Multiple streams of income is a financial dream most people have nurtured for long. From the onset, we have always had the vision to go beyond savings and investments to provide Nigerians, and Africans in extension, with free but tailored financial advice. In line with that, we consistently provide crisp money tips and partner with sound minds to deliver golden financial advice.
Recently, we had a tweet chat with Dr Tayo Oyedeji, the author of How I Retired at 40 & How You Can Prepare for Early Retirement, on building multiple income streams. It was a knowledge packed session that we believe everyone should have access to. Hence, this blog post.
Who is Tayo Oyedeji?
I am an entrepreneur who started life in banking, did some consulting and advertising and was a professor at the University of Georgia in the US. I am currently retired but work in non-profits while building a startup. PhD was from Columbia- Missouri, MBA from Oxford. Former MD of Media Perspectives Nigeria and Starcom, South Africa.
The Big Questions
To bring the idea of building multiple income streams home, we asked him a few questions. You’ll find a lot of knowledge here.
Everybody needs a side gig.- Tayo Oyedeji
1. What was your first experience with building an alternative income source?
I was 21 while doing Youth Service in Nigeria so I wrote a book. The book was my first major business venture. I did a book launch, sold a couple of thousand copies, and used the proceeds to buy my first car. I was working full-time in a bank while writing the book. The self-published book was a lesson in entrepreneurship, creativity (writing), target market identification, operations, publishing, and planning (events), book launch (marketing and sales). The most important lesson I learnt from that first venture is to do what comes naturally. To find the intersection of market and passion and to pursue businesses regardless of current jobs.
Money runs to good ideas.- Tayo Oyedeji
2. What challenges did you face at the start of this journey?
I had to learn everything from scratch. The problem is that our educational system does not teach entrepreneurship or money management. So we have to learn everything on our own. The capital was also a problem. But I have learned that money runs to good ideas. Banks don’t lend startups any money so you have to raise money. That’s why it’s good to save money from whatever you make. I was making N5k a month (1998) and saved N2k every month. I saved N24k and borrowed N20k to make up the N45k for my first business. Nobody will help you if you don’t have any skin in the game. That’s why you must save even when you don’t have any business or investment in mind.
That savings will be your skin in the game that will prompt others to help you.
3. What book(s) helped make the experience easier for you?
The Millionaire Next Door is a classic that is worth reading over and over again. It taught me the value of saving money by living way below my means. I spoke with someone today who said I am the most understated person they know. Made me happy because it means I am living right.
Our continent needs to sell more things to the rest of the world and it starts with you and me.- Tayo Oyedeji
4. What peculiar hurdles do you think Nigerians face with multiplying their income sources?
The key challenge, in my opinion, is a reliance on salary and regular income without a plan to multiply the income. Many Africans don’t understand money and capital markets so they don’t multiply their money while sleeping. They ONLY work for money; they don’t let their money work for them. That’s why I am building a startup (CashFire) to teach Financial Literacy across Africa.
5. What are your top 5 suggestions on crossing these hurdles?
- Get financial education. I attended a 10-week course on financial planning in the US to understand the basics.
- Don’t just work for money; let your money work for you.
- Build an emergency fund.
- Build a business.
- Learn to work with partners.
6. What feasible options will you suggest for building alternative income sources?
1. I am currently bullish on food and agriculture, especially cash crops. (With Cowrywise, you can save up funds, invest your savings while building up to reinvest in agriculture).
2. Tech is a no-brainer.
4. We have too many consulting, marketing, and advertising businesses. Don’t go there.
Focus on the money market in Nigeria- Tayo Oyedeji
7. What are your tips for people to stay rich once they start earning from multiple streams?
They should start by grading themselves with these 7 important questions:
- Emergency Funds: Have you saved the equivalent of 1-month salary in a basic savings account? — 20 Points
- Six-Month Cover: Do you have the equivalent of 6-months living expenses in a high yield investment instrument? — 20 points
- Debt elimination: Are you completely debt-free with the exception of your house mortgage? — 20 points
- Multiple streams: Do you have at least two income streams? — 10 points
- Saving plan: Do you save at least 20% of your monthly income? — 10 points
- Will and life insurance: Do you have a will that protects your family? Do you have life insurance? — 10 points
- Education fund: Do you have a savings plan to ensure that your kids can have a good education even if something happens to you? — 10-points
Finally, take a class financial planning class. @SolaAdesakin can help. Build an organization around your businesses. Focus on the money market in Nigeria (10 –17% returns). Cowrywise can help. Build a stock portfolio.
The laws of compound interest make money invested in your 20’s more valuable for you than the one invested in your 40’s.- Tayo Oyedeji
8. With different age-brackets come different generic focus points. What’s your investment advice for different age brackets?
21 to 25 — Learn about finance.
26 to 30 — Start a small business on the side.
31 to 35 — Grow your businesses
36 to 40 — Invest like crazy
41 to 50 Invest like crazy
50 + Retire
All this is impossible if you don’t learn to save and live below your means. It’s important to save, invest, and build other income sources from the very first day you graduate from college. The laws of compound interest make money invested in your 20’s more valuable for you than the one invested in your 40’s.
Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it and work hard. I grew up in a small town and decided that I wanted to rise above my hood. It took years of hard work but it has happened. Everyone can start from anywhere and become anything they really want to be.
What side hustle(s) are you considering to help create multiple income streams, and what steps are you taking? Do share with us, we’ll love to know.