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Nairalogue with Ifeoma Adeoye: Get Rich by Living Like the Rich



If you ever have the privilege to be close to or live in close proximity to a wealthy person, you will learn a lot from observing their attitude to work and how they live their lives. They all have their habits and unique behaviours but there are a few attributes that are common to most, if not all of them. Here are 7 habits of the rich that are worth emulating.

They are persistent
In 1989 Simon Cowell was bankrupt and had to move back in with his family. This did not deter him. He pushed on in his hustle and today he is worth over £300 million. Persistence is a habit that can be learnt. It is simply not taking “no” for an answer and continuing to push in the face of adversity, even when your body and soul are telling you “guy you are on your own, we have supported you enough”. Persistence is one of the most important factor required to grow a small business in Nigeria. There may be times when you feel like the universe is against you and you are expending all your energy just to fan the embers of your dream. If you are ever at this point, REMEMBER that success is just around the corner. Stay focused on your goals, do not quit, do not give up! There are many people in the same situation. Reach out to people for assistance and encouragement.

They wake up early
That is if they get to sleep at all. I know that Nigeria is a peculiar country so I cannot ask us to wake up any earlier than we wake up on week days as most of us (especially those of us that live in Lagos) generally wake up at 4 or 5am just to get to work on time. However, if you consider carrying on this discipline of rising early into the weekend, you could add about 4 – 6 hours to your productive time per week. This is time you can spend studying or growing your side hustle.

They are tireless
Rich people are extremely hard working and most of them work round the clock closing deals, travelling, running businesses, etc. When a person is hard working, the result evident. You can tell the difference between a hard working student, business owner or employee and a not so hard working one. A hard working person attains great heights because he/she takes the pain and puts in the extra effort/time that is required for success.

They educate themselves
They read everyday! Books, newspapers, reports anything that keeps them informed on the economy, their investments and everything in between. Have you noticed that top executives always take short courses at INSEAD, Harvard and other Ivy League colleges? They constantly seek to learn and increase their knowledge base. You must be extremely knowledgeable to control an empire. If you cannot read it, listen to/watch it. Either ways, constantly educate yourself. Learn something new every day or every week. No? Ok, try every month.

They are positive
This is important because you are ultimately what you think. I develop business plans for investors, as part of my job. I developed a business plan for a client that desired to invest in the Nigerian manufacturing industry. Given all the economic indices and assumptions used at the time, the venture didn’t seem profitable. We advised the client on the potential “doom and gloom”. He listened to us patiently and after our long presentation, he politely said “No matter what you say, I will invest in this business because I have done it successfully in other smaller countries and given Nigeria’s population size and its geographical positioning, I know without a doubt that it will be profitable”. That’s the spirit! Sometimes people may not see or share your vision but you must remain positive and go for it. Before the telecoms boom, Vodafone was approached to invest in Nigeria and they refused. I’m sure they regret that decision every time they see the profit figures in MTNs’ books!

They spend less than they earn
I cannot stress this point enough because it is one of the secrets of building wealth. Rich people spend less than they earn and many times, they get for FREE, the things that “regular people” spend a large amount of their income on. “Regular people” increase their expenses as their income increases. They buy better cars, bigger houses and more expensive accessories. Unfortunately, thinking and acting like this will leave you in a perpetual state of struggle. Warren Buffet (worth $72.3bn) still lives in the same 5 bedroom house he bought in 1958, with no gates, surveillance cameras or security guards.

They are ‘future thinking’ 
Most wealthy people take a future view to the things they do, whether it is investing in a stock portfolio, acquiring properties or developing/innovating products and services. They forecast future trends and take positions in the market based on this. Many times, if and when this ‘bet’ pays off, it pays off WELL! Steve Jobs is popularly quoted for saying “people do not know what they want until you show them”. In a world where products are developed in line with customer views and opinions, he dared to be different. He was futuristic in his thinking (anticipating what people would want even before they knew they would want it) and developed many ‘first of its type’ products. Apple is worth $685bn today. Need I say more?

Remember start now, start small – just do it!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Atholpady

Ifeoma Adeoye is an entrepreneur and a business consultant. She is keen on social and charitable causes and spends a considerable amount of her time establishing and providing business advisory services to startup businesses in Africa. She is a motivational speaker and is passionate about motivating people to be innovative, entrepreneurial, financially savvy and independent. She loves all things related to making money legitimately and believes that we should all strive to have lots of it. You can contact her via email at [email protected] and on Instagram & twitter @nairalogue


  1. Omooba

    November 5, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Great article. Thank you.

  2. chee

    November 5, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Thanks ify,was looking forward to your article this week!. Last week u talked about savings and we asked questions,could u please provide answers,thanks.

  3. LEE

    November 5, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I just learnt something useful

  4. smallie

    November 5, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for motivating us these morning, am thrilled and blessed…..determination would definitely get you to the top.

  5. Emmanuel

    November 5, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Very inspiring and full of insights.


    November 5, 2015 at 11:00 am

    It’s good to observe habits of the rich but if u don’t let go of certain habits, you will always remain broke why? most of the time,poverty is a result of poor choices, not of poor luck

    Some rules for being and remaining broke/poor:
    -Lust after what you don’t have;Desiring something better is not a bad thing, but lusting after it is. Buying things you can’t afford, because you are not content to wait until you can afford it is a great way to stay poor
    -Don’t pay attention to where you money goes
    -Get a loan for everything… cars, a new bedroom set,a wedding, naming ceremony, a vacation.
    – As Kiyosaki said in his famous book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the poor (and middle class) buy their luxuries immediately and on credit. The wealthy wait, save up and buy it with cash.
    -Wait for the perfect time to start saving, till you start earning some REAL big money.
    -Follow the crowd
    -Despise small beginnings
    -Be awfully stingy.It seems counter-intuitive, but keeping everything to yourself only causes you to have less. Proverbs 11:25 says “The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.”
    -Choose luxury over comfort.
    -Complain about everything/everyone except your own attitude:They are all bad a
    refuse to lend you money. They are all bad & do not want you to get rich.
    Ifeoma, thak u so much. I just loved your article;

  7. NiNI

    November 5, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Very insightful article. I picked up a few tips from this. Thank you.

  8. beauty

    November 5, 2015 at 11:28 am

    nice, I felt nostalgic reading this…

  9. Ephi

    November 5, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Such a good read, thanks Ifeoma!
    Very key points particularly increasing your knowledge base, there is so much out there if only people could take time to learn and grow, the benefits are immense.

  10. ifeanyi

    November 5, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Another not-connected-to-reality drama…

    Take a Look at an Average Tomato seller in Oshodi Market and juxtapose her lifestyle with what 75% of what you have written…

    Talk to me should you see discrepancies…#CorrectMeIfIamRight

    The secret of Success is Preparation meets opportunity…In Other words, Your Luck Don Shine!!!

    • Nello

      November 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      @ifeanyi, true talk. It is not about how much you work or discipline yourself. There are a lot of tomato sellers and motor park drivers that are doing a lot of what you have written above and even more, and they are still where they are or even worse. It is not about self, though that contributes a lot, but opportunity and chance happens.

      There are wayyyy better Nollywood actresses then Genevieve or Omotola, but it is just that they met the right people and where at the right place at the right time; likewise, there are way better singers than Tuface or Tiwa, even in the villages, it is just they were able to toot their horn at the right team that promoted them. Pray and be prepared, that is the key. Success is not by power of your own strength. Time and chance happens.

  11. Yue

    November 5, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I’m not done with reading this yet, but it has already gone a looooooooong way!!!

  12. Anne

    November 5, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    When Ifeoma’s article is read in context, it applies even to the tomato seller, Ifeanyi. Nice article, Ifeoma. Reminded me to stop wasting time on BN and get down to all the stuff I need to do to achieve my career goals.

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