25 March 2017

Hafiz Adewuyi

The worst purchase decision I made in 2016 or in my life

After work yesterday, I was hanging out with Victor, my friend who is one of the few people who encourage me to keep blogging. At some point, he suggested that I build a mobile app version of the Yoruba tone marking tool. So, after telling him I was no good at building mobile apps (despite my numerous false-starts of learning it), I went further to reveal how I had invested $19 into an online Android programming course in January. The kicker? The last time I visited the course was the same boring Sunday afternoon when I purchased it. I bought the course, watched the first 12-minute video via the online classroom with the intention of returning the next day. It is now almost two months since then, but that next day is yet to show up.  

Victor mocked me lightly, mentioning how I could have gotten those same videos for free on YouTube and saying in Yoruba, how those "sharp guys" have nabbed me. Victor is an Igbo boy but if we're both placed side-by-side to speak Yoruba, he would thrash me in terms of accentuation. He went on to share his thoughts on how if he's financially motivated enough, he would consider joining those sharp guys by hiring a brilliant software developer and setting up an online coaching offering. "I would just put up a page with videos copied from somewhere else and state that I'm available for consultation within the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Saturday", he said.

Since I had shared my stupid decision to buy this Android course and I survived his mockery, it occurred to me, later on, to share a similar goof (but on a much larger scale) with him. I told him to promise not to mock me if I shared this mighty goof with him or else, I might be the next to jump into the lagoon out of the stigma. Once I said this, he told me he would rather I didn't share it because he wouldn't want my blood to be on his neck :D

At that point, the intention to share my big goof left my mind for a while. But I guess my subconscious dwelt on it, because not too long after, I resolved to share it. I wanted to face my fear which had made me keep it to myself until now, head on. The fear of being called a buffoon, or worse still, to be seen as someone who cannot improve their life to save their life.

Now that leads us to the Koko of this story. Enjoy laughing at me for the rest of this piece. It's your lucky day!

I PAID $299 dollars for an online course!!!

That was in one of the -ember months of 2016. And the very first time I revisited the course after the purchase was two weeks ago (March 2017) when I was feeling a little motivated. I completed what was more or less the introduction of the course over a course of three nights (probably at 5% progress now). And since then, I've not gone back to it. I want my money back!

The title of the course is How to Market yourself as a Software developer (H2MYSD). I can remember like it was yesterday how enthusiastic and ecstatic I was just before I purchased the course. I was absolutely sure this was what I needed to change my story from "developer who is always frustrated from being underpaid" to "Nigerian rockstar millionaire developer". At least, that's what the course promised.

What spurred me on to take the final step in this investment were the two following things:
  • The author promises a 100% money back guarantee if I am not satisfied with the course, but on the conditions that I must have gone through the course, applied the principles therein and have evidence that it did not work for me, within a year of the purchase date (I still have time)
  • I was sure that motivation to complete the course would not be a problem as is often the case when I try to learn new stuff via free MOOC platforms. For one, I needed to change my life as a matter of urgency. Secondly, I thought it was beyond my bounds of laziness to shell out so much money for a course and then fail to get the best of it through dutiful study and application
Alas. Over the next following months, I got to learn more about myself; about the truly boundless nature of my laziness. The only reminders I had of the H2MYSD course were the calls I received from my younger sister, each time the monthly $99 debit hit her GTB Naira MasterCard which I had used to make the initial payment.

I want to insert a wise lesson to end this article. But there's none. Except that I should not buy any other online course until I exhaust my current decaying 'stash'.

My friend Victor is a nice guy. He truly did not want me to jump into the lagoon on my way from Victoria Island back home through the Third Mainland bridge to Yaba that night. So he regaled me with the story of how he had paid about 50000 Naira for an offline CCNA training a few years ago and failed to actually engage with the training until it was over. Now, he regrets the fact that he lost that opportunity because he can imagine a parallel universe where he has better career opportunities from taking advantage of his investment in the CCNA course.

Have you got a similar goof to share? Use the comments section below. Thanks for reading. 


Please, don't share. My next employer must not see this. After all, my CV says I'm a fast and self-motivated learner.

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26 March 2017 at 01:55 delete

"Alas. Over the next following months, I got to learn more about myself; about the truly boundless nature of my laziness."

This is me and gym memberships. I realized a while ago that spending money doesn't change the outcomes for me. Its sad but true. So I know exactly what you are talking about. Its funny I paid $15 for an online digital marketing course last week. First time paying for an online course. I am trying not to think that it was a waste. I was hoping that I would speed through the thing now that I am trying to change careers but nope. I initially estimated 2 hrs a day but this week I have made a more realistic goal of 5hrs per week.

If you want, I am happy to help you stay motivated or rather check on how the course is going. This helps me sometimes. I am starting to think that self motivation is a buzzword similar to passion.

My worst purchase was a vacation package that cost me about $1000 which expired because I kept procrastinating the trip.

7 July 2017 at 08:34 delete

Hi Hafiz,
You are wonderful to have developed the tone marker. Very useful. I bet God is happy as well. Congratulations. Well done

4 January 2018 at 10:33 delete

We make such mistakes often when there is little time to take a decision. Do not worry and move on. There are many other courses available and do take them based on the suggestion by teachers.