Mon | Nov 19, 2018

Yaneek Page | Earning online: Inspiring Jamaican success stories

Published:Sunday | August 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Last week, I received an interesting message from a young woman on Twitter, which, to my amazement and absolute joy, would trigger a string of inspiring success stories from social media from Jamaicans earning online.

The message read: "Hey."

It was immediately followed by a picture of a newspaper clipping of a Businesswise article written by me and published in the Sunday Gleaner on September 22, 2013.

The message continued: "That was the article you wrote in 2013 that inspired me to start working on fiverr (just found it in my memory box)."

I replied: "Hey, Hun. How are you doing now? Has it paid off?"

To which she responded: "I am good. I've now been upgraded to earning between 250 and 300USD a month lol."

I then asked her a critical question, which is a concern for many sceptics of online earning opportunities: "And this income is consistent?"

"Yeah, it is," she replied.

She made my day. Testing games and apps, reviewing websites and data entry are among the tasks she is being paid to do online. She also gets paid to do things she loves, like writing articles about natural hair.

To put this in perspective, this millennial's side hustle via Fiverr.com which she has the freedom to execute from anywhere at any time using just a mobile device and internet connection, earns her enough to employ a minimum wage and pay of up to 50 per cent more than the recently increased national rate. That's information worth sharing with others.

With her permission and without using her name, I shared her success story on my Instagram page with the hope of inspiring others, particularly the youth demographic, which continues to struggle with high unemployment and singular income streams. Within minutes, I began receiving direct messages on Instagram more success stories:

- Success story 2: "I was inspired by an article you did in the Sunday Gleaner about online freelancing. I now do full-time online work. Can't thank you enough".

- Success story 3: "The series you did on Facebook covering investing and other income streams led me to Upwork. In the last six months of 2017, I earned 1,000USD. I took a break and just going back to it."

- Success story 4: "I lost my job at a call centre last year and became desperate because I had a baby on the way, and my spouse was too sick to work. I came across your Facebook series and went straight to Upwork and eventually landed a job with a US company. I have been working with this company since last year and have been able to take care of my family."

He then sent a screen shot of his total billings to the company which was US$9,773.03. That's a steady income of almost J$1.35 million in under a year, earned online from home. I omitted his job title and the type of company he works for due to privacy reasons.

I am still receiving success stories. Even more promising is that in my research, I've come across several Jamaicans, mainly women, offering their talents and services online.

While working online may not be for everyone, it is a viable source of US dollar income and opportunity for Jamaicans that remains largely untapped. This is a particularly timely reminder given recent fluctuations in the exchange rate, which has seen the Jamaican dollar trading at record lows to the benchmark US dollar.

I'm, therefore, grateful to the readers of this column who have exploited the information they learnt here to their advantage and have kindly shared their own experiences to serve as credible examples that may motivate and empower others. Over the past five years of writing Businesswise, I have been energised by the many testimonials from readers who are earning more either online, with their new enterprise or even from extra space because of the knowledge they learnt from this column. Thank you all for reading, taking action, and, most importantly, sharing.

For readers who may be inspired to pursue online work and earning opportunities, research and read the Businesswise columns below and hopefully, you will not only get started on your own journey, but also share your successes and challenges to educate and inspire your fellow Jamaicans in the future.

- Starting a Business with no Money published September 22, 2013

- A Beginner's Guide to Earning Money Online published November 17, 2013

- Secrets to Success for Earning Online published March 20, 2016

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- Yaneek Page is an entrepreneur and trainer and creator-executive producer of The Innovators TV series. Email: info@yaneekpage.com Twitter: @yaneekpage Website: www.yaneekpage.com