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).
Right from one portal, you can access all the major stocks, financial markets and macro-economic data on Nigeria: http://vip.urbizedge.com/economy

And it is very interactive.

You can set the date you want to compare stock or bond performance over.
It has technical analysis to help you see which stock or bond or exchange traded commodity or exchange traded fund is a good buy or bad buy.
It shows you the current inflation rate, FX reserve level, GDP growth rate, FDI, current bond yield, parallel market exchange rate, money supply, interest rate and many more.

Again, you can access it at http://vip.urbizedge.com/economy





Enjoy! Remember that it daily updates.
Last month, a close friend called me about an urgent situation he was in and if I was close by (since it was just a street away from my office). The situation? Policemen harassment. He wished he had body camera so he could record all happening without them noticing.

I thought it was a good idea, an insurance or personal safety type of decision. So I went online to read more about body cameras. Below is a summary of all I gathered:

  1. Body cameras are different from spy cameras. They are not very inconspicuous and not meant to be used to spy on people. Best to think of them as your carry on CCTV. Use them to have video evidence of situations you might need to have evidence for. Heard of a car sales man who was saved because he put on the very brand of body camera I bought while showing a client a car and allowing the client test drive the car. The client eventually bought the car then later complained that there was a tear on one of the seats. As usual, it became a my word against your word situation, and for that type of transaction his superiors were more inclined to appease the client. Luckily, the body camera was filming when he was showing the client the interior of the car, and it actually captured the debated spot. Guess what, there was no tear there. So the tear must have happened after the client bought and took the car out of their premises. Another lady said she uses it when walking in a relatively unsafe neighboorhood. Some use it when walking their dogs. Some when jogging. Some when driving. And my friend would have used it when he was been wrongly detained by policemen (though spy camera would be better).
  2. Most body cameras record in 5 min clips. They do record for as long as the battery lasts (mine lasts about 4 hours), but in chunks/clips of 5 mins long. That way it is easier to identify the clip that is needed/relevant and delete others.
  3. Many body cameras can also be set to do just audio recording. So you be more relaxed to put the device out of sight and get just audio recording.
  4. There are usually two categories you come across online or in stores: one for security folks and police, and another for regular people. The one for police is usually in form of a wearable vest and very very conspicuous. The one for regular folks is designed to be easy to carry and less attention grabbing.
After reading through many reviews on Amazon and other sites, I settled for one that had very great and positive reviews: ehomful Body Camera HD 1080P


I used DHL's eShop to place the order and to get the delivery of the item here in Lagos.


I also bought another drone.

The first one I bought about 4 years ago is not very easy to learn to fly with. So this time, I bought a beginner and even children targeted drone. It is very small and marketed as very easy to fly (and use to kickstart one's journey to flying bigger and more sophisticated drones).

Again, after going through heaps of online reviews and YouTube videos, I settled for HolyStone drones. Originally wanted to buy Holy Stone HS720 Foldable GPS Drone with 2K FHD. It has the best reviews and ratings (both on Amazon and the expert YouTube reviews I checked) as per value for money and sophistication. It is foldable and compact enough to easily carry to beach and events you'll like to film or fly it at. It has anti-loss features -- will return to you/home once battery is low, has a return home button to make it fly back to you/home from where it is. It has "follow me" which makes it automatically follow you at a set altitude and get you awesome filming without you carrying the remote or always pressing it. It has good (enough) cameras for hobbyist recording. And it's regarded as a generally good quality and feature rich drone.




However, it is not an absolute beginner drone. So I decided to go for a very cheap and highly recommended absolute beginner drone: Holy Stone Mini Drone for Kids and Beginners It is small and great to fly indoors, so perfect for learning.


Due to its low price, I decided to buy it on Aliexpress (so I don't pay shipping fee that is more than the cost of the item).

On Tuesday we had our year start meeting and one of the decisions we concluded on is to have one intern spot always. Preferably for undergraduates.

We felt it would be a very good way to help students get exposure to the data analytics field and some corporate world valuable skills while we also get their fresh ideas and an extra hand to help with non-core tasks.

One of the ideas we have been implementing is giving back to the society and skilling university/polytechnic/college-of-education students with data analysis skills before they graduate. We have spent money on the platform and are almost done with it. We call it Microsoft Excel Club, www.msexcelclub.com 



We are working on have a presence in all the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the country. And value proposition to the students are:

  1. Free certificate training on Data Analysis and Business Intelligence (certificate is by our USA educational platform partner)
  2. Exposure to global competitions in the data analysis space
  3. Exposure to internship opportunities (which is why reserving an intern slot in our company is one way of committing to this even as we try to get other companies too to give internship opportunities to the students on the platform)
  4. Local chapters with leaders who are supported with financial and educational resources to drive offline training and educational activities
  5. Gamified system of encouraging participation by allocating points to schools and students, and giving prize awards to the top schools and students each year/quarter.
You can check out the platform: www.msexcelclub.com  We are combining learning from AIESEC and other global educational platforms to create this model of covering all the higher institutions in Nigeria without a large permanent administrative team.

And this month, we are looking to kickstart the intern opportunity in our company. For this cycle we are looking for the following:
  1. An undergraduate doing his/her compulsory industrial training placement (internship)
  2. Studying a course that can align with our business space to make it easy for him/her to do his/her IT report
  3. We have identified courses like Business Admin, Accounting, Mathematics, Computer Science and similar courses as an easy fit
  4. The student will do a mix of admin, data analysis, data entry, financial data analysis and sponsored training activities. For one doing Computer Science or Mathematics we will expose him/her to big data analysis, programming and machine learning.
  5. The role is a temporary 3 to 6 months one
  6. It is on a rolling basis so we can give this opportunity to 2 or 3 people each year
  7. We pay a monthly stipend and give some of our office perks (health insurance etc)
  8. The person must be able to work out of our Lagos office
If you know someone eligible and who may be interested, do notify him/her to send his/her CV to hr@urbizedge.com 

Again, we can only take one person per cycle. There will be 2 or 3 or 4 cycles a year. And it is not open to graduates. Strictly for undergraduates (be it a student in university or polytechnic or college of education).

Thanks.
image: escrime.org

2019 was a real estate year for me. I went from not having any single real estate investment to buying 3 (and my wife bought 1). I did a lot of research and visitation to the different places I saw potential (good returns) in. I even started keeping multi-year records of price trends by location and type of property across Nigeria. It opened my eyes to some reality you wouldn't come across if you get most of your information from real estate marketing folks or online adverts.

This post is to share where I consider are the good locations to own real estate properties in Lagos.

1. Already developed densely populated areas in Lagos (if you have the money).
Land and property prices (even rent) are always steadily increasing in Ikoyi, Ikeja, Victoria Island, Lekki, Yaba, Gbagada, Ilupeju, Ogudu and other developed well populated areas in Lagos. 

So if you have the money, owning real estate there is a good choice. You don't have to wait many years to realise the profit or steady income you want. You get the most creative options on how to squeeze returns out of your property: flipping, residential rent, commercial rent, partnering with a developer, event centre, car park, etc. 

The only barrier for many of us is the capital requirement.

2. Ibeju Lekki
It's easy to think that the hype is overhyped about Ibeju Lekki. Yes, there are places there that are not currently worth the prices they are sold for. There is a lot of misinformation that I recommend that anyone buying land or property there should go see it for himself before buying or he could be sold a chicken for the price of an eagle (and marketed to him as an eagle). Seeing is vital.

I went round the major places in Ibeju Lekki and also from my price trend analysis, of all the developing places in Lagos, it comes on top as the place with the most potential growth/return. While other towns are marketed mostly based on promises of government infrastructure and proximity to a university, Ibeju Lekki is not all promises but reality. There already are multi-billion naira investments going on there. And companies are already setting up there. Also, many big real estate companies have projects there which involve some intensive infrastructural spend and increases the overall value of the area. 

I went from being very skeptical of the potentials there and worried by the over-marketing I saw going there, to seeing the reality of what it is and where the good options are. I eventually bought a land inside Beechwood Estate. And its price has already gone up since I bought it less than a year ago.

3. Ikorodu
You can't hear the Lagos state government talk about the road constructions and infrastructural developments without mentioning Ikorodu way more than any other part of Lagos. 

I went round Ikorodu and there's no mistaking that Ikorodu is rising fast. It's a very large town and some areas show more promise and less traffic than others. 

I also bought (though still paying and not yet given physical allocation) a plot there.

4. Agbara
The land prices are depressed due to the bad Lagos Badagry road. And I strongly believe when the roads are fixed (which is a certain to happen thing), real estate prices will rise there and rent will go up too. There are a lot of companies there and the staff like to live close to the company. You will be amazed by how many manufacturing companies are there if you do not work in a field that puts you in constant contact with manufacturing companies.

I am yet to buy any land or property there but have it on my watchlist. 

5. Festac
The Apapa issue, road problem, security issue and traffic issue in Festac have depressed prices of real estate in the entire area, especially of the Festac Extension that is priced affordably. I believe that when these issues are resolved (and they would be), the price of land, property and even rent will shoot up.

I don't yet have immediate plans to buy there. Mainly due to my budget allocation to real estate investment. I only just have it on my watchlist.

6. Badagry
Badagry is a cultural site. On paper, you won't get what this connotes. But when you visit Badagry you will see what amazing influence being a cultural site can have on commercial and developmental interests. Badagry is a bubbling town. I couldn't believe my eyes when I went there. It was like the town is a secret. Like going through forests to Wakanda. That feeling of something this awesome is in somewhere like this.

It makes for a great country home location. A place to have a house for family get together/unwinding once a year. And you can also rent out to tourists or put up on Airbnb. You can be more creative with how you squeeze returns from your real estate property there than you would in a regular non-popular low cost town.

I also got a plot there (though still paying and no physical allocation yet).


Those are the places I have my minds on as good choices of where to acquire real estate.

Every month, I set aside some money to put in real estate. For my first land, I bought it outright but felt it would have been easier or better if I had been saving monthly towards it. Now I just seek out offers that allow monthly installment mode of paying. I also try to identify places of interest way ahead. Lastly, I have to make a compromise between buying land and developing the one I have bought. I try to switch between using my monthly real estate allocation for land purchase and house building. Just that house building is a massive money gobbler that I am still looking for a reasonable way to doing within my allocation constraint.


UNION is an interesting DAX formula. Simple yet powerful in what it makes possible for you to achieve. 

I will be demonstrating with a simplified version of one of my real world use cases for UNION.

Say you have created a Waterfall chart showing cashflow (or inventory quantity or staff addition/reduction, sales quantity) movement month on month through out the year and with the final position as at year end.



The (simplified) source table looks like this



But you want to see the opening cash (or opening stock or staff count at start of the year etc).

There are many ways to get it in if you are given that data but the way we will explore today is using UNION formula.

UNION is a DAX formula that allows you to append/join two or more tables. And in this demonstration I will show you a cool way to create a literal table in Power BI DAX (a table with rows of data that you type in yourself in the DAX).

Say you were given the opening cash position as N2m and you just want to plug that in and move on with your analysis and chart. If it were Microsoft Excel, that will be as simple as adding a new row in your table. How do we achieve the closest to that in Power BI?

Union Table = UNION('Cashflow Table',{(2019,"Opening Cash",2000000,0)})


{(2019,"Opening Cash",2000000,0)}

is the literal table part. And if I wanted multirow table it's just to put each row in the () separated by comma. For example:

{(2018,"Closing Cash",2000000,0),(2019,"Opening Cash",2000000,0)}

With this new table I can create the type of waterfall chart desired. Note though that if you have a very large table, you might want to create a UNION with a SUMMARIZE 'd copy of the table rather than duplicating the entire table.



You can watch the much more engaging video demonstration of this: https://youtu.be/zNCYmSLM2cg