[Creators Spotlight]: You shouldn't start any career solely for money; your aim should be to add value to people’s lives- Tom Chris Emewulu
In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us. Today we have with us Tom-Chris Emewulu talking about the different aspects of being a content creator.
Creators are the heart and soul of Tealfeed. As they continuously work towards feeding us more information every day, it's only fitting to bring out their journey for the world to know.
In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us. Today we have with us Tom-Chris Emewulu.
Tom-Chris Emewulu, who's leading his team in building Africa’s future of skills development, shares spending his childhood and talks about the different aspects of being a content creator.
Continue reading to find out more!
Who has been the biggest influence in your life? What lessons did that person or those people teach you?
My mother and my big sister Grace are the foremost influencers in my life. When I was little, I used to see my big sister as a mystery. She was like my mother's younger version – beautiful, strong-willed, and kind, with a fantastic business sense.
I grew up with her in Nnewi, an industrial city called the Japan of Africa. Managing her fast-moving consumer goods company taught me critical lessons in entrepreneurship and career development. I learned that hard work does make you happy by serving over 100 clients daily and tending to wholesale suppliers and other vendors.
Producing more value than what you were paid for and making people’s lives better is how you ensure your sustainability. More so, I learned that the market doesn’t always know what it wants. People might have an idea of what they want. Still, it often takes someone with unique sensibilities to lead people towards making better decisions or moving to their next level.
As a business owner and career professional navigating today’s complex work environment, you must always keep that in mind. Optics are not everything.
Tell us about your childhood, what was the best part? Is there any specific incident that has largely influenced the kind of person you are today?
I think I grew up quite fast. As a boy, I had terrible learning difficulties - I couldn’t read until class four in primary school. In my forthcoming book Breaking the Limits, I wrote about an incident when my elder brother, Adolphus, who was living with my maternal uncle, wrote my mother a letter. My older siblings were not home, so no one in the house could read the message. My mother, who could not read, called a neighbor’s son to read the letter.
We all gathered around him as he spread the paper to a lantern light for illumination. Unknown to us, this person couldn’t read. We thought he was intelligent because he used fake grammar that fascinated us as children when he spoke. And instead of telling my mother the truth, he made up so many horrible things and said to us that’s what the letter said. My mother cried herself to sleep that night.
The next day she made a trip to her brother’s house, only to realize that Adolphus didn't write any of what the fellow said in the letter. That day, I decided that the day I learned how to read, I would read all the books in the world and help others do the same. And then my immediate elder sister (who’s passed on to glory) taught me how to read. Learning how to read was a transformational experience. It set me on the course of being the man I am today.
You see, everyone has a trigger that seeks to guide you toward your life’s work, what you’re meant to accomplish in your lifetime. The first move towards achieving this is knowing and understanding early on who you are and what you want. However, without any guidance, you can waste valuable years trying to gain knowledge and experience from various sources.
With clarity and sound advice, you will find your path. My clarity, even if I didn’t recognize it then, came from that incident. It set me on the part of the mission I am living today to build frameworks that unlock Africa’s young geniuses and help businesses and individuals thrive.
How important a role does content play in your life? Are you a full-time content creator? Why did you start creating content?
As a species, we learn about ourselves and our world through stories. But not just that, we create our worlds with stories. Both as businesses and individuals. The stories we tell about ourselves are the physical equivalence of the lives we’re living.
For me, content is everything because good content is about storytelling. It’s about telling stories that help businesses connect with their audience, share their values, educate their prospects and make more money. I love that part of my job at Stars From All Nations.
But I guess I became a content creator by accident. Although I’ve always loved writing, I couldn’t bear to share my work with anyone for the longest time. I felt that since I wasn’t as good as the prolific writers I devoured their works in my boyhood days, no one would read my work.
I trained as an accountant, not a writer, I thought.
But then I realized that my accounting background makes me an analytical thinker, which makes it possible for me to produce data-driven content with ease. It took lots of practice and learning, but today, many of my works rank on page 1 of Google search. My work has increased the SEO ranking of a company by more than 15%. And one entrepreneur secured a $300,000 partnership, thanks to my article.
What’s that one aspect of being a content creator no one talks about?
I don’t think many people know the amount of work it takes to create good content. There are times when I’ve spent over 18 hours of research on one topic. Of course, every article is not the same. But generally speaking, it takes an unbelievable volume of hours and practice to get to the point where you can quickly craft brilliant copies that travel the world in search of clients for a business.
I see lots of articles on how someone made six figures from blogging. But what they don’t often share in those listicles is that that “six figures in six months” were a result of compound value from years of day-in, day-out improvement. They don’t often highlight that it’s a result of years of learning on headline writing, product marketing, relational equity, coupled with a mastery of digital tools for data analytics and SEO.
So when newbie content creators read such striking pieces of overnight success, they don’t get the whole story. They try to replicate it and when it doesn’t work, they feel; discouraged and give up. Folks must balance that narrative - people who know what I earn today might not realize that no one paid me a dime for my work for three years of labor.
What’s the most satisfying part of being a content creator?
I love to see my work helping businesses and individuals actualize their goals faster than they would’ve without my help.
Nothing gives me more joy than when people find such tremendous benefit in my work. I see my work as an extension of my principles, and I’m constantly learning how to ensure that each production retains my authentic voice, my essence while actualizing the metrics that my clients value.
What are you up to currently and what are your long-term career goals?
Presently, I am leading my team in building Africa’s future of skills development while helping clients such as Chargeflow create innovative products. It’s been an absolute pleasure to see how the Chargeflow platform is coming to life since we started collaborating a year ago.
At SFAN, we have a saying that we create a WOW experience. We are currently getting set to host the 2021 edition of our Global Student Entrepreneurship Week kicking off on October 28. As part of the entrepreneurship week, we plan to launch our digital career accelerator to help rising African professionals launch their careers in high-growth companies. My long-term career goal is to build a digital university that’ll solve youth unemployment in the world and retire to be a teacher.What drives you to create content regularly?
Seeing the value people get from my work is a motivating factor to keep creating more.
Of course, it’s not an easy job - there are days you don’t want to type a word. But knowing that one article I write could be the turning point for a client is inspiring. So I keep creating content, hoping to finally hit that one article that’ll be the ultimate milestone. Regardless of what job you do, having that mindset that your best work is in front, not behind you, helps you get better.
What’s the most challenging part of being a content creator?
I think it’s easy to start. But to keep going when no one cares about what you create, that’s the hard part of the job. It’s difficult to continue creating content when no one is reading your work, especially when consumers' attention span is getting fleeted and TikToked shorter and shorter. You can spend an ungodly amount of hours writing an article, and the next minute after hitting publish, it’s buried in thons of others. More books, articles, movies, music, and so on are being created today than before.
That creates the “big head, small tail” effect where celebrity content creators capture the most attention leaving others to scramble for the crumbs. The “winner takes all” content marketplace we seem to have today is challenging for beginners. I tell my students, focus on producing quality work. Find a space where you can practice and improve your art. As you improve, things will get easier.
How do you make sure that you aren’t affected by nasty comments and negative things said about you?
Negative comments hurt, particularly when you care deeply about your work. But, of course, learning how to filter feedback to help you grow is crucial. Negative comments help me grow. They serve as fuel for me. While everyone loves positive words and affirmations, I think that you need bold people to tell you when your work sucks. And it would help if you were humble enough to take corrective measures and improve. As Gary Vee said, the market will always win.
But if the comments are from folks looking to tear you down and undermine your value, I suggest you close your ears on them and keep minding your business. As long as you’re getting results and meeting the metrics that matter, the rest is negligible.
Anything else you would like our audience to know about you!
I’m just thankful for the opportunity to do things that move the needle. I love that people find value in my work; I love to help people become successful.
And one crucial thing I want anyone who reads this interview to take away is that if they're going to get the type of results that I now have, it won’t be solely because of the inspiration from these thoughts. It’ll require work, faith, and grace.
Building my career from the humble beginning I described earlier to becoming a venture-funded entrepreneur and content creator is like something from the movies to some people. But in reality, it took much more than I can share here to actualize that.
Why did you start creating content on Tealfeed?
Tealfeed is a fantastic platform that empowers everyone to be part of the conversation. Today, with the rise of virtual governments and growing inequality globally, the little guys are being left farther behind.
It would seem that in a time when private citizens are shuttling to space and internet connection is increasingly proliferating, everyone will have a voice. Alas, few eras of human existence have seen as much disconnect as we have today, where people are labeled, silenced, and de-platformed for not following mainstream ideologies and viral thoughts.
In my opinion, Tealfeed helps everyone to have a voice and be part of the greater society. That’s why I love creating content on the platform.
How would you want people to remember you?
My mission is to help entrepreneurs and rising professionals to be successful.
I want people to remember me as someone who made it possible for young African dreamers to live on their terms. There’s an urgent need for platforms, systems, policy instruments, and products that will help Africa’s teeming youth population realize its true potential.
Different studies have shown that by 2030, 75% of all people under 35 will be African. The future of Africa is unquestionably synonymous with that of the world.
And I want my life and my work to serve as an inspiration and springboard for these young people to unlock their potentials and, in turn, act as catalysts to help others live on their terms. That’s what Stars From All Nations is out to achieve.
What's success for you and when would you consider yourself to be successful?
Success for me is making the world better than I met it. I’ll consider myself successful when I’ve been able to unlock the potential of 1 million young Africans through our work at SFAN.
That’s not to say that I don’t see myself as a success now. Success is in stages. If you succeed in 1, you will succeed in 10, 100, 10,000, 1M.
Who’s your favorite creator? Why?
Michael Simmons and Ben Hardy. They don’t just rehearse the boring rhetorics that no one wants to read. They create content that provides real value to the reader.
To every individual who’s planning to start out as a content creator, what would you like to advise them?
Analysts at Medium say that doubling the time it takes to create an article translates to an 89% increase in the content read time. The logic is simple: you need to go beyond the fluff if you want your work to have value. Aim to create high-value content.
As I intimated earlier, you can start by offering free contributions to platforms like Tealfeed. Prove yourself and be known for insightful content.
It’s great to have financial goals and work towards them. But I don’t think you should start any career solely because you want to make money; your aim should be to add value to people’s lives. The money will come afterward, and you can be in a better position to control how much you make.
Few maintain consistency, few remain unique, and fewer are the ones who do both of these right, and earn a spot in Tealfeed Spotlight.