Congratulation! Maverick Excel is One

Congratulation to Maverick Excel. Maverick Excel is one year.

One Year into Blogging. One year into self discovery. One year into entrepreneurship. One year into connecting with the most incredible people alive.

Oh wow….

Cant believe that Maverick Excel is one year already.

Indeed how time flies. It’s just like yesterday that I started.

Here I am. I feel so happy because something that started practically from nothing is gradually turning into a serious business.

One year ago Maverick Excel was a mere idea, a dream, a burning desire and now it’s all dream come true.

I want to use this opportunity to give a detailed report about my one year into blogging.

Keep reading. You’ll be amazed by my humble beginning.

Why I Started Blogging.

why

There’s always a reason for doing a thing. People do things for so many different reasons. It may be for pleasure, satisfy a hunger, ease a pain or for some to gain something (like money).

For me, it’s a story of self-discovery. A journey of discovering your purpose in life. And chasing your dreams in spite of the many obstacles that raised their ugly heads.

This is my long journey into blogging…

Since when I was little, I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. I don’t think there was a particular reason for that, I just loved being a doctor. As a young student who was pretty good in virtually all the subjects, nobody doubted my ability to become a doctor.

I wrote my first JAMB (Joint Admission Matriculation Board) Examination in 2013. As a young school leaver, I did well in both the JAMB exam and the POST UTME (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination).

Unfortunately, I didn’t meet up to the required cut off mark for medical students, which was about 250. I was about 26 marks below the cut off mark.

Of course, my name was not on the first list.

I waited for the second and third. And yet, my name was not shortlisted. Then, I gave up waiting for a ship at the airport.

I was advised to wait until next year. Obviously, I had no choice. So, I waited while I go look for a job.

2014:

studying

I applied again for the second time in 2014, just like every other JAMBITE. This time around, I opted for Pharmacy. I was told that Medicine and Surgery was for the high and mighty. Those whose parents were highly placed and connected in the society.

Talk of connection, I had none. Well, except an internet connection (*wink).

If at all I was to apply for medicine and surgery, then I have to be super intelligent. Talking of intelligence, I was, but not super-intelligent. That reminded me of superman. I was not in any mission to save humanity from some disaster.

I sluggishly applied in one glorified secondary school (hahaha…..that’s according to my sister’s husband….so-called university) in Nigeria to study my supposed “dream course”. (Don’t ask me the name of the university because I’m so done with them).

Meanwhile, I also applied in a Polytechnic to study Food Technology (food what?…..covering face…..hahaha).

I didn’t study so hard like I used to when I wrote the first JAMB exam. To be honest, I was already getting bored with the whole JAMB thing.

If you’re reading this post as a Nigerian, I need not tell you the level of exam malpractice that prevailed in my exam center. Everybody was into it. Teachers and students alike. It was not a matter of ‘what do you know?’ it was about, ‘how much do you have?’.

Exam malpractice is a ferocious canker worm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of Nigerian educational system. Until, something is done about it, the rate of unemployment shall increase to the extent that Ph.D holders will become cleaners and gate men. Or worse still, beggars in the street.

Looking around it seemed I was the only “foolish guy” who was not doing what every other person was doing in that exam hall. I felt lonely but was never tempted to join them.

I’m not saying this to feel good or holy.

I, Promise Excel, personally and categorically hate, detest and abhor exam malpractice in any form, manner or shape. I am so confident in myself that I can’t stoop so low to exam malpractice.

When the result was out, I wasn’t so surprised, because, like I said earlier, I didn’t study so hard. With an aggregate of 171, I knew that getting admission into the university was practically impossible (well, except I had the money to cheat and bribe, which i was never ready to do).

My last and only option now was the Polytechnic.

As much as I love food (who doesn’t any way?), studying Food technology was out of the picture.

“Food Technology is a nice course”.

rejection

“Really?” “No, thanks”

Now, what?

Wait for another year to write the Almighty JAMB exam?

Hell no!

I greatly admire the effort of those who write JAMB exam 7 times and got admission after the eighth time.

But, definitely, not me.

That’s pure madness (hehehe…as if there is an impure madness). Doing same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

I couldn’t afford to place my bright future into the hands of some hungry JAMB officials.

As far as I’m concerned, JAMB is a scam. A multi-million dollar scam business in Nigeria. It is the major obstacle to the progress of the educational system in Nigeria.

I have come to the conclusion, that JAMB exam is not for the intelligent. It is not a test of knowledge but a test of the pocket. It is for those who are comfortable in practicing corruption with both hands.

Never measure your level of ability or knowledge by your JAMB score.

JAMB is a scam and its officials are devils.

When I realized this bittersweet truth, I decided to look for an alternative. Call it a life outside JAMB exam. Yes, your right.

I started asking questions.

Why? How? When? What? Who?

The more question I asked, the less answer I got. I was upset with the norm. everybody was doing the same old thing.

“Go to school, get good grades, graduate and get a high paying job (in one Telecom or oil company)”

Talk about the “G-system”, everybody was hypnotized into believing the same old news.

Why do I want to spend five fruitful years of my life in school only to graduate and look for a job? A job that’s not even guaranteed. Sounds like modern slavery. No wonder they call government workers, “Civil Servants” (civil=modern. servant=slave).

slavery

Oh no! Slave trade isn’t completely banned yet.

It baffles me, seeing the faces of many so-called graduates whining and murmuring about their jobs.

Aren’t they suppose to be happy? Is that not why they spent five years in school? – To get a job!

I secretly became a rebel to the corroding educational system in Nigeria. Until now, I HATE school. But I love education (in the voice of my blogger friend, Alexander Orah….hehehe….perhaps, he’s the only sane person alive in Nigeria).

In my pursuit of the meaning and purpose in life, I started reading far and wide.

A poor boy like me, I couldn’t afford hardcover books. So, I turned to the world’s largest library – Google.

I read like a madman. I downloaded every ebook my 2GB memory card could take. I was always with my little phone, browsing the internet like a fowl looking for food in the mud.

Though, many complained that I was too attached to my phone. I cared less.

I was hell-bent on searching for my purpose in life. The two most important days in a man’s life are the day he was born and when he discovers why he was born.

That was how i started reading blogs when I searched for terms like, “young entrepreneurs in Nigeria”, “young millionaires”, “successful entrepreneurs” and lots of other related search terms.

My little adventure took me to many great blogs.

I discovered that I could do what I loved to do and get paid for it. Isn’t that cool? And obviously, only entrepreneurship could offer such a lifestyle. Not some boring job.

Naturally, I’ve always loved writing and storytelling. So blogging became the right option for me to start with on my entrepreneurial journey.

All this while I’ve been lying to myself. I wanted to be a doctor – apparently, that’s what all the cool guys were doing.

“Not in this 21st century” (in the voice of Robert Kiyosaki)

I knew I loved writing (talk of English studies and Literature in English, I was the best in secondary school) and I could write quite well – I just couldn’t bear myself to tell someone that I wanted to be a writer.

“For God’s sake, you’re a science student”

“I heard that author were among the poorest career people on earth”.

Another myth was that, “Africans, don’t read”

My passion for entrepreneurship and storytelling (what a combo) led me to start this blog – the fastest growing entrepreneurship blog in Africa.

Did i hear you clap? Please jam those cute hands.

And now, more than ever, I want to be a Storyteller – the greatest storyteller that has ever lived in Africa.

Call me a storypreneur and you won’t be wrong.

And I have never been surer about what I want to be/do in life than now – Storytelling.

I want to tell the African story in a way that’s unique to me and resonates with the African continent. My love for her intoxicates me. I love my Africa.

This is the why of Maverick Excel.

Don’t tell me you’re bored because I still have more story to tell.

How I Started:

How i started

Blogging was not something I jumped into. I studied it for over 6 months before I decided to start a blog. There was no article or blog post that I didn’t read. I wanted to be sure of what I was going into. Within that 6 months of learning about blogging, it took me up to 3 months to come up with a domain name.

I tried over 100 domain names, either they were taken or they sounded dry or were too long.

I was not only looking for a domain name but also a brand name that will stand out like facebook.com or forbes.com.

One day, I was skimming through the dictionary in search of a domain name when this beautiful word jumped into my face – “Maverick”. I quickly checked the meaning. Oh wow…I couldn’t agree more to it. That’s what I wanted my blog to be – the blog with unconventional thoughts.

reading

I just attached my name to it and taa RAA Aaah……”Maverick Excel” was born.

I checked the availability on GoDaddy, it was available. Buying it became a challenge because I didn’t have a MasterCard. I went to the bank the next day to order for it.

Finally, Maverick Excel was bought in 2014. At that time it was purchased, I didn’t have a laptop.

What will I blog with?

I had no idea!

I just went ahead to create a facebook page, a twitter handle and a Gmail address for a blog that existed only in my imagination.

It was around Dec, 2014 that I bought my first ever (fairly used) laptop from a friend. This was from the money I realized from selling my Blackberry Bold 5 and the pocket money from my uncle.

So I used all the money I had in this world to buy a fairly used problematic laptop. Afterward, I spent almost half the money i used to buy the laptop to repair it.

At that time I was still working as a laundry boy. Needless to say that my salary was a joke. I was working from 7 am to 11 pm. I knew that if I continued working there, I’ll never host my blog or have the time to blog.

washing

I resigned and went to search for another job. It wasn’t long when I got a new job. In fact I got a teaching job a day after I resigned. No, I’m not luck, I’m blessed. Yeah (in Nicki Minaj’s voice).

When I got my first month salary, I immediately went to Blue Host to purchase a hosting package. At the point of checking out, I was unable to complete the purchase. Perhaps, due to insufficient fund.

I went to godaddy to purchase their Hosted WordPress package. It didn’t turn out well. I terminated the service and asked for a refund. I received the refund after two weeks.

Thereafter, I went to Namecheap to purchase the hosting package. They refused to activate my account. Their reason being that I was from a high risk country. To activate my account I needed to send a scanned copy of a government issued ID card. Unfortunately, I had none.

crying child

I never gave up.

I was ready to do anything to launch my blog.

After being disappointed by this companies abroad, I decided to come back home.

“I’m coming home, I’m coming home, tell the world I’m coming home”.

After a long research, smartweb.com.ng was my last bus stop.

After so much drama, I finally installed WordPress via softaculous for the third time in a month. The first time I tried installing wordpress, I spent almost 20hours doing that. Talk of tenacity.

When I Started Blogging.

I started blogging officially on 4th March 2015. That was the day I published my first post.

First Post:

Read my first post. It wasn’t too bad for a beginner. The Greener Pasture You Seek is Here!

Investment on Maverick Excel

For those of you who want to start blogging and you think that it’s a free venture, you have to think again. No free thing in Free Town. If you must earn from your blog you have to invest. The investments I have made on this blog are;

  • Domain name
  • Hosting package
  • Facebook ads
  • Internet connection
  • Ebooks
  • Fairly used laptop (repairing and maintenance also)

I have spent close to #80,000

Monetization:

I have tried all the monetizing method under the sun. From ad networks to affiliate marketing. I have not earned so much from these mediums.

Indirectly, I’ve earned some cash (a few thousands of naira) from writing articles for other blogs, mostly, as a ghostwriter.

If I want to look at the money I’ve spent compared to what I’ve earned, I would have quit blogging since the first world war (hahaha).

It’s not always about the money. It’s about doing a thing with an unwavering purpose and hope.

My Struggle as a Blogger in Nigeria:

  • Unreliable payment system: There is no payment system in the world as powerful and secured as Paypal. Unfortunately, Nigerians can only make payment but can not receive or withdraw with their Paypal account.
  • Lack of constant power supply: This post was supposed to have been published on 4th March but I was unable because of power outage.
  • Expensive/ slow internet connection: Access to the internet is still a big problem in Africa. It is either the cost of internet connection is too expensive or it’s too slow (that’s after buying it costly).
  • Plagiarism: No thanks to “copy and paste” bloggers who copy your article without due permission or a backlink.

Statistics:

Number of posts: 101 Number of comments: 127 Top commentators: Anthony Okolie and Darlington Okafor. Alexa Global Rank: global flag  766,129 (click here to see the latest ranking) Google Analytic: This analytic changes from time to time. This is the latest analytic as of the time of publishing this post analytic2 Monthly visitors: over 42,000 monthly

Pageviews: over 81,000

Bounce rate: 12.51%

Facebook Page likes: 330 (like my page here: Maverick Excel)

Twitter: 2201 followers (Follow me on Twitter here: Maverick Excel)

Google+: 50 followers ( follow )

Instagram: 223 Medium: 280

Guest bloggers: 5

Top 5 Posts According to Google Analytic with over 10,000 pageviews

(Guest Post on Ogbongeblog.com): 18 Most Profitable and Marketable 21st Century Online Skills for Young Entrepreneurs

Achievements:

As seen in –

Ogbongeblog ( 18 Most Profitable and Marketable 21st Century Online Skills for Young Entrepreneurs )

TheTotalEntrepreneurs: Seed Investment Funding Options For Startups In Nigeria

Cashrange: Can I Become Rich By Working For Somebody

Tush Magazine’s October Issue

Blog of the Week on Ogbongeblog.com

And my highest achievement is the connection I’ve made online with the most amazing people on planet earth.

Appreciation:

I want to take this time to appreciate everyone who has helped the progress of this blog in one way or the other.

  • My heartfelt appreciation goes to God Almighty who has given me the grace to start this blog and the wisdom to figure out things whenever something goes wrong.
  • My mum: Thanks for tolerating my habit of staying up late at night to update my blog
  • My Uncle (Sir Darrel): It was the pocket money you gave me that I used to buy a fairly used laptop for my blogging. Thanks, Sir D
  • Erick Saakee: When my domain name expired last year and I had no money to renew it, you willingly gave me the money without accepting a refund. Thanks, bro of life.
  • Mary Mary: Thanks for your support and encouragement. You’re the lady.
  • Abigail Okon: You never stop asking me how my blog was doing whenever we met. Thanks, sweetheart of life.
  • Judah Robert: Thanks for always asking me about my blog. It makes me feel that someone cares about what I was doing. Thanks, Sir Jay.
  • Promise Akpan: Thank you namesake for your encouragement.
  • Chinedu: Since the day you repaired my laptop, I’ve never had any issue with it again. Every kobo you charged was worth it.
  • Jide Ogunsanya: Thank you for your all time support. Despite your busy schedule, you never ignore my emails. Thanks also for giving me a chance on your blog. Your influence has helped boost my blog’s brand. Thanks, Sir Jide.
  • Jay Marshall: I call you the “fountain of living ideas”. You never fail to coach and put me through whenever I’m missing it. You give me your premium consultation for free. And you never fail to give me an honest opinion on a thing. I hail Sir Jay
  • Best Man: Yeah. You’re the man. The real deal. You risked your hard-earned money to help me renew my domain name. If there’s anyone i should call “bro”, you are the one. Even when we’ve never met or known for a long time. Sometimes, your willingness to help me baffles me. Thanks, Sir BM.
  • Anthony Okolie: ah broooo…..my brother from the other side (the moon….hahaha). We just met recently, online and it seems we’ve known each other forever. Your support and encouragement energize me. You’re my biggest motivation. You made it as a point of duty to always comment on my blog anytime I publish a new post. Ah! Only a brother can do that. Thanks bro.
  • Deon Dazy: Another brother from the other side. You never stop teaching, encouraging, supporting and coaching me. The day you told me that I can write was one of my best moments in life. You’ve supported me beyond words. Thanks a billion. And I forgot to add that Deon is the best web developer in the world.
  • Alexander Orah: The most controversial and the weirdest guy in the universe. The idea guy. A true entrepreneur and blogger (he calls himself the automated blogger…..i’m yet to find out the meaning…lol). You are one of the most amazing people I’ve met online. You taught so much for FREE. Thanks a zillion Sir Alex…And did I say he’s the smartest guy alive?
  • Alexander Enyindah: Call him the social media wizard. Engagement master. Knowing you was one of the best things that has happened to me. You’ve also connected me to the most amazing people on planet earth. Thanks, Sir Alex.
  • Abass Triola: Your blog post has shaped me into what I am today. There’s never a dull moment on your blog. You deliver nothing short of immense value. You changed my perception about online business in Nigeria through your FREE premium ebook, “How To Make Money Online in Nigeria”. Thanks a lot, Sir Abass and your business partner, Sir Akaahan
  • Dillon Marcelin: All the way from Florida you encouraged me like you knew me before. Thanks so much for your every word of wisdom.
  • LivingChic: All the way from UK you showed me so much support. Thanks a million madam
  • OAK FORUM (former Blogger Forum): This is the best online forum on planet earth. The members are exclusively concerned about helping others. You guys always share only accurate knowledge. I wonder what my life will be without you guys.

Time and space will not allow me to mention everybody who has helped the growth of Maverick Excel in one way or the other.

If I didn’t mention your name, it does not mean that you’re not important.

I appreciate everyone equally who has been there for me in this journey of life.

I wanna say a big, fat, huge, massive, gargantuan, enormous, gigantic, “THANK YOU” to all my esteemed readers from all over the world. Thanks a zillion.

Interview: 

I also want to appreciate these awesome people who have given me the rare opportunity to interview them on Maverick Excel

Way Forward:

  • First of all, I’m getting a premium theme for my blog since I’m still using a free one.
  • Buy a brand new laptop.
  • Increase my blog traffic to 10,000 daily visitors, 1,000,000 monthly page views.
  • Increase my twitter followers to 200,000
  • Facebook Page like to 300,000
  • Increase email subscribers to 10,000
  • Increase blog comment to at least 50 per post
  • Start podcasting
  • Start creating videos for my youtube channel.
  • Write more quality and useful content.
  • Improve my writing skills and become a better storyteller.
  • Start selling direct ad space to companies and small business.
  • Start creating courses and tutorials.
  • Get serious about affiliate marketing.
  • Venture into proper Freelance writing.

Thanks for taking the time to read this super long report. Please show your support by dropping a comment below. If after reading this report and you refuse to drop a comment, it’s like coming to my birthday party without telling me a happy birthday.

I have a dream. One that is bigger, higher and deeper than me.

Soon, Maverick Excel shall be the hub for all Entrepreneurs across Africa.

Thanks for being part of that journey and dream


The original post was first published on 11th March, 2016


For some reasons I don’t understand, the original URL of this post have been returning error 404.

I’ve tried everything humanly possible to fix it but couldn’t.

Hence, I created a new post entirely, although, with the same content.

Sadly, I have lost all the comments and shares on the original post.

I have done this to keep my story alive to inspire others.

If you’d like to see how the original post looked like with all the comments and shares, you should click the link below:

Congratulations! Maverick Excel is One (Archived Page)

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