6 business lessons from Tony Elumelu to African entrepreneurs


Tony Elumelu advised young African entrepreneurs to look for opportunities and platforms to implement their vision. When asked, “Would you say there are more opportunities now than when you started?” Tony Elumelu replied that the opportunities are still there, but now it seems to me that we have more opportunities. opportunities in the world around us than ever before. The digital world is a whole new economy that did not exist when we started. Use your brain, your discipline and your expertise, then the world will come to you. Think long term, 10 years ahead, not just tomorrow.

2. Avoid emotional decisions

I advise young entrepreneurs to take a step back, understand their business and look at the strengths. These factors shape their business and dispassionately reassess and see what you need to do differently. Tony Elumelu answered the question saying:

“For young entrepreneurs who have seen their business collapse during this pandemic, what do they need to do to get back on track? Tony further said that we live in a world of knowledge and information that is just a click away. on your device. Quitting is not something I advise people to do, but please don’t make a sentimental or emotional decision. Think it through; if you have mentors, sit down with them Don’t be impartial in your business decisions, because businesses fail because people don’t make passionate decisions.”

Tony Elumelu was very clear in his statements about business sacrifices and advised young entrepreneurs to learn. He had sacrificial opinions when asked for his opinion on what young entrepreneurs should aim for. He said the Tony Elumelu you see today didn’t always have it all.

“In the past, for example, I decided not to buy a car and instead planned to use the money to make investments. I waited for the proceeds of that investment to buy the car. When I say sacrifices, I mean learn to defer consumption. It would be better for you to think long term. When you visualize success, you can make sacrifices. Then you can apply rigor and energy. that will lead you to success.

Tony Elumelu emphasized hard work, staying focused and sacrificing for a better future. In his own words, “My advice to budding young entrepreneurs when interacting with them is to be hardworking, don’t be afraid to dream but know that dreaming is less than 1%; the 99% is about translating your dream into action, to translate your dream into reality. That’s what makes the difference.

5. There is no easy way out

The successful Nigerian business tycoon encouraged young African entrepreneurs to ignore shortcuts and be very determined and prepared for success. When the interviewer asked him about the essentials one must have before embarking on an entrepreneurial adventure, he began by pointing out that “the road to success is not linear. It is uphill and downhill. You have to be very determined and willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. And you have to know what success looks like in your chosen field. The same goes if you want to be successful in business. That kind of discipline and training helps a lot. To become an entrepreneur, you have to recognize that it’s not a bed of roses.”

The businessman wants young entrepreneurs to think long term. When asked about the people he most admired, Tony mentioned Steve Jobs, among others. Elumelu chose Steve Jobs because the company he founded became the first to cross a trillion dollar market capitalization even after his death. He said:

“I think the primary aspirations of every business in the world should be to build a business that lasts and not a business that you live and die with. I think when you’re gone the business should still be there and grow better. That’s what Steve Jobs did. Steve Jobs changed the world with his wonderful devices. Long after his death, the company he founded was the first to cross a trillion. I’ love this guy because on top of every other aspect he showed discipline and everything he achieved in the short time he was on earth.”


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