For 20-year-old student Ama Amo-Agyei, she had always imagined leaving University as a qualified Clinical Psychologist, but after reading a book about financial freedom, her plans were put on pause as she explored a new venture.
The tick-tock of the clock rang in my ears, drowning out the sound of my lecturer, who had been droning on and on for what seemed like forever.
Tick, tock, tick, tock. Tick flipping tock.
Did I want to ruin the moment further by glancing up at the clock? We had a hate relationship, Mr clock and I, especially in my lab sessions – time was only ever a disappointment for me.
I took a deep breath – I was going to risk it.
It was only 1:15.
I immediately wished I hadn’t.
A mere 15 minutes had passed and I still had an hour and forty-five minutes left. I can’t lie I wanted to die. I let out a sigh as loud as a deflating balloon – I know it was loud because my lecturer gave me a disapproving look. Don’t worry hun, I disapprove of my time being wasted too.
I didn’t want to be in this stupid lab and I definitely didn’t want to be a clinical psychologist.
It was 2017 and I was halfway through my second year of my Psychology degree at Coventry University, but had unashamedly been looking for a sweet escape from the course, the career, this lab and just everything. I needed to cut. Deuces.
However, there was a slight problem, the plan had always been to study for six years, become a doctor and then a clinical psychologist- well that was certainly what my parents had drilled into me. I needed to figure out something out asap because going to my parents without a back-up plan was simply not an option.
With very few options left and my life/career prospects in limbo, I started to look for alternatives and see what was actually available for me. At that time, reading and listening to podcasts had become an integral part of my routine because they were a distraction from my degree and just life in general.
Stressed out? Read. Need a laugh? Listen to a podcast.
I had mostly been reading fiction or listening to light-hearted and funny podcasts such as ‘Friend-zone’ and ‘Mostly Lit’, but I decided to broaden my horizons and plunged into the world of business, finance and financial freedom. And oh boy was it plunge indeed.
I had heard the phrase ‘financially free’ countless times, especially from my older brother, but it was something that I never engaged with. My response was always ‘hmm yeah sounds good’ or the occasional ‘yeah I might look into that’ got sprinkled into the conversation too, but really and truly I never saw it as something attainable for me. The stories were always about someone who was already successful and never about someone who made their way to the top with nothing to their name.
They were never someone like me. I was a 20 year-old broke student (a strong emphasis on broke), who had limited resources, funds or time and oh did I mention completely broke? How do I build something from the ground up? How does the everyday person become financially free?
I couldn’t find anything, not a single thing and best believe I searched the internet, library and podcast app inside and out. While others would have probably found this frustrating, because I certainly did, or complain over the lack of resources, I saw it as an opportunity for me to fill this void. I mean no one will know more about how to cater to my needs than myself right?
However, I wasn’t about to write a whole book to do this, it just wasn’t realistic, so instead I thought about creating a podcast. I wanted this podcast to document my journey as a young black person trying to make it to the top, as well as showing young people that it really is possible to be successful with limited resources of funds- all you need is your time.
It was something that was definitely lacking in the young entrepreneurial and black community, I could count on one hand how many successful black people were spitting out their game on podcasts at that time. It simply wasn’t enough.
I decided to reach out to my good friends Travis and Michael and explained what I wanted to do and see whether they would be interested in it. To say there were hesitant to begin with would be an understatement. They both like me didn’t come from a businesses background, Travis studied Aviation with Piloting, while Michael studied Mechanical Engineering. I know you’re probably thinking what kind of mix and match panel is this, but despite this we had one thing in common, not only did we want to become financially free but we saw the need for it in the black community and wanted to inspire the next generation of young entrepreneurs and business savy youngsters.
Fast forward to six months and we had created our podcast Rice at Home- a podcast for anyone who s hungry for knowledge on becoming financially free and successful in life. Every Tuesday afternoon, listeners tune in to hear the highs, lows, laughter and the tea of how our own personal journey’s to financial freedom is coming along. It’s authentic and real.
The podcast has grown so much since the small idea that was planted in me and we have been able to encourage and educate so many young people, but we still have a long way to go.
In the next few years, I would love for it to be the go to podcast for anyone trying to start something. I want them to be able to listen to a 50 minute episode and come out knowing that it gave them more than anything they’ve ever read or listened to before. I want it to be so valuable that people can’t help but listen to every episode.
If you are to take just one thing from this, I would say don’t be afraid to take that leap- no matter how daunting it is. If I never took that leap and challenged myself, you would definitely still find my in that lab session, with my lecturer droning on and on. However, today I’m doing something that I actually love, as well as learning new things everyday.
As Nike often says- just do it.