Earlier today at the Imo State University Auditorium, an African ICT pioneer and billionaire businessman, Leo Stan Ekeh held an audience of over 1,000 young undergraduates and young graduates spellbound as he revealed to them the secrets that made him successful in most areas of his life, including; academics, entrepreneurship, family and as a leader.
The occasion is the Imo State University Alumni Association and YUDALA (an online and offline retail shop) organized wealth creation workshop, which had great motivational speakers and life coaches including; Dr. Cally Cussons Anopue, Linus Okorie, etc in attendance.
According to the 60 years old ZINOX Computers CEO, the following qualities are necessary for anyone who wants to be successful as an entrepreneur
Telling a story of how he made more than 4.5 Million Dollars in his first few weeks in Nigeria as an ICT entrepreneur, he made it clear that considering the amount of money which he had access to at the time he started off and the fact that most of his clients paid him huge sums of money before he made his supplies, he could have decided to abscond with the monies without making the supplies, because little was known about him by these people.But he kept faith and that was what earned him the trust and huge clientele that he today boasts of.
2. BE HUNGRY FOR SUCCESS
According to him, the major driving force of all successful entrepreneurs is not really the desire to make more money, but the fear of failure or defeat.
3. MARRY A GOOD AND INTELLIGENT WIFE
To drive your success in business, you need a wife who will also be a good thinker, whom you can consult before taking some sensitive decisions. He observed that the reluctance by some men, especially Igbo men about marrying highly intelligent and ambitious women is responsible for the failure of a greater number of such men to grow their businesses beyond average status
4. COMMERCIALIZATION OF PASSION
Even though you can do many things, but it is more advisable for you to engage in those things that give you satisfaction and also make sure you make money out of those things. In his words; “Any passion that does not pay your bills is a waste”.
5. STRIVE TO BE THE BEST IN WHATEVER YOU DO
You mustn’t start from the things that are known to be very lucrative, as everything can be lucrative and you can actually become a billionaire from selling groundnuts. In his words; “If you start off selling apple, target becoming the best apple seller around. The same strategies and passion with which you sold apples and it worked well, you can as well sell computers and become very successful in it.
6. VALUE TIME
Using his experience at a meeting of his town union in Lagos, which he attended when he was still a young boy, he advised upcoming entrepreneurs not to allow any minute of their time to be wasted on things that are not productive. You must work with the mindset that any time wasted, is money wasted. Only be at places that are beneficial to your businesses or dreams. He also advised against one living beyond his means and living ostentatious lifestyle. He squealed that there is a billionaire in Imo State who is considered one of the wealthiest men in the State, who owes banks about 80 Billion Naira. He told his bewildered audience that to service such debt, the billionaire will need to be paying the banks about 200 Million Naira every month as interest.
7. INVEST IN THE FUTURE
Describing himself as a researcher on the future, the ICT entrepreneur whose son owns YUDALA and his first daughter the country distributor of TECNO, INFINIX and other smart phones, lectures that any entrepreneur must have an eye on the future and be able to direct his or her investments in such a way that he will remain in business no matter the vagaries of technology and the economy.
8. YOU MUST BE A FIGHTER
Telling a story of how he fought hard to win a contract from INEC for the supply of computers and other machines needed for the conduct of the 2007 and 2011 elections, he informed his audience that he had to throw in huge sums of money, time, energy and even at the risk of his own life to get the contract which the INEC commissioner at the time had already planned to award to a Chinese company, Leo Stan informed his audience that an entrepreneur must be ready to take risks and not run away from challenges.
9. DIVERSIFY YOUR BUSINESS INTERESTS
It is important for an entrepreneur to have more than one business interest, as there could be a crisis in one area of his or her business, and that may spell an end to his wealth.
He assured his audience that there is no better way to remain economically afloat than saving whatever monies you make. He recommended investment in real estate as one of the safest ways to save money. However, one does not need to keep concentrating his or her real estate investments in one area of the country as there could be problem. He also advised against investment in lands, as anything can happen.