Ok don't worry it's not a Bitcoin Ad.
In December of 2018, while laying out plans for the year with my mentor, he said "based on your current skills level, you should have nothing less than N20m in savings/investments by the time 2019 is over". It is August 2019, don't ask me how I am doing....because comparing what I have to the target, I have not started anything.
So in June, we heard people saying, "half of the year is gone, have you achieved the things you set out to achieve? ". Let us be honest, most of our goals this year are financial, I need to save up so I can also travel to the Seychelles, I need to have enough money to get a new car this year, I need to move out of my parent's house, I need to travel abroad, go to school, get married etc. Many goals that are tied to our finances.
It is good, life is better when there is money. Someone said "it's lonely at the top, but you eat better", Davido said "when money enter love is sweeter".
So when I looked back, examined the first 6 months, financially it was a disaster, let me not sound ungrateful, yea Thank God, made some good ins, very decent but far off from the target, so I began to ask myself...have I failed? Should I panic? What can I do to make the last 6 months better.
After thinking over that all through June, July came with the lightbulb moment, via a Series, Money Heist. Anyone who knows me well knows I'd watch Money Heist 50 times and not get tired, in Money Heist, the thieves did not steal directly from the banks, which would have been faster and easier but less rewarding, they took the a different approach.
They attacked the Minting company and printed as much money as the could, printing over 2 Billion Euros in the process. The kind of preparation needed to execute this level of work is magnitudes higher than robbing a bank.
I related this movie to my situation, went through my notes and discovered that I have been looking in the wrong place, I have been looking at the money, not looking at the Money Minting Machine.
The Money Minting Machine was me, I need to be well oiled, to be accurate, to be excellent at printing money, and most importantly to be consistent in it.
We all want financial success and there are two ways people go about it:
1. Group 1 will put their money into anything that promises to make them instantly rich, their sole aim is to get rich, damn the repercussions.
2. Group 2 want to get rich, but they are driven by more than just money, they want to be happy, they want to leave legacies, they want to teach, they want to inspire, so they are constantly trying to improve themselves in pursuit of both money and personal growth.
So I started taking stock in a different way, like the people in group 2 would. Focusing how "Me", the chicken, not the egg. Eggs get lost, but the chicken can still lay more.
What are some of the things I have gotten better at, slightly better or exponentially better at. Then I started getting happier, I was learning a lot of things and getting better at applying them.
Here are a few things I got better at and the some of the things that helped me get better.
- Focus - "Energy goes where the attention goes" ~ Unknown
The power of focus is something I have been reading about since childhood, almost everyone keeps saying focus, focus to the extent that it now sounds cliche. Fine, but it does work. No great thing was achieved without focus.
There are so many distractions that come knocking on your door everyday, the ability to ignore them and focus on your goals is a superhuman trait that we all need to learn, it can be learned.
Focus helps you stay on being productive rather than being busy.
Life changes when we decide to change it.
One of the hacks for helping me learn to focus more was taking social media breaks, I'd take 4 months off facebook, shitpost for 2-3 weeks and back to my shell, I recently took a 3 month time off using my twitter account and it has also been helpful, I am currently on a Whatsapp cutdown, 7hrs a week max on Whatsapp and I have been on track for 2-3 weeks now.
Doubled down on dropping my phone when doing important work as well, phone on silence, facedown, sometimes flight mode, on extreme days I leave it in a different room. Phones are powerful...negatively and positively, just don't let them be the boss...you be the Boss of your phone.
In learning new things and execution of tasks, focus has been my companion, steady deep focus...you lose some relationships, but are they even worth it if they always want you to be doing nothing but talking to them?
Cal Newport's Deepwork is a must-read to help with focus and high output.
- Meditation and Fasting - I took to meditation using the Headspace(there are others like Calm) app and the changes have been phenomenal, meditation has helped me become more aware of myself and whatever I am doing. Meditation is like a an exercise that strengthens the muscles of your mind. Meditation requires showing up consistently, 10mins today, another 10 tomorrow and you get better at it. When I wake up I meditate for 10-15mins before even touching my phone, I can't afford to allow messages from others determine how I start my day.
One qoute I got from the headspace app that hit hard is "It is not enough to just think about your potential. Work on discovering it, living it and making it a reality".
Used the Zero app for intermittent fasting and this has also been very helpful with general awareness and sharpness.
3. Fighting Impostor Syndrome : Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud". - Wikipedia
As a typical Nigerian, you are trained to determine your self-esteem by external validation. We are only good when we are better than the person next to us, and when we meet someone better than us, we suddenly feel inadequate again, the cycle keeps repeating itself. Happy when you're the best in the room, sad when someone is better than you.
When clients tell me nice job, you're so good. Or colleagues say I am good or recommend me for gigs, I scoff, like what the f%34 are these people saying?
I have refused to follow through on many opportunities to move abroad because I never felt I was good enough, it's funny because most of the stuff I have worked on are for US-based clients, kinda ironic.
Projects I have led or worked on from 2018 to date alone have cummulatively processed over $1m, but I still sometimes feel like a fraud.
It was the impostor syndrome, it makes me doubt myself, then I have to try to put in twice as much effort just to prove to myself that I am actually as good as people tell me.
Now I fight my impostor syndrome by constantly telling myself that I am effing good, when I sit on my keyboard, put on my hoodie, start playing whatever music I am coding with, I feel like I am the best in the world at what I do. Yea, you should hype yourself to yourself, be your biggest fan. Yo I code baby.
4. Celebrating Small Wins: I used to look down on stuff I do, even when others think it's a big deal, I have learnt to change that this year, I set a list of deliverables for every week, and when I hit them, I celebrate, reward myself and feel proud of myself for a job well done. It helps boost my confidence, which in turn helps me want to keep that winning streak going. Celebrate your small wins.
5. Out of Comfort Zone : As a programmer, I used to detest anything that had to do with marketing, I just felt like marketers talk too much, I believed in doing the work, not just talk talk. But I got to know the importance of marketers and decided to give it a try this year, as a matter of fact, anything non-technical, I wanted to also try it out. I have worked on multiple pitch decks now, documented most of the projects we have worked on, it was uncomfortable but it has been worth it so far. I now appreciate the work everyone on a team does even more.
I noticed I have been doing Product Management all this while and decided to double down and be more deliberate about it as well. I have learnt so much. It is hard writing code, leading projects and then learning all these on the side, it is hard, but you get better as you push boundaries.
We are gods. "I said, 'You are "gods"; you are all sons of the Most High.' Psalm 82:6
An extra course, a new skill, a new connection, slowly builds your empire.
You can build the greatest thing, if you can't sell it, it's zero!
Naval talks about the importance of learning to build and sell https://nav.al/build-sel
6. Books and Podcasts- Last year, I didn't read as much as I'd wanted to, but this year, at 47 books now (reading some for the 2nd time , skimming through some), I have learnt things I wouldn't have known. Some of my favorites have been:
N.N Taleb's books especially Skin in The Game
Mark Mason's - Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck remains dear to heart
Mastery by Robert Greene is another good one worth reading more than once
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferries
My Favorite podcasts have been Naval's podcasts omg so much free knowledge.
How I built This
The Tim Ferries Show
Seth Godin's - Akimbo
Steven Livera's Bitcoin Podcast
Books and podcasts are small hourly investments that compound and pay off in a few years
You must be wondering how I have 20m Naira in 8 months after reading this. If you are still wondering how, let me tell you how.
Deliberately setting myself up to being a very valuable asset, willing to put in the work, able to ignore a thousand distractions, being a long term player and willing to be fluid to learn and unlearn has set me on the path.
The thing is we all have financial success is something we all want to achieve, which is even the reason why you even clicked on this article to see how this guy made this much coding in 8 months, but there is nothing wrong with having financial goals, we all wanna be "ballers", the thing is you should focus on handling your personal growth first.
Did I make 20m? No
Am I perfect ? No, I even feel more inadequate the more I learn about how much I don't know
Will the things I am learning now put me in a good position to make that someday? Yes.
Be a Minting Machine, without you there would be no bank. Value is the only currency that has never changed.
I no get money, but I dey learn how I go fit farm am ~ Berlin 2019
I was serious with the opening...Buy Bitcoin