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If you master the fundamentals of Excel, the rest will follow. You will understand all the ramifications and use the Excel tools in any situation

Being a full-fledged Excel user changed my life. I gained the confidence to face complex projects. I started beating deadline after deadline. I became able to express myself through data. And I gained the respect of important people in my corporate career.

Being entrepreneurial-wired, I quit my job at this big multinational construction company and started my first business, an infobusiness that helps professionals become full-fledged Excel users.

I am John Franco, Excel author of many courses like Master of Macros, Master Of PivotTables, Master Of Megaformulas, How To Design Excel Dashboards, The Essential Library Of Excel Macros For Busy Professionals, How To Save Maximum Time In Excel With Minimum VBA Knowledge And Macro Coding, etc.

I help professionals take their Excel skills and confidence to the next level using simple, intuitive and in-depth lessons and without spending a fortune in Excel training.

I keep bringing a fresh and intuitive approach to teaching and learning Excel online since 2009 to more than 10000 subscribers and more than 1000 customers from all over the world.

I was born in Ecuador, married with two children and love among other things: writing, long walks across nature as well as cities, reading, understanding how things truly work and sharing it to others.

The story of Excel Gurus Academy can be traced back to 2009 when I started my first Excel training site called, which evolved into, and then into and then into in July 2019.

My subscribers remember I have quit teaching Excel many times on my quest to pursue my other passions, writing fiction and non-fiction, farming, developing software and starting new businesses, traveling. Patience is not my virtue. I realized that I should focus on one business at a time. And that I should finish the job first before moving into something else.  My Excel job is not finished yet so here I am.

In just a moment, I will share with you some details of how I felt in love with Microsoft Excel and spreadsheet thinking…

Here’s what shaped my Excel passion and skills…

This is the story of how I arrived at this point. So, please read on.

Turning point #1 – My Excel limits were always stretched by my Excel-maven boss

For over seven years, I worked as a Civil Engineer for a Brazilian construction corporation, one the 50th largest construction contracting firm from around the world according to Engineering News Record 2008).

During that time, I had an Excel Maven Boss named Nilton. He was one of those old-school Excel gurus who makes advanced applications and dashboards without using VBA, uses the keyboard more than the mouse to navigate his workbooks, hates pivotables (because he never understood them back then) and hates the company BI corporate software to the point of wanting to tear it down. 

His almost “religious fervor” for Excel, his amazing knowledge, and the prestige and power of Excel gurus in the office, were the source of my great interest in Spreadsheets.

Turning point #2 – I was challenged with big Excel projects since the very beginning

A most interesting part of the story however, is that in order to be hired by this company I was challenged to improve an Excel Spreadsheet model done by a Brazilian expert in the field of pipe networks. It was a specific improvement for calculating and optimizing diameters in a large pipe network of an Ecuador Government Irrigation Project.

I was 23 years old.  It was more than scary! If the pipe network size were optimized by my spreadsheet model, then I would be hired…

The fact is that I knew Excel, but not to the extent to do such application.  I was very determined to get the job, so I started to research and study how to make it. I worked hard to build the model, I learned a lot from the professor’s model. To be brief… At the end, the model performed the iterations, but the optimization was far from the company’s goals. Anyway, my job was seen as a potential and I was hired.  This initial contact with spreadsheets was very challenging but a great source of education for me, and so this is how I discovered the bottomless nature of Excel.

Turning point #3 – My life got better and better

During all these years I really experienced the professional benefits of using Excel to accomplish my duties, believe me when I say to you that being skilled in Excel gives you a tremendous advantage at the office, career and in your personal life!

  • I got the job of my dreams
  • My job satisfaction increased because I automated all the boring tasks and left the meaningful duties for me
  • I got many many promotions due to my efficiency to work with data and information
  • I started my Excel blog (I had the confidence to quit my job)
  • …and so much more!

CRITICAL TURNING POINT! – I needed to do something to cope with ever-changing information

Prior to my work in this company, I used to work with small projects, where I was the single person involved in the data generation and data presenting, this meant I place the information where I wanted and how I wanted, I prepared the reports I wanted and they never changed because I conceived them like I desired. This comfort disappeared when I entered the realm of corporate world, where multiple users and data providers come into interaction. I suddenly discover that data didn’t suit my preferences any more…

  • Errors here and there (not produced by me)
  • My output formats were rejected
  • Report generation required in different formats and styles
  • Changing information in quantity and quality every single day
  • and much more frustrating things…

No matter how hard I worked, the ever-present changing-information ruined my work. Then I developed my “Excel dynamic mindset”, since then, I am able to cope with changes very effectively…

  • I started using VLOOKUP to find information even when people moved it from row to row, column to column or sheet to sheet
  • I started using VBA macros to make incoming-data complies with my preferences, to produced consistent output every time and more
  • I wrote Excel formulas only once and they kept working even when users changed parameters or moved data
  • and much more…

The aftermath

Since then I have become a very loyal Excel Lover and Enthusiast!  Having always been very entrepreneurial in my nature, I quit my job at Norberto Odebrecht in order to devote my full passion and knowledge of advanced Excel methods, and share it to others around the world who can benefit from it.

Read my in-depth Excel articles or join my Excel Gurus Academy.

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