What does investing mean for a pharmacist-turned writer and DevOps engineer? Find out in this episode of #MoneyRise, as Kazeem takes us on his career journey, relationship with money and his investing experience on Rise. 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a pharmacist. But for a few years now, I’ve diverted away from pharmacy a bit. I initially went into content writing and copywriting. Then after a few years, I went into software development. So now, I primarily do technical writing and DevOps engineering.

What inspired the switch from pharmacy to tech, particularly content writing?

I didn’t have any reason back then. I wrote for fun a lot at the time. I’d write poetry and prose as a pastime. But then, I came across an opportunity to monetise writing and took it. I’d felt some stagnation in my professional role, however. The work was somewhat too routine, and I didn’t want to continue with that. I started looking at other things I would be interested in, and of all of them, tech seemed more like something I would enjoy doing. 

As for DevOps engineering and technical writing, I just knew I would enjoy them because there’s always a new framework to learn. There’s always a new update. There’s just something to learn every day, so I knew there would be no stagnation. And from a very young age, I was already interested in such things, so doing them made sense. 

That’s interesting. So do you predominantly do DevOps and technical writing or content writing? What’s your primary source of income?

For the past few years, my primary source was content writing, but from around the end of last year up to this moment, it’s been technical writing and DevOps engineering. However, I have written content for longer than I’ve done the other two.

That’s cool. What has your experience been like and some of the challenges you face?

Well, it’s been fun. I’ve written across various niches, and for about two years, I had this particular client I wrote for across 10 or 15 niches. I wrote about farm work, plants, animals, poultry, fashion, etc. I wrote a lot. And as a content writer, you have to research and develop something. So the research part was always so much fun because I always learnt something new. Back then, when speaking with people, I usually just came up with random facts that astounded them. For instance, I was speaking with someone once and asked if they knew bananas were berries while strawberries were not.

As for challenges, the main issue is power. Another thing is network issues. However, I have a backup solar power source, which is how I tackle the power part. The network part hasn’t been so bad that I couldn’t work or use the internet throughout the day. It usually just lasts a few minutes, and it’s fine again.

Speaking of money, what’s your relationship with it?

There was a point where I saved excessively and barely spent on myself but my loved ones. I would save about 80-90% of my income. However, so far this year, I’ve been more of a spender than saver. In fact, for about three months now, I’ve not even saved or invested so much on Rise. I felt like it was time to give myself a break after a protracted saving spree. I’ve been on both extremes of saving and spending. But currently, I’m spending more.

Would you say your excessive saving habit stemmed from an experience, or you just found yourself doing it?

I’d say it’s a bit of both and more. I’ve had some pretty awful experiences, which factored into my saving habit. But I also had certain goals I was trying to achieve. I felt this was the youngest and strongest I’d ever be to work as hard as possible, so it was the best time to save up for whatever I wanted. And I did just that; I worked as hard as possible and saved even harder. I also rarely had a lot of things to spend on, so it was always so easy for me to save. But I consciously spend now and try to enjoy myself a bit. The key is finding balance, and I try to do that.

Let’s talk about Rise. How long have you been on Rise?

About 3 years now. I think I joined in November 2020 after I found out about the app on Twitter. The main reason I started using Rise was because I wanted to be able to readily convert my inflow to naira. Every other means I tried shortchanged me in some ways. However, Rise gave me an easier way to do things. But later, I realised how seamless and flexible the features are, and I just fell in love with Rise. Ever since then, I’ve been using it.

What has your experience been like? 

Oh, my experience has been a ten since I started my journey on Rise. The product is amazing, and I like the recently launched virtual cards. Using the app has helped me stay disciplined with my finances. When I put my money in Rise, I don’t touch it. I don’t know if it’s a mental block or something, but there’s just this restriction that comes with putting my money there. Rise has facilitated an infrastructure that allows me to save and be disciplined with saving.

I think the returns on investment also play a part in the discipline. If your money is working for you, what’s the point of taking it out and spending it? So the fact that Rise is a source of passive income also reinforces my discipline. I think that’s one of the main ways Rise has helped — just the fact that the platform exists is part of it. But the fact that the platform also offers a way to earn passive income reinforces the discipline.

That’s cool. What plans do you have on Rise?

I have real estate, fixed income, and payday plans. However, real estate and fixed income are under the build wealth, so I basically have Build Wealth and Payday plans. I had the stock plans at some point, but when the bear market started, I had to pull out. I couldn’t take it.

What are your thoughts on investing?

Investing is a great way to build wealth. Whether investing in the money market, stock market, a business or real estate, it makes your money work for you. Letting your money fetch more money for you is not just great; it’s also fun, at least for me. It’s also encouraging, especially with platforms like Rise, there’s no black box. You see everything as it happens. You know when returns are supposed to come in, the percentage, and whatnot. Everything is transparent, and you get to see actual results that your investments are working. 

I’m not quite sure traditional investments are as real-time as that. But with Rise’s fixed income, you see the results every day. You also see the wallet interest accrue every day. For real estate, you see it every month. I feel giddy when I receive notifications that my investments have earned returns. Sometimes, I feel good that I own a part of certain properties in the U.S. It keeps you wanting more.

So what advice do you have for anyone looking to pivot into content writing?

Like most things, one must consistently improve their skills to be valuable in content writing. I cringe a bit when I look back at some of the things I wrote just a few months or years ago, which just shows that I’m growing consistently. It feels nice. You should always be able to look back and see the net positive difference between what you do now and what you used to do. You’re not where you used to be. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you were bad before; it just means that you understand that there are no limits. And since there are no limits, there’s no reason to stop. So, the main thing is to keep getting better. While at it, have fun.

You too can be like Kazeem. Click here to start your investing journey on Rise.