There are some very cool Excel tips that are popular because they are extremely useful.

Today I'll be sharing as many as I can.

1. Insert a Row.
Let's say you've got a list of items in alphabetical order, and you suddenly realized that you've skipped an item in the list. An item that starts with letter I and should be somewhere in the middle of your list.

What would you do?

You could type it out at after the last item and do a sorting.

Or you could simply insert a row before Jug and type the missing item.

To insert a Row, simply right click on the row you want your new roll to appear on top of. In this case I want the row to appear before Jug, so I will right click on the Jug row. To right click on a row, right click on the row number at the extreme left. Then select Insert.

Type in the missing item. And that's it! This tip can ease you Excel life immensely when you start working with separate reports/data from different people that you need to consolidate into one report.

2. Insert a Column
It's like inserting a row, but this time you'll right click on the column alphabet. This very handy when you need to add a new field to a report.

3. Oops. You can't paste what you've copied. Try Paste Special, Values.
This happens a lot with data that was created outside Excel. Exports from your company's CRM, ERP or Transaction logs. When you open them in Excel and try to copy out the parts you need to another Excel sheet, you get a strange error notification about the destination cells not being of the same type with the copied ones. 

Right clicking, selecting Paste Special, and Values usually fix this.

4. You can't insert a Pivot Table. Check for merged cells.
This problem can almost run you mad at first encounter. Merged cells can cause a lot of havoc and I avoid using them in my data reports. I use them for fancy dashboards but not in my core data sheets.

Whenever you get an unintelligent error notification while trying to insert Pivot Table, then check for merged cells.

5. Vlookup is not returning the field (col_index_num) I specified. Check for hidden columns.
I hate it when people send me reports with hidden columns. They cause all sorts of errors. Formulas, especially Vlookup, start acting strange.

Whenever your lookup formulas are not returning the field you indicate, look for hidden columns. They are usually the cause.

6. Vlookup showing #N/A for everything and you are sure something's wrong. Check for the field formats, maybe you've formatted one as Text and the other as Number.
This is the one problem that makes look silly before my clients. After I have done all the amazing data consolidation and cleaning stuffs, the part they thought would take a week to do, which I did in just 10 mins. Then all that's left is a simply Vlookup to fetch the dashboard reports data. Then vlookup is saying a value, they are sure exists, is not existing. And I can see the client's smiley face dim into a frown. Like all the cool stuffs I have been doing were just a waste of his time and he will have to do it manually himself. 

And almost all the time this is caused by having the value formatted as text in one table and as number in the lookup table. Other times, it's because I forgot to lock the table range (with $) in the formula before dragging it across all the rows.

7. Formulas not executing, but showing just the way I typed it. Set cell format to General.
This happens a lot with non Excel generated files. Files that were exported from other programs. Sometimes, the fields are set as Text and when you type in a formula, it just sits there in the cell and does nothing.

Change the cell or the entire field to General.

8. What you copied is not what is showing. Paste Special, Values.
When you copy cells that have formulas in them, it's like tilling a mine field. A disaster is always around the corner (copy). 

9. Sort won't work. Look for merged cells.
Yeah. Merged cells can be very nasty.

10. Can't copy from one Excel file to another. Or it's pasting as picture. Close one of the files and go to the other, do CTRL + O to open the one you closed.
You must have opened the two files from separate instances of the Excel program.

Finally, a bonus. 
Excel is not like other Office programs, doing CTRL + S too often is often a bad thing. You lose the ability to start all-over when something goes wrong (and something usually goes wrong in Excel). I only save after a big milestone. When I will almost cry if Excel crashes and I have to redo what I've done.

I had to help a friend figure out the details of a bank loan.

Honestly, it's a lot different than what's in the finance books. Banks have an ingenious way of twisting the simplest things. 

So I had to help my friend replicate the repayment sheet and calculate the real interest rate she's paying. In the end I saw an awesome template online that put mine to shame. 

I modified it slightly because it was perfect already and very beautiful. It will adjust dynamically to the payment period specified. Just open it to see what I'm saying. 

The template is from and the source download link is Loan Calculator

But my modified version (mostly making it show in Naira; you'll be amazed by how well it does that) can be downloaded at Nigerian Loan Repayment Calculator

The only issue is you have to key in the management fee and VAT payment yourself. The way the banks calculated them is not consistent. So I didn't want to lock in any formula for it.

And I hope you won't need to use this. The loan rate I saw for one the banks is 23.99% and with this repayment plan (monthly withdrawal) it's not even good for business use. Any business that can generate enough to service that kind of loan is worth patiently building/growing without the loan.

But if for a valid reason you are considering taking a loan of this type, especially mortgage loans, then this will help you do the maths in less confusing way and show you the sum of all the extra payments (interest, management fee and VAT) you are paying the bank.

I'm sure most of you have not heard of Bitcoin.


Bitcoin is a new currency. A special one.

In Nigeria, we spend Naira that is issued by the CBN (actually printed by NSPM) and make transactions with it both online and offline. Then when we try to buy things from US online stores, we have to pay the dollar value with an equivalent Naira value. So with Naira we can spend our money anyway and anywhere we like.

And Bitcoin is like that. It is issued (mined is the preferred word) digitally by a huge network of crazy fast specialized computers. And like Naira, you can spend it worldwide either by paying directly with your Bitcoin or exchanging it for another currency. In fact, two days ago, I exchanged Naira for Bitcoin. So you can buy it too.

What is special about Bitcoin?

  1. A lot of the sites that won't let you shop with your Naira mastercard or restrict you to paypal (which dislikes Nigerians) allow Bitcoin. That was why I opened Bitcoin account. I needed to buy an iTunes gift card to allow me credit my iTunes account and buy Jobs (movie), and the stores wouldn't let me because I'm a Nigerian. The one I used for my previous card purchases no longer support Google Wallet (which is the way I bypass the location restriction). But one of the sites accepts Bitcoin. So I read more about Bitcoin and was impressed and opened a Bitcoin account. Then funded it. And as for the obsession with getting the movie via iTunes, I don't understand too.
  2. Extremely low transaction charges. In some cases, no transaction charges. 
  3. Very easy to use. It's like Paypal without all the restrictions and lengthy account opening form. You receive money and transfer money using your Bitcoin account address. You don't have to have 2 accounts -- merchant account to receive payment and regular account to make payment -- like some other payment services. Just one account can receive and make payment.
  4. Very fast. Money transferred to you reach you in seconds. And if you enable a double confirmation, then 10mins. Few payment services come close. It's like transferring money from one GTB account to another. But this one is better, because you can transfer to anyone in the world. 
  5. Secure. It's extremely secure. And that's why it's very popular. And no one can freeze your account. You're are your own bank and regulatory body. 
  6. Anonymous. No one can trace your transactions. There's nothing matching your account to your name and other personal details. You can shop without worrying about someone knowing more than you want them to know about you.
  7. It is the future. Or at least, part of the future. We can't expect things to remain this way. We've been spending paper money for more than a millennium now. 
  8. Great for Nigerians. Now you can sell your service to a global community. With the Bitcoin payment system, you can receive payment from anywhere in the world for your services and not pay any (big) transaction charges or fulfill some impossible terms. Just put it up on your website or online store.
I'm giving Bitcoin a try. I like trying new stuffs. 

I will let you guys know how my Bitcoin adventure goes. I've gotten the iTunes gift card but suddenly changed my mind about buying the Jobs movie. The reviews are  not great. They all say it's great acting but not a great (or even) good story.

At around 2:30am on Thursday (yesterday) 4 guys with guns that they kept shooting paid us a terrible visit. 


The house has 3 flats on the ground floor and 3 on the first floor. The doors are metal ones. But these guys were so determined that they bent one to get into one of the flats below and broke through wall and iron burglar bars to get through ours on the first floor. 

And they kept shouting, "Where's the money?" 

I got lucky and wasn't visited. But people extremely dear to me were. Thank God no one was shot or seriously injured.

The sight of what they did to doors and windows will shock you. You would think they came with military weapons that can cut through metals. 

Today's post will be unusually brief. I'm not good at describing crime scenes.

Have you been visited by armed robbers before? This is my closest experience. And I hope my luck won't run out someday.

First, I would like you to note that I didn't say, "Life changing things I learned from books." 


Ok. Today I'll be sharing a long list of habits, attitudes and skills I have learned by reading. Reading not only books but magazines, manuals and other people's blogs.

  1. To always smile before picking a phone call. I once read that your mood and tone is easily carried across phone lines (wired or wireless). And that whenever you smile before and while picking a phone call, you'll end up sounding cheerful and pleasant. So since reading that, I have been faking smiles while picking phone calls. And maybe it's one of the reasons I don't pick calls when I'm unhappy, it's extremely hard to fake smiles then.
  2. A body language expert. Well, almost. You can't read and practice ex-FBI agent Joe Navarro's book and not become great at reading body language. And it's become an obsession for me. I'm always watching where people's legs are facing, what their hands are doing, where their eyes are looking, and their facial expressions. 
  3. Almost became a philosopher at age 15. No thanks to Plato's Dialogues. And now I'm like one that wanders from one school of thought to another. I have no permanent opinions. My present opinions are a reflection of the books I'm currently reading. That's how powerful books are. I've been reading about businesses and startups. So now you know the source of my new craze -- resignation.
  4. How to win friends and influence people. It's a book. And it solved all my friend issue. I make friends extremely easy now. In fact, I'm looking for a book on how to lose friends and break your influence on them. And I'm serious. I've got a very few friends I wish will dislike me.
  5. Finance. All the finance and investment knowledge/skill I have came from excessive reading and gambling my life savings. Nothing makes you understand a book than when the future of your life savings is tired to it. You would think I was preparing for a $1 million scholarship exam.
  6. Programming. I think it's like that for most programmers in Nigeria. All you'll ever get from schools and most training centers is an introduction to programming. To become a programmer you'll have to teach yourself via books.
  7. Writing. I learned to write by reading. My style of writing is a little strange; I prefer to call it unique. It's a combination of the styles of my favourite authors. 
  8. Reading. Yeah. Put me in a room filled with all the books I'll find interesting (that means lots of random books dating from 2000BC) and you can be sure that I won't be lonely in that room till I have read all the books. Or read part of all the books. Even if it will take me a year. Reading is a skill you get by doing. You become a book addict by reading books, very interesting books. And it's the world's best addiction.
  9. Thinking. In fact, I think too much. And that's why I'm able to make a blog post per day. Thinking is the default mode of my mind. So what do I think about? A lot of times, it's what I read in books that I'm thinking about.
  10. Emotional Intelligence. I think they call it EQ. And I like to consider myself as very emotionally intelligent. If you've got strong few emotions like me and lots of book (source of imaginary people) to practice on, you'll be emotionally intelligent. You'll have a very high EQ. As long as EQ means your ability to manage your own emotions. As for managing other people's, I don't dare it. I leave them to build their own EQs themselves.
  11. Mr Fix it. Seriously, I've got some friends who think I can fix all issues. I don't know where they get the crazy idea from. Anyway, I always smile and help them as much as I can. Which sometimes mean telling them plainly that I have got no help to render: I'm not a doctor or a lawyer or God. But they forget too often and come again.
  12. Smart. Yeah. If you want to see my biggest smile, just watch my face when someone refers to me as very intelligent or smart. If not for my dark brown face, you will be sure to see patches of pink on my cheeks. And they only call me that whenever I have fixed for free an issue that would have cost them money. And 9 out 10, I fixed those issues because I have come across the solution in a book before.
  13. My Life Goal. I hope you've read it. Where do you think the idea came from? Where else but from books. Books written centuries ago. I'm classics guy. Finding a great classic is very easy, just get any classic. Only great books make it past 2 centuries.
  14. My weirdness. My pleasant weirdness. People love it. They keep saying I'm different in a good way. And I owe it  to books. I never run out something pleasant to say to people and that permanent smile on my face. And my crazy ideas. When they finally settle on an opinion of me, it's almost always -- pleasantly different.
  15. Sherlock Holmes' apprentice. You can't read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book more than once and not become a little like Sherlock Holmes. I'm always finding patterns in people and situations. Observing minute details. And getting lost in my mind. 
And those are the life changing effects reading has had on me. And as I bonus I brush with my left hand (and since 2010) because I read about it in a book.

Now this is going go suck your enthusiasm and maybe disappoint you. But it is the truth.

Just Start.

That's the surest way to start a business. 
Yes you are going to need a business plan, a great website, a market strategy and a great product/service. And you should work on them. But the only way you can be sure you will have them is to START.

Start from where you are.


If you don't have a business idea. Start brainstorming for one. I have a list of business ideas, about 40 ideas and growing almost daily. Some are crazy, some are ridiculously simple, some are expensive, some are almost impossible and some are amazing. I'm not going to share them with you. You have to find yours, yourself.

Ideas are everywhere. Open your eyes, stop evaluating and start observing. Be like a spectator and see all the opportunities all the current players are missing. Don't be like the referee, watching out for their errors. It might be hard at first, but it becomes much easier as you make a habit of it. Of seeing ideas and noting them.

Once you've gotten a business idea that will not require you borrowing a huge sum of money (preferable if you get one that won't require you borrowing at all) then proceed to start marketing. Yeah. Start reaching out to people that might need your service. 

That was how I began my Excel consultancy. Once my colleague at work, who saw me on a Saturday working to finish an Excel program to automate office reports and was extremely impressed, suggested I begin doing it as a business, I immediately asked my graphics friend to print me biz cards. I began telling people I am an Excel consultant. Most people don't even know where I work or what I do, they just know me as the Excel guru. And the strange part of the whole starting story was that I wasn't that good then. The Excel program I was writing that Saturday was my first real Excel VBA program. 

But when people started taking me very seriously, I had to double up to their expectations. I began buying VBA books and helping random people online with their VBA programs. And pulling apart other people's VBA programs to absorb as much as I could.

And now, I call myself the best in Nigeria. Whether I'm truly the best or not is irrelevant. It's more of a prophecy I'm making. I'm going to make sure I'm the best and also make sure all Nigerians know that. 

So once you start telling people. People will start telling what they really want. What need they expect your product or service to satisfy. And that is worth more than the best business proposal you can ever come up with on your own. And the day you begin adjusting your product to meet people's needs is the day you have truly begun a business, a viable business. One that is meeting a real need.

That was what turned me into a finance freak. People kept asking me if I did financial modelling and I kept saying no. Then when too many people were asking me that particular question, I became worried. And began learning finance from scratch because I wasn't after a quick fix or half-baked skill. I didn't want to be like a bricklayer who has no idea how the house was designed but just lays the bricks. I wanted (and still wants) to be the best Excel consultant, and if my clients want me to be a financial modeller too, then I'll also become the best at it too.

I have progressed miraculously well. Even had foreign financial analysts as clients. Helped a US stock analyst to fix his analysis program. Passed a tough Valuation Analyst 3 hours interview test. Even have my own popular stock analysis sheet, built by me from scratch.

And now I'm finalizing plan to go full-time as an Excel consultant.

Rewind to 2012, to that Saturday. I never imagined I will be thinking of quitting my job to be doing stuffs on Excel. I never would have dreamed of having foreign clients. And I never saw Excel as something that will someday take over my life.

Then why did this all happen?
Because I did START.

I started from where I was that day. I didn't make any business plan and still don't have one. I didn't think of funding or office or marketing or where customers will come from or what the future holds. In fact, I didn't think at all. I simply acted: START.

And that's my this week special for you. 
If you want to start a business, just start.

I'm dedicating this to my everly friend as my little way of assuring him that all will not just go well, but better than he has ever imagined. As long as he STARTs.

Yeah. That's what I call information I don't see any tangible value in. Information like we blink 20 times in a minute. Or, by the time you're 80 you would have walked for 20 years, slept for 30 years and spent 2 years eating.

Unfortunately, those are the type of information we spend time reading online, broadcasting to friends on BBM and posting on Facebook. Useless information. We definitely end up knowing something we didn't know before: something useless.

Then there are the less obvious ones. The ones we tag as gossip. When we discuss other people's lives. And we suddenly grow to become experts at advising people at their back. Giving someone else a lesson about another's life, after mangling his story and making a hundred assumptions. The only thrill in it is knowing more about another's life than he thinks you know. Beyond that, no value. 

Useless information eat our time, creativity and give us a fake feeling of intelligence. And make some teenagers arrogant. They know all these stuffs their parents do not know, which unfortunately have no value. 

How do you avoid useless information?

  1. Ignore them. I still get BBM broadcasts. I seldom read them. And I often have a not-too-high opinion of those who send them. It's not deliberate; you know, you must form an opinion of others and it's only from their interactions with you, and it happens subconsciously. I ignore useless information.
  2. Stop looking for windfalls. Some people are so bent on finding bonanzas that they will look through anything they come across. They will put in for those competitions on Facebook that give a price to the person who is able to get the most likes for his comment. And they will spend valuable hours searching for those type of stuffs online. They are the ones constantly reading their twitter timeline. They spend so much time reading through useless information.
  3. Stop gossiping. This is one is quite straightforward. If you want to analyse another's life, why not do it with the person and not at his back. That way you can really help him and also avoid making spurious assumptions. Feeding someone else (and getting fed too) with useless information.
  4. Be focused. Being focused means not being a jack of all trade (or knowledge). Have an expertise and grow yourself aggressively in it. Stop spreading yourself too thin. That way you will end up feeding less on information (knowledge) that you'll never use.
Well, that's how I avoid useless information.

Whenever I see the advert of Dettol Medicated body cream (not the soap, I use the soap) I feel really sad. What are we turning ourselves into? 
Then I often see posts on productivity that emphasizes the fact that it takes about 30mins for you to regain focus once you've been interrupted.
And there are people who believe every germ they come in contact with will harm them. They've got hand sanitizers they use after shaking people.

And I wonder. How did we make it through 4000 years without medicated body cream & hand sanitizers? And I still remember the medical documentary I watched on how obsession with a germ-free environment is making children in Finland lack essential immunity and coming up with strange illnesses.

There is a truth about us that we are ignoring: our body has it's own immune system. And it's not just against physical germs but also against non-physical ones, like distraction. 

I know people who drink river water daily. And I also know people who drink well water. And they've got more muscles and vigor than the ones I know who wouldn't drink untreated water. 

My job is a perfect mix of distractions. Phone calls from customers and field guys wanting remote support, mails to reply to, Excel-based analyses to do, exchange configurations to make... When I joined it made me miserable. I was having headache every noon and having to do my Excel-based analyses after work hours when there were no distracting mails and phone calls. 
But something happened after 4 months. I became good at juggling the phone calls, replying to mails, configuring the exchange and working on Excel without having to wait 30 or so minutes to regain focus. I could switch from one to the other and regain full focus in seconds.

And it's like that for all aspects of our being. God has made us a special being, able to grow up to face any challenge that comes our way. Able to crush regular germs we come in contact with and able to overcome the regular challenges we face. But we keep ignoring this truth. We keep making life-long plans, permanent decisions that assume we will never be stronger than we currently are, that do not factor in our immune system and keep assuming it will take 30 mins to break free completely from any distraction.

And that is why Reckitt Benckiser will keep making products that we really don't need. It's also why people buckle under pressure, they keep ignoring the fact that they've got an immune system that is toughening them to face the pressure better. 

My life is taking a new turn and I'm letting go of the fluffs taking over my time. Like Steve Jobs said, time is the most valuable thing we have and we have to invest it in getting rich experiences and not living a limited life. 

After resetting my priorities, French came out as one of the top items. So I did a review of why all my efforts didn't work and what to do to greatly improve my French. 

Then I remembered that English is my second language. My mother tongue is Yoruba. So if only I think hard about how I learned English, I will find my most effective way to learn French.

Growing up, I was very shy and had almost no friends. I wasn't the talking type. Most of the English I learned as a child were from books. I was reading Shakespeare at age 8. Reading all kinds of brown paper, no picture books. And I never really understood the books I read. It was after 3 years of re-reading before I could make sense of Shakespeare's books. And it was like that for all the books I read. I would simply read on without bothering about words I didn't know their meaning. I read for pleasure, not for knowledge. I would read on even when I wasn't getting the plot. I never used a dictionary while reading. And that was how I learned most of the English I know. And it payed off. I'm now a writer.

Then it occurred to me why the regular french classes and courses weren't working for me. If as a kid I learned English by reading, why shouldn't I just take that approach with French? Even my goal of learning french aligns with it -- to read lots of French books, especially Voltaire, and have a French blog. I'm not that particular about speaking it, except for business purposes. I already hardly chat with people I see daily and that speak English; I don't think I will suddenly change to a french blabbermouth. 

Four days ago I spent N24,364.94 on Harry Porter books (1 to 7) in English and French. I will be focusing on reading french. I'm going to follow the same pattern I used in learning English.

And that brings us to the core of this post: You don't need to be perfect.


As I read the Harry Porter series, I saw some imperfections in it. The sort I have read in professional writing guides that authors should avoid. And I saw a few logic fragments. An extreme case is when an actor in a movie shoots at someone in a car, from the front of the car, and the guy in the car dies but the car's windshield does not break. But the books went on to sell over 450 million copies and in 73 languages.

You don't need to be perfect. If you're extremely good at what you do, people will overlook your errors. And you can only be extremely good by starting.

Start something that matters to you. Forget about perfection, focus on being prolific. Soon you'll do it better than most people and that's what matters.

If you want make something that will be useful to everyone in the world, and not something only experts can use, then being perfect doesn't matter. People go for their best options, not a perfect option. People want convenience not details. 

You don't need to be perfect. Just be prolific and put in your best. 

You might not make something as successful as the Harry Porter series, and you wouldn't by focusing perfection. You wouldn't if you don't try. And you'll never discover the impossible you can achieve. 

Best of all, perfection comes easier by being prolific than by being cautious.

I live on a budget. So I struggle to give my money.

I'm nearly always busy. So I struggle to give my time.

I'm always occupied with my own issues. So I struggle to give my care.


Giving is one thing I don't do much of. 

I donate monthly to a foundation that caters for the underprivileged. Been donating to them for 8 or 9 months now. I registered as a UN online volunteer to help make the world a better place by donating my time. I blog to share my ideas and issues, maybe someone will benefit.

Now you'll think I must be a good fellow, one who gives. Wait till you hear how much I donate monthly or how much time I've spent volunteering on the project I was attached to. And blogging isn't caring. Blogging is more like self-promotion. It sure benefits other people once in a while, but it's not because I'm caring. It's because I'm frank. We all like to be told the truth. And we feel helped by those who tell the truth often.

Now I'm trying to fix that. I hope to give more. 

Giving is the only way we multiple value. When you give out a valuable information, the value it creates multiplies. When you donate money to a worthy cause, that money goes very far. When you care about others and give them room in your thoughts (too bad I seldom think about others beyond not offending them; I need a urgent reform.) you make the world around you a much better place. 

We give when we plant trees, sowing seeds others will reap. We give when we volunteer for community cleaning (like I once saw Sterling bank staff do on one Saturday), putting beauty where there is dirt. We give when we fix a community road, put out a water tap in front of our house, adopt an orphan, smile to the homeless, outsmart a danfo driver without cursing at him (they love it; it boosts their morale).

Giving is living in such a way that everyday you fix a little of the mess in the world. You sleep every night knowing you'v made someone somewhere breathe easier and live better.

Personally, I don't give to churches. I prefer organizations that are specialized in providing a particular help -- orphanages, mission support, poverty alleviation...

$20 billion naira made to disappear.
Immigration test disaster: Government, after milking about N1,000,000,000 from the unemployed, still couldn't properly conduct an interview test.
Then there's the unending random killing up north.

And for once I can confidently say, the incompetence of our government officials is impossible to exaggerate.

Unfortunately, we are all like that. 
Every country gets the leaders it makes. We are the ones in the government parastatals. We are the ones forcing unemployed Nigerians to pay N1,000 for a job that has been filled. And we are the ones killing ourselves.

And now the thoughtful ones among us are scared of what kind of future awaits their children in Nigeria. And those who can afford it, are already moving out of the country. To somewhere their children will enjoy a better education, a better living condition and an edge over other Nigerians back home. And for people like these, I have nothing to say. Every child deserves more than what Nigeria offers. 

But to youths like me, I have a lot to say on why you shouldn't pack and move to another country.


1. Be a hero
Heroes are made at times like this, not when everything is well and there are no DIDs. All the guys we quote and refer to as the most influential people in world history were products of tough times: Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benjamin Franklin, Dante, Voltaire, Joan of Arc, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti...

A real man stands up to the challenge. He starts by being the change he wants to see. Then he doesn't stand by watching, he makes real effort to uproot the evil he's able to.

Finally, you can't be a true hero from abroad.

2. It's easier here
And that's the truth. 

You have little competition here. All your advantages are here: local knowledge, network and constitutional advantage. If you can make the initial leap of breaking from the herd mentality, not competing with millions for the same thing but switch on your creativity and flame on, you'll have an easy ride. And that's why I'm resigning my job. Of all the people I have done Excel work for, none has ever told me he has an alternative in Nigeria. I'm (almost) the only one. Easy ride. Little money, though. But easy ride still. And I'm too active to not figure out how to bill higher someday.

3. Patriotism
No country will ever celebrate its citizen that died fighting for another country. No matter how high you rise in a UK, US or French army, we will never consider you patriotic. And that's what it's like when you leave your country to go build another country's economy. 

Though there's a new way people fix this nowadays. They come here thrice a year to give motivational talks or as a resource person for seminars. It's good.

I prefer the old-school patriotism. The one I read about in books. The one that involves getting in the dirt with others and pushing the country forward.

4. For your Children
My maternal grandpa is the first local government chairman of my home town. My father's family tree has got some warriors in it, even our "Oriki" is built around the Dahomey war. And those are the only things I like about my ancestry.

Stay here to give your children something to be proud of. A family legend.

5. You will always want to come back.
Especially when you're old. So I would rather stay all my life here. The greatest in my list of the world's greatest all lived and died in their home countries. 

The home advantage doesn't apply to football alone.It applies to life itself.

As for me, all my dreams are tied to Nigeria. I can't leave.

Emotions are simply what make us humans and alive.

Though it sounds too generic, it's the only proper and straightforward definition I could find. Think about it, the only reason there are this many people on earth is because of the emotion that ensures reproduction. 

We feel hungry. We feel thirsty. We feel happy. We feel sad. We feel tired. We feel annoyed. Besides death, every part of MR NIGER D can be linked to an emotion. If not for the feeling of hunger some of us will miss out of the nutrition part. I only eat when I'm hungry. If something were to go wrong with my hunger emotion, I'm as good as dead. Even the least obviously connected one, Movement, is aided by emotions. If not for the feeling of boredom, some people will hardly move.

So how do you manage your emotions?

Here are the three steps to managing your emotions:

1. Embrace it. 
The second largest cause of malnutrition is people not embracing their hunger emotion. They simply try to get rid of it by eating easy to get snacks. Then they end up being too fat or too thin. And it's like that for every other emotion. An emotion is a pointer to something bigger than itself. Like hunger is to proper nutrition. 

You don't need a documentary to convince you that some Reverend Fathers have an extremely difficult life. And that's why Paul says you need the gift first. And that's why most people marry in their 20s. 

So next time you're feeling depressed, see it as a pointer to something bigger than just having a bad mood. Embrace it. Find the bigger stuff it's pointing to. Maybe it's telling you something is not going right in your life and needs immediate attention. But if you try to only get rid of the feeling, by going to the movies or hanging out with your friends, you are only doing yourself harm. 

So embrace the emotion and find out the bigger stuff it's pointing to.

2. Restrict your response.
I restrict my response to hunger to eating only proper meals. If I'm hungry and I can't get a proper meal around, I delay satisfying the hunger till I get a proper meal.

Not following this rule is the one of the few causes of rape. And all the evils anger has led to.

3. Avoid extremes.
I know people who are always complaining that they couldn't eat throughout the day at work. Because of work. They are always experiencing extreme hunger every work day. And it makes no sense to me. I have worked in same company as a couple of them, and I know that there was no rule against going for lunch. I still don't know how they manage to not eat till work close. Even the extremely busy bosses go for lunch.

And there are those who seem to have an anger gene. They always get into situations that trigger their anger emotion. It's always from one extreme anger to another.

The only extreme I think is good is the one attached to happy emotion. Always be happy. 

And those are my tips on managing your emotions.

Once people start discussing luck, I shut up and leave.


Not that I don't believe in luck. Not that I don't sometimes wish that I get lucky. The truth is: every time I check my blog subscribers count, I'm always hoping some luck will hit my blog and my subscribers count will double overnight. 

This past 8 months, traffic to my blog has been more than 3 times what I had for the entire first 4 years of the blog. And after thinking hard about it, I could only attribute it to luck. And the sometimes amazing posts I now write, I also attribute to luck (I remember calling it the luck within).

To me, luck is some external factor you can't control. No amount of thinking about it or analyzing it can make you get more than someone else who's actively living his life, trying this and that.

I have this wonderful list of all the cool ideas that cross my mind. But luck is not there. I plan my life like luck doesn't exist. If I'm doing times 4 of what other people are doing and I'm seeing much less result, I don't feel luck has been unfair to me or think others are just lucky. I even don't feel sad about it, I just keep following my plan and making fact-based changes to the plan.

I leave luck out. 

You will never find me call into a quiz show saying, "I'm not lucky with numbers, just give me any question that has not been picked." Or, "This is my luck dress. It always bring me good luck."

The only thing I do with luck is to include it in my blog posts once in a while, and I love asking people to wish me luck when I have made up my mind to take a life-altering decision. 

Everyday I meet people who have tied their dreams to luck. They'll say, "If only God will touch someone to give me N2 million. I will start that business I have always wanted to start and my life will never remain the same." And I think to myself, if God has been good enough to show me the exact figure I need to change my life forever, I wouldn't wait for luck at all. I will save up to that N2 million and go after my dream life. 

And there are those who love attributing other people's success to luck. They'll tell all the different points in Dangote's life that he got extremely lucky. Everyone that's richer than them is simply lucky. And they will diligently prove it to you. 

Luck is a wind. As long as you are outside it will blow on you, someday. But you can't get more of it than someone else by always thinking about it. It's the wrong way to go through life. As long as you live a life that keeps you outside and active, trying new and challenging things, you will get all the luck you will ever get. And no amount of analyzing luck can increase it a bit. Rather you should try to get for yourself everything you wanted luck to get for you. 

Leave luck out of your plans. Let your thoughts about luck only point out the things you badly want.

When I discovered that I wanted my blog subscribers to double so badly that I sub-consciously was hoping luck would do it for me. I immediately set out to do it for myself, to stop tying something that mattered greatly to me to luck. I set-up a facebook advert to get more blog subscribers. After spending about N3,000, I discovered I didn't want it that badly anymore. I became happy once again. No more feeling sad and waiting for luck. Until yesterday, when my subscribers hit 700 and I began wishing it will hit 1000. Then I remembered my expensive N3,000 facebook adverts and the wish vanished. I'm no longer in a hurry.

And so my special advice for you today -- Leave Luck.

I have written about this in two separate posts before -- one was for DSTV subscription and the other was for Airtel Postpaid bills. 

Unfortunately, things have changed since then. Not just that I have stopped paying for DSTV subscription and now watch CCTV (God bless China. Too bad I'm not learning Chinese). Quickteller has completely changed their site. It now looks like a Windows 8 start screen. And I like it. 

So I have to make a new relevant post, but this time I won't want to bore my readers with two separate posts with lots of repetitions. I will explain both in one straightforward post.

So let's head to the new cool Quickteller site:

Sign up, if you haven't registered on Quickteller before. And if you have, like me, then log in.

It shows me the online payments I have made on the site before.

Lemme expand the DSTV one, so you don't think I was always subscribing to the Family Bouquet.

But for you, you'll probably see nothing under "My Services". You'll be starting from scratch.

And here's how.
At the upper right side of the Quickteller site, you'll see a search box. That's what you'll use. That box will take you to any service you want to make payment for.

Let's start with DSTV subscription.
Type DSTV in the search box.

Ignore the suggestions and click search.

You'll get a result page.

1 item found: DSTV Subscription. And that's just what you need.
Click on the "DSTV Subscription" and Select the Bouquet you wanna pay for. (Compact Bouquet is identified as MINI, others still retain their regular names. Family is Family and Premium is Premium).

Click on Continue to go to the next step.
You'll be required to enter your Smart Card number, email and phone number.
Click on Continue again.

It pre-filled my email and phone number because I have provided them during registration. I just have to enter my DSTV smart card number. And click on Continue.

You'll be taken to the payment confirmation page.

Click on Pay.
You'll be taken to the payment page where you'll provide your ATM card details.

Gotcha! You were expecting to see my ATM card details, ehn? 
Enter your details and pay.

You will get a payment successful SMS and email. Call DSTV on 2703232 to inform them about your payment. It's not necessary, but I like the peace of mind it gives.

Now to Airtel Postpaid line payment. 
Type Airtel in the search box.

6 items found. Well, we only need the first item: Airtel Bill Payment (Postpaid)

Click on it.

Fill in the phone number you want to pay for, email and the amount you want to credit the phone with. I used to pay the exact bill figure I owe, but now I pay more than that so I don't get to pay every month, spending time and extra transaction charge.

Click on continue when done.

The system will pull out your name as it is on Airtel database. See how it doubled mine.

Click on Pay.

Enter your ATM details and pay.
You'll get SMS notification and email.

Welcome to the online world of convenience!