Four Things Succesful People Don’t Want You To Know

Posted: June 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

The most successful people in the world today belong to an elite class. Seated at the top of multinational corporations, as well as dominating the areas of sports, entertainment and the arts, they are the privileged twenty percent who control more resources than the other eighty percent put together. Naturally, being at the top is one thing, but staying at the top takes a whole lot of work.

If we were to define a common denominator in the lives of these people, there are certain characteristics they each posses that ensure they retain their seats as the leaders in their area. Seeing how valuable these ‘secrets’ are, I am sure it would be a while before they revealed it to the world on mainstream media, but I have some of them here for you in black and white.

1 Highly motivated

Ibukun Awosika is the present chairman of FBN holdings, a blue chip multinational which owns First Bank of Nigeria PLC, the most valuable banking brand in West Africa presently, with branches and subsidiaries in London, China and Paris and around Africa. She is the first woman in the over a hundred year history of the bank to hold such a coveted position. She is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Chair Centre Group.

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The companies within the group include: The Chair Centre Limited, Sokoa Chair Centre Limited, Furniture Manufacturers Mart, TCC Security Systems and Cubes and Boxes Limited. I was at an executive session where she was the host, and she told the participants in detail how she started the multi billion naira enterprise. She described her starting as quite rough, considering the fact that she was a young lady going into an enterprise of producing household furniture; a field dominated by importers of ready made products from exotic locations.

For the first few years, she had no sizable business breakthrough, as a matter of fact, the biggest contract that she obtained was to produce wooden dustbins for a branch of a now defunct bank. The conditions were so tough, she could not afford a vehicle and she had to devise creative means to move herself and her raw materials around town. A few years down the line however, she had her big business break and her company went on to become the foremost manufacturer of household furniture in the country.

The point to note is, despite the rough start she had, she had loads of inner motivation, ensuring she did not quit, and over time it paid off. It is a known fact that most business start-ups will not succeed past the first five years of establishment. Harsh business climate can be a determining factor in forcing small businesses down, but a greater challenge is the amount of motivation the business owner has to see the enterprise succeed and surpass expectation.

”…a greater challenge is the amount of motivation the business owner has to see the enterprise succeed and surpass expectation”

2 Visionary

The internet today is highly developed beyond what it was twenty years ago. Internet penetration was even worse in mainland China, as the country was a bit slow in catching up during the early days of the world wide web. In spite of the numerous challenges in accessing good quality internet in China then, a young schoolteacher and translator had a vision of selling goods produced in China across the world through the power of the internet.

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He had studied in Europe and had seen the potentials the web had in facilitating trade and commerce, and the vision spurred him to start one of the earliest E-commerce sites. In an interview, he recounted how he gathered some of his friends in a room with a computer and a slow dial up connection, and they had to wait three hours for a single page to load, all in a bid to prove that Internet was available in China.

Today, that company, Alibaba Holdings is one of the biggest E-commerce sites in the world, rivaling Amazon, with millions of transactions daily, and a recent valuation of 70 Billion US dollars. That early visionary, Jack Ma, is one of Asias’ richest men, all this from a vision he had a few years ago. The importance of having a vision for your enterprise can not be over emphasized, because creating a mental picture of what you hope to achieve with your start-up will serve as a source of the motivation you need to be successful. To achieve what you can not see physically, you have to look beyond what you can physically see.

”…To achieve what you can not see physically, you have to look beyond what you can physically see”

3 Creativity

When his father was brutally murdered by kidnappers, Chidi Ajaere assumed the mantle of leadership of the company his father left behind. God Is Good Motors prior to his assumption as chairman was no different from a host of other bus transport operators in Nigeria. They operated a typical motor park scene, complete with inconveniences and inefficiencies. Traveling by road used to be a harrowing experience for passengers as they had to spend hours under the sun waiting for their vehicles to get filled up, and then seat in the buses that were rickety and unsafe, packed together like sardines till they reached their destination.

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For many of the operators, it was about profits, and the more people you put on a bus, the higher your profit margin. The result of this was that the drivers of the vehicles often had to go for as many long distance journeys daily as they were ordered to by management, resulting in a high rate of accidents on the road occasioned  by sleepy and exhausted drivers competing on the roads like Formula One drivers on race tracks. Enter Chidi. He was the pioneer of the idea that traveling via roads had to be safe and comfortable for passengers. He initiated a string of creative reforms that saw the old motor packs replaced with ultra modern luxury terminals, the old inefficient system of ticketing reinvented to allow for online ticketing as well as enforcement of strict safety standards for his drivers.

In addition, old and worn out vehicles were replaced with brand new temperature controlled ones, all in a bid to improve safety and comfort of passengers. The result of these reforms had the company becoming the clear industry leader in the road transport sector, while other companies struggle to catch up. It is important as a business man to look out for better ways of offering your products or services. This will be a bit easier to achieve if the interest of your customers is always your priority in business. In business, if you are not innovative, you can only last so long.

‘…In business, if you are not innovative, you can only last so long”

4 Hard work

She has won countless Grammy awards, holding sold out shows around the world. Her live performances are a jaw dropping mix of pop, funk and grind. An award winning actress, singer and songwriter, Beyonce Knowles is no stranger to the limelight. She burst into public consciousness as the lead singer in the girls group Destiny Child, and since she went solo, she has remained the uncrowned queen of pop. With a net worth of almost half a billion US dollars, she surely holds her own as one of the pillars of contemporary music. But despite her stardom, Beyonce maintains a daily routine of grueling practice that will amaze even her die hard critics.

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Her choreographer once described her as a workaholic, recalling how she practiced in one of her sessions for nine hours straight in order to master a particular movement. She was billed to perform the national anthem at the inauguration of United States president Barack Obama, and she noted that she had to continuously rehearse for days on end in order to get it just right. She is definitely not alone in this, as people who are highly successful in business and life generally will tell you that it takes an insane amount of hard work to get to the top, and when you get there staying there.

As a matter of fact, it gets exponentially harder to succeed the higher up you go, because at the top are people equally as good and even better at what you do to contend with. You can only hope to bridge that gap and outsmart your opponents and rivals by the amount and quality of work you put into your business. In business as with virtually every other aspect of life, it is an irrefutable fact that hardwork pays.

‘…In business as with virtually every other aspect of life, it is an irrefutable fact that hardwork pays”

In conclusion, I must say that the four points above are not the only characters you need to  imbibe to succeed, but if you have a good grasp of the basic tenets of them, and run with it, you are sure of outpacing your closest competition and being the best in your chosen field of endeavor. Cheers.

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