2018 really over? Yes, it is!

It’s the end of the year, yay!

I’d be honest, for the life of me, I couldn’t necessarily figure out how to review this year. Now, don’t get me wrong, there was definitely a lot that happened this year.

I’ve written a lot about my highlights and experiences this year. So why not review you should ask?

Here’s why, see  I didn’t have any new year resolutions (sure, you’ve outgrown this too by now). In fact, for the major part of the year, I tried to journal daily, instead of waiting until the end of the year. For the days, I couldn’t I tried to write at the end of the week, and this December in particular, I spent time every day writing about 3 different things I was grateful for.

The truth is I really just wanted to be a better person in all areas especially in: my relationship with people, my career, and my finances. I challenged myself, oh I really did; moved past my comfort zone and found out a lot about me I didn’t even know.

What did I do differently?

I spent a lot of time with ME, and I was more intentional with TV time. Now that I think it really, twas less TV for me and more YouTube, a lot of YouTube.

In short, let’s talk about our favorite YouTubers of 2018. This one’s been brewing for a while, particularly because even I saw the change in me when I started being intentional about what I watch on YouTube. These ones inspired me in several ways; some confirmed God’s Word to me, some propelled me to go forward with my Christian walk, and some taught me things I needed to know more about (I’ve added their YouTube channels and Instagram handles below)

My top 10 YouTubers of 2018

1. Ty Bello 

Not your typical YouTuber, but her channel remains on my top list. Remember the Greenland album from 2006, this is one album I cannot stop listening to. @Τy’s songs, her carried me through some tough times. Some months back, there was just a cloak of sadness and so much uncertainty around me, I was very worried, anxious and unsure. One day on my way to school I downloaded and listened to almost every song on this album, and oh how my spirit was lifted. The words were so apt..God interrupted my intentions through unexpected interceptions, perfect timing.

Sometimes, I still wonder about how relevant and evergreen the songs are. But I’m also happy that I’m not alone, knowing someone’s been where I’ve been and got through is enough hope. These days, I just binge listen to the songs on TY’s channel, especially the spontaneous songs. I’m hoping one day, I can do the same with my gift.

2. Heather Lindsey

If you don’t know Heather, hmmm what do I say🤔?

Heather’s messages and quotes are almost like she’s in my head. What I love the most about her is her walk on obedience. Just knowing that someone else has been there and that I’m not alone on my faith journey, and of course, God is real.

3. Stephanie Ike

I’m still not sure how I found out about Stephanie, but I’m so grateful I did. I love her passion for teaching and how down to earth she is, and of course because she’s Nigerian (shoutout). Stephanie is real, you guys like she doesn’t mince words and she’s such a water walker

4. Michael Todd

Oh, Pastor Mike of Transformation Church is such a vibe! His relationship series (1-8) was so liberating. Talk about timeliness, it was just what I needed when I found it. After this, his sermons became one of my go-to sermons especially on days I was too lazy to go to church.

5. Sarah Jakes Roberts

Girl! Girl!! Girl!!!

Sarah is fire. Like how can you be so gentle, yet so fierce? Sarah’s messages propel me to let go, to not settle for safe, and to trust His timing.

Need I say no more? Just check out everything you can find on Sarah Jakes Roberts, and thank me later.

6. Sisi Yemmie

Of course, I know you know SisiYemmie. In fact, YouTube Nigeria is synonymous to SisiYemmie..hahaha. Let me just brag and say I’m a better cook because of Sisi Yemmie’s videos. My best of her was a video where she lay it bare and told of the struggles coming up with ideas on her own without a mentor to look up to. This is so my story, and I’m glad that Sisi Yemmie has gone through everything to build a global brand. I’m tapping into this wisdom too. Amen, Amen!

7. Afua Osei

Gosh, I love Afua’s sense of humor any day. I’m not sure which one gets me more, her snazzy posts or her ‘Boring Entrepreneur series’, which is

I love the truths she dishes out in Last time I heard Afua speak, she said: “You have no business doing 5 different things badly when you haven’t done one right”.

8. Tomie Balogun

Tomie is new to YouTube, so I’m happy I was already stalking her on IG and knew when the YouTube channel went live. Her ability to break down money matters with such simplicity and poise is so endearing. No wonder she’s the real Millenial Investment Expert. Kudos!!!

9. Tosin Alabi Ade-Aibinu

Tosin, Tosin, Tosin! This one is a surprise to even me, but I love Tosin’s personality and positive energy, her dress sense, and her relationship/marriage talks (because you need all the sense in the world)

10. XXX

Number 10 is your slot.

Wami's Words (2)

Tell me, who’s one YouTuber you’re grateful you found out about this year?

Overall, this year, just like last year, I’m grateful for life and looking forward to smashing more goals/breaking new grounds.

I’ll go with 2019 is that year of quantum leap!!!

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Highlights from WIMBIZ 17th Annual conference (1)

I’ve always wanted to attend the WIMBIZ conference, especially when I found out some of my favorite career women were either founding members or part of the council. Women like Ibukun Awosika (chairperson of Firstbank), Foluso Gbadamosi (Super advocate for women in tech), and of course Olubunmi Aboderin-Talabi (for her classy demeanor and work with Clever Cloggs publishing).

Need I say any more? WIMBIZ has an amazing network of women at different rungs of the career ladder, and since I’m finding my way back into the career web (after a short stint away for my MBA), I thought it was one of the best ways to inspire me and ofcourse meet and connect with amazing women.

So enough said. Ofcourse, you know I couldn’t type/write everything from a 2-day 9am-5pm packed event. I’ll be honest, I also didn’t sit still throughout the session, sometimes I went out and some other times I was trying to catch up with other engagements.

Anyway, I’ve decided to break this down into two posts. So here’s Part 1 of my WIMBIZ 2018 highlight

Speaker lineup

Let’s start with the agenda/speaker line up

Highlights
Mr Austin Okere‘s suggestions to reduce the gender divide were quite something.
  • Stand up to be seen, speak to be heard
  • Don’t be bothered about what people will say. Have you noticed how when a woman on heels falls/trips, she looks around to see if anyone saw her fall. Sometimes at the expense of checking if she didn’t get hurt.
  • Do not be bothered about what people will say. -Austin Okere

    • If you don’t make mistakes you’ll never learn. Embrace the mistakes, they’re part of learning
    • Do not look outside yourself to estimate your success
    • Claim your space at the table
    • Make your partner a real partner
    • Do not leave before you leave, don’t shy away from Strategic roles. Stay in the zone until you have to go.
  • Because it first takes winning in one’s mind to win on the outside, Mr Okere suggested these golden nuggets
    1. Exchange affirmations for accomplishments (an early no is better than a delayed no)
    2. Exchange security for significance
    3. Immediate victories for longterm performance (invest in things that last)
    4. Use WillPower, WayPower, Weightpower

    Without commitment, you won’t start. Without consistency, you won’t finish

    My all-time favorite was from Mrs Osinbajo. In fact hers had to be the most heart-wrenching message I have heard in a long, long time. It wasn’t any long message or how-to’s on being a successful woman, or even a lecture of the 5/7 steps to being unstoppable, it was different, it was pure, it was personal.
    She was so gentle yet so authentic and truthful you could almost cry, I’m serious some people teared up. These were my lessons from her on being unstoppable:
    1. YOU are unstoppable but first, you must know who you are.
    2. To be unstoppable, you must be you. Be true to yourself and to yourself be true. To be you, you can’t be everyone else, you must be the only you that there is.
    1. Don’t wait till you’re asked. Take steps. Crawl, Walk, Fly. She told of a story of how her dreams of being able to bake from her teenage years made it possible to be able to bake for her daughter. In her words, dreams can come true. Make sure your dream must not die, it is the dream in your heart is what makes me unstoppable
    2. It’s better when we all move along and not just me.
    3. When they say to you as a female to be more like a man in a masculine world, ask them “Who said so?”
    4. Just fight every opposition to being you.
    Now take a deep breath and think on these things. No really, think about it.
    Without sounding too cliche, My interpretation of this is about being in touch with the inner you, the you you’re trying to find.
    I once saw someone’s tweet on finding self, his claim was that motivational speakers lie to people when they always say to be successful you need to find yourself. Here was my response. Do you agree?
    So tell me, what’s your takeaway from my takeaway?☺️
    Also if there’s any session from the agenda you are interested in knowing more about, please comment here or DM me on IG. I’ll be sure to respond.
    With love,
    WamWam

    Highlights from WIMBIZ 17th Annual conference (2)

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    Hey there. It’s exactly a month from WIMBIZ’s 17th Annual conference. For one, it sure took a while to put down all the lessons/highlights from this packed and eventful conference, so I decided to split this into two parts.

    You can check out Part 1 here.

    Here’s Part 2 of my highlights from WIMBIZ conference

    Iyin Aboyeji’s advice on doing better in education

    • We need a more world-class Minister of Education. And women can take the position of this. No more bad education
    • Creating institutions that can create talent
    • We need more policies that include more women
    • Volunteer and teach skills and pass them on
    • Everyone needs to take intentional steps

    Begin with the end in mind (Abiola Adekoya & Esiri Agbeyi)

    Financial planning is essentially living life now in anticipation of future life. Biola’s advice: every time you spend now, you might be depriving achieving a future dream.

    On managing streams of income, both advise to

    • Have a solid balance of passive and active income
    • Understand risk appetite and risk profile
    • Be consistent. It’s not how much you start with, you need to be consistent to achieve a certain level of investment/savings
    • Understand what you’re putting money into (if it offers a return to good to be true, there’s a bubble in there)

    So what can I put my money into, we asked.
    -Liquid assets (cash instruments- FD, TBills)Talk to the bank
    -Bonds (Eurobonds & FGN bonds)
    -Stocks
    -Alternative assets (like investing in a company)
    -Property (real estate)

     Career and work-life balance

    • Identifying suitable mentors
    • Watch people from afar and pick from them
    • Sponsorship and mentorship are important
    • Make sure to give back
    • Balance Politics in the workplace
    • Let people know your value system
    • Help the children understand you and your work
    • Study your husbands work life balance and make good use of your free time
    • It’s about quality not quantity. As women in the workplace, you can remotely connect to your family
    • Don’t ever let anyone tell you it can’t be done because it’s been done over and over
    • Behind every successful woman there’s a man
    • Communication & Information is key. Make it work
    • Be aware of the wife/mom guilt, don’t let it hold you down. Drop the guilt.
    • Always remember you. Like during emergency in an airplane, put your mask on first before helping others

     

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    Thank you for reading.

     

    #NoLongeraNewbie: Moving Back Home

    It’s been officially 112 days (yes I counted, I like counting in days these days haha) since I returned home, so this post is officially late very very very very late.

    So why bother writing? Because it’s my way of keeping myself accountable for all the promises of blogging consistently I’ve made to myself this year. I also wanted to put this out there to encourage someone out there on the need to be bold and leave their comfort zone.

    And while I can’t say leaving my comfort zone has been smooth sailing, it sure has been more positive than I imagined. It’s also led me to more growth, essentially reminds me of a quote of Ginni Rometty (President/CEO of IBM) which I like very much.

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    So let’s backtrack.

    Moving to Greece

    I got my offer to come study on a full scholarship in Greece in May 2017 (precisely 24th May 2017), and needless to say, I had mixed feelings. Mixed feelings because I didn’t want to bear the thought of losing my somewhat comfortable (away from my parents) accommodation, resigning from my seemingly comfortable job, giving up the car (as faulty as it still got), all to become a student and start all over again.

    Since it was a fully-funded scholarship, it made more sense to take the leap. So I gave up my house in Lagos, sent my car to my folks in Ibadan and in 2 weeks, I was off to Greece.

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    Our airport picture but my dad cannot stand still for a picture..sigh

    Most of my reflections started on the plane. I realized I had taken a huge step and made my peace with it. I decided this was a new canvas a chance to try again, and this is what I did.

    In a few months, I found peace, I found self, I found me. Annnnd 10 months of being a newbie went by so fast.

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    Newbie mode

    By mid-July, I was done with my coursework, classes, and project. I was just counting down to moving home. Did I mention that I missed home badly? Yes, I missed home. When I say home I mean family, close friends (emphasis on close), and loved ones.

    Coming home

    In the weeks leading up to coming home, I did a lot of thinking, I was hella nervous and mostly worried about what next. I wrote down all my ‘supposed’ plans, went through most of the things I had written down earlier in the year, and also took time out to pray.

    On that prayer part, I actually took out three days to fast and pray non-stop, I mean 3 days without my phone/social media. At the end of my 3-day time off, I had regained confidence in myself and just inner peace that all was going to be well.

    Even though I wasn’t exactly sure about what next especially on the job part, I held on to Eph 3:20 concerning my next phase.

    Home Sweet Home

    My sister/brother-in-law came to get me from the airport and we went straiiiiggghhhhttt to my folks in Ibadan. I know it wasn’t that long, but may be it was just food or just knowing I didn’t have to worry about some basic things at home (I can be lazy like that). It was really their company and freeeee foooood though, but as you’ll soon find out, it disappeared pretty fast.

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    Expense Sheet

    My expense sheet/planner was actually labelled Nigeria we hail thee.

    My first shock coming back home was how easily the day got filled up with all sorts of activities. My folks live in another state (Ibadan), not too far from Lagos (where I worked), so  I hadn’t been with them for the longest time.

    Almost every Nigerian parent is happy to pile errands for their children to run. Mine was no exception, the lovey-dovey died by Monday morning with a list of to-dos my mum had lined up. My dad, on the other hand, had handy/car/mechanic related stuff to do.

    Speaking of car, one of the things I so wished for on my return was having a new car. But my account balance versus my dream care were not really aligning. Hmmm, there’s a lot of story in here so I’ll just summarize and say Yo, I got one of my dream cars.

    Back to expense, before moving home I made an estimated budget sheet I titled Nigeria we hail thee. In the first few weeks, it seemed all nice and dandy, and I lowkey felt buoyant. Then the longer I dwelt into Naija, the more my money disappeared. Chai, like joke like joke, all of that budgeting quickly went out the window, and I was fast running out of money with no income. Well just in time, I got an offer (I’ll share more of this in due time) that could pay my bills and give me an opportunity to do what I love (operations and business process improvement using technology)

    Personal development

    When I reflect now, I see how important me-time helped me grow. And so while making plans to move back, I started to mentally carve out how to make some me-time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to put yourself out there, network, meet friends, make friends, etc. But it’s equally important to spend time with you. Spend time knowing you, the inner you, spend time learning your strengths, spend time learning what you like/don’t like. Spend time reflecting on your past and present, identifying areas for future improvement. In other words, spend time dating yourself.

    So what next?

    Well, I officially graduate in less than 3 weeks. I’m getting nostalgic just thinking about it and can’t wait to share my lovely experience on returning to Greece.

    I’m not sure if it was Greece, or just the opportunity to be away without having to think about bills, worried about Lagos traffic, or be caught up at many events. It’s safe to say that I’m grateful I took that leap of faith, Greece gave me a jump start. Thank you Greece!!!

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    Notice how at the beginning, I mentioned how I was stuck on feeling uneasy with leaving my previous job, accommodation and giving up my old car. Well, I’m back and literally have double of where/what I held on to so firmly.

    My biggest lesson here over the past year, is really not to be scared of change. There are so many opportunities beyond our little bubble.

    Take that leap of faith! I’m also here to talk if you need some encouragement/support/advice.

    With love,

    WamWam.

    TheNewbie: Series 10 (Mykonos)

    Mykonos!!!! (This was back in May, so technically this post is exactly 2 months overdue..eek)

    I was in between tons of papers, projects, exams, and just wanted to cool off. So I had planned a Mykonos trip with a friend (she later bailed on me..judge yourself when you read this..lol). I mean what better way to cool off than by visiting the popular destination Greek island.

    Leaving Athens

    Well, my trip didn’t quite go as I imagined. I stayed up the whole night, yes the whole night from 10 pm to 6 am trying to finish up a 30-page coursework. My boat ride was by 7:30am and the port was about an hour from me. So I basically shut down my laptop, took a shower, and rushed out to the metro station. Arrived in good time, and then tried to settle in. And then it started, it was so windy, I was so unprepared, I got cold, shaky, and then started feeling dizzy and nauseous.

    Goodness, it was the weirdest thing ever. I tried to puke but I couldn’t. Luckily, there was an Argentinan lady (Jenny) who was kind enough to offer some help. She made me sit still while raising my head, and then called the first aid officer who gave me some lime and a pill. We went inside and tried to get some seats (got the free seating arrangement..what a disaster), and then the pill kicked in, I slept like a baby and the nauseating stopped.

    Hello Mykonos

    We finally arrived Mykonos at 12:40pm (yes it was a 5-hour boat ride) but I forgot about everything as soon as I saw the blue skies and the white walls. I stayed at Paraga Beach Hostel, which was a 30-minute shuttle ride from Mykonos port. I checked in and took a time out to visit the city center – Fabrika.

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    Local shop owners became my photographers

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    Bump to Delos

    I strolled for some more, and went to the travel agency to try to change my ticket dates (but it was overbooked). The agent told me about the Delos tour which was only 30 minutes from Mykonos. By now, you’ll think I’d have learnt from the boat ride to Mykonos, but I totally forgot. I got on the Delos boat before I remembered how badly sick I got. Luckily, the ride was shorter and I tried to suck it up this time.

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    Can my dress stay still..haha

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    Hello Nightlife!

    The weirdest thing happened on my way back to the hostel. Our shuttle bus (the last one for the day) wouldn’t start and so we all had to get on another shuttle. Twas scary because I didn’t know anyone or know my way around. Luckily, there was another girl who wasalso going towards the same area, we walked together annnnndddd it was her friend’s birthday so I got to hang out. You’ll think that I’d be tired already from a sleepless night to a full adventrous day. I just figured I’ll find some time to sleep anddd off we went to Semeli bar. Goodness, the nightlife in Mykonos is something else, this is where I basically almost lost my home training. No no no, I’m not saying anything more (what happens in Mykonos stays in Mykonos).

    Bye Mykonos!

    By Sunday, I was bidding Mykonos goodbye. In these two days, I had met lots of strangers, made new friends, and ticked something off my “not-so-long” bucket list. Oh, and I got some pills for the boat ride this time so I sleeeepttt throughout the entire ride.

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    Bumped into Jenny at Fabrika

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    Sunset as we arrived in Athens