I pray we all overcome the Covid-19 viral infection. I pray we all get through this period financially intact. I pray we all become better and grateful after this difficult period passes.

And as our own little contribution to helping you come out better, we have created free resources for you to use in improving your Excel, Power BI and Financial Modelling skills.





  1. Weekly tasks to sharpen your real-world problem solving skills cutting across Excel, Power BI and Financial Modeling. If you haven't joined, then here's the link to enroll - (premium resource only for past participants of our training class)
  2. Free registration to our Udemy course on Data Analysis (coupon expires on 2 April 2020) -- https://www.udemy.com/course/business-data-analysis-with-microsoft-excel/?couponCode=OVERCOMECOVID19 
  3. Improve your template creation skills with this first part video to creating a Startup financial modeling template -- https://youtu.be/6HtJRZhTV4o 
  4. Using Power BI to analyse stocks and macro-economic indices in Nigeria -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH4HzDzcFzI
  5. XLOOKUP: Excel's new version of VLOOKUP -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8O_210q8NQ 
  6. Power BI DAX UNION formula -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNCYmSLM2cg
  7. Solution to Week 1 task using SUMIFS, INDEX, MATCH, SUMPRODUCT -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyrIi0hUFcQ 
  8. New Excel Magic Formula: SORT -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8vJe9iW9VU
  9. New Excel Magic Formula: UNIQUE -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLgwXVkALFg
  10. Basic Investment and Financial Planning webinar -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEAA7ar6xfM 
  11. Formula to generate random texts and paragraphs in Microsoft Word -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP1V9VUDE9k
  12. How to autocreate table of contents and footer styles in Microsoft Word -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBNpiVrXOpE
  13. Creating interactive dynamic forms in Microsoft Word -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRUiFpbtBgQ 
  14. Power BI DAX SUMMARIZE formula -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8mqjSQ9gOo
  15. Automating report data update for analysis using PowerQuery -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKEHb0OWuP8 
  16. Power BI DAX CALENDAR formula -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oodi9Vz0eeQ
  17. Power BI DAX VALUES formula -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLZhm0R2KrU 
  18. Power BI DAX CALCULATE formula -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzro-tgDr_8
  19. Power BI DAX CROSSJOIN formula -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_2GM4Ig24k
  20. Power BI Row Level Security for report access control -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PPa5-37V18
  21. Fuzzy Lookup in Excel for matching inconsistently spelled entries -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGDo6k5KMkM
  22. PowerQuery and PowerPivot -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzPRxfEd7UA 
  23. Introduction to Excel Macros (VBA) -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHzAPGqT4f8
  24. Creating a Data Entry application in Excel using VBA -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb9gFpEbdo8
  25. Planning Tools in Excel (What-If-Analysis) -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE1yV9RNIko 
  26. Create a Birthday Reminder in Excel using VBA -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrK3uBqnRBs 
  27. Unpivot Column in Power BI -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6UeZCte9YM

Keep Excel-ling!

This evening I watched a special broadcast by BBC on the corona virus, Covid-19. It was a very detailed broadcast with some documentary components. They examined the original history of the virus, the misinformation that abound and the clinically right way to prevent yourself from being infected.

Using that primary information and many others I read on WHO's dedicated site to it (https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus), I felt it would be a good thing to help others be aware of these right information.

I have categorized what I'll share into three buckets: 

  1. What you should do
  2. What looks right but not advised 
  3. What is very wrong or bad advice
What You Should Do
1. Wash Your Hands As Often As You Can
The corona virus has an outer membrane that breaks apart when in contact with soapy water or alcohol. This is why all the medical experts and health organizations are saying washing your hands very frequently is currently the best way to prevent the corona virus infection. And if you are not always around where you can wash your hands, then you should have a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol content. 

The part most of us will find a bit tough is that many of us do not wash our hands properly nor use hand sanitizers properly. It is recommended that you watch a YouTube video on how to wash your hand properly and use hand sanitizers properly.

Here's a very good and clearly illustrated video by WHO on how to correctly wash your hands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PmVJQUCm4E

And here's another one on how to correctly use hand sanitizers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPEAxP5sFYQ

Washing your hands will even do more than keep you from contracting the corona virus. Every day we touch surfaces other people have touched -- from the hand rails to toilet door handles to shaking other peoples' hands to stationery other people have held etc. Those surfaces are retaining germs that can cause us harm. Washing our hands ensure we wash them off and do not transfer them to our loved ones at home.

Lastly, it is not vital that the soap must be an anti-bacterial soap. Properly washing is the key thing. Whether you use an antibacterial soap or an ordinary soap, if you washed properly all the germs will go off.

 2. Do Not Touch Your Face or Pick Your Nose or Put Your Hand In Your Mouth/Ear Without First Washing Your Hands
One clear time to wash your hand is before touching your face, picking your nose (if you must) or putting your hands in your mouth/ear. I find that I get some tingling I need to make go away by touching my face, and can't wait till I wash my hands to do that. At worst, use your shoulder.

3. Sneeze And Cough Into Disposable Tissues.
Do not sneeze or cough into your hands or non-disposable handkerchiefs or non-disposable towels. If you do not have a disposable tissue with you then cough or sneeze into your elbow. That is much preferable than your hand.

4. For Now, Avoid Shaking Hands
Bump fists (chop knuckle) or do something else that doesn't involve hands or face touching. Luckily, people will understand and not take offence, they'll just see you as being extremely health safety cautious.

5. Eat Well, Sleep Well & Exercise Well
Everything that keeps your immune system in top condition is good. Even in countries with lots of infected people, they found out that it's usually the already sick or the elderly people you get fatal symptoms from the infection.

6. General Hygiene
Now is the time to have a refresher training and conversations at home and in the office about general hygiene. Ensure personal hygiene both directly (in what you do and where you live) and indirectly (selectively eating at hygienic restaurants, not buying (unbranded) groundnuts, doing more cashless transactions versus cash exchange etc).

7. Staying At least 1m Away From Anyone Sneezing Or Coughing 
The major method of transfer of the infection is via droplets from sneezes and coughs, and via hands. Washing your hands frequently helps with the prevention of transfer via hands, but if someone sneezes and some of the droplets fall on your face that can be very bad. You'll have to hope the person is not a carrier of the virus otherwise you are in high risk of contracting the virus. 

What Looks Right But Is Not Advised
1. Wearing A Face Mask
It is a bit tricky for people to understand why health workers must wear face mask to prevent getting infected and the rest of us must not. The main reason is in the proper use and disposal. Health workers are trained to properly use and dispose of the face masks. They wear it as part of their protective kit -- including hand gloves and other clothing. But for regular folks who are not that skilled and try to use it all day -- while engaging in all types of activities like talking, eating etc -- they increase the chance of transferring the virus (and other germs) from their hands to the face mask and ultimately into their body. 

Unless you are skilled properly in wearing it (without contaminating it), making it as snug as should be, ensuring no touching it (even to allow you eat or talk clearly) and can properly dispose it, you are much safer with washing your hands and staying 1m from someone sneezing/coughing. 

This is why the health organizations do no advise you to wear face masks. And some actively dissuade you from wearing it.

What Is Very Wrong
1. Use Of Drugs 
There are no drugs for treating this virus (or any virus). However, we have vaccines to train our immune system to adequately fight and eliminate viral infections. But for this Covid-19, there are no vaccines yet and none is expected to be certified generally safe+effective in the next 6 months. 

Do not believe any newspaper article or online publication or social media post that says there is a drug for the virus.

2. Corona Virus Is Caused By Corruption
No comment

3. Covid-19 Is An Engineered Virus That Escaped From A Chinese Lab
At first, health organizations debunked this because of the political implication and that no proof to ascertain this. Now, though, some scientists have evaluated the genetic signature of the virus and done other comparisons to other virus types, and they have concluded that the virus is exactly like the viruses generally referred to as corona viruses. That it has no sign of an artificial engineering. 

Right now that is the only verified fact. 

4. Don't Buy Stuffs From China Or Shop On Aliexpress
You can as well just relocate to a jungle and avoid all manufactured stuffs.


In summary, wash your hands properly many many times throughout the day, use hand sanitizers when not able to wash hands, do not touch your face, and stay 1m or more away from anyone sneezing/coughing. With these steps you are going to cut to almost negligible your risks of contracting the corona virus, Covid-19.

Stay safe.
Last week, I did a short video on a major part of my stock picking strategy. You can watch the video on YouTube 


The link I mentioned in the video is http://vip.urbizedge.com/economy

Also, I got featured the front page of a national newspaper - National Economy. It's a business newspaper and below is the extract of the pages I was featured on.



And the text of the featured article is:

To say that Michael Olafusi is a world class financial modeler would be stating the obvious. What is not obvious yet is that within a few short years he’ll be counted among the first tier in his chosen field which cuts across, finance, data analysis and programming. Here is why:

Michael Olafusi is a Financial Modeler and Business Data Analysis specialist. He is a certified Advanced Financial Modeler (AFM). He is a 5 times Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP); the first Nigerian to have the Microsoft Excel MVP award from Microsoft and was the only one in Africa for 4 years. He is a financial analysis fellow with a private equity firm that focuses on francophone West Africa, Brightmore Capital. He is also one of the very few Nigerians that are financial modeling and valuation experts on Toptal, the global leading C-level freelance network, carrying out financial valuation and analysis for companies across the world. 

He is the founder of UrBizEdge, a data analysis training and solutions company that is into training and is vendor to Vodacom, MainOne, Arik Air, ATC, Promasidor, Green Energy International Limited, EatN’Go, Ikeja Electric, Enyo Retail and many other major companies in Nigeria.

He and his team have built many industry first like a stock market chatbot for easy access to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and macroeconomic data on Facebook and Telegram. Excel chatbot for easy engaging learning of Microsoft Excel, live interactive dashboards for Nigerian financial markets, and a Microsoft Excel app for easy access of Nigerian economic data in Microsoft Excel.

He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate Business Reporting (MCSA BI Reporting) expert. He is a chartered Stockbroker in Nigeria (ACIS) and UK (ACISI). He is currently doing a Master in Financial Engineering (MScFE). He has an MBA from University of Nicosia, Cyprus, a B.Eng in Electrical Electronics from Federal University of Technology Akure and a Diploma in Stress Management from Stonebridge Associated Colleges, UK. Michael is a professional speaker and trainer. Prior to becoming a full-time consultant, he worked as the Service Delivery Manager for 21st Century Technologies, Business and MIS analyst for Comviva – Airtel Africa CRBT Operations, and as a BSS Engineer for Nokia Siemens Networks.

He is addicted to business/financial data analysis and enterprise solutions development. He enjoys swimming, reading and already published three books – a novel, a bestselling book on Microsoft Excel for busy professionals and another bestseller on Business Intelligence with management dashboards via Power BI.




If you have a ward or know someone young who is awaiting admission to university or polytechnic and interested in a paid internship, do notify him or her.

He/she should send a CV or profile (or even in the body of an email) to hr@urbizedge.com 

We are making a commitment to helping young people get ahead with data analysis skills. We have created a platform, www.MSExcelClub.com where we would be creating data analysis clubs in every university, polytechnic and colleges in Nigeria. We would be making it fun and rewarding to learn data analysis while creating internship and job opportunities for the members. We have gamefied it to -- cash/tangible awards to best student, awards to best school, national competitions, exposure to global competitions and points per learning/teaching activity.

And we are starting with ourselves as regards internship opportunities. From this year on, we target to intern 2 to 4 students each year. We would expose them to the data analysis space professionally and put them through our certificate courses for free. Also, they would earn a stipend to cover their transport and feeding during this internship period. The internship is planned to be a revolving 3 - 6 months one. As one intern goes, another comes to fill the vacant slot.

Again, if you have anyone who has not graduated university but has finished secondary school, let him/her apply. He/she just need to send his/her CV or profile to hr@urbizedge.com

Thanks.


image: sheepandstitch.com
How do you unwind?
How do you de-stress?
How do you dust off the many little concerns that cling to you daily?
How do you keep your life simple?

Everyday, we go through ups and downs. Happy one moment, unhappy the next. Sometimes, from the very same cause. The same thing that made us happy suddenly make us unhappy when we change our perspective. Some other times, the ups and downs are from different causes.

Some days can entirely be ups. And some days can entirely be downs.

I have a few tricks I use to keep my downs short-lived and my ups long-lived. Some sound childish but they work. Or as my Ghanaian pals would say - Oh charley, they werk!

  1. I never ever question a miracle. If something is going great for me, I don't try to dissect it or over-analyse it. I like the way an Indian man who was a boss in an oil services company that wanted us to automate their reports explains it, when it got to the billing part he said -- "Do you know the story of the goose that laid the golden eggs? Well, it goes like this. There was a farmer who had a goose that laid golden eggs. For a long time he reaped the reward of the golden eggs. Then one day he got curious and wanted to see what was inside the goose that made it lay golden eggs. Needless to say, he no longer gets golden eggs. So, Michael, don't try to ruin all we have discussed so far." I didn't end up getting the project -- cost issues, I suspect. But I will never forget the story. It reminds me of what Mark Twain said in his Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- one should not question a miracle.
  2. I sleep when I am upset. Somehow sleep and time away from thinking helps scale down mountains and dissipate worries. I don't try to discuss my concern away with someone in an active conversation. Rather, I do number 3 if the concern still lingers when I wake, or before I sleep if I want some advice or other perspectives.
  3. I write. I blog about my big worries. It makes them look non-threatening anymore. I wish those who have suicidal thoughts know about the magic of writing -- even if in a personal journal.
  4. I read about others in similar situations or with similar worries. I use their experiences to unwind mine.
  5. I pour myself into my work. My work gives me some therapeutic effects. It is the one space in my universe where I get lots of moral boosting wins. Those head-swelling comments and bank alerts I get do help with getting over very dark periods.
For me, unwinding is letting go of the past and the loads that weigh me down or drag me back. I like to start each day on a clean mental state. Not having worries from the day(s) past. 

Sadly, going out or having discussions with friends don't help me unwind. They just drain me and make things worse. If I am very troubled, I avoid people deliberately. I prefer to just stay by myself and sleep. 

Et vous? How do you unwind?
His exact words, "Michael, your work are very high quality. I have spoken to [someone up there] we are definitely going to want to engage you again in the coming weeks."




This is a client who has given similar job to KPMG.

Not do demarket any firm or divulge confidential information. Let's just say that if you work hard on a skill almost 24/7 and in a very specific area/field doing all the courses and certifications that matter in that area while executing jobs for clients spread across the world and as varied as from hedge fund to fintech to FMCG to real estate to private equity firms, you will be extremely good at it. So good it would make the work of some of other folks look not good - especially if they use hired hands who follow templates and are stretched over too many areas.

I like to define my area of strength and interest; be as very specific and narrow as is meaningfully possible. Then try to get absolute advantage there. Try to outdo everyone else in that very narrow specific field. And I am also trying to groom my team to have same orientation. It makes work and life generally a lot more enjoyable.

I started from the rock bottom - from a field telecommunications engineer working in a telecoms company. I didn't start from working in a financial data analysis or consulting firm. I got my first data analysis job with Bharti Airtel subsidiary working across Airtel Africa 10 countries on a specific VAS product. I got my baptism of fire. Had to teach myself, learn from higher ups and online. Started taking business and financial courses too to better create the reports in management useful ways.

Then I started freelancing and sharing my learning on this blog (this was in 2012). I got some projects locally and many from foreigners via the freelance sites I signed up to. 

I made up my mind to not deviate or follow changing trends. I was going to stick to a very defined narrow space and pick the best tools. I was going to get lots of real world projects to hone my skills. I was going to put myself out there, work like crazy and always keep learning.

I made mistakes along the way. Somethings took much longer than expected to master. Some clients were just okay. Some were blown away. But increasingly now, most are blown away. I have been able to combine learning from rigorous certification programs, academic programs, on-the-job learning and working on many foreign + local firms entire financial reports and forecasts. Now every new project is executed with a level of finesse that combines all those 8 years of laborious experience. 

I am planning to start a series of YouTube video tutorials on some of my special ways of exceeding client expectations. Will teach how to build:

  • Equity schedule
  • Loan schedule
  • Depreciation schedule
  • Scenarios for flexible plan adjustment
  • Revenue breakdown for modeling/forecasting
  • Expense breakdown for modeling/forecasting
  • Tax schedule
  • Finance Income forecast
  • Working Capital forecast
  • Dynamically balancing financial statements (so client can always adjust his projections without needing to rebalance the financial statements himself)
  • Valuation methods and logic
  • and many more
I will try to make them into short (3 to 6 mins videos) each, as people complain about my long duration videos.

And for those who have attended our financial modeling training, I will give them the schedule templates. Also, based on some recent training participants feedback, I am creating startup financial models for different major industries and will give to our past participants (its part of the continuous learning and after training benefits they paid for).



I have started the process of building my house. It's a first for me -- no experience whatsoever, especially with dealing with people who can fleece one in very creative ways.

Here's what is and what I know so far:

  1. The land is 20 mins after Lagos Business School. There's Greensprings Schools very close to it. It is also close to Lufasi Park, shoprite, a local market and a beach. It is right beside Adiva Planfields in a very nice neighbourhood -- excellent road, amenities and everyone is building luxury-type houses in the estate. In summary, I am very happy with the infrastructure and general neighbourhood.
  2. I don't see myself relocating there soon. Everywhere I currently do business is very far from there - at least one hour far.
  3. I want to start building now.
  4. I have engaged a company (more like a person who has a growing company) for architectural, mechanical, structural and electrical design. After negotiation, he's charging N430,500. Looked very high compared to the N240,000 the estate recommended architect quoted. But I was told that for that type of quote, he would just give me an existing design. Not an original custom made design with many stages of review with us (my wife and me).
  5. The starting point is the building design (mentioned above). Then we would have to apply for building approval from Lagos state government. That it's a very messy process. Some people just ignore it and do some form of retrogressive bribing. Some people get someone close to the govt agency and have the person handle all the filing and stress, cover the person's fees and PR expenses. Was advised to use the second route and budget about N200,000 for the main expenses and some more for the PR expenses.
  6. The approved building design will then be submitted to the estate and the Lagos state government.
  7. Then start saving towards the first construction milestone - foundation. That my land is of a type that requires raft foundation. So I should be expecting to spend 2x to 3x what a typical foundation would cost.
  8. I am still deliberating what type of house to build on the half plot (300sqm) land.

And that deliberation is the reason for this blog post.

I am largely considering two options:
  1. Build a 4 bedroom one storey building. No tenant. Just us.
  2. Build a duplex - one side for us and the other side for a tenant. 
The factors I am weighing that keep me indecisive are:
  1. Complete privacy, access and noise control. I like a very quiet house -- no noise and no people constantly going in and out.
  2. Making side rental income would be nice. Considering that I would be spending a lot on building the house.
  3. Managing tenants can be difficult, especially if one gets a hellish one.
  4. Being able to rent out the two units can be a good strategy if moving there is not going to be an economically sound decision. Maybe, we can use the rental income to pay for a good flat in a more desirable location.
  5. I am a bit too attached since it's my first and quite significant in cost
So what would you do if you were me?

My parents are for having even 2 tenant flats. That the rental income will make sense as we grow old and that in case we travel for a long period, the house won't be vacant and falling apart. Don't know how 3 apartments would fit into that half plot, maybe via having 2 storey building on it. Anyway, I get their general point which is valid also for having just one tenant flat.

I look forward to hearing your opinions. Thanks.

image: freeeducator.com
The reason given in the rejection letter I got instead of the visa I was expecting is that "the second statement which is in your name, shows a recent unexplained deposit amounting to $5,160 (£3,971 @ £1=$1.29913) which makes up the entire closing balance. I have been unable to establish the source of these funds, and I am not satisfied that the funds in question are genuinely available to you for your own personal use... As such, I am not satisfied that you have provided an accurate portrayal of your current personal and financial circumstances nor satisfied that your intentions to visit the UK are as stated and that you will leave at the end of your visit." 

Gbam.

On Wednesday morning, I went for the passport collection hoping I would see visa approved on it. I had done a good job of providing all the three types of evidences the ECO (entry clearance officers), who do the actual approval or denial decision, look for. 1) Financial capability 2) Genuine travel reason 3) Strong ties to home country. Done extensive research on how best to put forward my application without being vague about those three points.

So even though the conference organizers had written clearly in the letter of invitation that they were covering all my costs -- flight, daily allowance and accommodation. I still prepared my application with evidence that I am more than capable of funding my entire trip with clear description of my 5 day itinerary.

You know the feeling you get when go to check a course result back in the university and you see a 40 E. For a course you knew you did very well. It had happened to me before, I think twice. I felt surprisingly relieved -- that it was not an F and it was not my grade, that the lecturer just had it in for me. I didn't feel like there was anything I could have done better. If a lecturer wants to mark you down, it matters very little what is in your exam answers scripts. I had the very same feeling again. 

The officer must have looked at my application and immediately felt somehow about it (could be a valid concern like I hadn't gotten a visa before to the UK or US, or something else rubbing off wrongly in the whole mix), but instead of keeping that sudden grudge aside, he just looks for a way to explain why he is not giving me the visa. Not minding that the reason is incorrect.

In the reason (as shown above), the second statement referred to is my GTB Domiciliary account statement. I had provided my stocks account statement and pointed out the line of transaction there where I sold some of my shares and withdrew the $5160 into my domiciliary account. So the explanation of the source was there. I don't think any hardworking and financially savvy Nigerian will keep millions in his savings or non-interest bearing accounts (like Domiciliary). So the "unexplained sudden recent" deposit is actually an explained one and with records of similar transfers from my investment account to my domiciliary account. So the aspect that the money might not be mine is another strange conclusion.

The end of the matter is that the decision has no right of appeal nor administrative review. So, very much like the 40 E scenario I depicted. 

A couple of my friends have enlightened me on how better to put in a re-application. Tried to explained what spooked the officer. That the opportunity to be on a global stage presenting alongside some of the world's greatest in this our small data analysis niche is something of huge value and I shouldn't just throw in the towel. That getting the visa will greatly improve my future chances of getting visa again, and to other countries (that they all like to see that UK already granted me visa before).

That I shouldn't feel bitter and close my mind to the possibility of being reconsidered. That I should reach out to the organizers and see if they can give some more compelling sponsorship letter. 

Truth is I don't feel bitter. I just feel unlucky. And wanting to just move on with my generally good life. This is just one isolated case. Another opportunity (maybe lesser) will come. I just strongly don't feel that, if all the evidences I provided weren't good enough to the extent that I had to be given an obviously untrue reason for rejection, a re-application will make any difference. I would have preferred if the reason had been something more believable -- you are a first time applicant and you are sponsoring yourself (not a company sponsoring you), or I don't like the feeling I am having about you. 

Also, maybe another time, if the opportunity is a big enough one, I will engage visa processing experts and pay them to rub their expertise on the application.

The year has taken off. The memories of the holiday are already gone, wiped by overload of work.

A couple of people have asked me to share our training calendar with them. They want to plan towards attending one or more relevant ones. And for you, my esteemed subscribers, there is a special discount offer for you when you engage us. You can look up the details of each course on our UrBizEdge website.





You can also access our free access tutorials on Microsoft Excel, Power BI and Financial Modeling. So you get to learn more about the one that interests you.


In October 2019, I was given a speaker role at the Global Excel Summit that will hold 21-22  April 2020 in London, UK.





On 12 December 2019, I applied for a 6 months UK standard visitor visa.



Yesterday, I got an email, 2 actually, that my application has been assessed and I should come to collect my passport. The email didn't say whether the Visa was granted or not. In fact, it dedicated a paragraph to emphasize that this is not a successful or denial notification.


So tommorow, I'll have to go check for myself whether I was granted or not. Then, I will know whether to start preparing my presentation slides and demonstration contents, or inform the organizers that I'm stuck at visa application stage.

Wish me luck!
Last year December, in between Black Friday deals and Christmas deals wanderings, I got to try out a couple of very popular algo trading plarforms for Cryptocurrencies.

The first I tried was 3commas

3Commas is the most talked about and highly ranked algo trading platform for Cryptocurrencies and it charges a hefty fee which made me feel it must be making its users very good money, at least enough to cover the monthly fees and still pocket some cool gains.


I connected it to my Binance exchange account, used Rave by Flutterwave to fund the Binance account and then attempted to turn on the 3commas to start buying and selling cryptos using algorithm generated signals. I didn't quite get it going before my trial period elapsed.

I kept coming upon a slick alternative to 3commas. It's called TradeSanta


It has a very compelling pitch, the site looked awesome that I felt the product must be well done if the owners put in as much effort as they did with the website, and it was also cheaper than 3commas.


I started with the basic plan's 5 days trial. And I was hooked. It was very easy to set up. And it was making me a steady $1 - $3 dollars a day on my $100 test fund. Until it lost about $25 in one day. Wiped all the previous 7 days gain and some of my original capital. I then abandoned it.

I kept getting pulled back to 3commas. Everyone online seemed to have very good things to say about it and it was constantly ranked high on reviews and by independent bloggers.

Luckily, it started a collaboration with Binance that allows one to use a slightly limited version of the platform for free. It was first as a special plan but later spun off as 3c Exchange


I funded it with about $100 and had some trouble getting familiar with the settings. 

Unlike TradeSanta it wasn't making me steady $1 - $3 dollars profit a day. Was making much less than that -- in the region of $0.20 to $1.20 a day (and more to the low side of that range). I felt happy and hopeful that I won't wake up to a $25 loss. But I did wake up to a $17 loss. MATIC crashed to half its price and the algo had piled up MATIC for higher sell prices following its earlier sustained price rise trend.

I turned it off and took out my remaining money after waiting for MATIC to recover some of its price drop.

I had also joined some Telegram group of Crypto traders and 3commas official groups. 

Overall, I came to the conclusion I have for Forex trading -- not for me. I went back to my hodl strategy in a cold wallet.


image: golemanei.com
If you search online for the meaning of Peak Performance, these are the answers you will come across:

"Peak performance is a state that is also known as peak experience, the zone of optimal functioning and flow." - Brain Performance Center

"Able to do one's best, in one's best physical state." - English Baby

"Peak performance occurs when you perform to the best of your ability." - Coaching Positive Performance

"A performance at the best level of a person's physical and cognitive abilities." - Psychology Dictionary

I love English Baby's definition - Able to do one's best, in one's best physical state.

So we can rephrase my blog post today to: My practical tips to how to do your strategic best in your best physical state.

We all have goals, desires, expectations and wishes. Goals are those very specific things we want to achieve at a set time and using a defined set of resources. Desires are those things we love to have and continuously yearn for (they are always on our minds). Expectations are those results we like to see from our actions, from others' actions toward us and from our corporate/non-corporate environment/system. Wishes are those things we want someone else or an angel to give us.

You know the good side of it all -- what I am going to share with you will help you achieve your goals, get your godly desires, meet your reasonable expectations and reduce your wishes.

And here they are; my practical tips to reaching your peak performance:

1. Manage your mind and not your time. 



I know this sounds twisted and, perhaps, gibberish. Let's start with how well have you been able to manage/budget your time by the hour. Tell me, have you ever slept at exactly the hour you planned to sleep and wake the exact hour you planned to wake every single day? Have you ever been able to achieve the quality and quantity of work you hoped to achieve in the exact hours and minutes you allocated for the work/task?

Except you are not being totally truthful, you would agree that something is not right with planning each day by the hour and minutes. Most of our best work is done not in the hour we planned for it but when our mind is in the zen mode.

We have all heard that multi-tasking is counter productive. But have you thought about the reason -- that our mind can't actually do two things well at the same time. Why isn't the answer that our planner doesn't have space for two tasks at the same time or that our todo list can only accommodate one task per period?

Now you get why I said manage your mind and not your time -- productivity is tied more to the state and nature of your mind than your time allocation skills.

So how do we manage our mind in such a way that we are able to do our best in our best state of mind/being?

Strictly do one major task at a time. When I want to write, I write. I don't pick calls in the middle of it nor reply chats nor hold a conversation with someone nearby. When I am doing my analysis work, I go to my quiet spot/desk and keep out distractions. I try to have different spots for different major tasks. I have my perfect spot for reading. I have my perfect spot for my analysis work. I have my perfect spot for writing. I have my perfect spot and time for training content creation.

Managing your mind often requires conditioning your mind to be in a great state for the task at hand and having just one task at hand.

2. Have a mental trash can. And use it a lot.

You will not see me stay long at a party. You will not see me willingly watch a football match. You will not see me enjoying and prolonging a small talk. You will not see me discuss other people - talk enthusiastically for long minutes about what someone did or is doing or Trump or Buhari or even a friend. You will not see me chat for long on Whatsapp. You will not see me babysitting my phone -- picking every call as soon as the call enters. You will not see me wish for things -- wish I was born in a different country, wish I was born very rich, wish I was noticed by a generous politician etc. 

The point is that I try to limit the number of things I give my time to. Remember that we all have just 24 hours a day. The more deliberate you are regarding what you spend your time on, the higher the chance of doing the things you excel at and genuinely want, and reach peak performance. 

For some of us, it might mean changing your job or office or friends. If you are constantly in an environment that forces you to spend your time on meaningless stuffs, then you'll have a tough time reaching peak performance. Peak performance is not in doing your best at meaningless/valueless tasks.

In one of my full-time salaried jobs, I used to stay late and pray my colleagues go home early so I can get into my zen state. This ultimately made it easier for me to quit the job. I didn't like that the bulk of my day is spent trying to suppress distractions and avoid conflicts. My best work experience were in work environments where I was allowed to focus on my work, even when the pay wasn't great.

The quote that, "You can do anything, but not everything" becomes very relevant as we grow older and realize that we must be more strategic in what we do if we don't want to remain in the same spot or be left behind by peers and the world at large.


3. Have very few goals. And allocate a lot of mind space to them.

My goals this year are:

  1. Write daily
  2. Improve my relationship with my wife
  3. Have our Microsoft Excel Club in all the higher institutions in Nigeria 
  4. Share work more equitably among my staff
  5. Grow the business
  6. Have a dedicated staff to financial and operational record keeping
  7. Better manage my investments
And almost everything I do revolve around those goals. They have almost all of my mind share. If I wake up today and I feel like taking my wife out to somewhere special, then that's what I'll attempt to do. Sadly, she often prefer not going out. But the point is I wouldn't be rigid and say today is not going out day but calling customers day (even though I don't have any particular customers to follow-up on). 

I do the task that my mind is most in the mood for. Except, when I must do something else that's much more important and urgent. And I have ways of putting my mind in the mood for the task I ought to do. If I have to write and I don't feel like writing, I go and have a nap. Usually, that puts me in a good state of mind to write. If that didn't work, I start reading some random online articles. If that doesn't work. I try writing all the same, and sometimes just doing it puts me in the mood.

4. Limit my wishes and exposures.

I avoid checking Facebook because it often generates wishes for me. I see friends who have zoomed past me. Even people that used to look up to me as a big brother or mentor, but are now thousands of miles ahead of me. I often try to rethink it and suppress the jealousy, but it's better to avoid it.


I don't read lifestyle blogs or watch YouTube channels of people who know how to have a good life and are always showing that good life. The effect on my finances and self-esteem are not a great one.

I avoid things that make me wish. Wish I go for a vacation. Wish I live in a bigger house. Wish I bought something I never thought important before.

I even avoid people who create those type of wishes in me. Ignorance is sometimes bliss. Or happy contentment.


Using these four concepts, I am always doing my best at what I genuinely want and in my best state of mind. It doesn't mean I am doing better than every other person or I am making more money or I am close to some earth shattering breakthrough at something legendary.

I just means that I don't look at any day or period and regret not doing more than I did nor have a feeling that I could have done more/better. I feel mentally full all day and end each day positively exhausted. I start each day energetic and happy, knowing there are meaningful work I am going to pour myself into.


This one of the best business and career building program with a very global network access that is currently available for women in Africa.

Below are the details (culled from: https://www.africanews.com/2020/01/10/les-margaret-award-2020s-call-for-applications-is-launched-a-business-acceleration-program-to-boost-women-entrepreneurship-and-intrapreneurship-in-europe-africa/)

The Digital Women’s Day launches the call for applications for #lesMargaret Award, dedicated to business acceleration for women who change the world. Women entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs from Europe and Africa can apply up to February the 2nd, 2020: https://LaJourneedelaFemmeDigitale.com/lesmargaret/
Created in 2013 by DWD (https://DigitalWomensDay.com/) and supported by Margaret Hamilton1 les Margaret Award (https://bit.ly/2QFtEMp) highlights big ideas and innovations from committed and inspiring digital women who are disrupting challenges that our society is facing today.

4 awards to celebrate women and  innovation.   
The call for applications is open until February the 2nd, 2020 (midnight): https://lajourneedelafemmedigitale.com/lesmargaret/
The 4 winners, Margaret Entrepreneur Europe & Africa et Margaret Intrapreneur Europe & Africa, will be revealed during the 8th edition of DWD Europe, on April 21st 2020, in Paris, France (la Maison de la Radio).
For the first time, les Margaret Award will offer to the 4 winners funding to support and accelerate the growth of their business. As part of the DWD’s business acceleration program, they will receive funding, media exposition, development support, for an overall value of 1 million euros.
“Through les Margaret Award, we reward creativity, innovation and audacity. We offer the winners a growth acceleration and a gigantic media exposure in Europe and Africa. With less than 5% of women founders of startups worldwide and access to funding of 2%, it is important to provide financial support to these women who are changing the world.” Delphine Remy-Boutang, CEO the Bureau & DWD, President of GEN France.
Entrepreneurs must meet several criteria to be eligible, such as: 
  • A mixed team with at least one woman founder.
  • The use of new technologies to serve  a better world.
  • Existing structure in Europe and/or in Africa for less than 5 years.
Intrapreneurs on the other hand must mainly demonstrate that they are developing new growth opportunities within their company based on agile and original methods. This category concerns employees of large and medium-sized companies who have developed a project in agreement with their employer while remaining employed, which may lead to the creation of a startup, but also to other innovative activities and orientations, such as new products, services, technologies, administrative techniques, strategies development.  
Support, invest, assist, the ambitions of forward-looking entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.
The jury chaired by Delphine Remy-Boutang, composed of digital experts will deliberate on February the 6th, 2020: Vanessa Chocteau, Head of French IoT program of La Poste group, Bernard Giry, digital, innovation and research advisor of RĂ©gion Ile-de-France, Cathy Mauzaize, Head of key accounts entity of Microsoft, Morgane Miel, deputy editor in chief of Madame Figaro, Karim Sy, Chairman of Digital Africa, etc.
“Being a Margaret  is a real boost. We have gained so much visibility… To be rewarded by such a prestigious event has helped with our daily business with contacts and more doors have opened.” Julie Davico-Pahin, co-founder of Ombrea, winner of les Margaret Award (Europe 2019).
“Our ambition is to create more Margarets. I am not the best, there are plenty! Our job is to be able to draw from the bottom, to create a fresh wind with african young girls who grow up with a new state of mind, and who will be the next leaders.” Arielle Kitio, founder of Caysti, winner of les Margaret Award (Africa 2019).