This article was originally posted on Pulse.ng
By Subomi Plumptre
August 11, 2023
In the world of Afrobeats, there’s a common refrain, “I want to l’owo…” translating to “I want to be wealthy.”
This echoes the universal desire to amass wealth and enjoy life’s pleasures.
Many of us, especially in Africa, have had the importance of hard work ingrained in us from an early age. After all, that used to be the sole pathway to success. However, while still relevant, work has dramatically changed. The laborious farmland of the past has given way to the vast intellectual fields of creativity. It’s a revolution that many of us may have missed: the evolution from physical tools to the potent combination of talent and brains.
But how does one transform brilliance, coupled with a relentless work ethic, into wealth? The question is: “How do you become Beyoncé?”
There’s always a starting point
Maybe you have a knack for writing and dream of being the next Chimamanda. Or perhaps, yours is a gift of understanding numbers or an ability to code rapidly. You may even be a corporate wonk; excelling in a multinational organization.
Unlike Beyoncé though, what you have not hacked is the visibility, leverage and network that can exponentially increase your value and ultimately translate to wealth. Let me tell you a bit of what I know about Beyoncé.
Beyoncé’s journey started when her talent was discovered at age five. She formed a band at eight and began her journey towards stardom by participating in local singing competitions. She recognized the power of collaboration and implemented it strategically.
She co-opted her father as manager and convinced classmates to form her first singing group. Alongside developing her music, she ventured into acting and finally pursued a solo singing career.
Beyoncé understood the power of early leverage and cooperation. You must work with others, seek the cheapest forms of assistance, utilize visibility platforms, shape your own story and then move into progressively more rarified corporate circles. I call this strategic collaboration.
In addition to her illustrious career in the entertainment industry, Beyoncé has laid a sustainable foundation as an entrepreneur and business owner. Her net worth has reached $540 million in 2023, increasing by $90 million from the previous year. According to Forbes, she ranks as the fourth richest American woman in the music industry.
Another lesson from Beyoncé is portfolio diversification.
As a high-income earner, you must parlay the earnings from your primary source of income when you’re hot, into other streams of income that can take care of you in the twilight of your career.
Here are three more lessons from Beyoncé that can lead you to financial freedom:
1) Make your talent visible
Unknown talent is futile and a potential source of lingering frustration. Don’t keep your abilities hidden; shine a light on them. Whether it’s applying for fellowships, entering competitions, publishing articles, or maintaining an active social media presence, put yourself out there. No one is too young or old to thrive; it’s time to step out of obscurity.
2) Harness the power of leverage
Your talent will open initial doors, but to maximize these opportunities, give value and network strategically. Speak at events, stand out from the crowd, and capitalize on testimonials to gain access to exclusive opportunities. Use these introductions to promote your talents to a broader, higher-paying audience.
3) Invest and diversify
If the income from your talent begins to grow, then you need an investment plan to manage and diversify it. Like Beyoncé, you may remain famous for decades. Or you may have a limited time in the sun. Use it well by buying assets and funding businesses that will allow you to pursue other interests when your fame fades.
Think of your mentors who are still hustling to remain relevant. That should never be you. Rather, think of your talent as seed capital. Use it to procure long-term assets that will last for generations.
Learn from my mistakes
A few years ago, I was hyper-focused on improving my craft but spent little time on strategic collaborations, leverage and wealth creation. After about two decades of work, I became tired and realized all of my income was dependent on me actively working.
That illumination set the tone for the next phase of my life – ensuring that other talented folks do not make the same mistakes that I made. My investment club now helps professionals to grow their wealth while my asset management company is for high-net-worth individuals seeking to create a strategic investment plan and build generational assets.
Seven years after her last solo tour, Beyonce’s Renaissance world tour is projected to gross more than $2bn with ticket prices ranging from $50 – $1,000 and more. These numbers challenge me. It is not so much about being a new cat or an old cat: it is about leveraging talent to become an evergreen cat. I invite you to reflect on your own journey.
About the Author
Subomi Plumptre is the co-founder of Volition Capital Investments Limited, an asset management company that helps middle-class Africans and Diasporans to create wealth. Under its licensed investment club, Vizient Coop, the company provides collaborative investment options for career professionals.
From our blog also read A Pan-African Perspective on Strategic Wealth Creation