All four outstanding women have carved out their paths which make the ideal candidates to take career, finance, and general life advice from. Here is what they each have to say:
Alakija went from being a secretary to becoming Nigeria’s wealthiest woman with a net worth of $1 billion (N361.5 trillion) as of October 17, 2019. All this without having a university degree.
Her secret to success — “My family instilled a strong work ethic in me as a child and they hardly ever missed a day of work. Ethics is a word I live by because it is conducted in a work environment and in individual daily life."
“Do not accept ‘’No” for an answer — Many doors were shut in my face but I refused to give up and kept going back and it paid off; see where I am today. Be determined to succeed as there is always a way where there seems to be no way.”
She is a remarkable entrepreneur, author, the first female and youngest chairman of First bank Nigeria and serves on several boards including Cadbury Nigeria and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.
Her advice —” As you go along in business, it would be foolish if you don’t have an understanding of the numbers that underpin your business. You don’t have to become an accountant you can hire someone to put the numbers together for you. However, your accountant keeps your books and stores the information but YOU have to know how to interpret those figures because numbers speak and you can't make any concrete decisions without knowing what the numbers are saying.
"You don’t have to get an MBA, you can get your friend who is an accountant to help you, take one or two-day training courses at LBS, get an audit trainee to explain it to you or use university of Google to find pricing models or valuation models. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know just ask. It's ok to not know just make it your business to learn what you don’t know.”
She is the founder and CEO of House of Tara International, a Pan African beauty and cosmetics company, which had net sales of $7 million (N2.billion) in 2011, according to Bloomberg Africa.
“Find yourself, your purpose in life. Don’t just get a job, do something that is tied to a purpose. Even if you get a job, let it be tied to a purpose …. I am learning every day that this is not just about making money or turning a profit. There are people who need my call and my assignment and I desperately need to answer to their voices,” she advises.
Back in 2015, Forbes described the filmmaker, talk show hostess, human resource management consultant and venture capitalist as one of Africa’s most successful women.
Her advice to excel — “You must make sure your ideas are grounded, make sure they are realistic, and you must be able to execute them. Why are they going to switch to your channel? Why are they going to buy your product or your service? What makes you different? What makes you unique?”