Inspirations

You Might Not Like The Stone You Are On Right Now

Where you begin with in life is not always where you’re going to end up as long as you’re conscious of your choices and also accountable to yourself in every stages of your life. You don’t have to operate from passion to begin with; rather you operate from necessity and develop yourself from there after survival. In life, you begin with a stone that put foods on your table first, and as long as your first stone is bringing food to your table, embrace the opportunity of having the stone around. On the other hand, you might not like the current stone you are on right now, but sure, it could be one of the stones that would lead to great opportunities in the future if you don’t take it for granted.

During my teaching career as a Chemistry and Mathematics in God’s answer model secondary Umuahia, Abia State, after graduation from the university, I could remember a good friend of mine asking me how come I settled for a job as a school teacher? My humble answer to him was malnutrition. I told him that the first passion in life is to find a way to survive. After survival, then I can start to build up from there and probably attract my dream job. For me, I don’t have to love what I do at first to begin with, rather to embrace the chance or the opportunity to begin the process. Because where I began is not where I have to end up a year, five years or ten years from now.

Once I just begins with something that brings food to my table, then I’ll look for the errors in what I’m doing and correct them. Through the error correction process, experience and excellence will be developed. You have to love what you do, that’s what they use to tell us. But that’s not true in the real world where the first basic thing we need to survive is food. And you must survive first before going to do what you may wish to do with your life. In reality, the truth is that you’ve to love and embrace any opportunity you found to enable you survive from hunger. Through the opportunity, you can build your life, future, health, success and fortune as long as you didn’t give up on yourself. Knocking on someone’s door to sell your products or services may not be something you love to do because of the embarrassment or fear of neglecting you totally, but you love the opportunity of what might come behind it if you get some few yes from those knocked at their door to talk to them about your products. On the other hand also, you may not like or wish working for someone or a company all your life, but if you’re yet to get a job to support yourself, I encourage you to at least love the opportunity of being there. Where you start up your life is not where you are going to end. Be grateful with the opportunity of starting something that the outcome if you’re still struggling to survive in life. You can build up from there and redesign your future.  

A guy says, “I’m digging ditches. Should I love digging ditches?” The answer? No, you don’t have to love digging ditches, but if it is your first entry onto the ladder of success, you should be thinking, I’m glad someone gave me the opportunity to dig ditches, and I’m going to do it so well, because I won’t be here long I’m going to give in my best in digging the ditches. It could be my first and last time to dig the ditches.

You can be inspired by just having found something, even though you are making mistakes in the beginning and even though it’s not perfect at the ideal part of you, just try and do it well with all your heart. And see it as you’re just taking on a new discipline that you haven’t learned much yet. You don’t have to love it, you just have to learn to appreciate the opportunity. You just have to be thankful and grateful to the person who believed in you and brought you to light, the person who brought the good news of starting up with something.

Thus, if you embrace the discipline associated with the new opportunity, you will soon find out that your self-confidence will starts to grow and expands from being a skeptic thinker to become a strong believer of yourself. So before you are tempted to give up, quit, or get discouraged from your dreams and goals, remember that all success is based on long-term commitment, faith, discipline, attitude and a few steeping stones along the journey of greatness. You might not like the starting process or probably, the stones you are on right now, but it’s sure to be one the possible stones that will transforms all life experiences and leads to the greater opportunities in the future years.

Unit Next Time, Live Exceptionally!!!

The Secret Behind Aliko Dangote’s Success

“You could easily say that hard work and perseverance go hand in hand with patience. We often hear people say patience is worth it, yet we don’t practice it. I did and look how well it worked out for me.” Aliko Dangote

Most of us admire Aliko Dangote because of his successful businesses and his net worth of $16.7 billion as the number one richest man in Africa, but only few go extra mile to discover how he got started with his business idea, his motives, and dreams, and also to know how he got to where he is today. Some are only interested in reading about Dangote group of companies and trade mark business news and do little to find out about the man behind the trade Mark we see in Nigeria and some of other African Countries. In this Article, I’m going to share with you the secret behind his success, how he got started and what motivates him to become who he is today. Also you will discover how his dreams of becoming successful as an entrepreneur began at his early stage back then in primary school in Kano State, the Northern part of Nigeria. He is a business magnate, investor, and most importantly, the owner of a mega successful business trade mark called Dangote Group.

Aliko Dangote (MFR, GCON) Biography

Dangote was born on 10th April, 1957 into the family of Mohammed Dangote (Father) and Mariya Sanusi Dantata (Mother) of Kano State, the Northern part of Nigeria. He’s the great-grandson of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, the richest West African at the time of his death in 1955. Aliko Dangote was educated at the Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa, later by Capital High School where he gained his Secondary School Certificate, in Kano State. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies and Administration from the University of Al-Azhar, Cairo, Egypt.

His Humble Beginning

“I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets (candy) and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time” Says- Aliko Dangote

People will always think that why he became successful was because he came from a rich family, no; his idea about business was there even in his primary school education. He never wanted to do any other thing with his life; rather he continues to learn all he could about business and then built up from there. Back then, he was just a dream boy like every one of us but what made him exceptional was because of his enthusiastic and passionate about business and he gave it all he got. As his father passed away in 1965, at his early stage, his grandfather had to take over the responsibility of becoming his guardian. However, his story is still inspiring and motivating because not everyone from wealthy family can work hard to achieve personal accomplishments, and still have such business skills as a black man.

At the age of 21, He graduated from the Egyptian University called Al-Azhar University; it was after his entrepreneur began fully. After his graduation in Dangote he was able to convince his grandfather to lend him $2,500 to start up his business, which he promised to pay the money back after three years. When the money was given to him, he relocates to Lagos State, Nigeria where he started with is business as a young entrepreneur. He started his business with the importation of rice and sugar from Brazil and Thailand, and sells his goods to different parts of Nigeria. Few years later, his quickly reached high demand and became extremely profitable. Aliko Dangote as a smart guy with trustworthy personality, he paid back the money his grandfather lends to him in three months instead of three years he promised earlier on after starting his venture.

 He Established Some Good Connections
As a strong business man, he established and utilized some lots of connections and networking which made him to go beyond his own imaginations . Aliko Dangote went extra mile to meet others who are doing better than him and create his strong network of business and political connections with them. He built his own connections and strengthen by networking with others in the business world. He increased his corporate social responsibility, signing joint ventures and partnership deals, forming significant associations or affiliations, attending business conferences, making public donations, and paying courtesy visits to the big heads in the society. While doing so, his fortunes and business became popular in Nigeria and other African Countries –  it became and an opportunity for his business breakthrough because all these things helped to bring him to the limelight, however, paved way for opportunities. Almost all business successes were facilitated by one streak of luck or the other. Aliko Dangote had his own stroke when he secured a license to import cement.

The Dangote Group we all known today was established in 1977, the same year he decided to relocate to Lagos, in hopes of expanding the company. At first, Dangote Group was producing some Agricultural goods, as well as pasta, flour, and sugar. However, his little business became interesting for lots of people, and they started massively buying his goods that the Dangote Group produced. Today, this young man with great business idea has grown to become number billionaire in Nigeria and Africa as whole. Also, he has won the approval of government to established cement plants in different part of the country and some of other African countries. He is the number one sugar supplier in Nigeria and also has gained a very rich client base in every part of the country.

 He Went For Essential Commodities Everyone Needs
Essential commodities are one of the goods that make the most sales even in the midst of strong competitions. This is one of the ideas that enabled Aliko Dangote to hit his fortune. Based on his success story, it is best to trade in essential commodities, goods that satisfy the basic needs of life. This is because they are ever in steady demand all around the year. Dangote trades on essential commodities like Cement, Sugar, rice, pasta, salt, cotton, millet, cocoa, textile and vegetable oil. Look at your society and find out those commodities that cater for basic needs and if you keep other rules, you’re on your way to success.

Today his Dangote Group dominates the sugar market with his sugar refinery being the major supplier to 70% of the market. It also imports fish, rice, pasta, fertilizer and cement on a large scale. It exports cocoa, cashew nuts, sesame seeds, ginger and cotton to many countries. Dangote Group’s major investments include banking, textiles, real estate, gas and oil. With more than 11000 employees it is one of the biggest conglomerates in West Africa. Currently Dangote is looking into telecommunications; his present work includes building of fourteen thousand kilometers of optic cables in Nigeria. For all this work he was honored in 2009 as the largest provider of employment in the whole of Nigerian construction industry. In 2011 the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan awarded Dangote with Nigeria’s second highest honor the ‘Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger’

 He was Focused and Also Built Brand For Himself 
The need for focus in business can never be overemphasized. It is very vital as it is one of the forces that keep the businessman going up the ladder. He never force himself to do everything right at the beginning of his business ventures but his best. Such principle of doing his best in whatever he does helped him to get the best returns put at the end . He developed the best means in all area of his business where he could spread his resources into diverse channels because of his brand name. The major thing that helped Dangote was that he focused on his major area of competence. In addition to being focused is building an unbeatable brand in that area of specialization. Aliko Dangote so much believes in the power of branding that he built an unrivaled brand. Today, he’s into everything since his first brands paved the way for the upcoming businesses.

Some of Aliko Dangote’s Quotes

  • I enjoy myself a lot but I derive more joy in working. I believe in hard work and one of my business success secrets is hard work. It’s hard to see a youth that will go to bed by 2am and wake up by 5am. I don’t rest until I achieve something.
  • 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, tenacity of purpose is supreme.
  • Endeavor to work as hard as possible to attain a new aim with each day that comes by. Don’t go to bed until you have achieved something productive.
  • Don’t kill the competition. Competition is healthy for businesses. It keeps you the entrepreneur on your toes.
  • Africa’s risks are mainly perceived and not real. Unfortunately for us in Africa we are not really very good at telling our own story. But things are changing and people are beginning to understand that things are going very, very well.
  • 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.
  • Manufacture, don’t just trade. There is money in manufacturing even though it is capital intensive. To achieve a big breakthrough, I had to start manufacturing the same product I was trading on; which is commodities.
If you want to become an established successful businessman, your number one aim should never be money. It is true that money is very important and even indispensable but that should not be your end. If you make money your end, you may make it but you’ll hardly be established, you’ll possibly fade away with time. Dangote was bent on adding value to the life of people. If his aim was just money-making, he may have been satisfied with importing cement because he made fortune out of it. But in other to achieve his mission, Dangote had to go about establishing factories all over the country and even beyond, providing thousands of employment opportunities. Another very important business strategy that made Aliko Dangote what he is today is that he knows the way around a healthy competition. He used selling quality goods at more affordable prices than his competitors to gain a huge customer loyalty. This, however, requires some sacrifice. And you will only be able to pay this price if money is not your major aim.

 

Despite all this wealth and outstanding achievements as a businessman, Dangote remains as simple, hardworking, humble and cool headed as he was in the very beginning. He is the owner of the largest industrial business in Nigeria and the whole of West Africa providing bread and butter for thousands of families with his employment opportunities. He is the richest African, and in the world he’s an inspiration for the young minds who want to succeed as entrepreneurs.

Until Next Time, Live Exceptionally!!!

Understanding Your Uniqueness

“If you’re struggling today, remember that life is worth living and believe that the best is yet to come. Remember that you are loved, you matter, and never forget that there is always hope.” 
― 
Germany Kent

In the entire world, there is nobody like you. Since the beginning of time till now there has never been another person like you. Nobody has your smiles, your eyes, your hand writing, your hair, your cry, voice and stuffs you’re made up with. You’re special. Nobody can paint your brush strokes; nobody has your taste of food or music, dance or art. Nobody in the universe sees things the way you do or feel your feelings. You’re special. In all the time there has never been anyone who laughs exactly how you do. You’re just different from any other person who has ever lived in the history of the universe. You are the only one in the whole of creation who has your particular set of abilities and capacities. Nobody in the universe can reach the quality of the combination of your talents and feelings.   

During my early 20s, my personality suffered a lot from low self-esteem and inferiority complex and such feelings of not being good enough like everyone I see around me made me not to pay much attention on developing my personality to live freely as a normal human being back then. I never thought I could do something publicly or speak up to make my points, because within me I always feel like I don’t have what it takes to take charge of my environment and behave like those who do otherwise. And growing up with such feelings of inadequacy or not good enough withdrawn me from not taking risks, or going for what I want from life. I never dated any girl during my early 20s because then, asking someone for a date requires a lot of courage and boldness to make such happens.

Then, I wasn’t taking care of my emotional needs and others things around me. I wasn’t giving in my best on the things I do then, because I thought that’s how my life is just going to be. I was playing it safe and never challenged myself on every aspect to see how far I can go or what I can become in life. I won’t forget the day I was embarrassed during our family morning devotions because I couldn’t preach the word of God (Bible) to my family. Because in my family, everyone is entitled to preach once or twice a year as long as you can read and write. And the day it reached my turn to preach, I couldn’t do that. Despite long preparations and hard-work, I still lack words to preach like others before me. I lacked the boldness and courage to face my family because inside of me, I weren’t convince I could do it.

But after the incident, I started asking myself questions, trying to figure out why I couldn’t do what others are freely doing without fears. I started looking inwardly, starching for motivations and inspirations that could help me redefine myself and live consciously. During the process, I discovered that I’ve been neglecting my uniqueness and as a special being. I gave up my power and strength to fear and low self-esteem. For example, I thought there were things lacking in me which others have or possesses and I don’t have them. It was then; I started reading motivational books, listening to inspirational podcast from different motivational speakers and life coaches. Using some meditation techniques to recondition and reprogram my brain to feel as a special being.  Conducting series of personal research to enable me have different perceptions about life and things around me generally. And doing that wasn’t that easy for because it requires disciplines and commitments to get you going each day.

Today, I can comfortably said, that my years of personal development and self education has pushed me to discovered or understood my uniqueness as a special being. And understanding my uniqueness has also paved the way to live my life dreams and pursue my life purpose respectively. I don’t go around anymore thinking about what I can’t do, rather I invest my time and energy now on doing things I know I can do and do them well. I know, once can be able to I focus on things I can do, other things I can’t do would soon be taken care of because each day I’m working harder to become my best in every aspect of my life. It’s a life choose to live consciously, not what someone else is telling me to do. Understanding my uniqueness as a special being on human creation opens my eyes to do things that will help me design a life with a purpose for myself instead of living life without purpose.

Realize that you are not like anyone else on this planet earth or universe. No one on this earth is exactly the same way you are, even if you have a twin. It’s not even close to your uniqueness. Your individual collection of experiences makes you unique and special. Let that get into your head and stop thinking down on yourself.

Yet what do most people do with this uniqueness? They try to forget it and live each day by default with knowing exactly things they are capable of because they couldn’t gave themselves some space to even try. They cling to the pack, thinking that need to be like everyone else. They only strive for normalcy, to be similar to everyone else without moving out of their comfort zone to reinvent who they are.  

Take Some Steps Forward to Know Your Higher Self

The best way I’ve discovered to live or become my best as a person is to first go and meet myself as a person. You can do this too in your imagination. Try to meet yourself to know your higher self and reinvent what you found. Basically you just visualize yourself going to a room, meeting your future self, and having a conversation with him/her. It’s a very enlightening and an eye opening experience. It’s a total reflections of who you are. It’s like seeing through your mind eyes (insight).

During my personal development and meditations in my early 20s, I met my future self in my imagination; one of the first things I noticed about him was that he was completely free from fear. He was amused by all the fear I seemed to have in me, and he would even tease me about it. If I had a problem or concern, he would recommend some bold and direct solution, but it often required a great deal of courage to implement. He was brutally honest and direct, never playing it safe or doing anything manipulative. I always knew where I stood with him. He always held me to a higher standard than I did.

I could see that his courage gave him a tremendous sense of inner peace. But I didn’t understand how I could reach that level myself. It took me many years to find out what his source of courage was. His courage came about because he saw reality a certain way – a way in which it didn’t make any sense to be afraid. It’s not that he was overcoming his fear or facing his fear. He just wasn’t experiencing any fear at all. He saw fear as nothing but an illusion, so it was pointless to be afraid. So fearlessness might be a better description than courage.

But he wasn’t a perfect success – in fact, he experienced more failure than I did. He had his own problems to handle, but he would handle them by diving in and taking action. He would never hesitate or worry about the outcome. To him life was about action, results, experience, learning, and growth. Fear just wasn’t part of the equation.

One way of looking at this meditation is that my subconscious created this imaginary person as a projection of who it felt I could become – an idealized version of me. But perhaps on some level, this person actually exists. How this model came about, however, isn’t as important to me as how it enables me to grow.

Become your higher self

When you meet your higher self and get to know him/her, it gives you a model for your own growth. It’s a way of comparing yourself to yourself not with others. You don’t need to worry about labels like normal that are based on comparing yourself to others. You’re presented with a vision that is uniquely you, one that you can actually achieve.

Year after year as I continued doing this meditation, it gave me a powerful path for personal growth. By comparing my present self to my future self, I could always see what I needed to do to take the next step. My future self became the vision of where I wanted to go. He was the person I was becoming.

My future self also had the solution to all my growth problems because he’d already solved them. I never had the problem of not knowing what to do. The challenge was always in getting myself to do it and do it without fear.

Eventually this vision becomes so strong that I felt the presence of my higher self even outside of my meditations. He was a part of my consciousness that I could tap into whenever I wanted, like accessing a living memory. Some people would define this imaginary person as a spirit guide. It certainly felt like that at times.

After a number of years, I felt a fusing of that higher self with my present self… to the point where the two became indistinguishable. I actually became the person I first envisioned in my 20s. It took me more than a 7 years to reach this point though. And now I have another projection of a new higher self, one that is more expansive and which is helping to guide me through the next steps on this incredible journey through life. Whereas my original higher self served the purpose of helping me let go of fear, there’s a new higher self forming that seems to be here to help me learn to develop greater compassion, especially as a balance to courage.

Awareness makes life easier

As you consciously strive to become the person you were meant to be, life becomes much easier. Actually it would be more accurate to say that life is just as hard, but your capacity for handling it grows to the point where life seems to get easier. You’re stronger, so the weight feels lighter.

What’s your vision of your higher self? If you want to become this person, take some time to get to know him/her in your imagination. Allow this vision to inspire you and to guide you. Visualize the type of person you always wanted to be, and then hold that vision until you’ve become its physical embodiment.

Through all eternity no one will ever walk, talk, think or do exactly like you. You’re special. You’re rare and in all rarity there is enormous value and because of your great value the need for you to imitate anyone else is absolutely wrong. You can learn from certain people, but you can’t be like them. You’re special, and it’s no accident you are. Please realize that God made you for special purpose. He has a job for you to do that nobody else can do as well as you can, out of the billions of applicants, only one qualified. Only one has the unique and right combination of what it takes and that one person is you. You’re special.

Understanding your uniqueness is a great step in transforming your life from where you are today to your higher self. Once you discover the real truth about your personality and things you are capable of that you never knew before now, there would be a change in your consciousness and that change will guide you to reinvent yourself. It’s a journey or a path that doesn’t require other people to give you directions. Only can strive to discover and understand your uniqueness. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. Do I know what it is? I don’t know. Only you can find out. Would you slept it off or give it a try?

Until next Time, Live Exceptionally!!