Aliko Dangote started his company “Dangote Group” in 1977 as a small trading firm in Lagos and it has grown to be the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa. As one of the most influential people on the planet, he is well respected and looked up to by millions of people. Dangote’s journey so far is characterized by increasing exponential wealth, but do you know there are money lessons his life has been trying to teach you?
Below are 12 lessons on money you can pick up from Africa’s richest.
1. Leverage On Other People’s Wealth
The first money lesson we can pick up from Dangote is to leverage on other people’s wealth. At age 21, he borrowed $3000 from his rich uncle to import and sell agricultural commodities in Nigeria and he managed to repay the entire loan within three months. Dangote’s story is incomplete without this fact.
2. Hard Work Pays Off
Wealth creation requires hard work done smartly. In our daily pursuit of wealth, we need to always remember that hard work pays. Dangote is who he is today because he relentlessly pursued after his goals, and still does. He is committed to his vision and he is hard working.
3. Good Debt Is A Great Tool
Good debt is debt owed for the purpose of investment and businesses. Dangote from the start of his career understood the concept of good debt. He borrowed money from his uncle which he used to kickstart what would be known as The Dangote Group that we have today. He’s using the same technique for his refinery now.
Dangote has multiple investment vehicles – Agricultural processing (salt, sugar, flour, milk, pasta, noodles), cement production, Real estate, oil and gas, steel manufacturing, banking, and telecommunications. So when you see his net worth increase yearly, do not be surprised. He doesn’t get money from just one product or one sector. That is not only commendable, it is a wise lesson to learn.
5. Be An Opportunist
Dangote group is a successful multinational conglomerate today, because the founder is an opportunist. Aliko knows how to find opportunties and quickly leverage on them. In fact, every rich man is an opportunitist. It is not greed to take hold of more opportunities when you are already rich. It is wisdom.
6. Use Networking
Although, Dangote’s story is not that of rags-to-riches. He came from a wealthy home. As a result, he was blessed with a rich network. Especially, over the years, he built strong formidable alliances with political leaders, home and abroad.
However, for the average Nigerian youth with different realities Dangote had as a young man. It is important to note that NETWORKING with the right people is KEY to your success, most especially, your financial freedom.
So, you need to put yourslef out there. Build relationships, gradually, with people that matter. It won’t come fast or ready-made like that of Dangote. But it will come eventually if you are serious and diligent.
The benefits of networking can not be overemphasized. Connect with the right people and groups and build mutually beneficial relationships.
7. Service To The People
Wealth creation is directly proportional to the number and quality of people you serve daily. Service is wealth. Service is riches. When you proffer solutions to people, in form of products, people will gladly part away their money to you, in exchange for the solution.
Aliko Dangote serves more than 70% of the Nigerian population, with all his products. All of which contribute into Dangote’s pocket every day! No wonder he will always be rich.
8. Be An Industrialist
Dangote is highly respected also, as an industrialist. Industrialized society is what every country hopes to achieve because “as industrial workers’ income rise, markets for consumer goods and services of all kinds tend to expand and provide a further stimulus to industrial investment and economic growth” (Wikipedia). Be an industrialist; it not only profits you but others too.
9. Create Value
Value begets money. Value creation is directly proportional to wealth creation. Dangote creates immense value for the Nigerian and African people on a daily basis. Automatically, ABUNDANT money flows to him every day!
10. Timely Expand
Aliko Dangote didn’t start all of his businesses at once. You do not just expand because you can. It takes smart calculations. The expansion should be done in response to the trend. The sugar refinery started when Nigeria had none and now Dangote produces more than half of the nation’s sugar consumption. The oil refinery began when Nigeria needed a WORKING oil refinery one. And because he understands opportunism, he took advantage of networking and started the oil refinery.
11. Be A Philanthropist
According to Forbes, “Dangote has given more than $100 million over the last 5 years to causes in education, arts, and humanitarian relief. Dangote stated in the past that he wants to be Africa’s biggest philanthropist. He probably already is.”
Wealth is incomplete without giving back. That is what Philanthropy is all about. Giving back to the community. Consequently, as a young man who desires to be rich, your end goal must be to be able to give back.
12. Take Smart Risks
Dangote is popularly known among key Nigeria investors as a smart businessman. He does not venture into businesses/sectors he cannot successfully operate.
However, when he’s already invested in a “failed” business, he won’t hesitate to divest quickly; which in few cases, may return to re-invest in the same sector after a few years. He knows which risks to take, and which risks not to take. Aliko Dangote is a smart investor and businessman.