5 Things Africa’s Richest Man (Aliko Dangote) Taught me That i will Never Forget in My Life


Do you know what it takes to build a successful business empire and be the richest person in  a continent like Africa?

As an entrepreneur with a busy and hectic life style, I often look out for successful business men to emulate. I have been following the life of Ahj. Aliko Dangote closely  and he is one man I love and respect a lot.

It’s no longer news that Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Africa; with a net worth of over $21 billion, the Nigerian businessman’s Dangote Group controls vast holdings of commodities, real estate, and telecommunications projects.

He’s been a businessman since he was a child. While he was in primary school in the 1960s, the young Dangote would buy boxes of sweets and sell them at a profit to his fellow classmates. After studying business at the University of Cairo, he started the Dangote Group at the age of 21.

Anyway, here are the five things he taught me.

1. Start small but dream big

In one of his speech, Dangote said that “I built a conglomerate and emerged the richest black man in the world in 2008 but it didn’t happen overnight. It took me thirty years to get to where I am today. Youths of today aspire to be like me but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work. To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme.”

Did you just read that? Start where you are and with what you have. It pays to star where you are, what you have is enough. If you believe what you have is enough, then it will be enough for you. All successful men had problem of capital. Check our Google, CNN, Facebook, Bill Gate, etc, these brands and persons had capital problem.

2. Networking

Have you ever heard  that is is not what you know but who you know? This is true in business also. As a entrepreneur, you have no reason why you should stand alone, you must meet and network with people. You cant make it alone.

Dangote said “I agree with the idea that business connections is a great business success secret. Aliko Dangote has a strong business network and political connections. I also agree that by increasing your corporate social responsibility, signing joint ventures and partnership deals, forming strategic alliances, attending business events and parties, making political donations and paying courtesy visits to those at the helm of affairs, you can build your connections and strengthen your network in the business world”. Need i say more?

3. Hardwork Pays

Success doesn’t come by chance, it comes by deliberate effort towards a particular goal. “I enjoy myself a lot but I derive more joy in working. I believe in hard work and one of my business success secrets is hard work. It’s hard to see a youth that will go to bed by 2am and wake up by 5am. I don’t rest until I achieve something.” – Aliko Dangote

I disagree with Dangote here though because there are youths who dont go to bed at all but be sure that you will either find them in Cinema, Clubs or in front of their TV set. These same youth also want to be as wealthy as Dangote,it does not work that way.  Hard work, more hard work is the way to go.

4. Embrace Technology

Dangote loves technology. He’s on Twitter. Since starting his social media account on New Year’s Eve of 2013, Dangote has amassed more than 50,000 followers. So far, his tweets have addressed malnutrition, the Davos economic conference, and entrepreneurship. No selfies, though. At least not yet.

Dear reader, technology is a great innovation that makes life easy and every body should embrace it. The world is too noisy, you must find a tool that will help you tobe heard. You need channels that will take your message to the entire world with the least cost possible.

5. Give Back to the Society

Many people become successful and forget those who helped them and even the entire society. You are successful for a reason-to help those who are yet to be like you. In Africa, where many believe in collecting than giving, Dangote choose a different part.

He is a philanthropist. The billionaire’s Dangote Foundation has provided more than 10 billion naira to combat poverty in Nigeria. In addition to business grants, the foundation sends cash transfers to women and children who often suffer the worst effects of poverty.

Dangote and any reasonable person does this. I would also say that you should also give to those who did not contribute anything to your success. This boosts your popularity and your business as well.

Conclusively, becoming successful in life and business is very possible but you must be ready to pay the price. Nothing is free. A crocodile in Lagos cannot be a tiger in New York, hardwork  and smart work is the key in today’s world.

So, what are your plans to grow your business, what are you doing and who are your mentors? Share with me.

Johnson Okorie is a serial entrepreneur, Founder, Blogger, Brand Evangelist, Podcast Host. He is also the CEO of KorieFusion a Digital marketing agency that uses digital marketing to help businesses make more money and evoke their brand’s visibility. He is one of the best Digital marketing consultant on the continent of Africa. He helped a Peak Coach to generate over $1,000,000 in revenue in 12 months.

You can follow him on twitter or linkedIn or send him a mail here.


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