2017: The Road Less Travelled

Crazy year, lots of ups and downs. Actually, quite a bit of the down, but then it started going up and thankfully, now ending on a high. I guess if my year had a graphical representation, it would kind of look like that of the price of bitcoin this year. Errr, well without the last 2weeks bit, lol.

Started the year unemployed. I had been laid off in 2016 from the commercial bank I worked at for 3 years and I decided I was not going to get a new job, even though I had some strong leads immediately after I was let go. Haha, great decision heh? Man, I was broke for a lot of the first half of the year. I had decided I was going to give this entrepreneurship thing a go. I mean, if I was going to put my blood and sweat into my job, at least I wanted to do it where I could have control over some things, you know, like when I get fired for no particular reason? Unfortunately, it also meant I had control over what I paid myself monthly, and seeing as my entrepreneurship ventures started abruptly and with little capital, my , my monthly salary were amazingly little or sometimes absent.

I worked majorly on two ideas, first was to run a facilities management company with a former colleague of mine. Not particularly fond of the job but I had the skills, and network, so, easy entrance. After this did not work out, I decided to work on my long term dream of earning money in foreign currency, and seeing as the Naira was taking a serious beating in the currency market, what a good time to get into the export business! Designated vehicle, food processing. I took my time on this one, I attended trainings, seminars, wrote a business plan, even had a willing investor! It was definitely going to work out! but it didn’t. I failed to account for the ‘ease of doing business’ bit in Nigeria and one “requirement” blew up the cost estimations I made to set up a standard mini fish processing plant.

I did not take this failure particularly well. I retreated into my shell and wandered into the woods of my thoughts. Then one day, while roaming the streets of Twitter, I saw this tweet that was basically offering mentorship.

I applied, got into the program and boy o boy was it life-changing. To cut the long story short, we had to read and summarise two books.

  1. Born for this — Chris Guillebeau
  2. Designing your life — Bill Burnett & Dave Evans

It might sound overblown, but the second book in particular, “Designing your life” changed the way I think about life. It helped me get out of my slump and got me going again, and for this I am super grateful to Manasseh Egedegbe.

As part of the many things I learnt from reading those books, I decided I was going to job hunt again. Yh, I got sucked in one more time. I did my research and I decided I wanted to work for one of two companies in Nigeria. And what do you know, after a few weeks, some guy I had been following on twitter for a while, Stephen Amaza :), posted a job opening from one of the companies I earmarked.

The job itself didn’t sound too captivating to be entirely honest, it was a Customer Success Expert role. Why TF would I want to do that? After 5 years of engineering, CFA level 1, and 3 years Projects & Facilities management experience. But I had decided since the year before that 2017 was my upside down year, and I was just going to try whatever I wanted, just because. And, of course I had wanted to work in this company because of all the great things I had read and researched about them. Brilliant young minds, solving relevant problems, and a great culture. If this role is the route through which I get my foot in the door, then heck yeah.

I applied and got interviewed. Co-incidentally, almost around the same period, a friend and former colleague had recommended me and submitted my CV to an asset management firm. I was invited and also interviewed for the position of a Research Analyst. About two weeks later on a certain day, I got two calls, a few hours apart. I had gotten both jobs! lol

Did I mention I was interested in Investment finance some years back? obsessed would be a better description, whichwas why I got the recommendation from my friend for the asset management firm. After some deliberation and consulting some people I respected, I decided to take the less paying Customer Success Expert role.

Madness, I know right! It’s not my fault, it’s upside down year.

So I joined Paystack Payments Limited :D

Three months in and it’s still the best decision I made this year. Great colleagues, interesting problems, amazing culture, so much to learn, and there’s a small window for me to chase my Data Science dream, ha!

I wake up and I’m happy. Stressed, but happy, the colours seem brighter, the air lighter, I exercise and even drink green tea now! Haha

I’m ready for the New year!

Goals summary for the new year: Better discipline and more scheduling! We doing yoga and drinking more water in 2018.

Bring me that horizon!