My First Million: Odunayo Eweniyi (Piggy Vest)

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Over the course of conducting the interviews for this series, it has become a common occurrence to hear people refer to Piggy Vest as their preferred platform for saving. Consequently, Odun Eweniyi makes a great fit as our latest subject.

Did you always think you would get to where you are? When did you make your first million?

That’s a tough one. I suppose I always knew (read: hoped very strongly) that I would be successful. But I wasn’t going to take this path I’m on, so I couldn’t have predicted this. But hey life happens, I’m just happy the chips fell positively.

When did you make your first million?

You know, I don’t think I ever “made” a million. I think I just saved up to it, and then life continued from there.

What would you say are the secret(s) of your success?

I am still striving towards success so I don’t think I’m quite there yet. But I’ll say what has gotten me to this point is the combination of an incredible support system in my cofounders and my team and grit. A lot of things we’ve made happen has been through sheer willpower. 

What was your best preparation for business?

My best preparation for business is my mom. Growing up, she had a side business that she grew from one shop to a fleet of them, while working as a full-time Lecturer. Of course, I went on to study computer engineering and never thought I’d have to use that knowledge. But those values, accountability, hard work, and a host of others are some of the best foundations for the work I do today.

What experience(s) would you say have shaped your financial attitude?

My mom also shaped my financial attitude. She’s terrific with money. And I suppose she had to be, managing a business on her own. So, she passed some of those learnings to us. Most of it is save, save, save!

What is your basic business philosophy?

Customers first. It’s that simple.

What was the most challenging period of your career? 

Starting out! It was incredibly hard. It was hard to get funding, it was hard to get support, it was hard to get people in our corner to believe in the dream. But we figured it out and were able to get someone – and are still figuring it out.

Do you believe in retirement?

100%. I don’t want to work forever. I believe there’s a time I stop pushing so hard and just watch the things I, hopefully, have built grow.

What would post-retirement life be like for you?

Hopefully overseeing a school that is changing the face of education in Africa.

Do you believe in giving back to the community?

Yes, I do. It’s something that I’m very interested in because the opportunities I have had and been given, I would like to see young girls also get that help. Look forward and see a hand extended to help them up, you know. I hope I’m able to do that.

Do you believe in leaving everything to children?

Leaving everything to children? No. I believe in empowering them while I’m alive and then giving everything else away.

Your favored form of investment?

My favored form of investments are Safelock on Piggyvest (I swear this is true, you can ask anyone) and then dollar-denominated bonds.

Did you have any mentors? 

Nah! I don’t have anyone I’d call a mentor. But I do have a range of people I look up to. My style is usually identifying a trait in a person that I find incredible and then consuming every material I can find on them or by them so I can build it up too. But overall, Hillary Clinton is special to me.

Do you indulge yourself? How?

I indulge myself a lot. I watch a ton of TV shows and use Twitter a lot. That’s what I do in my “me time”, and I always find time for me.

What one thing do you spend on most?

T-shirts and Thai food.

Your most prudent investment?

All the dollar-based ones, apparently.