Gosh how did I get here? I blinked and became one of those African aunties, offering unsolicited advice. But issokay, for today, I will own it with my full chest. Here’s the thing; when I was younger, I slept a lot, like A WHOLE LOT. I actually had two “sleeps” every day. I’d sleep at night, then wake up in the morning, and do the after-sleep sleep. Then I’d come back from work or school and just lay on my bed for hours, because why not? And just like that, pooof! Valuable time gone.
Now in my thirties with two young kids, a career, and a tad bit too much ambition, I’m wishing I could get back time from when I had it in surplus. So dear young people…
1. You have time, and I’d like to see you max the heck out of it. “But Abisola, you don’t understand how crazy busy I am,” you say. Oh honey boobo, I know you are, but trust me, it only goes downhill from here. So you might as well sign up for that Master’s degree you’ve been putting off, like tah-day.
Shortly after we got married, Oko mi and I volunteered with a refugee family from Burma (Southeast Asia). A couple times a week, we’d go to their apartment after work, help the kids with their homework, practice English with them, and play some games. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Would I love to keep doing it? Absolutely! How practical is it at this stage of my life? Basically, ummm odikwa very divicult sontin.
So while you have time ish, be intentional about everything – your health, self care, serving at church or volunteering wherever, advancing in your career, building friendships, hobbies, side gigs, traveling… so much to do than to just Netflix away your life.
2. Relationships matter, so build a “wealthy” network. The other day, Oko mi got a call from a connection he had made a couple years ago at a random conference. They wanted to know if we were interested in investing in a natural yogurt company that was about to go into Wholefoods. Fam, not every time, go to an event to find boyfren/gefren. We should often try to have authentic conversations to learn about people, what they do, and what gets them excited.
Also, be intentional about your relationships. I have a friend who (before COVID), would schedule monthly dates with me. Nine out of ten times, she’d come to my house and join me in dinner prep and we’d just talk and laugh the whole time. Friends, now is the time to hang out/in with your friends and form depth in your relationships. Once you birth Johnny and his little siblings, how do I say this without being ummm… I’ll just say it – it’s a wrap.
As you build these relationships, remember that whatever you do, don’t ever burn bridges; life gets interesting with its twists and turns and you just never know when you will need that burnt bridge to cross over a ditch. Be extra extra extra kind, even when others are not kind to you. Don’t buy into that toxic “cancel culture” behavior; give everyone the benefit of doubt and forgive easily.
3. Invest as much as you can as early as you can. Twenty seven. That’s how old I was when I bought my first investment property. Oko mi and I were beyond blessed to have stable jobs, but also, we were living the most basic of the basic-est lifestyle. Now just imagine what that first investment property will be worth 12 years from now when our son is getting ready to go to college? We could sell the property and pay cash down for his 4-year degree, and just like that, set him up for success!
Dear young friends, be wise about your dollarses. It’s real simple; be disciplined and live within your means. Then carry that extra ego and throw it into an investment as soon as possible. It is lack of discipline when you go on a vacation with your last penny, or even worse, on a credit card. I promise, the time will come when you can travel anywhere you want without your wallet crying for help. If you want to read more on how to invest, start here.
Regardless of your age, what is one piece of advice, based on your experience, that you’d add to this list?