These life lessons from Nigeria’s richest female tycoon, Folorunsho Alakija will spur you to success.
Ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of over $2 billion, Folorunsho Alakija has proven to be a successful woman both career- and business-wise.
Alakija, who is the managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group, executive vice chairman of Famfa Oil Limited, founder of Supreme Stitches, a host of other businesses, and a philanthropist, has shown that she has what it takes to be a powerful woman.
Here are six life lessons every woman can learn from Folorunsho Alakija.
1. Go The Extra Mile
Folorunsho Alakija does not have a university degree, but today she is one of the richest women in the world. The first lesson you can learn is that you can achieve anything you want once you set your mind to it.
Secondly, if you are currently in a position or a job that is not your dream job, do not let that stop you from learning as much as you can from that role. Alakija was once a company secretary. She began her secretarial career at Sijuade Enterprises in Lagos for 18 months.
Soon after she heard of an American bank opening in Nigeria, she applied and was hired as an executive secretary to the managing director of the First National Bank of Chicago.
She worked there for 12 years, and using the extra mile principle, she rose through the ranks. She moved from being a secretary to heading the corporate affairs department to working in the Treasury Department, trading the bank’s money.
2. Have a Personal Relationship With God
Alakija doesn’t joke with her Christian faith. She is a keen believer in the power of God and attributes her success today to him. She was ordained as an apostle on July 15, 2020, and she oversees the Rose of Sharon Glorious Ministry International.
3. Take Advantage Of Opportunities
If you intend to start your own business someday, you should read a lot about that industry, attend events, and talk to people who are doing what you are currently interested in. If you find an opportunity that is not currently being addressed, you should dive into it before the opportunity passes you by.
After 12 years at the bank, she knew it was time for a new challenge. Alakija ventured into the Nigerian fashion industry at a time when things were beginning to grow. According to her, “it was a time when Nigerians were very proud of displaying African fashion”.
Fashion was her passion, and she felt it was the right time to capitalize. But she wanted to do it right. So with the support of her husband, she quit her job, moved back to England, and studied fashion for a little over a year.
After that, she returned to Nigeria to start Supreme Stitches, a premium fashion line catering to high-end Nigerian women.
4. Make An Impact Regardless Of Your Position
Regardless of your position, there is something you can share with people looking up to you as a mentor. Make an impact on your immediate community and neighborhood.
Alakija has a foundation named the Rose of Sharon Foundation, a non-governmental organization that supports widows and orphan children through programs and educational grants.
She also organizes free annual events and conferences that seek to empower people. She also founded ‘Flourish Africa’, a platform created to empower women from all walks of life.
Even before she became a philanthropist, Alakija was involved in community programs and shared her expertise with others through speaking engagements and attending volunteer events.
5. Don’t Give Up
One key lesson to learn from her is persistence. For instance, when she ventured into the oil business, many doors were shut in her face. She kept knocking.
When she looked into securing some kind of contract in the industry, she was told her suggestions were not needed. She kept investigating.
She applied for a license to get an oil block, but her application was put to the side. She kept applying.
After three years, her application was approved, and she was given an oil block that no other company wanted.
6. Be Enterprising
Every lady shouldn’t always rely on her salary alone; you must have other legitimate sources of income. Learn to do business on the side, but ensure it doesn’t affect your major work schedule. Alakija’s primary sources of wealth are rooted in oil and fashion.
Currently, she is the Vice Chairman of Famfa Oil, the managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group, and the founder of Supreme Stitches, a fashion label that caters to an upscale clientele.