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Time And Chance

Welcome to another Monday and new newsletter.

Last week, 2 posts on social media caught my attention. The first post, from a tech founder; was on the need for young people in their twenties to focus on hard work if they wanted to be successful. As to be expected, it garnered a lot of reactions – both for and against his opinion.

The second post was from one of those who had contradictory opinion. According to her, life happens to people differently and what works for one may not necessarily work for the other.

In her post, Dr Ola Brown referred to the bible and the fact that Solomon’s blessings came effortlessly after his encounter with God whilst it took Jacob long hours of fighting an angel as well as a dislocated hip before his own blessings were triggered. According to her “life no balance”.

Her point resonated with me because our personal finance/wealth creation journey is not just necessarily a function of know how or hard work; there is definitely a role the supernatural plays in ensuring that things work out well.

Below are some of the “supernatural” principles that I believe play a role in this journey:

  • Time & Chance: Eric Yuan, the founder of Zoom Video Communications is undoubtably one of the major winners of the Covid pandemic. He actually started the company in 2011 after his former employers – Cisco Systems rejected the idea of zoom.

Even though he became a billionaire in 2019 after the company was listed on the stock exchange; his wealth increased significantly (360%) in 2020 as Zoom became an essential tool for remote working and teaching.

Even though great success came years after; just imagine if he had not gone ahead with his idea.

 

  • Good Fortune: Good fortune is defined as an auspicious state resulting from favourable outcomes.

2 weeks ago, when we discussed the lessons to be learnt from Rafael Nadal, we mentioned that he took advantage of the absence of the erstwhile defending champion – Novak Djokovic. He saw the opportunity & rightly seized it.

Many people actually do not realize that Elon Musk is not the founder of Tesla. He was in fact an early-stage investor who joined the board thereafter, before later on becoming the CEO.

Today, he owns over 23% of Tesla and the value of this shareholding is largely responsible for his wealth and position as the world’s richest man.

This may not have been possible if he had originally declined investing in Tesla.

 

  • Association: As Solomon, the wisest man ever once said “the companion of wise men will be wise”.

In our story about the rapper known as NAS; we had mentioned the fact that he had been introduced into venture capital by a friend of his. In fact, his initial investments were made based on referrals from his friend’s investment firm.

Shaq O’neil’s windfall from his initial investment in Ring (which was later bought by Amazon) came as a result of his business relationship with the former.

Even our own Aliko Dangote is also an example of someone who had a leg up by virtue of association; in this case – his family.

All these men will no doubt acknowledge the positive role their associations had in aiding them on the way to wealth creation.

In conclusion, I am in no way dismissing the role of hard work; all I am saying is that in many cases – it just isn’t the sole contributor to one’s success. One or all of the principles mentioned above, tend to give a helping hand.

As we start a new week, I pray that these principles will work for us. Do have a fantastic week.

 

Toyin Oguntuyi