Year in Review — 2021
The days of everything low, high and no in-betweenness.
As with many people, 2021 was a big yearning to catch a breath from Uncle Rona and the chaos of 2020 — the year young minds felt betrayed and fought a war of identity, the year of isolation and virus scare.
The “benninging”… lol
The watch-night/crossover of 2020 was filled with high hopes as we all hope to have left behind the evils and anxiety of the pandemic — that wasn’t my case! I left Lagos to celebrate new year’s eve with family but ended up passing the night on the road after an accident (the first major in my driving career), car chassis was wrecked and the electricals stopped working. I had to pass the night on the highway in the company of my friends — Muyiwa and Seun. God bless those folks.
Last Sunday in January, I went to church then checked in at the hospital on my way back from church. That little trip ended up being the most time I will spend on admission in a hospital in all my adult life. The first two weeks of February was a mess /beginning of a mess— mentally, spiritually, physically and financially! Most importantly, those simpler times on the sickbed had me appreciating the little things, and most importantly the “loves” of my life.. lol!
Mid-year had me frustrated about all things — decisions, decisions, decisions about everything in my life! Regrets for missing out on a lot of things, the faux need to metamorphose from the uptight, “stuck up”, nerdy, workaholic and other special tags. Bowed to pressure and felt I could hide my anxiety, frustrations and depressions behind late nights… lol! It just doesn’t make sense and the exhaustion from those activities, erk!
To understand the last paragraph, you’ll need to hear a bit more about me. I have lived a life without a template; barely had anyone to look up to or copy their path. From a little boy, I have also charted the unknown paths, broken new grounds, led almost all through my career and if you happen to be in my shoes, everyone simply thinks you are unbreakable, impenetrable and insufferable. As a boy who became a man too early and without ever experiencing being a “youth” or ever in a position where mistakes are acceptable, you have to keep working harder, putting up for the spectators and far distanced emulators, failure isn’t even a word in your dictionary and you are not also allowed to enjoy the little winnings because it’s you — a superman, always expected to create magic!
The almost end
Like every Nollywood movie, this movie ends with a sweet tale. Q3 and Q4 became the best bit of the year! Light came! Thanks to friends who were always listening to the rants and the Words of caution that came at the door of darkness. I found love, life, a new strength — everything genuine from Abba Father.
This year, I am most grateful to God and to the people he has planted around me.
People that influenced me the most in 2021
- Toyin Folashade Sanni
- Babatunde Oladosu
- Tamaradeinyefa Adekoya
- Adebowale Obasan
- Ye (Kanye West)
- Kolapo Solesi
People that inspired me the most in 2021
- Toluwanimi Awojobi
- Kolapo Joseph
- Abimbola Shopeju
- Diete-Koki Charles-Jeffrey
- Odunayo Eweniyi
- Sir Ademola Aladekomo
Little winnings of 2021
- 3x income of 2020… Abeg, I’m still broke, send me $$
- Got 4 Board Invitations… Accepted some and rejected some!
- Got 6 C-Suite offers… I am still hot kek, lol! Safe to say; I’m still the only “FIN in FINTECH”
- Fundall got acquired by Emerging Africa Group and we made some major strides
- Learnt to love.. yes, this one! PS: I’m still single 😂
- Rebranded my pro-bono advisory service to Tabb — I directly mentored over 50 younger entrepreneurs in 2021 and consulted for 10 ideation-stage startups, 4 seed-stage startups and 2 growth-stage startups
- Lost tons of lessons and learnt new investment tricks
- Got tons of media interviews and featured again on radio & TV
- Wrote over 20 articles and spoke on over 15 topics on Twitter & WhatsApp community (You can join via twitter.com/afroconomist and wa.me/2348168176267)
- Got 3 big/headline speaking engagements and tons of virtual sessions
- Acquired new skillsets — Product Management, Product Analytics, Data Analytics and the latest being Python
- Registered a new company of The Boys Brigade
- Became the Captain of 29th Lagos South Company of The Boys Brigade
- Elected the Secretary/Administrator of the Lagos South Battalion Council
- Made my first Real Estate investment
Takeaways for 2022
I learnt to be me. This may sound a little bit cliche but the most important lesson in life is to understand the way you are wired and do not change your secret sauce to “conform”. Accept you’re a weirdo and try to do better, for yourself, your God, family and friends.
I learnt to love. This year, I understood what love really is. Loving yourself, your family, your friends and the strangers around you. It may be a slippery slope but don’t forget to always love without waiting for reciprocity.
I learnt to do. In the words of the wise poet, Zinoleesky; “Extraordinary things I am doing, ordinary things don’t move me again”. I learnt to be an outlier, to do the unthinkable and that I can have it all! I learnt to stop trying to be a normal human being and aim for the pinnacle, the zenith where no one has gone to. I learnt to be a pioneer and to be the landmark for new frontiers.
I learnt to know. This year, I started exploring new skillsets — Product Management, Product Analytics, Data Analytics and the latest being Python. I learnt to read more books, I learnt to know everything about everything. I learnt to love Science, I learnt to listen more carefully and discover new knowledge daily.
I learnt to appreciate. I learnt to celebrate little achievements and not to take anything for granted. I learnt to embrace my past, celebrate my present and work hard to win the future.
I learnt to differentiate “perseverance” from “escalation of commitment”. I learnt to listen to the odd voice that says stay and persevere when the sea is all trembling, I learnt to listen to the inward witness that says stop, halt and move on even when it seems the most enjoyable.