I had the pleasure of interviewing Umeh Gerald Offordile, The CEO of OnlineHustle.com.ng, GeraldFord Technologies Ltd, Indian trained IT Expert with CCNA, MCSE, ITIL and CEH Certifications. He is also a freelancer on fiverr.com and a strong advocate for youths to embrace freelancing as a way to mitigate unemployment and underemployment.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I continue to be very fascinated by the progress that is made in the area of Information technology every day and the emerging technologies. As a child, I have always been interested in this field which is why I did my first degree in Electronics and computer technology and also learnt front end website design on my own. In 2016, after I have worked for a few years, I travelled to India on a study visa where I reinforced my interest in this area and obtained various IT certifications which include CCNA, MCSE, CEH and ITIL. Choosing to work in IT is partly because it is challenging and dynamic
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
Starting GeraldFord Technologies have exposed me to the need to constantly learn and improve as i am a self taught web developer, the many challenges pushes me to learn even more. OnlineHustle.com.ng have on the other hand have given me an opportunity to transfer what i know to the struggling youths out there on how to make legitimate income online.
My approach is not completely new, In conflict area like Palestine/Gaza Strip, Unemployment was about 43% which was about the highest in the world with about 60% of youths (15-29) unemployed. Mercy Corps built a similar program of training these youths and putting them on international freelancing websites with Payoneer ensuring seamless payment process. After a 2-year period, 54 of these freelancers have earned more than 60,000 US Dollars (21.6million Naira). However, another 160 was influenced by those 54 to start freelancing and they, in turn, earned more than 28,000 USD (10million Naira) in about a year.
Other advantages according to these freelancers include creating self-trust, developing relationships and exposure to other cultures.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Well, i used to build websites with only HTML with no back end ability, this meant that i had to go and edit HTML codes each time the client needed to make changes.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Precious joined Fiverr after she read my blog and her experience has been mindblowing, I recently had a chat with her and she made some mind-blowing revelation.She joined Fiverr under my guide and in just about 3 months she had $5000 in revenue on Fiverr alone, her story is filled with so much lesson considering the sense that she quit her job with one of the giant telecommunication company in Nigeria after discovering Fiverr and she recently told me that it was the best decision she made in her life.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Share what you know for free, if you must take a fee, keep it low and you will be empowering a whole generation.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
After I discovered Fiverr in July of 2016, immediately I had a feeling that my quest for another trustworthy way on how to make money on the internet is finally over, Ajayi Adebayo had to show me his $4000 united states dollars on Fiverr and then take me to the atm in India to make withdrawals with his Payoneer MasterCard which works anywhere in the world including Nigeria.
That night while doing my independent research, I ran into the story of Allie madison, a teenager who made over $100,000 by just taking pictures of herself and making videos from her phone. This is basically what most Nigerian girls do everyday on Instagram, snapchat and even facebook.
let me say a very big Thank you to Ajayi Adebayo who i came to know fiverr through. Thank you boss, i feel like i went to india just to meet with you.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have trained over 100 youths and i continue to mentor them
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“The internet is the greatest invention of our time”
My business is practically on the internet and sometimes i wonder how difficult life would have been without it
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- I wish i joined fiverr in 2011 when i first heard about it
- I wish i had the courage to teach and hold seminars earlier than i did
- I wish i didn’t have to wait for the perfect moment to start my business
- I wish i had gotten married at 25
- I wish i trusted myself more
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The Geraldford Foundation. The idea is to travel the length and breath of Nigeria, teach digital skills to every young person, get them on freelancing website and show them how to fish. That way, we would have dealt a perfect blow to the unemployment scourge in our country today.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!