I want to show from the lessons I got from how Babangida Alhassan is storming Nigeria that any Northern Nigeria youth can be transformed if the insights from how he is blowing minds with his awesome works are implemented.
Babangida Alhassan Dauda is the perfect example that the only missing ingredient to massive youth empowerment especially in Northern Nigeria youth is a good teacher and a willing student. If Babangida can get to where he is today, then no one has any excuse not to succeed no matter your stage in life
Now here is the lessons that this Jigawa state master can teach young African and most importantly Northern Nigeria youths who are ready to build great businesses
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1. BE OPEN TO UNUSUAL TEACHERS – At the point we first met, Babangida did not know me but one day, I walked into his shop to mend my shoe. For some strange reason I told him that if he could come to my house every evening by six pm that I will transform his business and life. At that point he was just a shoe mender with no education. I was surprised to find him at my door the next Tuesday where he joined the other group of students that I had also invited. He never questioned me on why I invited him, he never considered the fact that I was a Christian and he was a core Muslim.
2. BE OPEN TO NEW IDEAS – Some of the things I was teaching Babangida and his co-students were new business concepts like business planning, financial planning, negotiation skills. Despite the fact that this was sounding strange to him, he never questioned the concepts but tried them in his business. He was usually excited with the results because during the feedback session at our next meeting he will share story about the amazing results he was getting. For instance his major complain used to be that customers owed him a lot and were dumping shoes they didn’t want on him. I advised him to start collecting 70% upfront payment and the increase in his revenue blew his mind
3. BE WILLING FROM LEARN FROM ANYONE AND ANYWHERE – This is one of the most amazing thing about Babangida. I usually will invite him to the business seminars that I was attending most of which were organised by Christian churches. He will attend all and will constantly call me to ask when the next one was coming up. He realised that though the venue for getting the critical knowledge he needed to build his business was very uncomfortable for him, he was will to bear the discomfort just to get the message. I something would feel uncomfortable during some sessions of the seminars based on how he would take what was being said but he never complained and will comeback to ask me the time and venue for the next seminar. I am sure that he was one of the very first Muslim to attend the PLATFORM by Pastor Poju when it was still a very small event unlike the national event that it is today.
4. SCALE UP YOUR GAME – I pushed him to scale up his game. We started by his registering his business with CAC and that was how Gemia Leather works entreprises limited was born. We started working on how to start making shoes rather than just fixing spoilt ones. He immediately started attending shoemaking classes. Your talent is never enough. You need teachers in the area of your talent to show you how to improve and hone your talent. This is why top performers all have coaches and teachers. After attending these programs, his quality of work improved. This is what every Northern Nigeria youth and all African business owners must also learn
5. EDUCATION IS A MUST TO BUILD A BIG BUSINESS – One of the next thing Babangida did blew my mind after we started the weekly business meetings. He enrolled for an adult education class and started attending a formal education class. I started to get him some easy to read books which he read. After a few years I introduced him to FATE FOUNDATION BUSINESS SCHOOL for aspiring entrepreneurs where he enrolled and graduated with excellence that his picture is now in their hall of fame
6. READ BUSINESS BOOKS – Every Northern Nigeria Youth must be shown the value of reading business books. On a monthly basis and for years I forced Babangida to read at least one business book. And she he speaks, you can swear that he is an MBA degree holder. Books helped him to build up his confidence so much that people are usually amazed at how he could stand up in a huge gathering to ask questions.
7. KEEP GETTING NEW AND BETTER MENTORS – Because I was still honing my teaching skills when I started with Babangida and his co students at my house then to my office, I made them all realise that they must be seeking for better mentors. Babangida ran with this idea and today he can count the legendary Nigerian investor Alile Hayford as one of his mentors. You must continue getting new teachers and new mentors every year because all your current teacher or mentor can teach you is what they know. You must know when to start looking for new teachers if you want to keep growing
8. STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE – This was one gift that Babangida has. He was always striving to be the best. For instance he won as the third best Business plan writer in a competition at FATE foundation out of a class of over 200 all of whom where graduates He got so good that a lot of Nigerian top fashion houses now ask him to make their handbags and shoes for them. In fact if I call the fashion houses that he makes shoes and bags for in Nigeria, you will swear its not possible but that is how good he is
9. APPRECIATE THOSE THAT ASSISTED YOUR GROWTH – For years I never bought sandals because Babangida will always provide me with new ones. In fact I had to stop collecting for a while because it made me uncomfortable based on the fact that I knew it cost him a lot to make one. But where he showed his mastery was in appreciating the person that paid his tuition at FATE FOUNDATION. He was informed that his scholarship was funded by Apostle Alile Hayford the Nigerian business guru. We met Alile and his wife during his graduation from FATE foundation. I advised him to make a shoe for the Apostle and his wife to show appreciation but what he did was amazing he not only made the shoes but also carved their names into the shoes. Apostle Alile was so happy with the gesture that he continued to work with Babangida even up until today. He also increased the number of students he offered scholarship to because of the show of appreciation by Babangida. The Apostle has since then invested more into Babangida's business
10. CHARGE WHAT YOU ARE WORTH – One of the areas that he initially had challenges with was charging the right amount for his work. For instance, he will make a shoe for a fashion house for two thousand but will see them sell the same shoe for over twenty thousand naira. We had to work together for him to learn how to price his products right because the products were of great quality. Currently he has learnt to price his products well that I am sometimes scared by his price-tags
11. TEACH OTHER WHAT YOU KNOW – BABANGIDA has been striving to teach Northern Nigeria youths what he has learnt. He is constantly bringing young boys from his community in Jigawa state and Northern Nigeria states to workshop in Lagos to come and learn from him. In fact he has been trying for years to get the government of Jigawa state to organise a school where he can come and train the youths of Jigawa state on how to make export quality leather products. He has not succeed at that but he still has not given up.
12. DELAY GRATIFICATION – This is one area that Babangida mastered. He pumped back all his money back into the business. Some youths from his state felt he was unusual because he did not use the first money he made to immediately get married rather he waited for his business to stabilise before getting married.
13. MAKE YOUR PRODUCT RELIABLE- Call Babangida on 08024960771 to buy from him and if anything you buy from him does not last beyond two years, contact me and I will refund you the money. That is how good his products are. He is so good that people send leather products from USA to him to fix. He is so good that he has been featured on over five major newspaper full page stories