You probably know him as the richest man in Africa and the owner of Dangote Group. He is a business magnate, investor, husband and the father of 15.
He was born on 10 April 1957. And hails from Kano State. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies & Administrative at the Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt.
He established the Dangote Group in 1977 and has since spread its operations all over Africa. His companies exercise dominance in various market niches including the sugar market, cement, and food industries.
Known for his philanthropic work and charitable contributions to the development of the African society, Dangote is ranked 136th richest man in the world by Forbes Magazine.
He is a role model for many young Nigerian entrepreneurs and his success story doesn’t run dry of hard work, consistency, and sheer perseverance.
While he is admired for his vast riches and wealth, there are so many lessons we can pick up from Aliko Dangote which we can incorporate into our life, that will ultimately make up more successful in our chosen fields of endeavour.
Lessons to learn from Aliko Dangote.
1. A life without a goal isn’t worth living.
While most people breeze through life aimlessly without striving at something, Dangote believes that you should have a sense of purpose fuelled with ambition.
He once said, “if you don’t have ambition, you shouldn’t be alive.”
In life, it is important to have dreams, and instead of basking in wishful thinking, it is also quite as important to take precise and deliberate steps to bring those dreams to reality.
If you live life without an aim or vision, your chances are you won’t achieve much. Great achievers like Dangote have their dreams fuelled with ambition, which gives them the tenacity to push on when they encounter setbacks.
Don’t be scared to dream big. Expand your mental image and realise that you have all it takes to achieve success as well.
2. Start small, but don’t remain there. Always improve.
In the 21st century world, a business that seeks to remain relevant in the coming future must learn to improve and develop.
There’s no space for passivity. As a person, you must constantly expand your capacity by engaging in activities that boost your abilities.
“I started with cement and then moved into textile and banking. When I was trading sugar, I added salt and flour so that we could do pasta. And then I thought, why not make the bag for it, too? So we started making packaging.” – Aliko Dangote.
Something common with Dangote and a vast majority of successful people out there is that they have the “growth mindset.”
They are not comfortable being in one position for too long. They are innovative and constantly seek creative means to improve their craft and grow.
To become successful, you must not be scared to try new things. Always be in a quest to grow.
3. Socialise with people smarter than you.
Have you noticed that the richest people in the world seem to hang out a lot with each other and they are often friends?
Take a few seconds and think about your current social cycle, do they inspire and motivate you to be a better person?
It is popularly said that you’re the average of the five persons you spend time with. The truth is, how far you go in life largely depends on the kind of friends and associates you keep.
There’s no point hanging around with negative people who criticise your efforts and do not push you to be a better version of yourself.
To grow and become a more influential person, you must choose your friends wisely and hangout with people who are often more intelligent than you.
Dangote once said, “I always make sure I hire people who are smarter than me.”
There’s no shame in admitting that someone is smarter than you. And don’t be scared that you’ll look stupid when you hang out with such people.
The advantage of hanging out with people more smarter than you are, you’ll be able to learn a thing or two from them. Consequently, through constant association, you’ll be building yourself up to their level.
4. Follow your passion. Do what you love.
The joy and satisfaction of doing what you love is the ultimate reward of a successful life. More so, when investing your energy in doing something you’re passionate about, you’ll be fuelled with the needed strength to persevere whenever you encounter setbacks.
The primary reason people give up on their quest to leading a successful life is that, they weren’t passionate about what they were pursuing.
“I’m not in it for the money. No, no. I like to run a business…”– Aliko Dangote.
Dangote reveals that he isn’t just in business because of the money he seeks to heal. But rather, he’s into business because of the sheer enjoyment and fulfilment he derives from it. It has been his childhood passion and he demonstrated it at a tender age by buying and selling sweets to his classmates.
To be truly happy and successful in life, you must commit to doing what you love.
5. Don’t invest in what you don’t understand.
It is not uncommon for the majority of Nigerians to jump into any reigning trend that promises fast returns even though even without concrete knowledge of what it is about.
Dangote clearly states
“the most dangerous thing for an entrepreneur to do is to go into a business that he does not fully understand.”
To avoid business pitfalls and falling victim of scams, it is imperative to only invest in ventures that you fully understand.
No matter how sumptuous a business proposal might seem, always seek knowledge before dropping your hard-earned cash.