Aliko Dangote. Aliko Dangote GCON (born 10 April 1957) is a Nigerian business magnate, investor, and owner of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities in Nigeria and other African countries.
As of March 2018, he had an estimated net worth of US$14.1 billion. Mr. Dangote has been ranked by Forbes magazine as the richest man in Africa. Few people will achieve the level of entrepreneurial success in Aliko has managed to achieve. What we all know is that all great entrepreneurs have habits or principles that we can also apply in our own lives to achieve success in life or business. Find five key lessons below:
Lesson 1: Work only with intelligent people
Working with intelligent people will always expose you to new ideas, and better ways of accomplishing a task. All serious-minded entrepreneurs who are bent on becoming successful surround themselves with very bright people who can assist make their business prosperous.
Dangote indicated his hiring strategy, “I always make sure I hire people smarter than me.” A business organization is a business entity and must always be approached as such. As an entrepreneur, do not be tempted to employ people simply because they are relatives or friends.
First, find out what they are bringing on board before you bring them on board. That way, you are certain to get the best ideas and performance in your business.
Lesson 2: Start young
Many great people who we all admire today started working on their craft early on in life. Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, Bill Gates, and others all started very young. Aliko Dangote is not an exception, he also started young. After studying business at the University of Cairo, he started the Dangote Group at the age of 21.
“I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time”. Dangote
Lesson 3: He is a giver
Dangote has donated a lot of his income to many charity organizations and causes. He was one of the people who donated to the fight against Ebola in Nigeria. He has helped the people living in the IDP camps and a lot of other charities. He is regarded as the continent’s most generous individual. “Since the Dangote Foundation is now 20 years old, this $1.2 billion endowment will assure that the foundation has secure and steady funding to carry out its mission as we significantly scale up our work,”
Lesson 4: Patience is key to success
Entrepreneurship is not for people who are looking for overnight success. Many give up easily when they do not become an overnight success. We are living in a microwave generation in which everyone including entrepreneurs wants quick success.
Silicon Valley also portrays the image that you can be a billionaire in a few years. Such discourages many young entrepreneurs when they don’t see quick success. The path through entrepreneurship is a long one, along which there is so much to learn and experience. And any attempt to find or take shortcuts will only result in a big failure.
“I built a conglomerate and emerged the richest black man in the world in 2008. But it didn’t happen overnight; it took me 30 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, a tenacity of purpose is supreme.” Dangote
Lesson 5: Harness the power of brands
Research from neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics has shown, that we humans are not nearly as rational as we think. Instead, we’re driven by subtle unconscious influences that have their basis in our distant evolutionary past. We tend to buy or associate with brands that seem to have value or make us feel better.
“To succeed in business, you must build a brand and never destroy it. One competitive advantage I had when I ventured into manufacturing was my brand “Dangote,” which I diligently built in the course of my trading commodities.” – Aliko Dangote