“When I get paid, I always save a percentage of it before I spend” – Folu Oyefeso

Folu Oyefeso is a photographer, web designer, lifestyle journalist and entrepreneur. He talks to us about what it is like to have multiple streams of income.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Folu Oyefeso and I am a journalist and photographer and also an entrepreneur. I’m the first of three kids; two boys and a girl. I have a business degree with a background in Mathematics and Computer Science. All of my tech knowledge comes from my years in Computer Science, however, I didn’t enjoy coding because I liked the more practical application of Computer Science.

So is this what you have always wanted to do or do you just happen to stumble on it?

I always knew I wanted to be explorative – I loved being outside and connecting with nature and animals, but I didn’t know this is how it would manifest in my adult life. I didn’t even have plans to welcome it up until the New Year of 2020. My family and I were at Lakowe Golf Resort and I remember telling my dad, ”I take decent pictures and I go to all these interesting places. I think I am going to start a website where I talk about my experiences. The next day, I started working on it. Today, I am grateful for where I am to be honest even though imposter syndrome kicks in often.

So I am guessing you are enjoying it?

Of course! Not many people can just get up and go to another town or city, so I definitely enjoy that.

Your parents are in full support of it?

I won’t say fully, but in recent times, they are starting to see the potential and significance of the work I do. They see the value more and more every day. My mom still says I need to get a 9-5 though.

Do you think you can go back to a 9-5?

I could, but it depends on a number of things. If the 9-5 aligns with what I align with I will definitely consider it, but I am okay where I am. Even though it will be nice to have consistent monthly earnings.

Do you think freelancing has made you a better financial manager? 

I won’t say it made me a better financial manager, though it made me more aggressive in terms of looking for streams of income and saving funds.

How’s it like being an entrepreneur with other streams of income?

It’s actually very exciting. I design websites for startups, I also do some entrepreneurship so everything together makes me excited, especially because I get bored easily. I like the idea of new challenges day in and day out. It keeps my mind alive.

What makes you choose the cities you visit?

I find myself leaning towards places with nice nature vibes, exciting historical landmarks, forest reserves, and places like that. I try to make sure everything is in place (planning-wise) before making the move especially because of the security issues we have in the country.

Are your trips self-sponsored or brand-sponsored?

Everything I do is self-funded for now. I’m open to collaboration with brands, however. Strategic partnerships are the best way to take your work to the next level.

Since you have multiple streams of income, how do you save or invest?

Every time I get some inflow of money I set aside a portion of it to save or invest. I am intentional about setting aside some cash since I know my income isn’t scheduled. Putting money aside into your savings is a great financial discipline.

Where is the best place you’ve visited in Nigeria?

Hmmm, there isn’t really a “best place”. I love Abuja for the horizon and landscape, the aesthetics all look great. I also have fantastic friends there as well. Lagos is also great for all the fun, vibes, and networking. Last but not least,  Ibadan. It’s my zone and I grew up here and moved back last year. It’s great for calmness, affordability, clean air, water, and food.

Why did you move back to Ibadan?

First of all, Lagos is outrageously priced and there’s no value for money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a cheapskate but there’s just no value. My brother and I actually moved last year, and it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made. In Ibadan, we are paying a third of the rent we were paying in Lagos. The house we stay in is a whole lot nicer and bigger, besides, we have really clean water. So, what are we really paying for in Lagos besides vibes?

That’s a solid financial decision you made…

Oh…absolutely! I do not regret it at all.

When was the first time you invested in something and how did it turn out?

So back in secondary school, due to the early exposure I had to financial education, I gathered all my pocket money and bought shares with them with the help of my parents. I bought GTBank shares. Back then, it was a decent amount of money, but right now, it’s not worth a lot. I sold the shares off in 2020 because I wasn’t happy with the returns.

Do you have any major financial regrets?

Haha…I am an ijebu man oh (laughs). I can’t think of any bad financial move, I don’t splurge on things too much so that helps me not make bad financial decisions. If I want something, I come up with a savings plan and save money towards it till I reach the goal.

Have you had any financial challenges?

Arghhhhh, every day is a major financial challenge in Nigeria. Being an entrepreneur, there will be times when you won’t have so much money and other times when you are good. Not having that monthly income can sometimes be tedious but it is balanced out by the periods when I’m good. It’s the financial challenges that make you creative about making money. For example, the fantastic pictures I mentioned earlier are now sold as frames for people to beautify their spaces with. So yes, there are financial challenges but there is always a way out.

What’s next for you? 

The plan is to scale. I have been running this venture for two and half years so I want to develop products and services that I can sell.  Late last year, I took some time off, because I needed to develop products that could bring in funds. No business can run without generating some income. So yes, the next step is to scale, create more types of content about Nigeria and Africa, monetize and make a significant change in where I am at the moment.

That’s amazing!

Thank you. I am also setting up a tour company and it should get the initial phases of that running this year. I want people to be able to experience the things I write about on my website. We also have a pet services platform we are building that will make pet care easier in Nigeria. I run a textile brand too, and there are some other projects here and there so it’s all very exciting and *fingers crossed* will be rewarding.

We hope everything turns out just as you planned

I hope so too!

To learn more about the awesome things Folu Oyefeso is doing, visit https://www.foluoyefeso.com/

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