Not everyone who works hard do so just for the love of more money.


There are some of us who work hard for one of the following three reasons:

  1. We love our work very much and enjoy the time we spend working way more than the time we spend playing
  2. We have a very demanding job that requires working long and hard
  3. We are unfortunately stuck in a terrible job under a terrible boss. And in case you still don't get it, what makes a boss terrible is when he unreasonably doubles your workload and what makes a job terrible is when it demands more than you ought to give.
For me, it's number 1. I would rather be working than partying.

Fortunately, there is a beauty in working hard. And it's not money related. Think of those America has got talent videos you watch on Facebook. The amazing feats that mere mortals like you and I perform. How did you think they achieved it? By some stroke of luck or a little work? NO. They put in long hard work to be that good and perfect. 

Think of those gadgets you can't seem to do without -- your smartphone, your laptop, your car, and so on. Do you think the the people behind their creation work same hours as government staff? Just this month, the CEO of BMW collapsed during a presentation at a global event. I am sure you can guess the cause correctly. Most of the modern conveniences you enjoy are the creation of some extremely hard working people. 

Now think of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp. They effortlessly make you connect with others and burn hours daily without noticing. What if I tell you that Facebook daily make changes to the platform. The people there work very hard to make Facebook addictive. Now you don't even have to play a video before you watch it. Pure result of hard work on some people's part.

The beauty in working hard is that it makes you stand out. It makes you truly valuable. It makes remarkable things possible. And if you are fortunate, like me, to work hard for reason number one then you've won a lifetime vacation lottery. 

When you start a business, you are planting a seed. The type of business will determine how long it would take for you to see any indication of growth.


Growing your business requires a lot of sacrifice and investment. You will have to sacrifice income in the first year(s) of the business. And not only that, you will also have to pump in a lot of investment into the business -- financial and non-financial. 

When I started mine last year, I had to live on my life savings and still spend a huge chunk of it to keep the business running. Marketing kept gulping more than I expected. I had to get myself in front of the people who would need my services. By October last year, I was at rock bottom, financially. Luckily, I was then beginning to get a steady stream of jobs. Yet what came in barely kept me afloat. I couldn't make any saving and I was living from one income to the next. 

It was during those periods I generated most of the content I now use for my training. I recorded video training and began writing the Microsoft Excel book I recently published. Now my efforts of last year are beginning to pay off. I keep getting more job offers than I can handle. I am now turning down some to make room for others. Every week, I work Mondays to Sundays and still don't get all my jobs done.

I am now in the growth phase of my business. It's time I expand resource-wise and form a team. I have been lucky that the business has been validated. People and companies need the service I offer, and enough of them already know about me. Supply met demand. Now demand is outstripping supply.

And it's the same path for all businesses. The beginning is a lot of work trying to get yourself in front of your potential customers while also building your product/service. You'll work hard and see little results. Then one day, all the results come pouring in. 

Gradually, my business is building its brand image. Google is treating us nice in their search results. People keep calling. We have done projects for many big companies. The new challenge is to keep building the core and manage job requests.

Again, growing your business is like planting a seed. It takes a lot of time to see the results of your efforts but if you don't give up, someday they'll pour in and overwhelm you. And if you are not sure if building a business is something you can do, there is one test I want you to take. I have terrible social skills, almost no practical business skills, hard to reach successfully and genetically configured for a life in a laboratory. Are you worse than that? If no, then trust me, you can build a successful business.

Creativity is a habit. You have to acquire it.


We are born with the capability to be creative. We constantly have creative ideas, But working on our creative ideas is not easy and natural. It often requires a lot of work and stretching beyond our comfort zone. Like someone once put it --  ideas are like babies, they are fun to conceive but painful to deliver. 

Everyone comes up with beautiful ideas. No one lacks ideas. The difference between the creative person and the non-creative person is purely one of habit. The creative one forms a habit of working on his ideas while the non-creative person wonders why no one is implementing his ideas. 

To acquire the habit of creativity, all you need to do is to take responsibility for birthing your ideas. Don't just conceive them. Go through the laborious process of gestation and delivery. Don't complain about why no one else has come up with such an idea. And don't ever say it was your idea if someone eventually implements it. Ideas are dozen a kobo. The creativity lies in implementation. And the moment you begin to go from conception to delivery of your bright ideas, you end up acquiring the habit of creativity.

Also you must learn to not look down on little beginnings. You must understand that it's not where you start that matters but where you aim for that matters. It's the biggest problem most people have in transitioning to being creative. They keep telling themselves that. "It's beneath me", "I am too big for that", "Lol. People are definitely going to make fun of me.", "What would I gain from that?" and "I had better leave it for the kids."

If you always feel too big to start something new, you can be sure that you'll always be on the sideline as others with less capability achieve great things. You need to be humble enough to work on your ideas. You must be humble enough to buy crayons, pencil and a design book, and be creative. You must be humble to tinker with things like a child. You must be humble to look beyond failure. You must be humble enough to try out your ideas. You must be humble to be creative.

First, this might be a little too unpractical for some of you. Thought I should share in case a few might find it useful.


In a month, I get between 10 and 30 work requests/projects. I am not very good at turning down offers. I end up taking up almost all the projects. Luckily, some drag for more than a month because the other party is taking a rest. But, still, I get a workload that is nearly impossible to manage. 

Then on top of that, I am doing an online MBA. And it is somewhat intensive. Lots of readings do be done and research-like assignments to do. I am two assignments behind in the current module I am doing -- Strategic Marketing. The course book is one small font 365 pages book. You can read it for hours and cover just 30 pages. I don't even do any class interaction. Thank God there's no grade attached to class interactions. Every month I make payment as I was allowed to spread the MBA fee monthly over 20 or so months. So I have to ensure I give it the dedication require or I would be throwing away money monthly.

I also get a lot of emails, phone calls and meeting requests. And no expected monthly income. I still have to hustle for the money I will live on that month and pay for the MBA programme.

It's been close to a year I have been living daily like this, and with God's grace, I have managed to cope well. I have managed to get things done. Though at some price. And below is a breakdown of how:

  1. I don't have work hours. I work anytime, and usually all the time. I found out that I work best early in the morning, late at night and in traffic. But since I began driving myself to almost everywhere, I lost the traffic premium time; instead of being able to use it I am stuck behind the wheel just thinking the same thoughts. But not having a fixed work hours has made me very productive and able to do more. There have been days I finished a client's work at around 3am.
  2. I don't go for social events. That way I get the entire week to myself and my work.
  3. I don't pick calls, read SMS, reply emails or let anyone distract me while I am on any work task. 
  4. I keep a very positive mindset. I don't ever let myself feel overwhelmed. Occasionally, I fail at this and whenever I feel overwhelmed I end up shutting down and just sleeping.
  5. I have a library of reusable materials. Every work I do adds to that library and makes my next similar work easier to do.
  6. I would rather be late than give up. Rather than give up because I can't meet deadline, I simply double up and apologise when I finally deliver past the deadline. 
  7. I have a very understanding girlfriend.
And that's how I get things done.

Yesterday, I bought the two pack Ovaltine that has a copy of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". I have been seeing it in supermarkets since July.


The church close by didn't let me sleep easy. So at 2:00am I read 75 pages of the book. It was an easy and enjoyable read. And it got me thinking about my own unfinished novel - Akin Smith. Maybe if I could just get it done, and going by my great theme and unique story, it might win international awards too. 

It connected me with the child in me. That not much has changed since growing up. Even though I have somehow managed to push out the fun in life and work all the time, there is the not so complicated me within. The child-like me who wants simple things and some fun. 

Very easily we feel we've outgrown the child we once were. Yet our best memories are childhood ones, and it's because the child never really disappeared as we grew. There is a child in us all. And it is why books like Harry Porter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid become so hugely popular. A large chunk of the world's bestselling books are themed around children. That is the easiest way to connected strongly with everyone, both young and old.

I pray I find the time to complete my own novel. It's about a 12 year old boy and life as he saw and encountered it. I am hoping it, too, would connect with the child in us all.

You must be wondering -- "Impossible! How can Michael who doesn't even reply to messages have over 41,000 followers?" 
You are not alone.

Lesson 1: Nothing Personal.
Did you notice the twitter account name, Nigeria Newspapers? It's not a coincidence. It leads us to the first lesson I learned -- It's never about me/you! I have had my own personal twitter account since 2009 and as hard as I tried I never got over 1250 followers. But the impersonal twitter account I created in 2012 has now grown to over 41,100 followers with much less effort than I did to grow my personal twitter account.
It helped me to absorb the fact that taking my personal sentiments out of things I do is often the best way to get results.

Lesson 2: Plug Into A Working System
Before starting the twitter account, I did a small market research. The one thing every Nigerian is passionate about is Nigeria. So I created a twitter account that builds on the passion for Nigeria. I called it "Nigeria Newspapers" and shared news of happenings in Nigeria. And right from day one I was getting RTs and a steadily growing followership. It showed me that it's better to ride with the tide than to swim against it; to find a system that works and plug into it.

Lesson 3: Automate all You Can
What if I tell that for a whole month I might not make a single post on the twitter account and for a whole week I might not even log in to the account? Well, it is the truth. I automated the tweets and even messages I send to new followers. I automated the following of people I consider interesting. I automated everything I could. So while I am busy on other stuff or even sleeping, the twitter account is never inactive. It got me thinking about all the other things in my life I could automate, especially in my business.

Lesson 4: Stick With What Works
Everyday, the twitter account followers are increasing. Sometimes, at the rate of 200 new followers per day. And that is the sweetest part of it all. I don't have to do anything differently or spend any time on Twitter. I can log out for 6 months and still be sure that the account will keep growing at a healthy rate. I have found what works and I am sticking to it. 

And those are the lessons I learned from growing one of my twitter accounts to over 41,000 followers. If you want to verify, the twitter account is @NigeriaDaiily

"What if some big multinational company offer you a juicy role?"
I constantly get questions like that. 

A lot of people think that the main reason people run their own business full time is to earn more money and comfort. So they think you should go for it if a big well-structured multinational company offers you more money and comfortable working environment (huge benefits). They are wrong.


The main difference between owning your business and working for another's business lies in control. As the CEO of my company I am only limited by my ambitions and knowledge. I am already on the path those big multinationals started on. If I keep growing, breaking my limiting behaviours, become more business savvy, build a strong team, give my business my best and with God's grace, the business will soon be showing up in those multinational's SWOT analysis.

Everyday I am thinking, reading and studying how to grow a big multinational brand. And the one advantage I have over anyone whose time is split between working for someone else and his business (idea) is that I am immediately practicing what I learn. I am constantly making changes. I am constantly evaluating my business and re-strategizing. I am constantly learning the best way -- on the entrepreneurial job. And my livelihood, dreams and future depend on my success. 

Currently, I am doing a re-structuring. I have partnered with over 6 businesses and I already have a very healthy sales pipeline. I am now working on building a core technical team. Also my digital marketing strategy has been very successful. It's generating a steady stream of leads with high conversion rate. I also have a couple of self-running revenue generating systems. Now, I am doing a market and customer segmentation. It's why I am building a core team. Over the past year, I have figured out the different segments of my market. Some segments can be satisfactorily catered for by someone I train and some will benefit from a team of more than one. These are things you can't do while working for someone else, even if you get paid than the CEO of Apple.

Running your own business is like starting a life. Everyone's life is as great as he wants and works it to be. But working for someone else is like pledging your life in service to someone else -- could be a King or a regular person. There will always be a ceiling you can't rise above. And that is the biggest difference. Not money or comfort.

Every one of us has something he is very good at. Skills that come almost naturally. They constitute advantages that put us ahead of many others in a particular field.

I have got some too. 

I just seem to always figure out all computer and internet issues. In fact, there was a time I was freelancing as a computer expert online and would be helping other people from around the whole with their computer problems in exchange for e-hugs and money. And I always get their issues resolved. It is a skill I can't remember how I acquired, it's almost like I was born with it.

I am also extremely good at translating book knowledge to practical knowledge. Since I was a kid, I had a knack for trying out the things I read in books. I remember when I read "Plato's Dialogues" I practiced the Socratic questioning method and a little too much. I became an expert at making people contradict themselves and hate me intensely. I stopped when I was making too many enemies. Regular people would rather see a thing for themselves than read about it. I do the opposite. I read about everything that interests me and in such depth that I get to know as much as seeing it would help me know. I take what I read seriously and often build my life on them.

I always give my best. Even if you hire me to do a job I hate, you can still be sure of my best efforts. That is why I am very selective in what I agree to do. I have this uncontrollable habit of working too hard at whatever I am doing. 

Those are my core advantages. And I try to build on them. They are the reason I chose a business that is IT dependent, heavy on book knowledge and has a steep learning curve. My advantages make it easy for me to follow through regardless of the challenges and do better than most people/businesses. In fact, I am basing my business' differential advantage on technical superiority. With me, you'll get a level of quality you can't get from anyone else in Nigeria. 

You should also build on your advantages.

Yesterday, I read somewhere that records show that Nigerians studying in the US get better grades than even the Americans. And I think it's true. If you read the newspapers often you'll be sure to come across news of one Nigerian getting a result no one else in that foreign university has gotten before. 

It is not that we are intellectually challenged. In fact, when we set our minds on it, we do better than the Americans at intellectually demanding tasks. 

So what then is our problem? Why is our economy not reflecting any of those intellectual firepower. 
We don't have a software industry.
We don't have a high-tech manufacturing industry.
We don't have a proper mechanized farming industry.
We are four fifths a services powered economy.

Almost everyone is selling something someone else has created: Network Marketing, IT services, Importation business, Auto Dealerships, Petroleum products, Online Stores and all the new craze. Only very few people are doing any creating. And of those few people, a large chunk are still stuck with the 19th century methods. Our farmers still use outdated farming equipment. Our products are so poorly made that they can't compete in the international free market. Only our Garri is doing great, and this is because it's got no direct competition.

We often blame the system and government but I think we have as much blame to bear too. We do too much group thinking and following the crowd. We simply try to do better at what everyone else is doing. And that is why one part of the economy is crowded and another part is like a desert. Every business idea is about selling something -- clothes, electronics, groceries, network marketing products -- and not about manufacturing or doing any high-tech business. And that is the issue I have with our economy.


When you read about what it takes to be an entrepreneur you would think it is meant for for supermen. You are expected to have a combination of skills that only superman can have. You'll easily find a thousand and one skills an entrepreneur MUST have.

The truth, fortunately, is that you don't need all those must have 1001 skills. Once you have taken the plunge into the entrepreneurial world, you need only one skill. Having other skills in addition will definitely help but if you have a 1000 skills and the one you don't have is this particular skill you are setting yourself up for frustration and failure.

So what is this most important skill an entrepreneur must have?

It is the ability to unlearn. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, to unlearn is to forget and stop doing (something, such as a habit) in a deliberate way because it is bad or incorrect.

An entrepreneur must be good at discarding what doesn't work anymore. He must always be ready to adjust his strategy, operations and resource allocation based on current happenings and not stick to what used to work. He must be comfortable with being wrong and also be quick to make corrections. He must also be willing to risk being wrong.

No business can survive if the CEO is not willing to change his opinions or unlearn strategies that no longer work. And that is why age is not a big factor in starting a business. Businesses don't really need that much of an experience or grey hairs to guarantee success but a lot of flexibility and hard work which sometimes the young are more advantaged at than the old.


If you want to be an successful entrepreneur, you need to learn how to unlearn.

Yesterday, during the lunch break of our Microsoft Excel training class, at the Cafeteria, the TV was set to SuperSport. And guess what I saw? A football club by the name Kaizen Chiefs. And that, to me, represented a new height in the Kaizen craze.

Kaizen is the japanese term for incremental improvement. 


So which is better -- an incremental improvement or a big leap?


I think Jack Canfield has the perfect answer in his book The Success Principles, how to get from where you are to where you want to be. He said you should seek out both. Form habits that guarantee incremental improvement and also position yourself for big leaps (or breakout successes, as he called them). That you are going to need both. And that you should always celebrate your big leaps and as they are often like a tide that lifts everything in your life to a new level.

It is how most of us handle our employment. We try to get better at the job we have and learn on the job, while still trying to acquire skills higher than is required for that job. Positioning ourselves for some big leap. 

Unfortunately, most don't handle their entire life that way. They make it a choice of one among the two. Some are all geared for a big leap. They let every part of their life run dismally in their pursuit of a big leap, a breakout success. This is an extreme that should be avoided. Others don't see themselves going beyond some set limits. They are all focused on getting better at where they are and what they do. No room for some big leap. They profess to live a focused life and deliberately shut out every opportunity for a radical change. Another extreme that should be avoided.

It is not a question of incremental improvement or big leap, but a question of how to combine the two. You should seek out both. Form habits that ensure your life is improving daily. Become better at what you do. But don't stop there. Also put yourself in the path of some big leap. Go outside your comfort zone once a while and seek a breakout success. A success that will lift all the areas of your life.

There will be many dark days when you'll struggle to see the reward of your work. You will be convinced that your input far exceed the output you get. On those days, the only thing that can keep you motivated is a genuine passion for what you do.



And that is the huge benefit of having a genuine passion for what you do. It keeps you motivated even as you pass through the dark tunnel of your career choice.

This week I had to pull out of a consulting job that got me steady monthly income for the last one year. I can't cope with the stress of working from morning to night everyday anymore, and I needed to let go of my most time demanding projects. On one hand it looked like a terrible decision -- I no longer have a monthly retainer gig. It's back to the beginning. But on another hand, I would rather spend more time doing the things I thoroughly enjoy rather than cutting down on them to give all my time to income generating projects.

I jealously guard my passion and ensure that I do only the things I have passion for. It makes every phase of my life enjoyable regardless of the low output my huge inputs generate.


This is the 1000th post on my blog. And it has been a very exciting journey. I started blogging in May 2009. Here is my first blog post - In the Book of Greatness. I used to write a lot of poems and technical tips. I once sold some of my poems to a magazine and made some money and friends.

Then in 2013, after writing about 120 posts over a span of 3+ years, I made the decision to start making one blog post a day. And glory to God, I haven't failed once. There hasn't been any day for the past 2 years that I haven't written a blog post for. For once in my life, I made a near impossible commitment and didn't stumble in fulfilling it.

Today is a special day for me. There are not so many things I have consistently done a thousand times. And fewer things I have done daily for over two years. And still fewer things I hope to do daily for the rest of my life. Blogging has changed my life in ways I never expected or imagined, not only has it brought me in contact with amazing people, it has also given me a voice and helped me overcome my timidity.

Who would have thought that highly introvertive Michael will be okay with writing about his life and letting people read about it. Till now I still feel uncomfortable when people say they read my blog. My original idea was to write for an anonymous audience, people who don't know me and probably will never know me. I wanted to be like my childhood heroes -- all were writers. I wanted to be like George Bernard Shaw, and write so much that people will wonder how I did it. And if I am lucky, I will break his record of over 250,000 written works.

I write daily because it is one of my few ways of ensuring my day will be a great one. It is like ticking a box on my life achievement list.

I wish I could say all that's in my head about the wonderful things blogging has helped me achieve and how it has positively shaped my life. But I have a training to facilitate in 1h20mins and if I get there late again, another set of people will be angry with me.

Thanks for being part of my amazing journey!

Not so long ago, I used to be very happy when I receive emails from people who got to know me through my blog. I would spend a large part of my free time on those days trying to craft an excellent reply. Now the time and motivation are no longer there. But those relationships I built then are still alive and helpful.


Last year, I had a lot of time as I wasn't getting jobs as much as I expected. I spent the bulk of that time making training videos, generating content for my Excel training classes and learning web development. Now I don't have enough time to even sleep. But those videos and content I made last year are generating income for me, and giving me an edge over other Excel trainers.

At the start of this year, I began writing a book on Excel. It was not an easy task. I was writing at odd hours of the day and in between other important tasks. It was very exhausting and I kept feeling I should write about all I know. By the middle of the year, I was able to complete the book. I had a strong motivation then. If I had waited for when I had time, I would still be waiting and the money I have made from selling the book on and wouldn't have happened.

Every stage of my life has always had one of the following four mixes of Time and Motivation:
  1. I have both the time and the motivation
  2. I have just time but no motivation
  3. I have motivation but no time
  4. I have no time and no motivation
And the truth is I suddenly wake up someday and find that the mix has changed. So I try my best to do what I can now before I get an unfavourable mix. Most of the things I am most proud of were the things I started when I had both time and motivation. My blog. Microsoft Excel. And some others I started when I had just the motivation. Especially my business.

It is very difficult to do things you know you should or would find valuable in the future if you lack both time and motivation. Heck, I even have jobs that I know will bring me money and I still can't get myself to do them because no time and no motivation. So you can imagine tasks that won't bring in money now. There will be no reason to force myself to do them.

You can get a lot done with motivation than you can get done by logical reasoning. So whenever you feel yourself motivated to do something and it is something of some commendable value, then do it. Don't try to overthink it or how it would pay off in the future. Just do it. Because when you finally find a compelling enough logical reason to do it, you probably won't have the time and motivation to do it anymore. And that is worse.

Do what you can now for time and motivation are not always around.

I was on TV yesterday. Channels TV. Talking big data. Data, in general. And how you can improve your business by mining the data your business generates.

You can watch the entire interview below:

You can click here to watch it directly on YouTube.
Just this month I stopped envying businesses that have external funding from investors. And it is not because I now feel I can do as good as them. It is not because funding my business from my own pocket is now easy. And it is not because I want to feel big and immune to intimidation.

It is because the success of a business does not depend on the source and volume of fund. The number one role of every businessman is resource allocation. If you are good at making a cool headed evaluation of your available resources, the resources you can borrow/lease, and the business goal you can hit; then success is purely a matter of strategy. 


Every successful business is one that generates more financial resources from the limited resources it has. Not the one that can get the most money pumped into its business. And as the key to success is generating the cost of the resources you use plus a significant profit on top, you should be more concerned about your business strategies and marketing than looking for an investor. You should start from where you are with what you have and provide a service/product of value that will earn you the money to grow your business.

Sometimes you might need to start with just a small part of your business idea. Start with the part your resources can fund. You will learn the invaluable skills of managing and growing a business. You will become good at resource allocation and when you finally grow the business to what your initial plan was, it will be with no regrets of having partnered with the wrong set of people.

It is a lot easier to start small and grow big, than to start with a lot of external fund and try to stay big. My starting small has made even my most terrible mistakes not too costly. I have been learning as much as anyone running a business. I make what, by percentage of my entire financial and non-financial resources, are big bets. I make long-term business plans and I make plans to keep us alive to see that long-term. I keep turning down job offers because I have a business I am building and I have figured out how to be profitable/successful.

As long as you meet a valid need, identify the market segment you want to capture, pick your product differentiation model, build a stellar strategy to reach that market segment and sell at a price well above all your expenses; you are already standing on the foundation of success.


The most expensive gadget you have is not the one you paid the most money for. It's not the very expensive gift you got on your birthday. It is not the one you borrowed money to buy. And it is not the one you saved for many months to get.

Your most expensive gadget is simply the one you don't use at all.

Anything you buy, no matter the price, and you end up not using it at all. That thing is one of your most expensive stuff you own. 

If you bought a tablet of N30,000 and it looked like a bargain. You felt happy in the beginning about it. It's got same functions as the one your friend bought for N80,000. Then 6 months later, your friend has been using his daily to better organize his life and even use it to take notes during meetings. But your own tablet is sitting in a corner of your wardrobe, looking new. I tell you, your tablet is more expensive than your friend's.

In buying any gadget you should have the same mindset you have towards schooling. You don't suddenly enroll in a school programme - masters, PhD or B.Sc - because the programme is at a bargain price. You don't write professional exam in a field you see yourself not going into just because there is a 50% price slash on the course and exam fee. The same way you shouldn't buy any gadget you don't have a sure need for.

Another good illustration are the clothes and shoes you buy. Nothing make people more unhappy about their wardrobe than to see clothes and shoes they only wore once and don't see themselves wearing again, either because it is now out of fashion or they would rather wear something else. Often they are the result of an Aso-ebi purchase for a friend's wedding or some family event. And regardless of the money they spent in getting them, they don't feel happy about them. But you still see the same people have gadgets they don't use and some still keep acquiring more gadgets they are not sure they'll use, and they don't have the same feeling about them. They would buy any gadget that is on promo sales.

Except you are a gadget collector, then those gadgets you bought and didn't use are your most expensive gadgets.

This might sound very strange but it is the truth. I get my motivation from dissatisfaction.


I remember in my final year at university, there was a federal government scholarship just for final year students only. I had an excellent result, I was number two in the department, and one of my friends asked if I had put in my application for the scholarship. I told her I wasn't going to and she was surprised. And more surprised when I told her the reason. I said I didn't want anything from the government and that it has been a tumultuous ride attending a federal government university. I was dissatisfied with the way the government run/ruin everything they handle. After university, I never put in a single application to any government job. Even when my parents were trying to get me one I told them they would be wasting their time. And during my NYSC year when everyone I knew was doing the NNPC job application and I was helping some of my friends fill and submit their applications, I didn't apply. The only government scheme I applied for was the NNPC masters scholarship, I had nothing doing at Bayelsa then and the buzz about it among my friends was loud, so I joined in. Even now I avoid government deals. I focus on private companies. That is how extreme I take my dissatisfaction about anything.

Whenever I ask myself the question: "Is this how I want to continue my life?" Something major changes forever in my life. And I just asked myself that question yesterday. Tomorrow something major is going to change in my life.

It was the same question I asked myself in 2013, it led to my registering my company that year and my plotting my escape from the 9 to 5 world.

Whenever I am dissatisfied about anything in my life and I feel I can change it, I get this mountain size motivation. I go to unreasonable lengths in effecting that change. And most times it becomes a permanent change.

I don't bother about too many things but the few things I take interest in I do with extreme dedication. When I give up on a thing it is permanently and usually after I have given it my best over a long time. And the ones I am yet to give up on, I pursue with feverish fervor.

My favorite quote in the animation movie, Cars, is "I am a precision instrument of speed and aerodynamics". I believe one must be extremely good at whatever he has chosen to be. And to live a life that builds on the huge progress we have made as human race since the stone age. I should live a life of deep value. And any dissatisfaction linked to that gives me a huge motivation.

It is amazing how we view the future
As a separate part of our lives
We make one plan for today
And a different one for the future

It is amazing how we view the future
As a distant part of our lives
We live like there's no tomorrow
And plan like we have forever

It is amazing how we view the future
As a hidden part of our lives
We talk of no one knowing it
And hand it over to chance

It is amazing how we view the future
As the last page of our lives
We reserve it for conclusions
And give it very little space

It is amazing how we view the future
As the pure part of our lives
We see it as where all will be right
And do nothing to ensure it is so

The future is nothing like that
It is not separate, distant, hidden and pure
It is all of our actions and decisions
The result of how we spend our lives

Ever needed to send someone a picture or image that is embedded in a PowerPoint, PDF or Word document? Or you want to save the charts in your Excel report as a picture. Well, today is your lucky day. You will be amazed by how very easy it is.

Rightclick on the image/picture you want to extract and click on "Save as Picture"

Same as in PowerPoint, rightclick on the image/picture you want to extract and click on "Save as Picture".

Draw a selection box around the image you want to extract, right click and click on "Take a Snapshot"

Excel is a little tricky. You will have to copy the image/picture to Word or PowerPoint and do the "Save as Picture" from there.

And it gets a little more complicated if it is a chart you want to extract as an image. You will have to paste the chart as Picture in Word or PowerPoint. Below is an example.

And that is how to extract image/picture from PowerPoint, Word, PDF or Excel documents.

People complain I don't read and reply to their Whatsapp messages, Faceboook messages, BBM chats and even email. The truth is I avoid checking my BBM, Whatsapp and Facebook messages. I am still trying to reduce my work/requests load and get a more healthy sleep daily.


I spend most week days on the road from one client to another and spend my weekends trying to clear the list of work I am passed deadline in sending. The only time of the day I get to clearly see emails, SMS and messages are at night. Replying to them always eat into my sleep time and I end up sleeping less than 4 hours that day.

My work is split into two categories:

  • category 1: work that generates immediate cash
  • category 2: work that has a long pay cycle
I once spent 3 months coding a business process automation program for a client and got paid 7 months after. And I still have one project I completed that the payment is over 9 months due. You just have to mix all types of work. You can't simply turn down jobs because you want to have more time to read emails, reply SMS, chat more with friends or spend more time on Whatsapp. It's even hard to gauge the amount of work you can handle without cutting into sleep time.

The good side is that it gives me some leverage. Getting a lot of work requests has helped me pushed up my rates almost 6 times since the beginning of this year. When a potential client tries to over bargain the price I walk away without worrying about where the next job will come from. In fact, I am sometimes happy when a potential client walks away because of my pricing, it is the best way to lose a client. Better than telling him you have no time for his job. He will call you back when he's got a more worthy project and wants high quality service. Rather than he thinking you are always too busy and will not have time for his project.

I have been able to set-up our monthly training satisfactorily. I have put in place a working strategy that will help me achieve the enterprise product offerings/development I have always been talking about. The part of my business I am still struggling with is rightly charging for my consulting projects. But I know that just as my training pricing took a year and lots of training organized to get right, I will also get this right with time. Hopefully, I will be able to charge millions for ones I currently charge thousands. And now is the best time to start fixing that area. I will start raising the charges I quote and see the reactions. 

I guess it is the price one pays at the start of something one's entire life depends on.

Yesterday, I went visiting my ex-colleagues at the company I acquired most of my Excel skills. Once it was nearing 5:00pm they were getting set to end the day. I really envied them. My own day never ends. Even when I sleep, I still feel the grip of the jobs I have pending and about to miss their deadlines around my neck.

For me, it has been all work and little rest. It is already killing the little flame of social interaction left in me. I no longer keep up with emails, SMS, Facebook messages, Whatsapp chats, BBM chats, and even phone calls.

I used to think when people say "Knowledge is power only when applied" they were just trying to sound smart. But now I don't think so anymore. I have seen its truth play out repeatedly in my life recently.

The only reason I am making more money that I used to make just a year ago is not because I know a lot more now. I definitely do know a lot more now but the new knowledge I have acquired are not what is fetching me the bulk of my income. The bulk of my income come from knowledge I have had for a long time but just didn't apply/monetise well then.

All those things we read in books and know will only benefit us if we apply them in our day to day living. We all know exercising is good but only the people who put in the deliberate effort to exercise regularly will benefit from that knowledge; others will only be able to make nothing more than a good argument from their knowledge. We all that the best time to buy stocks is when they are down and selling at ridiculously low prices. Yet some people will never act on that knowledge either because they have genuine reasons or they are used to knowing without applying. Genuine reasons would be no spare money to invest, a deep hatred for stocks, inadequate knowledge on stock investing and better opportunities to put their money in. Reasons other than those are simply a reflection of an unwillingness to put to practical use the knowledge you have.


Now is a great time to invest in stocks in Nigeria. And if you are not a great stock picker you will still do greatly well if you open a stock mutual fund (either with ARM or Stanbic). And that is what I am doing. I have resumed my monthly investment deposit to my ARM discovery fund. I no longer have the time to actively pick stocks. After looking at the performance history of my ARM discovery fund investment since I opened it in 2011, I have made more from it than from the money market. And even when I was running my own brokerage account, picking stocks myself, I didn't do better. So I will just have ARM manage the investment for me and do the stock picking.

Before I quit my job last year to start my own business, I used to make a monthly contribution of N60,000 to my investment accounts. Usually split as N10,000 direct debit to the ARM mutual fund, and N50,000 split between my ARM money market fund and ARM stock brokerage account. I stopped the N50,000 one immediately I quit my job in March. And I stopped the N10,000 direct debit in September last year when I had exhausted my savings. It was just two months ago I resumed the N10,000 direct debit to the ARM mutual fund account. And now I am restarting the N50,000 one too but will have it in the mutual fund rather than the brokerage and money market fund. It's now part of my monthly personal goals.

My reasons are very simple. Stocks are now ridiculously low maybe because the new investment hype is real estate and people are now more concerned about a predictable savings in the face of the current harsh economic environment. Banks are laying off staff in thousands, oil companies are letting go of contract staff and state governments are not able to make payroll. Very few people have cash and confidence to spare for the stock market.

Nevertheless, the principle is simple and always works. Those who make the most money in stocks buy when everyone is pessimistic about stocks. When you no longer see people reading the NSE price list section of newspapers and no investment firm is making buy/sell/hold analysis on newspapers. When the news is how the stock market is at a new low. These are the strongest buy signal you can ever get.

It's very fast!
I do a lot of analysis on files that are large, sometimes more than 1GB large. Excel 2010 usually crashes when handling such large files. Excel 2013 can be annoyingly slow. But Excel 2016, it's the real deal. It handles my large data files very well and is faster than Excel 2010. And that is the first thing I love about Excel 2016.

It's got cool new charts!
I make a report for MTN every Monday/Tuesday. It's a report that pushes me to the edge of every of my Excel skills -- analysis, data mining, data visualization, dashboarding and PowerPivot. Every new tool I get helps improve my work. And Excel 2016 has been a godsend. Its being fast has reduced the pain in getting the report done. No more waiting 2 mins for formulas to populate across a million plus rows. Then it's got new cool chart types -- Sunburst, Histogram, Waterfall, Box and Whisker, and Treemap. Now I have begun incorporating them in showing new insights in my report.

It's feature packed!
New formulas. Most of which I will get to know with time/use.

Ability to leave handwritten notes (Inking).

Data menu on steroids. In-built forecast tool! And other new/modified tools.

And most importantly, I love the new interface. It's a lot like Excel 2013 but a little slicker.