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Here are 100 things that made my year in this challenging year of 2020.
“Everything you have in life can be taken from you except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. This is what determines the quality of the life we’ve lived” – Victor E. Frankl
Every year, I write about the 100 things that have made my year as a way to keep a record and celebrate being grateful for life.
This year of 2020 has been filled with more challenges than most people anticipated.
It’s easy to see only the negative in this year, however, when you think of it, there are many positive things to be thankful for.
I hope you find this personal post interesting and inspirational in some way 😊.
Something special happens when you set the vision for what you want and set off to get it.
You might not get the exact version of what you want, but you’ll recognise where you arrive if you decide not to give up and choose how you respond to what life presents to you.
1) We launched our new community of Dream Makers on 29 February 2020.
2) I quit my CFO job to focus on our work here at The Humble Penny and beyond with my wife, Mary.
3) Mary gave me a lockdown haircut for the first time ever (with a lot of excitement) 😆
4) I taught a workshop for YouTube EduCon 2020 on “How To Build Connection and True Community” with an official shoutout from YouTube.
5) We flew drones with our boys at a local field during the Summer. The look on their faces each time was priceless.
6) I celebrated my 9 year traditional wedding anniversary dancing to Shina Peters’ “dance dance dance, and forget your sorrow” with Mary.
We also found a clip of our traditional Nigerian wedding on YouTube. You can watch it here.
Mary is the one making a grand entrance dancing in covered in a gold attire 😍
7) We had our first ever meetup with FJA Dream Makers at St. James Park. It was a beautiful and special day with truly remarkable people.
8) We had a staycation at Center Parcs and enjoyed a special week away as a family riding bikes, eating pancakes, doing a BBQ, doing crafts, and lots of dancing.
We also watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with our boys by the fireplace. This was a really memorable moment.
9) I loved Craig Groeschel’s podcast episode Becoming a Leader People Love To Follow.
10) My brother-in-law emerged from 6 weeks of coma due to the pandemic. He emerged alive and fighting! 🙏🏽
11) We celebrated one year of being mortgage free! This year was the year that we truly recognised the power of not being in any debt.
12) After quitting my job, I spoke with my local church pastor who told me that:
“your CFO job was a career but The Humble Penny is your calling”.
This meant the world to me and gave me more strength to believe in what I have to bring to the world.
13) June 2nd was “Black Out Tuesday”. A powerful display of unity for black lives and the black community world wide.
14) My parents celebrated 40 years of being married in December 💛.
It hasn’t been an easy journey but it has been beautiful to see them stay together all these years no matter what.
I'm extremely proud of my mum and dad for setting such good examples for us.
15) We set our vision for how we’re going to help 10,000 families achieve financial independence this decade.
16) Our son (Joshua) won the junior Maths Award for his class and our second son (Elias) won the All round “Excellent” award for his year.
17) I watched our sons cope with huge change this year due to the pandemic. They spent months without their friends but found interesting ways to stay busy by building lego models, etc.
18) We celebrated 3 years of running The Humble Penny and crossed the milestone for success/failure since we started this platform as a blog.
19) We got featured by The Sunday Times following up on the impact of the pandemic on our finances.
20) Mary and I got invited and taught a Masterclass for #YouTubeBlack by YouTube UK.
21) We created and launched One Grand Plu$ in the middle of the UK’s largest ever recession. It was our best ever product launch by conversion rate and the feedback has been insanely good.
22) I did a money workshop for Audacious Church virtually by talking about money from a biblical and practical perspective. I felt so much connection with the attendees in that workshop that although I was super tired after 3 hours of speaking, I could have carried on 😊
23) We achieved 1 Million Views on our YouTube channel about one year since we started creating. We are grateful for all the support 😍
24) Mary and I worked together side by side for the first time ever from home. It has been fun to have my wife and life partner as my business partner too.
This year, I particularly enjoyed going on our Summer walks to talk about our progress and dreams.
25) We visited Woburn Safari with our children and enjoyed a special moment of being surrounded by a family of giraffes.
26) Enjoyed multiple trips of bike racing with our boys.
27) We had 100 founding members and crossed 200 members at Financial Joy Academy
28) I spoke at an all women’s conference called MAP. This event reminded me of why we have chosen to prioritise families here at The Humble Penny.
Most of the women wished their husbands were at the event too. Watch out for our conference for couples soon!
If this is something you want us to do, let us know in the comments below.
29) My younger sister and her husband also became mortgage free in their early 30s.
30) Mary and I built very strong connections with our Dream Makers this year, getting to truly understand people individually on a personal level 😊.
We delivered 20 back to back fortnightly group coaching calls of 90 minutes each and shared more ideas than we’ve ever shared with any community.
31) I was a guest on a special episode on the Meaningful Money Podcast (with Pete Matthew) about financial and racial inequality.
This episode is the most raw that I have ever been on any podcast.
By that I mean that I told it just as it is living life as a black African first generation immigrant in the UK. No filter!
32) I was invited to a mastermind with trailblazing Personal Finance creators in America. It has been a life changing experience so far.
33) I watched my other younger sister (Jen) do some incredible things this year.
She bought her first investment property and took the leap to launch her own YouTube channel about her weight loss journey soon to go live in 2021!
34) To stay fit this year, I stayed consistent with 10K walks daily. I also started skipping! I heard this was a thing, so I gave it a go and it stuck!
Plus I ate more healthily this year than I've ever eaten as a way to stay far away from any hospitals!
35) We ended 2020 with 35,000 Subscribers on our YouTube channel from around 4,000. It has been quite a spectacular year on that front 💃🏾 🕺🏾.
Huge thanks for your ongoing support!
36) I built meaningful relationships this year with dads in my prayer group.
37) Hans Zimmer and Kano were top of my Spotify playlists for 2020.
38) This year more than ever, I understood the unstoppable power of being intentional.
39) We had the first ever street party on my road on the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
It was the first time that I’d ever seen all our neighbours out on the streets, music blasting, people drinking and chatting, kids playing, etc. It was beautiful.
40) Lockdown made us much closer to our children.
Although it has been challenging to be restricted at home for a long time, we’ve enjoyed new family routines like movie nights on Friday nights.
41) It was powerful to catch up on Kano performing on Jools Holland to his track “SYM” (WARNING: strong language!). There is so much attitude, energy and truth in this track. Love it!
Watch out for this line: “Get your paper but you don’t get complacent! If we don’t hold each other down we won’t make it!”
42) I had the opportunity of speaking with many young people this year through a number of online money workshops via partners like 2020 Change.
Each moment was a priceless experience because it felt like I was speaking hope into the next generation. What they didn’t know was that I was also finding my voice each time I spoke to them.
43) Celebrated my birthday in the November lockdown. I was literally pampered by Mary and our boys.
My day started with homemade oatmeal pancakes and smoothie, a massage and relaxing bath (as an alternative to our cancelled spa experience due to lockdown).
44) We enjoyed incredible brand partnerships this year 🤩.
These were a lot of hard work to deliver on but we enjoyed working with the likes of Experian, IG, PensionBee, Freshbooks, Ionos, Qualcomm, Indeed, YouTube, etc.
45) Watching our kids pour hours into creating their most complex lego model yet – A fighter jet by Elias:
46) We launched the FJA Partner Program and had our first ever member referral from Dream Maker, Adesanya Ayeni 🚀.
47) I spent more time than ever with my parents.
Something about having the freedom to stop work when I want and meet my parents for lunch has been absolutely priceless 💛
We’ve even had lunch sessions for the men in the family on one occasion and also for all the women in the family on another. These have never happened before except for in 2020.
48) I grew in confidence this year in my “visionary” role at The Humble Penny.
It still scares me to even think of myself in this role, but I’ve come to accept it and gradually owning it.
49) Cambridge Judge Business School invited me to teach a class on “Side Hustles and Financial Freedom” in 2021 to its alumni.
50) This powerful live performance of “Experience” and “Divenire” by Ludovico Einaudi gave me a lot of joy this year:
51) We were offered an incredible opportunity to have a Partner Manager by YouTube UK.
This has helped us to create some truly awesome relationships with various people within YouTube.
We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity 😀.
52) I met up with my good friend (Yemi) at Enish in Lewisham in the Summer after the first lockdown.
We had such a good time just sitting, talking and eating without worry. I’d missed seeing my friends face to face.
53) We received a box of merch from YouTube as a thank you gift this year. Never in my wildest dreams would I really have expected something like this to happen.
This water bottle that keeps drinks warm has become my favourite thing:
54) Mary did an incredible job of editing all 104 videos that we researched, planned, filmed and published.
Not only did she do it to such a high level, she also featured in a lot of them whilst making sure our family were fed healthy meals all year.
“Blessed” is an understatement when I tell you that I married an incredibly beautiful wife 😊
55) We had our first ever Vision Board Party with the Dream Makers of FJA:
56) I presented at the “Master Investor Show” for 2020.
57) We expanded our team here at The Humble Penny to 5 people and more prepared to better serve our readers, viewers and communities.
59) We did church in the park as an alternative to gathering in buildings. Something about still being able to meet in small groups outside was intimate and special.
60) We got featured on Sable Labs, a platform run by Idris Elba and his wife, Sabrina Elba. They called it The Humble Penny’s Guide to Investing. We are so grateful for this incredible opportunity.
61) We celebrated one year on the YouTube platform and hit important milestones such as 10,000 subscribers, 25,000 subscribers, 35,000 subscribers, etc.
62) I did 3 powerful Instagram LIVES with Adam Brooks (@Adambrux on IG) with between 1,000 – 2,000 people live each time.
This was such a powerful trilogy and I LOVED the energy of people I’d never met in the comments.
All 3 LIVES have been turned into YouTube videos here to replay:
Real Money Talk Part 1 – Focusing on investing, money mindset, etc.
Real Money Talk Part 2 – Focusing on personal development, passive income etc.
Real Money Talk Part 3 – Focusing on the importance of having a Home CFO and Chief Admin Officer
63) I collaborated with Indeed.com to talk about personal finances from the perspective of people in the corporate world.
What I loved sooo much about this beyond the fact that I sat with incredible people on the panel and had more than 700 people listening globally, was the event started with a DJ!
That DJ was Jevanni Letford (@jevanniletford) on IG and he was incredible!
64) I did my last physical workshop with 2020 Change in February before the pandemic hit. I cherish this moment so much as I made new friends and spent 3 hours teaching them all I could about investing for the future.
I remember finishing around 9.30pm and walked straight into Nandos near Tottenham Court Road and chatted with some of the guys from the class.
I was so tired but I felt I had given them a gift they’d never forget.
65) Our second son (Elias) won the spelling bee competition for his entire school year.
66) I sat on a Personal Finance panel for the London Business School. This led to me getting to meet and know Claer Barrett, FT Money Editor.
67) We became friends with Pete Matthew of Meaningful Money. He is an incredible human being and brother.
68) I got featured on ITV news re Money Wellness through the pandemic.
69) We witnessed many results and transformations from members at Financial Joy Academy. Things such as members 🙌🏼:
– Starting their own businesses,
– Increased productivity,
– Buying investment property,
– Launching many blogs,
– Becoming debt free,
– Moving from living paycheck to paycheck to building savings,
– Buying their first homes,
– Making income from their side hustles,
– Improved personal relationships,
– Generating substantial investing returns,
– Features in the media,
– Podcast launches,
– YouTube channel launches,
– Generating passive income,
– Paid partnerships on IG,
– Getting significant promotions,
– Growing their net worths significantly,
– New relationships built through accountability partnerships,
– People overcoming fears and operating outside their comfort zones,
– New habits built through 5am Club, etc
70) I contributed to a piece in the Financial Times and was also a guest on the FT Money Clinic Podcast due to go live on New Year’s eve.
71) Built a kite with our boys from my childhood memory back in Lagos. Although the kite did not fly as high as I remembered from my childhood days, it was a special moment that connected my children to my childhood.
72) Daily walks with Mary and our boys to the local woods. Each time, we tried to explore a new route and the boys often took their bikes to ride along adventurous paths.
73) Our 5 Lockdown Conversations with our Dream Makers. Each covered a different theme: i) Thinking about the future, ii) Making money outside your job, iii) Money Mindset, iv) Getting Unstuck and v) Productivity
74) Getting to know other well known YouTubers with the hope of collaborating with them in 2021.
75) Mary and I took some time out to watch Queen and Slim. A powerful love story. Our emotions were all over the place with this one.
One big takeaway for me was that when a cause or movement unites peeps, there is real love on show.
76) I planned for 2021 more strategically than ever before.
This included reading the right books, hiring new team members and really taking time out to be clear on what we want to achieve in the new year.
77) I collaborated with my sister (Pam) on two high energy videos for our YouTube Channel.
78) I had many life changing conversations with my mum whilst stuck in traffic. I learned that my entrepreneurial drive is not a coincidence.
She made some unbelievable moves in her 30s and 40s.
One story of travelling from one country to another (as a woman) to negotiate, buy and sell oil will always remain with me 😊.
Something pretty powerful happens when you reach out to people and find out that you have so much in common.
One lesson for me here is to do more to reach out to people that I believe share the same values as us.
80) We awarded our first full scholarship to Financial Joy Academy 😍.
81) Receiving 2 brand new phones as a gift from a phone manufacturer. These are now our business phones.
82) Getting chosen with a small group of others globally to receive a grant by a major tech giant. Can’t share who as this all goes public next month.
83) Surviving the global pandemic in 2020.
84) Appearing as a guest on the Mojo Podcast. Listen to it here. I was also a guest on other incredible podcasts, which you can listen to via the same link.
85) We hired Tanya Daye as our community manager.
Tanya has been gold to our mission here at The Humble Penny and Financial Joy Academy.
Tanya is shy but we have to give her a public shout out here.
86) Got the invitation to join a WhatsApp group of “Faithful Founders” who meet to pray for each other’s businesses every Monday at 7am.
87) Fans on our YouTube channel watched our channel for 169,083 hours in 2020. That’s equivalent to 19.3 years spent watching our content in 2020 alone!
We also uploaded 2,221 minutes of content, which is 37 hours (104 videos) of fully researched, planned, produced, edited and published content.
For each of those 104 published videos, I estimate that it took Mary and I 15 hours to create each one.
That’s a total of 1,560 hours (or 65 full days of 24 hours each) for two people to create 37 hours of on-screen content on YouTube in 1 year.
We also responded to 9,294 comments on YouTube!
88) Our channel was made “Creator on the Rise” for 2020 by YouTube UK.
89) We thoroughly enjoyed Joshua’s science themed party in March just before Covid hit. The look on the kids faces as various experiments were performed was priceless.
90) Featured on Inews twice about Financial Independence through this year. Here is one to read
91) Enjoyed doing the school runs for the first year ever since quitting my job. Really enjoyed having meaningful conversations with our boys during these drives.
92) I prayed more this year than ever before and more so for other people as this was such a challenging year on many levels despite all these good things that I’m able to write about.
93) Featured by Cambridge Judge Business School about our mission to help 10,000 families achieve financial independence this decade here
94) My marriage grew stronger this year. More so than ever before because I was more present at home and working with Mary meant that we enjoyed each other’s company that way too.
95) We won a creative competition to design a banner for a company and our prize was 2 tickets to Nobu (a posh restaurant).
This coincided with an extremely busy month in our lives in February 2020 as we were working behind the scenes to launch Financial Joy Academy
96) Appeared as a guest on BBC Radio 4 “You and Yours” show with Winifred Robinson to talk about how to help families manage debt. Listen here on our media page.
97) Generated a healthy 6-figure income for our business.
98) We made the most of Christmas 2020 even with the restrictions:
99) Helped more than 1,000 people start their impactful blogs in 2020.
100) Our whole family and extended family remained alive in 2020. For this we thank God wholeheartedly 🙏🏽.
WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR IN 2020? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS😀
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Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.