23 Aug 2016



All success in personal finance boils down to only one foundation-
As funny as that sounds, it is the truth on which all other truths are built.

You might not be like me- a curious polymath who seems to know a lil about everything, and often finds it hard to choose and stick to one thing. Still, you too might find it hard to focus.
The one thing that guarantees success in life is this simple concept which someone rightly made into this acronym:
F- follow
O- one
C- course
U- until
S- successful

And the desire to put food on your family table should motivate you to be successful…starting at only ONE thing.

You have to be so good at one thing enough to make money at it before you say you want to move to a second thing. And how fast you do that determines how rich and comfortable you can become.

 I call it the MINIMUM SKILL MONETIZATION TIME- (i.e MSMT is the minimum period of time taken to learn a new skill enough to earn a regular income from it).

However, the richest people are those who do not just do the minimum…they maximize returns on the skill by investing it. That is, they continue at it till it becomes a profitable investment. In other words, THEY CAN MAKE MONEY FROM THE SKILL/FIELD EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE STOPPED WORKING OR USING IT ACTIVELY.

Don't just invest your time, invest that skill!
The principle can be summarized into two: MSMT
#2.  YOU MUST INVEST THE SKILL TO HARVEST CONTINUOUS LIFELONG RETURNS (especially after you have retired or stopped practicing/working actively).
And the earlier you do that, the better.

Real life examples of the principle at work
Allow me expatiate further….

a.       While I could use my general knowledge/’information-buff’ passion to win the 2011 ARD (‘Last man standing’) medical students quiz competition, or N1 million on WWTBAM in 2012, until I can continuously make money from that skill, say, by publishing a bestseller trivia book, or inventing and syndicating a TV game show quiz, or entering multiple game show quizzes and winning multimillions thereby establishing myself as an expert, and so on…. Until I have done any of those, I am yet to do #2 above!

b.      Michael Jordan became a billionaire after he quit playing basketball, and Dr Dre sold his 'BEATS by Dre' music business brand to Apple for 3 billion dollars in 2014 becoming a billionaire thereby. Why? Because they both invested on a skill they had mastered-thereby applying MSMT principle #2 above!

c.       In his bestselling book ‘OUTLIERS’, Malcolm Gladwell talked about the 10,000 hours rule explaining how successful people like Bill Gates and the Beatles became extremely rich because they had invested themselves into developing a skill they could market to the world. But what really made them exceedingly rich wasn’t that. #2 above was the real secret- they built a brand on/from their skill that paid them for life.

[Don’t forget this blog’s policy- any ebook mentioned on this blog that you need, email me and I will send it to you]

d.      Usain Bolt who has just completed the Triple-Triple (9 Olympic gold medals in the same three athletics events across three Olympic games) makes money from running even when he is not sprinting. So also Michael Phelps, the greatest ever Olympian who won 23 gold medals in his stellar Olympic career (five at the Rio 2016 games and 28 total Olympics all-time medals, including 1 silver at Rio-WWTBAM trivia buffs take note oh!!!). 
The endorsements, appearance fees, reality TV shows, Authorship/autobiography/memoirs, etc, that will follow is an example of investing the skill for lifelong returns.

Many people go to school to get a degree in order to get a good job only to remain in the rat race because they never invest their skill for life; by building a company, or teaching others and reproducing themselves, or writing a bestselling book of their experiences/knowledge/researches, or simply having their child continue from where they stopped.

 Yes, when you see a parent, say a Medical Doctor or an Accountant, who encourages his child to take after him, they are trying to apply this principle!

I have been investing my essay writing skills for future returns by helping my colleagues pass IELTS
I have been practicing the MSMT principle #2 of recent.
I wrote essays for my secondary school and even got the silver medal for the 2nd best overall essay of the 2001 Aionian games (How come there is no Wikipedia page for the Aionian games?!!!)

My essay writing skill is also the reason why it was easy for me to blog consistently over the years. (Yeah, blogging consistently is hard work, especially if you live in a country without regular light and Wifi like Nigeria!!!)

For a Medical doctor from Nigeria, Pakistan, India, etc to practice in the UK today, they have to first prove that they can communicate well in the English language. Unfortunately, because of the mass brain drain and emigration of medical doctors to Britain, the average IELTS score needed by doctors before they can be allowed to write PLAB 1 was raised in 2014 to 7.5 (out of a maximum total of 9), and you must not score less than 7.0 in any of Writing, Speaking, Reading or Listening AT THE SAME SITTING! (If you think that is easy, please note that the requirement for immigration is only an average of 4.0!)

So, doctors have been failing and needing to write the exam as much as 20 times over (heard that a Pakistani doctor wrote it 17 times before passing!). I have tutored 3 friends who had never passed writing till we met. The three of them have now passed writing though only two of them have passed overall with an average of 7.5 and moved on to PLAB 1. And many Nigerian doctors have written it more than 10 times!
*I did not charge my colleagues money for the tutoring oh! My reward as a teacher is in Heaven. ROTFL. And I also speak well in public but I do not intend opening a church in Lagos. LMAO.

However, I got a B2 in English in 2001 WASSCE because I failed my essay writing
Looking back now, this is a funny life story but it wasn’t funny before our WAEC results were released! Lol
As an essay writer, I was very proud in secondary school. While all my friends were practicing ‘letter writing’ for our final papers in order to score C6 in English, I proudly announced to them that I WILL ONLY ATTEMPT QUESTION #2 (the essay question number of the list of questions of the May/June WAEC paper 1. Letter writing used to be #1).

When God was going to humble me, the 2001 #2 question asked us to write about "the (merits and demerits of the) ‘extended family’". Till date, I still don’t know how extended family became POLYGAMOUS FAMILY in the exam hall. (Of course I am from a polygamous home, but the question said ‘extended family…’ Siji!)

Immediately we came out of the exam hall, my very good friend Ife Oluyemi rushed to me and asked “Siji, was it that EXTENDED FAMILY question you answered?” 

Immediately he mentioned the word “extended”, it was as if my brain opened and scales fell off my eyes (I can still remember where we were standing that day). I shouted EXTENDED FAMILY! I WROTE ON POLYGAMOUS FAMILY OH!!! So, we both ran to our English teacher –(now) Mrs Osinulu (aka Gerund) -to ask if I had failed the whole exam. She was the one who consoled me that I will only score 0 (zero out of ten) for ‘Content’ for a maximum possible 40 out of 50…if I do not make any more errors in the other four aspects they look out for.

She also mentioned that students who cram a pre-written essay and come into the exam hall to ‘download’ it, regardless of the question asked in that exam, also get 0 (zero) for ‘content’ as they have written off-topic. I heaved a sigh of relief but knew that my pride just cost me an A1 in English. Maybe I should have written the letter jeje, and gotten 5 As. Lol. Though, I still got the best student prize for my set.

You don’t have to be a cab driver to found Uber, or a computer scientist to found Apple
Zhou Qunfei
credit: nextshark.com

Now, you may choose a field of practice say swimming, and you might become the next Phelps, or just another swimmer. Or love music, and become the next Jay Z, or just another musician. Or you may rise from being an ordinary floor worker to owning the company like the Chinese female Billionaire Zhou Qunfei, the former factory worker whose company Lens Technology makes iPhone's screens. Or you may build a company of taxi drivers without ever being one yourself like Travis Kalanick, or buy a successful burger franchise from its founders like Ray Kroc

It really does not matter what you do or what field you choose, as long as you are willing to invest time to really know your onions, and can then create a lifelong income stream for yourself by investing the skill/knowledge/experiences...there will be no limit to what you can achieve.

This is my longest absence from this blog since I began September, 2014. Well, I have decided to officially hang the boots on my personal finance goal and aspirations because of

1.      Nigeria’s economic recession has affected me, and also CNL. While our programmers have gone very far, the MVP is not yet ready. We have not paid salaries since the last one we paid at 9 months of operations. Needless to say, plan B has to be activated. I abort the dream, and (in Forex parlance) STOP MY LOSS. I have told CNL shareholders- all monies will be refunded by his grace.
credicoins.com sample page
I have yet to fully settle in Lagos since I got back in November 2014. Even had to change my new accommodation due to some issue and my wedding is almost upon me. The cash crunch is real oh.  I can’t get 24 hours light, and Wifi is either expensive, or epileptic.

2.      I have quit ACCA permanently (pounds ti won.lol) neither am I furthering my personal finance dreams. The thing is, after my Eureka moment in July 2014, I started working actively on the idea behind Credicoins.com, and I had two options in front of me- either to:

            a)    Learn programming and build (i.e program the backend of) the idea myself.
b)   Or take a short cut by blogging about personal finance and the Credicoins dream, learn a lil about website development by the side, enroll to become a chartered (management) accountant, and then raise enough money to employ and manage software developers.

I opted for the easier second option and attempted to register and host www.credicoins.com/blog, but Hostgator frustrated me (you already know the story).

Unfortunately, looking back now after 2 years, after pitching to countless potential investors, and after employing and trying to manage 2 young programmers…the hard and long first option was actually the short cut. #sighs

[But I have no regrets, really. I have only found another way it didn’t work. So I move on to a workable solution. And I got so many other benefits from this option and learnt so much along the way. If you have read some of the articles of this blog, I am sure you are also glad I became a blogger.]
Another Credicoins platform innovation

3.      So, I have started learning Java programming…all so that I can really help feed so many other families too. (*see N.B below) I am using a couple of books particularly Headfirst Java, and the java community at javaranch.com has been helpful. Udemy free video coursejavaprepare.com and stackoverflow have also come in handy.

4.      I have been practicing clinical Medicine like my entire life depends on it (of course, it does. Lol). And now considering relocating out of Nigeria to practice. [The Forex rates are crazy now £1 = N510 and $1 = N390…suddenly makes working overseas the real deal. £3000 is now about N1.5 million monthly. O ga oh! 

Reflecting on things more deeply, the truth is that I am not a as young as the likes of Bill Gates and Zuckerberg were when they started programming to build their dreams. And having spent 10 years in Medical school, no one will wait for me to start learning a new skill when I should even be the one giving them money. [Nigeria yato si yankee gan oh, lol. 
At the moment, only a GREAT-paying job in Lagos can stop #4  from happening.] *still see N.B. below

I am quitting personal finance blogging but the blog and all its great articles will still be here
I am leaving the great articles floating here on the web eternally because they contain principles that are timeless. More so, I really put in time and effort towards creating them. But my Linkedin profile (page) has to change for where I am headed next. This blog will still be updated intermittently, only just personal musings.

Note that I CANNOT QUIT MY OWN PERSONAL FINANCE. Lol. How can? I will also be referring from time to time to these articles to put my finances in the best shape as the years roll by. The knowledge (of personal finance) is what has humbled me and helped me narrow down and refocus my many talents, aspirations and dream into one thing (?! one sha...lol).

In summary
Make the most of the cards life deals you. Do not complain. Be the best at ONE thing- whatever that is- you choose. And maximize all the opportunity of that ONE thing.
If you want to invest, invest actively- i.e LEARN EVERYTHING ABOUT THAT INVESTMENT before committing your money to it.

But if it is a really a passive investment- i.e one you can’t learn everything about the investment- learn EVERYTHING ABOUT THE (life of the) PERSON/COMPANY pitching the investment to you. Mostly, you will either be safe afterwards (if you decide to go headlong), or, you will refrain. (#think MMM ponzi scheme, MLMs, Forex, Binary options, HYIPs, Sportsbetting, and all things that promise high returns in a short period!).

Trust me, I have been there in the last 10 years of my life!!!

Wow! Such a long post…thanks for reading (even if you skimmed through lol).
If you still need any ebook shoot me an email. If you need help with essay writing in English, shoot me an email too, we can work something out within my busy schedule.

[N.B:  Doing two things at the same time
Concerning #2 of the Minimum Skill Monetisation Time principle, I am not flouting it by learning Java. If anyone finds it hard to feed his family, he needs to start by first learning a skill, mastering it and then shorten the MSMT towards getting a regular income from it. After you have started feeding your family from skill #1, you can then invest that skill (by moving to MSMT principle #2) in order to retire early. 

Or, you can learn a new skill #2 (#think multiple streams of income) to either help yourself fulfill a dream, or help others.
However, regardless of how big your dreams are, you need to have proven skill in that particular field of endeavor enough to be able to achieve it alone (assuming that you won't find anyone to assist). 

If you can't (or if it will take too long to achieve success with that new skill), STOP YOUR LOSS and/or 'port to another'!

In my own case, Medicine is enough to feed my family. My other skills are to help me feed other families. But I had put the cart before the horse…especially since the other skills (forex, blogging pf, entrepreneurship, game show appearances, etc) are truly not at a level where I can safely leave Medicine and still feed my family...IN NIGERIA AS I TYPE THIS!]

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