How He Rose to Promince

​There are many versions to the effervescent rise of the man called Dangote who unequivocally is regarded as Africa’s richest man.

However, in my own research I’d find a few vital information that I feel warrants mention. The goal of sharing this information is so you can glean one or two lessons that you can quickly apply in your own career.

The turn of events in the life of Dangote began the period of time his mother suggested he go learn trading under his uncle Dantata who stays in Lagos.

Before now, Dangote has showed no glimmer of hope with respect to traditional schooling as he kept repeating classes. This very pattern was what informed the mother’s suggestion of him treading the path of trading.

By the time Dangote had worked under the uncle for sometime, he began to secretly admire his business acumen and prowess. 

One fateful day, the uncle called him and gave him an envelop containing some vital documents which he asked him to go and deliver to one of their business associates. 

On his way to deliver the package, the contents accidentally fell off and scattered. While he tried to gather them, a particular document bearing his name caught his attention. He took a closer look and discovered that the column bearing his name provided two basic information.

He understood the first one which was his monthly salary. But he could not comprehend the other one. His curiosity was aroused. So he went and duplicated the document.

When he got back from that journey, he took the duplicate he made and secretly went to one of the learned workers in their business for interpretation. This was how he got to realize that the other information was about his level of value in relation to the business. From all indications, the deductions showed that he provided little or no value to the business.

This alarming situation troubled his heart so much that he vowed to find a way out of it.

This motivated him to approach the uncle. 

“I want to be like you,” he said to the uncle.

“That’s a good choice,” the uncle replied. “But are you sure you are ready to do what it takes to be like me?”

Dangote’s response to this question was the key that opened the door into his personal evolution. He told the uncle to remove his name from the company’s payroll for the next 10 years in exchange for business mentorship.

By this agreement, Dangote’s lesson on business success began. There are 6 basic ideologies Dantata unveiled to Dangote as being key for succeeding in any business venture.

To succeed in any business/career, you may need to pay attention to these 6 qualities.

In no particular order, the qualities are viz:

1. A Product/Service

To this he was told that for his business to thrive through times, such product/service must be EEE – essential for everyone everyday. This advice informed Dangote’s decision of going for products that solve the basic physical needs of humans.

2. Knowledge

To make your product/service remain EEE, he was told he needed to keep researching three things, his business idea, the market area and his customers. This means going for knowledge.

3. Dream

You need to have a business mission or else your business has no future. To this day Dangote’s business ventures is built around a mission that says, “To give value to humanity by providing his basic needs.” 

Pause: What’s your dream for that business venture? It can’t be money. Money does not form part of a business mission. Value is what does. Your dream must be in relation to helping humanity.

4. Strong Team (Organization)

In my study of work psychology, there are three conditions obtainable; working for yourself, working for others, working through others and working with others.

The best system is the last one because it involves the integration of each member’s talents, skills and uniqueness into the overall mission of the business. This work psychology provides a suitable atmosphere for the creativity necessary for expanding in the venture.

At the start of the venture however, it is possible to shuttle from one work psychology to another. But your aim must be to establish and reinforce the last one.

It is an effective business organization/systems that’s responsible for the continued success of business tycoons. Bill Gate of Microsoft is said to be earning more money while sleeping than when he’s awake. Sometime ago he was quoted to have said that if he’d spend one billion dollar everyday, it will take 218 years to spend all his accumulated wealth.

His secret: Strong team or effective business organization.

Pause: Dr. Strive Masiyiwa, the CEO of econet wireless is currently doing a series in his Facebook business page on how to build a strong and effective organization or business system for your business. Like his page and connect with the series.

5. 1,000 Working Hours

This was a way of letting him know that he must work hard and learn the art of delegation. Don’t be a lone ranger. Recruit experts who will focus on the managerial aspect of the venture. This spares you enough time and energy to focus on the dream and goal of the business, and how to make it a reality.

6. Capital

This talks about the start-up cost. To this, Dantata promised to help Dangote with once he’s ready to test the waters.

You see, I purposely brought the issue of capital last because we erroneously consider it to be the rate limiting factor in any business.

While money is necessary for lifting your business/career off the ground, it is not the primary asset required for success. What good is capital when there is no organized system or business ideology to sustain the business and ensure an adequate return on both equity and investment?

As a way of complementing the above aforementioned six qualities, I have decided to add what to me, is another important quality. 

7. Passion

The best business/career is the one you build around what you are most passionate about. If you don’t have passion for it, then the chances are high that you will not last long in it.

It is the passion that provides the energy needed to break boundaries and keep rising above every obstacle in the way of your success in your chosen career.

Think on these and decide where to beam the headlight of your ship even as 2017 approaches in earnest.


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