It’s often said that experience cannot be learnt. When you take life advice from industry veterans, you’ll often be left speechless. It all comes from the sheer wisdom these business leaders have garnered over the years.
Life can be tough, but with the right advice, things can be much easier. In your entrepreneurial journey, taking advice from the right people can be the difference between failure and success.
We’ve scanned Africa and the world, and here are some inspiring life advice from some of the greatest minds on the planet.
Life shouldn’t be easy – Denzel Washington
The first cry of a baby signifies the prevalent hardship in life. However, if everything were easy, your achievements would mean little or nothing.
According to Denzel Washington, hardship propels you to achieve more, while ease leaves you in your comfort zone with the wrong mindset that all is well. Therefore, never settle for that which is easy, but keep growing, moving, and learning,
“To grow, move and learn, you must be committed and consistent. Without commitment, you will never start, and without consistency, you will never finish. This is because life is not easy. So continue striving, do not give up. No matter how many times you fall, get up.”
Being on top alone is no great feat – Mo Ibrahim
Since nobody is an island, surround yourself with the right people on your entrepreneurial path. Find progressive individuals with whom you can grow and succeed. This is important as you can never tell when you will need another person’s help to get back up when you fall.
This strategy has been used by Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese-British businessman and billionaire, in his business. He employs the best and gives them a stake in his company. In an interview with Oxford Business Forum Africa, he said, “I believe in sharing. In all my companies, my employees have always been the largest shareholders in the company. I think this is very important.”
This saw his first company grow to have 17 international subsidiaries and 800 employees, of which some staff hold 30% of the company’s shares. He used the same method in Celtel. This made some of his staff millionaires as they shared $500 million after he sold it for $3.4 billion.
Have the mindset always to save even when you earn little – Tony Elumelu
Mastering these habits will go a long way toward restructuring your life. This way, you develop a saving culture and change your definition of spending. This culture, according to Tony Elumelu, was instilled by his father.
He said, “If you earn a naira and you do not save, even if you earn a billion dollars, you will not save anything.” Instead of the habit being natural to you, it will be alien. Remember that this is important as you need it to actualise your dream. Put in the hard work to save to realise your dream. Remember that success is 1% dream and 99% hard work.
Pursue freedom, not money – Kevin O’Leary
Never go after entrepreneurship for the greed of money, for you will never find it. Most entrepreneurs go to shark tanks and venture capitalists to pursue freedom. He says, “The emphasis is on getting freedom and satisfaction from realising something, not just getting rich.”
The motivation comes from attaining a personal goal unique to society which equals personal freedom. For instance, solving a problem is the core of entrepreneurship. If you effectively solve a problem for a person and it is a generic one, you have successfully proffered a solution to a problem affecting millions of people.
You see a problem and solve it for the help it gives the affected, not the money. Remember, the money can be saturated, but your freedom will never be.
Always redirect both the capital and profit back into your business – Aliko Dangote
The wealthiest man in Africa lives by this rule which has helped him increase his net worth to about $19.2 billion. During his interview with Mo Ibrahim, he said, “One of the issues with Africans is that they spend their projected income once the business starts doing well rather than reinvesting it in the business. They spend the money believing that the profit will continue to come.”
This ought not to be as there are ups and downs in business that you will need the money for Finance. Also, for your business to succeed, you need maximum concentration. So instead of spending money on material things that can distract and affect your business, redirect them into your business.
Contrary to the belief that all billionaires have vacation houses in different countries, Dangote does not, which means it is unnecessary.
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