From a failed car wash idea to earning in dollars.

AJAYI JOEL
3 min readJul 28, 2022

At what point did you realize you wanted to move into digital skills?

It was before I thought of washing cars for people. I felt I needed to purchase courses and I had a lot going on at the time. I just resumed school that year and needed money to fund many things and do my assignments. Also, I needed to pay for a course before I could launch into anything.

What made you think about washing cars for people?

Fundamentally, it was because of pressure. The car washing idea just came to me. I didn’t know how to do anything else and at the time I had never washed a car in my life. It was just random but it didn’t work out and I just survived through my friends and cousins

When did you move fully into digital skills?

In 2019. Then writing became more popular and one of my close friends, who is a journalist, decided we work together on his projects and share the profit. That was how I started but funny enough we didn’t share any money because we missed a deadline and some other things happened.

Lol…

Yeah..so that was how I began getting firsthand experience of freelance writing. It was something I had thought I needed to do a bunch of courses to learn.

It was in July 2020 that I went into freelancing full-time on Upwork. After I took some weird copywriting classes that felt like a waste of time.

What do you mean by weird classes?

During the pandemic, I was at home and wasn’t doing anything serious. I have never been the kind of person who stays idle since I finished secondary school in 2016. I graduated from secondary school at 15 and started working. I got a job as an English teaching assistant and later prepared my mates for WAEC.

In 2020, I came across a copywriting advert and asked one of my cousins, who has always invested in me, for financial aid. The class turned out to be a waste of time and the only thing I gained was how to create an Upwork account. But I’m grateful because within a few days after creating an account I got my first Job.

How much did you start with on Upwork?

My first gig was $250. The project was posted by a Nigerian. People think I started big when they hear that but I was cheated. There is something called scope creep which happens when a project isn’t properly defined. It refers to changes or uncontrolled growth in a project’s scope at any point after the project begins and that was my exact experience.

The client kept on adding new tasks which were frustrating. I didn’t have a PC then and spent 2–3 weeks doing the project with my phone. You can imagine how frustrating and later I realized that I was writing an entire textbook for a school.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

Honestly, I don’t know. My interest moves way too fast. Growing up I wanted to be a gynecologist but I freak out at the sight of blood and the idea that I’ll have to put my hand inside a woman’s…I can’t.

I knew this because my cousin I spoke about earlier downloaded videos to prepare me ahead.

When you started earning in dollars, did you assume responsibility for your family?

I’m the first child who happens to be a girl — responsibility is my portion. But I had to be selfish at some point because if I continued to play messiah I wouldn’t have anything to keep for myself.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve spent your money on?

I’m looking around my house now…lol

Apart from my rent, it was my laptop which I got 3 weeks ago. That’s the most expensive thing I own.

I don’t like to cook so my money goes into food because I’m always eating out.

Do you have a work routine?

I’m a procrastinator in chief. My work routine isn’t stable but I do follow a routine sometimes. What I like to do is turn off all my distracting apps and toss my phone aside so I don’t get calls until 5 pm.

Have you at any point felt school isn’t important?

No, I don’t feel like that. There was a time when I had exams for two weeks but I never missed a project’s deadline.

I can’t wait for school to resume. I enjoy the process and I like being with my friends which is the highlight for me. Because now there is no school, I don’t have any social life.

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