His exact words, “Michael, your work are very high quality. I have spoken to [someone up there] we are definitely going to want to engage you again in the coming weeks.”
This is a client who has given a similar job to KPMG.
Not do demarket any firm or divulge confidential information. Let’s just say that if you work hard on a skill almost 24/7 and in a very specific area/field doing all the courses and certifications that matter in that area while executing jobs for clients spread across the world and as varied as from hedge fund to fintech to FMCG to real estate to private equity firms, you will be extremely good at it. So good it would make the work of some of the other folks look not good – especially if they use hired hands who follow templates and are stretched over too many areas.
I like to define my area of strength and interest; be as very specific and narrow as is meaningfully possible. Then try to get an absolute advantage there. Try to outdo everyone else in that very narrow specific field. And I am also trying to groom my team to have the same orientation. It makes work and life generally a lot more enjoyable.
I started from the rock bottom – from a field telecommunications engineer working in a telecoms company. I didn’t start from working in a financial data analysis or consulting firm. I got my first data analysis job with Bharti Airtel subsidiary working across Airtel Africa 10 countries on a specific VAS product. I got my baptism of fire. Had to teach me, learn from higher-ups and online. Started taking business and financial courses too to better create the reports in management useful ways.
Then I started freelancing and sharing my learning on this blog (this was in 2012). I got some projects locally and many from foreigners via the freelance sites I signed up to.
I made up my mind to not deviate or follow changing trends. I was going to stick to a very defined narrow space and pick the best tools. I was going to get lots of real-world projects to hone my skills. I was going to put myself out there, work like crazy and always keep learning.
I made mistakes along the way. Somethings took much longer than expected to master. Some clients were just okay. Some were blown away. But increasingly now, most are blown away. I have been able to combine learning from rigorous certification programs, academic programs, on-the-job learning and working on many foreign + local firms entire financial reports and forecasts. Now every new project is executed with a level of finesse that combines all those 8 years of laborious experience.
I am planning to start a series of YouTube video tutorials on some of my special ways of exceeding client expectations. Will teach how to build:
- Equity schedule
- Loan schedule
- Depreciation schedule
- Scenarios for flexible plan adjustment
- The revenue breakdown for modelling/forecasting
- Expense breakdown for modelling/forecasting
- Tax schedule
- Finance Income forecast
- Working Capital forecast
- Dynamically balancing financial statements (so a client can always adjust his projections without needing to rebalance the financial statements himself)
- Valuation methods and logic
- and many more
I will try to make them into short (3 to 6 mins videos) each, as people complain about my long duration videos.
And for those who have attended our financial modelling training, I will give them the schedule templates. Also, based on some recent training participants feedback, I am creating startup financial models for different major industries and will give to our past participants (it’s part of the continuous learning and after training benefits they paid for).