My Journey into the world of tech started in 2011.
As a secondary student who read anything that had text on it.
I was well exposed to the opportunities that existed in the tech space.
I had a lot of questions that ran through my mind then and it took me lots of years before they were answered.
One of the reasons why I am writing this book is so that you won’t have to wait that long.
Let me also state something clearly to you.
This book won’t give you all the answers.
But it would give you a framework that would make it easier for you to figure out the things you are unsure about.
I started off my tech career driven largely by curiosity.
The first stage was the newspaper stage.
I didn’t have access to a computer/laptop or a mobile phone that was Internet enabled.
So I combed through every newspaper I could find, reading the articles and news that were Internet/tech related.
I had a little blue notepad that I used to jot down all that I learned.
One of the ways that I learned people could make money online then was Information marketing.
So I made up my mind to build a profitable career out of it.
I chose the name for my email address years before I created it.
That is why till today, my main email address is a Yahoo Mail address.
Sometime around 2012, my uncle gifted me his old Nokia 6220, and my journey on the Internet began.
I burnt a lot of data searching for information that revolved around my areas of Interest.
I discovered Jon Morrow and his blog made me fall in love with content creation and blogging.
I saw the power of online content and how it can shape narratives and ideas.
Jon’s writing was so powerful and I decided that I was going to follow in his footstep and become a blogger.
For the next four years, I spent as much time as I could learning how to blog online.
I learned a lot from both the content and community-building side of things.
I didn’t have a laptop that I would use to practice all that I was learning.
But a quote by Abraham Lincoln perfectly captured my personal philosophy at that time.
“I will study and prepare myself and one day my time will come”
I already knew enough to start blogging within the first few months, but I had to wait years to apply what I was learning.
These days, you can host a successful blog with just a Smartphone.
You don’t even need a laptop to do that now.
Table of Contents
I relocated to Enugu, Nigeria in January 2013 and it was in that year that I met my first offline mentor.
He was another example of the kind of person I wanted to become.
He was a sound engineer, and computer software specialist, and also knew how to play the Keyboard.
Some months after I met him, he started learning graphics design and mastered it in a short period of time.
He was a student at UNN at that point and I went to his Hostel to stay from time to time and learned all I could from him.
I was also hoping to get admission into UNN but that didn’t happen until 2015.
The name of this my mentor is Sir Chubby and he was the person that ignited the passion that I had for the design.
As he took his photoshop classes, he gave me mini lessons on the things that he was learning and this happened everywhere.
I will never forget a lesson on color (hues and saturation) that he taught me as we walked along the road on a certain afternoon.
Listening to him talk about design made me excited and I believed that learning graphic design was the way to go.
But with time I learned the first lesson that I am sharing in this book the hard way.
The fact that you have an interest in something doesn’t mean it is the right path for you.
Even if what you end up doing is related to that thing.
Let me explain
Clarity Comes, But Not at Once
I didn’t have a laptop yet then.
But due to the fact that Sir Chubby was always fixing laptops for people.
There was a constant supply of laptops in his possession.
I told him that I would love to learn graphics design and he loaned me one 0f the Laptops to use.
I installed Photoshop and I was ready to go.
Then the mental roadblock came.
No matter how hard I tried, I was not able to design anything using photoshop.
The interface was so confusing with the numerous buttons.
And nothing was able to help me.
Not the guidance and encouragement of my mentor, nor the numerous training videos available.
Graphics design didn’t just click for me no matter how hard I tried.
After weeks of back and forth, I finally decided that a career in design wasn’t for me.
I uninstalled photoshop.
Funny enough, it never came to my mind to start blogging which was something that I had spent years learning about.
And this shows the importance of the environment where you find yourself.
Surrounding yourself with people on the same journey as you are very important.
I will give an in-depth lesson on how you can do this in Chapter Five.
After my design career crashed right before my eyes.
I went into a semi-depressed stage where all I did was watch movies.
My mentor complained and my excuse was that the movies gave me inspiration as a creative.
I took a break from building an online career and started working at a Car Wash.
I worked at the carwash for two years before I gained admission into UNN in late 2015.
But despite what happened with my design career, I still found myself reading and saving design-related articles.
I had the drive for design but my experience with it was not tallying with my desire.
But something changed in 2019 and I became a designer.
Let me talk briefly about how I made my first million online and then I would come back to that.
Ajulu the Blogger
After I gained admission in 2015, I was finally able to own a Laptop.
And this was because the UNN Introduced a compulsory laptop program.
All first-year students had to buy a laptop from the university.
I couldn’t afford it at that point so I had to opt for the Installment payment option.
Due to the fact that I was among the last batch of people to pay the first Installment.
I didn’t receive my Laptop until October 2016.
By then, I had made up my mind that I would build a blog.
I created a free WordPress blog and start blogging.
But things were going slow.
I didn’t have the finances required to build a standard blog.
I could not even pay for the domain name and hosting and had to use the free WordPress account.
All it took for me to give up was two articles.
I started writing short stories online instead.
I signed up on a blogging platform for fiction writers and started publishing consistently.
Most of my stories did well and attracted readers from all over Nigeria.
I did that for around two months until I discovered the Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies on January 27th, 2017.
And It was through a blockchain blogging platform(Steemit) that paid top writers in Crypto.
It was a match made in heaven.
I moved my short stories to the platform and maintained my consistency.
I made $20 in the first week.
I was so excited because I didn’t need to pay anything to create an account.
All I needed was an email address and an understanding of how to use the platform.
Then I started to notice something, people from all over the world were using the platform.
Over 95% of the bloggers there didn’t know how to blog, they just came for the money.
So I stopped writing short stories and started teaching people how to blog.
All that I have learned about blogging over the past five years instantly became extremely valuable to me.
Remember the quote that I shared earlier?
“I will study and prepare myself and one day my time will come”
My time had come and I grabbed it with both hands.
After three months I had crossed $4000 in earnings which was around 1.3 Million Naira then.
Also to the shock of everyone who knew me personally, I didn’t withdraw anything until I crossed one million in earnings.
So I was making thousands of dollars monthly but not cashing out.
This was because compounding your earnings on the platform enabled you to earn more.
But I also had a level of delayed gratification that made some even believe that the earnings weren’t real.
A lot of people only believed me when I started cashing out.
Also, lots of people spent a year and above on the platform and didn’t earn as much as I did.
And that’s because they were not as prepared as I was.
So never stop growing, no matter the obstacles you face.
I will write more on constant growth and delayed gratification in the coming chapters.
Again, Clarity Comes, But Not at Once
In 2019, I discovered something that changed my view on design.
On April 1st of that year, I discovered UI/UX design via HNG Internship.
I did a quick search on it and saw it was instrumental in the building of many digital products that I use daily,
I also got drawn to this type of design and decided to check it out.
I installed Figma and it was way easier to use than Photoshop.
Then it finally clicked.
All the time that I was been drawn towards design, it was not for graphics.
It was for products.
And everything instantly made sense.
I joined HNG Internship and even though I was evicted due to my obvious lack of experience.
I started learning on my own using Youtube Videos.
I started and completed a 100 days design challenge to the shock of many.
For more details on how I was consistent, read the coming chapters of this book.
By August of that same year, I got two gigs worth 100,000 Naira each.
The first one took me just 6 days to complete.
In five months I had learned enough to net me jobs that paid me hundreds of thousands.
But as time went on, I got more clarity.
The best kind of design that I enjoyed is what I called community design.
Building a community and creating a product that solves the problems of that community.
That is what I do to date for both myself and my clients.
My job these days ends in research, strategy, and documentation.
I then hand it over to the UI/UX guys to bring it to life.
This is the type of design that I find the most joy in.
No Straight Path
The thing with building a career in tech is that there is no standard curriculum.
Everyone has their own idea of what the best approach is.
This is not the conventional school where all schools use the same curriculum and everyone writes Jamb Exams together.
One of the only places where building a tech career is similar to conventional schools is the need for the process.
It takes hard work to build a successful tech career.
Yes, you can start earning in a relatively shorter period of time, but it takes loads of hard work and consistency.
Don’t let the testimonies of others make you feel that results are instant and magical.
Anything that would have significance needs to be built.
It is important that you understand this early so that you don’t quit when you encounter some challenges.
Also, it is impossible to, be a student, have a day job and build a tech career at the same time.
You will only burn yourself out and one or two of those things will suffer.
It is either you have a day job and work to build a tech career on the side.
Or you are a student working to build a tech career on the side.
With this, we get to the end of this chapter.
Here are the highlights
- I shared my story of how I got into tech with a lot of vital lessons embedded in it.
- You won’t really discover what kind of career you will build overnight. Pick a starting point and stay committed to it, things will align with time.
- Constant personal growth is a must.
- Building a successful tech career takes hardwork and consistency.
About the Book
I am writing a book that would help you understand how to build a successful tech career.
I would be publishing six more chapters.
Chapter two is ready and it deal with ten invisible foundational problems that you are probably facing.
Read Chapter Two: HTS Chapter Two
I am sharing lessons and experiences that have helped me work with several global brands.
I am publishing the book for free on my blog chapter by chapter.
You are welcome to share your thoughts and also stories in the comments below.
I will feature some of your stories in the book when publishing.
Please share this chapter with a friend.
You are also welcome to join my WhatsApp community. I teach on my status daily.
Joining will also help you get access to the coming chapters faster.
Message me on WhatsApp with this link 👉🏽 Hello Ajulu
I have over 7000 contacts and get an average of 1400 status views daily.
Looking forward to your comments and questions below.