First things first, can you introduce yourself? Please tell us more about your background, how you got interested in blockchain & DeFi and what you are currently working on?
My name is John Fáwọlé, a 20-year-old. I am a law undergraduate and I double as a professional writer. Before I talk about how I dabbled into DeFi, I feel it's necessary to first talk about how I became a writer.
Like I said, I'm a Law Student. My school, like every other ones, was on a lockdown during the Covid-19 break last year. During that time, I couldn't do anything, I was so bored. Then I eventually stumbled on a Writing Masterclass that John Ajayi organized. That was when I started. At the start, I worked with a lot of clients, especially those in the marketing industry. But earlier this year, my brother also had a career transition into Crypto. It was during that time that I started developing interest in what it is all about.
Sequel to that, I landed a crypto client earlier this year, I helped them with Content Marketing. Let me say that was how I got into DeFi. I researched a lot about the industry so I could write the content excellently. Funny enough, the more I researched, the more I was personally attracted to the industry. Later I started investing in coins too. Now I'm fully into crypto, although I don't trade (that's for a reason). Yeah, I feel that's it.
What is the slight moment which changed everything for you?
I don't know, this might sound overtly spiritual, but the slight moment that changed everything for me was when I started taking God seriously. It helped me in my career. I knew what I want to do with my life. The revelations I got made me serious with DeFi - I took a lot of courses on it, researched day and night, listened to Ivan on Tech like anything. I feel it was during that time that I got to figure out what I would pursue as a career.
What have been your most important failure and what did you learn from it?
Failure? Hmmmm. Let me say that was when I didn't get any high-paying client for almost or more than 2 months. I reached out on LinkedIn, cold-mailed, sent tons of Upwork proposals; still, nothing worked. Man, I felt quite bad. You know, no client means no money. But what I learned from that is to never give up. I eventually got one client, but the pay wasn't good enough. At the end of the day, I closed bigger clients and things started rolling again.
If you could change anything from the past, what would you do differently?
Well, I wish I'd started writing earlier. I mean professionally.
What soft & hard skills have been most helpful in helping you succeed to become a writer on these topics?
The blockchain ecosystem as a whole is an emerging market. One thing I've learnt here is the ability to research. Researching a 500-word content can take you 6-hours sometimes. That's the hard skill. The soft skills I've learned were communication and empathy. I found out that proper communication with clients helped both of us avoid some misunderstandings. Secondly, empathy. I work for crypto projects as though I'm part of the in-house team. I don't just work as someone that wants to collect money. And I feel that's the way it should be.
How have DeFi and blockchain changed your life?
Honestly, thank God for Blockchain. The ecosystem is such a leverage for Africans to gain financial independence. First, DeFi has helped me to gain financial independence. As a student, I'm able to cater for everything I need - just name it. Moreso, I'm not living hand-to-mouth, I also have a lot of assets with my pay from DeFi projects. In addition, I've decided to also venture into Blockchain Law when I graduate. So blockchain is no longer a side-hustle for me, it's becoming my full-blown career; both in writing and as a legal practitioner to be.
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What is a typical day for you? What are your work habits? (Monitoring, how you work, rules you set for yourself, tools, etc.)
My typical day? I wake up in the early hours for my quiet time. After that, I'll envision what I'll do for the day - lectures to attend, content to write, meetings I might have.
What are the best resources (media, blog, influencer, podcast, nl…) you follow to be always up to date on the DeFi and blockchain?
I read more of blog posts and Twitter. Those platforms always keep me updated about anything in the industry.
What is your favorite DeFi Project?
My favorite crypto project? I feel that's WIN. I love its use case of gaming, and I believe it will take parabolic moves in the future.
Among the people you have interacted with in DeFi, who do you admire the most and why?
I can't say whom I admire most. But I definitely admire two people: Shawn Pereira & Paul Grewal of Coinbase. I always enjoy every content that Shawn posts here. The guy is good. I met him on LinkedIn too. Mr. Paul is also a legal practitioner I admire a lot. You know, Coinbase and FTX are the most compliant exchanges. I feel Mr. Paul is part of the brains behind the smooth legal experience of Coinbase with regulators.
What is your vision for your niche? What do you expect to come in the next few years? Does it involve the blockchain? What developments in the field do you find to be the most exciting?
What is on my mind at the moment is how we will take DeFi to the unbanked. I live in Africa. There are some people in the rural areas who don't use phones. Some market women who have phones can't operate it. Those are extreme cases anyway. But even at that, how can DeFi really help them? I mean people like that.
What part should writers and journalists play in DeFi and blockchain?
Writers and journalists have two separate works to do for blockchain-related topics. For writers, they should present blockchain content in a way an average man can understand. I've read a couple of blog posts where the writers were merely churning what some people have said. The posts were not fresh and value-driven. For journalists, it's simple: say it as it is. Don't exaggerate and don't degrade. Respect the ethics of journalism. In the DeFi world, so many projects you know their use cases are not strong will reach out to you for featuring, honorably turn them down.
What's the most important or impactful piece of content about DeFi you wrote? What made it so important or impactful?
I've not been able to write long-form content for a while now because I'm a journalist. I don't feel I have one BIG DeFi content. You can simply go to coinbench and read my reports on DeFi topics; each of them is my best.
What is different working as a writer/journalist for DeFi & blockchain topics?
Honestly, working as a writer and journalist are two different things. As a content writer, you want to provide value to people, and it may be opinionated too. But being a journalist goes beyond that. You need to be neutral. Don't mix figures or names while writing. As a journalist, a single mistake can even cost you a lawsuit.
Any tips for the beginners who aspire to become a writer or a journalist on DeFi, but feel completely overwhelmed to even start competing?
This is funny because I just got into DeFi not quite long. The truth is, everyone should come into this industry. Talents are never enough. We need more writers, we need more journalists. If you want to start and you don't know the exact place to do that. Please, go to the blog of Ivan on Tech and read stuff. That should give you some clarity. Before I leave, thank you Clement and DeFi Creators for having me here. It's been a pleasant ride.