I’m here to discuss success and wealth and to share some insights that can help any average person (like me) achieve success. Success in Nigeria IS possible, if we do the work, but it may not be easy work.
I was born in and grew up in Nigeria, to wonderful parents who put in a lot of hard work to create and give us a decent middle class family lifestyle. I attended schools in Lagos up till O-Levels and was fortunate to be sent abroad for further studies, intending to become a doctor, however, life had its own ideas.
Being entrepreneurial in college, I stumbled from one venture to the other with my university friends, excitedly believing that the next idea would make us millionaires. We naively but creatively tried our hands on different ideas, while being drawn slowly into the amazing world of business. One day after a lot of thinking, I decided to take charge of my life and look beyond getting a formal job. I decided to build a big business for myself. We tried everything, from a clothes shop in a mall on Kings Road, to running several Nightclub solo nights as promoters and part ownership in bars and restaurants funded from sweat equity. We grew to hosting spectacular year-end balls and huge parties, large charity events and fashion shows. We basically tried anything that caught our fancy, with enthusiasm and vigour, believing the next venture would make us rich.
Looking back, it was quite turbulent but fun times, considering that we were always broke, regardless of our venture’s level of success. We always quickly spent any money we made going out and having fun. We didn’t know anything about success, savings or investing. Many times, we couldn’t say where our next meal was coming from, but we persevered; crashing and burning through many business ideas and opportunities. Finally, we started finding some stability as we got better at learning from our failures, identifying what worked and why, as we began to enjoy more successes.
As you can guess, we didn’t become instant millionaires. It took me personally many years to see my first million AND it wasn’t in the UK that I made that first million, but here in Nigeria, after a quick trip/visit back. I then decided to stay and set up a business here.
Along this journey, I’ve had to master discipline, pain of loss, fortitude, patience, resilience, while also learning communication, sales, leadership, handling rejection, collaboration, critical thinking and much more. I found that these are the ingredients necessary for success and there are no shortcuts, not in any country.
Success can be yours too. It is a process and a mindset. If we follow the process, the outcome is predictable, if we don’t, the outcome also is predictable.
The quickest path to making money lies in adding value to other people. It can be easier to make money in Nigeria legitimately, than in most foreign countries that people are currently running to. Just remember this maxim: ‘Money follows problem solving’.
So, can anyone be rich?
Yes, is the short answer, but it depends, is the longer and more relevant answer. We will explore how being an entrepreneur is the fastest way to become rich in subsequent articles.
See you at the next edition. If you have any questions about wealth or this article, reach out to me and I’ll answer any questions you have.