About Giovanni Olakunori

Giovanni is the founder of LarnEdu, a community aimed at inspiring knowledge and development by creating a safe-space for freethought and learning. He was responsible for growing LarnEdu’s traffic from about 25.000 visitors per month in 2014 to over 50,000 unique visitors per month in 2016 without spending a dime on ads. Giovanni moved to the UK in 2015 to study Mechanical Engineering and Management at the University of Edinburgh where he received numerous recognition as a student- entrepreneur. He interrupted his studies in 2018 due to his inability to pay £21,250 in international fees. Instead of wallowing in pain or feeling victimised he proceeded to pursue his other passions such as building his data science skills, restructuring LarnEdu and working for some businesses including that of his mentor who runs a top online store in the UK. He usually starts his day by making his bed, lifting heavy weights, swimming and meditating in a sauna.

My Life story

I was born in the Southern part of Nigeria, although I spent most of my teens living in Ghana and a few other countries. I speak three languages and prefer to refer to myself as a global citizen.

Early years in Africa

My parents were far from being wealthy, but they were not poor either. They provided shelter, food, healthcare, and education to their kids. My mum held a Master’s degree in Industrial Physics while my dad was on the path to becoming a professor of Business and Marketing before his life was cut short by diabetes just around the period I hit puberty. My parents held prominent positions in a church. Lying, watching television, wearing clothes deemed only appropriate for the opposite sex, listening to any genre of music that did not sound “holy” were shunned. Therefore, I took to exercising, drawing, and playing with my pets which included pigeons, snails, rat, lizards, and more. In some occasions, I would visit my friend’s houses to watch television or use my snack money to pay for browsing time at cyber cafes, and I received retribution from my mum.

After my dad’s death in 2007, my mum would proceed to introduce us to the infinite world of possibilities. She bought a computer for us, transferred us into better schools in a different country. Ultimately, this exposed us to a world of knowledge and opportunities, and a few years later, I would go on to create LarnEdu, a knowledge-sharing site that serves thousands of people from around the world every month. Perhaps my youngest brother benefited the most from this and at the age of 13 was developing software that was used by thousands of people from around the world while living in a 2-bedroom apartment in the capital of Rwanda.

The struggle

I watched my mum lose large sums of money over the years in different “investments” some of which I warned her to avoid. Despite the financial loses she suffered over the years, she remained committed to giving her children access to the best education which she sometimes could not afford. Over the years, the quest to support my family drove me to do odd jobs such as being a promoter, bouncer, cleaning toilets and more. These were mostly low-skilled jobs, which forced me to focus on building my business and acquiring more skills.

Sports

I was a long distance runner in high school, and I got reasonably good at basketball after I graduated. I joined the  American Football team at my previous university located in Cyprus. I wanted to be a running back, but my coaches(who said I ran like a horse/soldier) converted me to a defensive linebacker because of my speed and strength (at 105-112 kg I ran a 100-meter distance under 12.7 seconds). I was invited to join a few rugby teams as soon as I moved to Scotland, but then I passed on that to play football as a hobby and to focus on other passions such as entrepreneurship, swimming and martial arts.

Entrepreneurship

I have been a wantrepreneur or entrepreneur (depending on how you look at it) from around the age of 10. At around the age of 11 (and against my parent’s wishes), I sold pigeons to my friends and planned to grow my pigeon empire so I could sell to merchants. I tried to open various service-based businesses (tutorial, web development, health and fitness online marketing and more) before I turned 20. However, I was mostly unfocused and did not have anyone to guide me, so I was more of a drifter which caused me to dabble in many things without pushing to reach the end. Over the years and from reading books about Entrepreneurship I would go on to learn about the importance of focus and other essential skills needed in running a business. I also meet various setbacks that lead me to experiences and people that taught me a lot.
I am not a full-time entrepreneur yet because I still work for my mentor about 2-3 times per week but I am getting there, and I love the journey. Entrepreneurship for me is not about making a ton of money but about serving people by providing value and having some freedom.

The future

I want my future to be one where I look back with no regrets and happy I made a positive impact on the lives of many. One of the ways I have been able to live my dream is through content creation which allows me to share my experiences and knowledge acquired through my travels and meeting minds more advanced than mine.
The sense of fulfilment I get from creating a community that serves thousands of people from around the world has been one of the secrets that have kept me in the game after over five years of doing this.

I am excited about acquiring skills that would enable me to build valuable tools in the future.

Philosophy

We may not all be born 6.5+ft tall or without bodily deformities in life (which we only get to live once). However, one thing we can control is our effort in reacting to the challenges of life. Embracing philosophy from around the world has enabled me to develop a broader perspective on life, which has helped me crush depression, resentment, entitlement, ego, in a more practical way.

Connect with me

Feel free to follow my journey or connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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