According to Tony .O. Elumelu,
The road to success is not linear, it is up and down. You have to be very determined and be prepared to do whatever is required for your success.
For you to succeed in Africa, you have to know what success looks like in your chosen field. For example, you know that if you want to go to university, you must first get the required grades from secondary school and to do that, you have to make sacrifices and work very hard. For that, you need ironclad discipline.
It is the same if you want to succeed in business. That kind of discipline and
training helps a great deal. If you want to become an entrepreneur, you have to
acknowledge that it is not a bed of roses. Ask yourself what does it take to succeed? And what I tell people is that you must have laser focus, be disciplined, realize that sacrifices need to be made and I repeat, be prepared to work very hard.
You must have ambition. You must seek out opportunities and have a platform on which to start implementing your vision.
You should think long term, 10 years ahead, not just for tomorrow. Once you have accepted this, you can say, let’s give it a go, let’s try it but make sure you stick to the principles I mentioned. Successful entrepreneurs have these principles ingrained in them.
They expect challenges because overcoming challenges provide opportunities.
My advice to budding young entrepreneurs when I interact with them is to be hardworking, don’t be scared to dream but know that dreaming is less than 1%; the 99% is about translating your dream into action, translating your dream to reality. That is what makes the difference.
Also, I cannot repeat this often enough: that process of translating to action
requires a lot of hard work, discipline, staying focused and making sacrifices
for a better tomorrow.
The Tony Elumelu you see today has not always had everything. In the past, for example, I have decided not to buy a car and planned instead to use the money to make investments and wait for the proceeds of that investment to help me buy the car, and that happened!
When I say sacrifices, I mean you have to learn to defer consumption. You
need to think long term. It is when you visualise success that you can make
the sacrifices, then you can apply the rigour and energy that will lead you to
You can get there by taking that first step, the journey of one mile starts with
one step. To start, count the
steps consistently, and stay