuable skill now!

Your life might depend on it someday; it might not be during this Coronavirus period, but this period is enough sign for you to start thinking differently about your finances, and about “work”.

[I’d also say you must combine Financially Valuable Skills with the ability to deliver remotely…just in case the whole world goes on lockdown (and not just Italy).]

What are Financially Valuable Skills?

Defined by Mark Ford and also known as Economically Valuable Skills, these are skills that are directly related to the 5 Parts of Every Business:

  • Value Creation – Discovering what people need or want, then creating it.
  • Marketing – Attracting attention and building demand for what you’ve created.
  • Sales – Turning prospective customers into paying customers.
  • Value Delivery – Giving your customers what you’ve promised and ensuring that they’re satisfied.
  • Finance – Bringing in enough money to keep going and make your effort worthwhile.

In short, as Josh Kaufman summarizes it, any skill or knowledge that helps you create value, market, sell, deliver value, or manage finances is Economically Valuable.

I love to define a Financially Valuable Skill as any skill you can use to make yourself money:

  • by using it to build your own business;
  • by using it to help other people build their businesses;
  • by teaching other people.

I personally don’t think a skill is financially valuable if it can’t check those three boxes.

Let’s take copywriting for example: I’ve been hired by tons of clients to write sales copy for their businesses; I’ve used my copywriting skills to sell thousands of products online for my personal businesses; and I paid my first rent ever, back in 2015, by teaching copywriting (made some nice 6 figures in 5 days…without spending a dime on advertising!).

Financially Valuable Skills basically open you up to a whole lot of earning and growth opportunities.

How to make money with a Financially Valuable Skill?

Select a Financially/Economically Valuable Skill that suits your type of person (I’ll provide two separate lists in a moment).

Then acquire it!

It’s easier than ever to acquire almost any skill now; if you can’t get a personal coach or become an apprentice, there are countless resources out there, from books to courses and even free online videos, that can help you self-learn.

What next?

Simply select an industry in which you can apply your Financially/Economically Valuable Skill and make as much money as you can.

There’s hardly any industry, or even niche, that can’t use a financially valuable skill.

Still according to Mark Ford, there are 3 major foundational skills we all should acquire however. Let me just simply quote him again.

He said: “Whatever field of endeavor you select, you’ll need to know how to do three things: (1) speak well, (2) write well, and (3) think well.

He continued: “To make serious money, you have to be able to create serious profits — either for your own company or someone else’s. To create profits, you must be able to figure out solutions to problems and then convince people (by speaking and writing well) to follow your advice.

Keywords are: you must be able to create profits (for yourself or someone else). This is how to become financially successful, no matter the industry you find yourself or the economic situation in your country.

When there’s an economic meltdown (or a “pandemic”), businesses keep thinking of new ways to make profits (that’s what every business exists for, even the so-called NGOs). This is an opportunity for the financially valuable entrepreneur.

If you’re able to deliver those “new ways”, then you’ll be amongst the select few that would cash out big even in crises — in fact, especially in crises.

(Imagine how much money “work-from-home” or “remote workspace” consultants and software companies will be making from countries where businesses have started working from home because of COVID-19! It’s not about taking advantage of a crisis; it’s about your solution being sorely needed in a crisis.)

What skills are financially valuable?

In 2001, Mark Ford made a short list of Financially/Economically Valuable Skills:

  • writing
  • copywriting
  • phone sales
  • person-to-person selling
  • motivating people
  • advertising

Notice how they all have thinking, speaking and writing as their foundation? Sure, there are many others, but can you see how easy some of these skills can be to master?

(I can confidently say I’ve mastered 5 of these skills to competency level, except “motivation” — unless this article motivates you to actually develop a Financially Valuable Skill, then I would’ve mastered all 6!)

But that was 19 years ago!

Newer Financially/Economically Valuable Skills

Things have changed!

None of those skills has stopped being financially valuable; there just are far more financially valuable skills in this digital age than ever, and that is good news for us.

Let me list some from the top of my head:

  • payment processing
  • digital marketing (albeit a broad term, but definitely includes digital advertising, social media marketing & management, content marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, sales/conversion funnels, conversion rate optimization, marketing automation, etc)
  • content creation (yes writing, but now includes videos, infographics, podcasts or any form of audio, etc. Even videographers, video editors, voiceover artists, graphic designers, etc. have a space here!)
  • web design/development
  • programming (including app development, software dvt, etc)
  • delivery/logistics (they make the most money in ecommerce anyways)
  • MarTech (marketing technology — including payment processing, web hosting, email services, personalization, SaaS, automation tools, integration tools, online store builders, etc)
  • finance/funding services, like crowdfunding, writing pitches/proposals and finding/approaching investors, loans services, financial advisory services, etc)
  • customer service (online or/and offline)
  • data services (not internet data, I mean statistical information)
  • internet data too, actually — not a “skill”, but is at the center of it all (service providers are well-positioned here. DId you hear about the rise in subscription to streaming services? That’s definitely a surge in internet data usage.)
  • product creation (especially digital products — like software applications, courses, etc)
  • market research (including customer review, survey, etc)
  • and countless others!

I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the idea.

The bottom line remains: make sure you develop a skill that can be useful the 5 Parts of business — a skill that can help businesses to create value, market, sell, deliver value, or manage finances.

What if “digital” disappeared today?

The digital age has indeed given you a lot of options.

BUT…what if the world (as we know it) ended today and we had to start all over — no technology, nothing? Then the 6 listed by Mark Ford (and others that lend to offline application, like customer service and even accounting/bookkeeping) become far more important.

The good thing about those 6 is that they can be done whether online or offline, with or without tech (unlike web development and the likes).

In essence, the best thing you can do for yourself is to develop the ability to think up solutions (my favourite part of business!) and the ability to convince people (through speaking or writing) to buy your solution.

This way you become invaluable. You become sought-after. You become indispensable in every way, as long as it concerns business. And yes, you become greatly rewarded financially.

Coronavirus is changing the world. Nobody knows how far this will go; nobody knows the extent of its impact.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s already affecting the world economy adversely — OECD has warned that the negative impact of this virus on the world economy might be greatest since the global recession in late 2000s…and experts have warned that a global recession is “highly probable”.

While we don’t know how bad or not bad things will get, but a lot of businesses will fail and jobs lost, if this pandemic isn’t contained soon.

It’s better you start changing the way you see “work” or “business”.

While you should NEVER take undue advantage of a bad situation, it’s always normal for a few select people to prosper more in crises. Ethically!

It won’t be a bad idea for you to be better financially by the time such pandemic that’s shaking the world finally ends.

If you’re not in the health sector and have no hope of being the one to find a lasting solution to this pandemic, why not make yourself at least highly valuable to businesses that’ll do ANYTHING to survive in this period?

Developing a Financially/Economically Valuable Skill is the way.

Ensuring you can deliver them remotely is the icing on the cake — no, scratch that; it’s as important right now as developing the skill!

(Let’s just all hope money as we know it is still useful by the time all this ends!)

I hope I’ve done something for you!

I wish us strength in these trying times,

Oludami Yomi-Alliyu.

P.S: Don’t worry, the world isn’t ending, and 2020 is definitely not cancelled. There definitely are a lot of good times ahead… But that’s also the good thing with having a Financially Valuable Skill…it’s definitely not restricted to hard times; no matter what time it is, it secures you financially!

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