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Aliko Dangote: His Hustle Story and Humble Beginnings



Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote

Do you want to know about Aliko Dangote’s Biography, his early life, business, investments, and family? Read this article to the end because in today’s article, I will be sharing everything you need to know about all this. How Aliko Dangote became the richest man in Africa has really been painted as not a big deal for those of us who really want to know in Nigeria.

It’s one thing to read how Aliko Dangote became the richest man in Africa, it’s another thing to take note of the things he did. Reading so far on Aliko Dangote, I’ve realized there were no mistakes written particularly about him. I mean he never mentioned the mistakes he made rather there were talks on the specific things he did that made him turn out big today.

So today I’m going to be writing about him and the lesson I’ve learned so far from his biography and god willing if this goes well I’ll write about other successful people and the lesson I’ve learnt from them. So let’s move on. We all know it’s not easy to start a business in Nigeria. You understand this better if you have a business that you’re trying to push.

From the low or no power to bad road to the ailing government policies that surround us are crippling businesses but despite all this, this one-man still got everything going from flour to sugar to cement and so on.

Aliko Dangote Hustle’s Story

1. He Started his Business Early

This is one of the first thing you do not know about Aliko Dangote had always been passionate about business according to history but he started his business officially at the age of 21. This is the number 1 I mistake I made and I think there many Nigerian youths that fall under this category. We take too long before finally deciding what we want to do in life.

I’m not saying this is totally bad. After all, Taste started his restaurant at the 60+ of age. I’m just saying the earlier the better. Aliko Dangote starting at the age of 21 gave him many advantages that can never be overlooked.

A. He had the opportunity of growing with his business

So many business owners have died whilst their business is just getting to know them or whilst they are just getting to know their business.

B. He has the opportunity of proper handing over as at the time of death

Aliko Dangote starting his business quite early also gives him the advantage of taking his time to choose the successor of his business.

It is always said “almost all business die as soon as their owner dies” this is because there’s no proper choosing of successor and most owners usually think their children should succeed their business which is always wrong.

The succession of a business should be given to the person who is worthy not a person who will ruin it. So that is it! Anyone who wants to make it in this life must quickly decide what he wants and how he wants to go about it. So he can start early.

2. He Took Reasonable Risks

This is another thing you do not know about about Aliko Dangote. And it is another mistake I have made and I still make till today. Maybe because of so many bad news I have heard from this. Me hearing some borrowers somehow pray that you should not be able to pay back the money you owe them on time. So then the interest on the money you borrowed will continue to grow and so on have scared me from borrowing money to start my business big time.

But then again, I will say Aliko Dangote was a lucky guy. He came from a wealthy family contrary to many believes that he came from a poor family. So he was able to borrow money from his uncle without fear. Even if Aiko Dangote squandered the money or the business he was trying to start fell apart, he would have still been able to go to bed with his eyes closed because; he borrowed the money (capital) from his uncle to back with no interest.

So I’ll say if you really need to borrow money to start your business, where you borrow money matters a lot. Borrow money from family if possible rather from an outsider.

3. He Reinvests His Profits

This was a culture Aliko Dangote practiced all the time. He said that instead of joining the rest of business owners to put their profits in the bank, he preferred reinvesting his profit into his business. No wonder his business grew rapidly. And this is a mistake so many business owners make today especially business start-ups. Once we start to make profits from our business we start feeling we have arrived.

It is at this time we also remember we need to change our car and our wardrobe every month instead of simply reinvesting. This also applies to salary earners. Once our salaries have been reviewed and increased, we feel our level is supposed to change instantly. Our 5k shoes need to be changed to 20k and we need to be using the latest iPhone.

This was really a pointer for me to work on. Know that saving my money does not make you rich, reinvesting does.

4. Financial Support from his Family

Sometimes, intelligence is not enough to build wealth in Nigeria. You need all the support you can get from family, especially financial support. So many Nigerian youths will have become rich today, so rich that they might be battling Aliko Dangote’s Africa’s richest man position if their family was also as rich as Dangote’s and was able to support them.

So many youths have brains but they don’t have the funds that why they are still struggling. Well, thumbs up to Tony Elumelu in all this. He’s trying in terms of the financial support and all… The fifth and final lesson I learnt from Aliko Dangote is…

5. He Diversified His Business

One major advantage youths of today have is “strength” but then again I will say it’s also our Achilles heel. We feel because we have all the strength we need we can do so many things at the same time. I for one made this mistake. Running two businesses, my blog and still doing my regular 9 – 5 job. Anyways, I have learnt my lesson. 

I have decided to stick with just one, for now, asides my 9 – 5 and grow it till it can live on its own before I go back to others. I am putting my 2 other businesses on hold and facing my blog till it grows and it’s able to survive on its own. Aliko Dangote also had the same strength we all have when he was 21 but he decided to stick with just one thing when he started – sugar from Brazil and rice from Thailand.

Importing just these 2 commodities gave him the power of concentration. He was able to divert all his energy in one place and focus. One of my mentors Stephen Omojuyigbe (Stephen with a PH) once used ‘light’ to explain the power of concentration. He said “when you point light to something, it gives us the ability to see everything about that thing in its entirety.

The ability of us seeing this in its entirety is not because we have good eyes. It is because the power of concentration has come into play. Pointing light to whatever we want to see help us view things well. For me, this kills the explanation on ‘the power of concentration’ very well. It has always been overwhelming doing everything together but I think with this I’ll able to do better because it won’t drain me.


These are the top 5 things you do not know about Aliko Dangote’s biography so far. Have you also read on the business mogul? Please share with me the lessons you’ve learnt from him and drop your questions and comments. Do well by following us on all our social media platforms, listen to our podcast, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Hi! I'm Ralph Bamigboye. An Accountant, Teacher, Writer, and Blogger. I self-funded and started my professional cleaning business in Nigeria. I am passionate about Nigerian youths and how they can succeed. How can I help you?


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