Are you a salary earner? Your life is similar to a solar panel. Read how.

Are you a salary earner? Your life is similar to a solar panel! Read how.


I am not an engineer yet I am interested in global energy sources so I got into a dialogue with an engineering professional yesterday. Our friendly discussion triggered this article. How can employees and even employers learn from the solar panel analogy? Let me show you.

  1. Solar panels make hay whilst the sun shine. An employee should too.

Solar energy simply described is energy mostly generated from the sun.  Solar panels are the devices that convert this light into electricity. Yes, the sun is free and light from the sun is very abundant but the sun doesn’t shine at night which means solar panels do not generate electricity at night.

As a paid employee, you need to make hay whilst the sun shines just like the solar panels. You should covert as much income to investments, savings and passive profitable businesses whilst the sun shines because nightfall will definitely come before the sun shines again.

Secondly, It is not enough to make hay whilst the sun shines, it is crucial to have a battery. If you have solar panels in your house, it will generate electricity whilst the sun shines but the electricity goes off at night without the battery. As an employee, you need to have your batteries that can store electricity and more importantly give electricity back to you when you need it. This means you need investments that can generate income for you when the night falls. Note I said when the nightfall, not if the nightfall.

Nightfall in this case can be loss of job, unpaid salaries from economic downturn, bad loans, bad investments and more.

  1. Solar panels need periodic maintenance. An employee does too.

Solar panels need periodic inspection to remove dirt and check that all electrical connections are intact. As an employee, you need periodic maintenance to ensure you are able to continuously generate the best output for the organization. I don’t mean just garnering certifications, NO! I mean getting trainings, exposure, reading that translates to a better performance on the job. Example, if you are a secretary, you may want to take a short course on project management so you improve your bosses’ productivity. If you are a business leader, it is not enough to just know your business; you need to know the economic trends so your business doesn’t suffer foreseeable losses. If you are a cleaner, you need to learn the latest cleaning tricks so you get better on your job. If you are a marketer, you need to understand digital trends. I challenge you to lead this and not wait for any company to develop you. When you develop, you are the biggest beneficiary. NO ONE can take what you know from you.

  1. Solar panels lifespan is 3 – 25 years. Your career has a finite lifespan. 

This one is the painful truth. No matter how fantastic the panel is, no matter how brilliant the design, solar panels ‘spoil’ after a period of time.

As a paid employee, you are similar. No matter how brilliant you are, whether you made First class or not, you will either be asked to leave or you will leave the company at some stage.  Have you ever seen anyone that never left a company? Many have come before you, many will remain after you. It is perfectly normal but scary.

A 30 years old young vibrant graduate can probably add more value to the organization versus a 55 years old employee and will cost less. A lot less on salary, less on benefits, less on medicals bills.

Absolutely, the older employee will have more experience but at some stage, the total cost of the experience is higher than the value the experience adds to the business.

As an employee, you need to live for today but not forget tomorrow. Start living the life you truly can afford, not the illusion the company makes you believe you can afford.

Remember that someday, all the business class flights, expensive business dinners, flashy company vehicles, official mobile phones will disappear because they are not yours. Enjoy them now whilst you can but keep enough to ensure you can maintain this lifestyle when salary ceases.

At the end of the day, remember you are just like the solar panel. You are valuable but you need to make hay whilst the sun shines.  Aye or Nay?

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7 thoughts on “Are you a salary earner? Your life is similar to a solar panel. Read how.”

  1. This is a very creative and well delivered piece. This article is not balanced for an average or below average Nigerian employee whose take home cannot take him or her home. I will like to read another version of this same Solar panel concept based on my new submission. Keep up the good work!

    1. Dear Someone, thanks a lot for the comment. I agree that it may seem unbalanced as it assumes the employee has enough to save. However, the truth is, it is even more relevant for employees whose take home is not enough. These employees need to take out of this ‘not enough’ to invest in passive income generators. Let me give an example, i used to know someones nanny that earned N25,000 from her nanny job. She is a single mum with one child and had to maintain her family with this amount. Yet, she was able to resign from her nanny job in less than 1 year because she invested most of her earning in investments- she bought bikes, employed people who rode it and delivered a commission to her. Within a year, she had 2 bikes by reinvesting most of her profit into buying another bike. No amount is too little. You know the saying – cut your coat according to your size?’ I know people who earn millions yet don’t have a single bike in their name. Its all in the MIND!

  2. Thank you! Help me tell them o!! This ‘illusion’ that most people live in ehn….i really like your article…please keep it up.

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