Building a second income stream is no longer optional, it is a must if you’re angling for a brighter financial future. Let me tell you my story.
I had several offers in Europe and North America after completing the Oxford MBA but opted to accept a management role at company A in Lagos, Nigeria. Company A’s offer came with a promissory note that I would become the CEO of the firm after 18 months of understudying the current CEO.
However, the board “forgot” to tell me that the CEO was not ready to move on. The dude proceeded to make my life so difficult that I had to resign. I was working 12 – 14 hours a day and giving my whole life to that company. No side hustle; nothing but company business.
That period of uncertainty was the most desperate time in my life. I had to find a new job or risk missing my kid’s tuition payment; mortgage payments; and struggling to fund our family lifestyle. I made a decision never to trust my life and career to any company again.
Similarly, two of my friends lost their jobs at the end of last year. One was the CEO of a small firm in the US and the other led a big firm in Nigeria. They both gave 100% to their firms (no side hustle) but their employers just wanted to go in a new direction.
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I learned 3 key lessons from these experiences;
LESSON 1: You have limited control over your life as long as your income is tied to a process you don’t control. Employees get fired, companies go bankrupt, mergers happen. You don’t control any of these catalysts so you can lose your job despite your stellar performance.
LESSON 2: Job loss without a secondary income affects your entire life.
A good friend of mine turned 40 last week and did NOT invite his father to the party. Dude was attending one of the elite schools in Lagos when his father got fired from a senior government position.
The man did not have a significant savings or a secondary source of income so they had to move to a cheaper neighborhood and the son transferred to a substandard public school where he got bullied repeatedly. It’s 27 years later and he still hates his dad.
LESSON 3: Even if you’re not the “business type”, you can be the “investment type”. You can learn money/capital markets, learn real estate or learn to become an Angel investor.
Bottom-line, don’t depend solely on your salary. You are basically outsourcing your family and personal well-being to the whims and caprices of your corporate overlords if you rely 100% on your salary.
Back to my personal story: After resigning from that company, I became the CEO of one of his competitors. I took every single skill, strategy, and business models I learnt from that guy, infused it with some 21st century pizzazz and proceeded to whip him in the marketplace.
I took many of his customers, won all the awards he used to win, hired some of his best employees, and improved on his proprietary models. I built a much better business than the one I left and leveraged the experience to a regional role. Revenge is a dish best served cold!
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Most importantly, I became a wiser professional. I grew the business I was running but grew my own side gigs. I worked hard for the man till 6pm and resumed at my own company from 6pm to 10pm. Building a second income stream is no longer optional. I hope you can see why.
Dr. Tayo Oyedeji