Bloomberg News, the US-based financial media empire, profiles Dr. Samuel Adedoyin as ‘a philanthropist, simple, diligent, intelligent, dynamic, shrewd and innate businessman who combines these rare qualities that differentiate him from his peers in industry and commerce’.

More than any of the adjectives, what creates an aura of mystery around the renowned industrialist is the apparent lack of correlation between his age (he is 85) and high energy he displays in his daily activities.

Adedoyin engages virtually every hour of the day to monitor closely all his businesses that cut across banking, real estate, import and export, hospitality among others. He exercises daily and can recall any dated events with accuracy and speed. I first interviewed Chief Adedoyin in 2002, and meeting him 15 years after I told him it was like something had frozen his aging process and he agreed: ‘Many would not believe it when I say that what I do now are more than what I was doing when I was 30 or 40.’ He attributes all this to the grace of God. Every statement from this Agbamu-born business mogul oozes with wisdom, and is rendered in Queen’s English style even though he had only Standard Four education. When I asked him to share the most important lesson he has learnt over the years, he said: ‘The most amazing thing I have discovered over the years is that every human being created by God is endowed with amazing talents on the inside, but we don’t use up to 10%. That is why I work the way I work to ensure that I cross that minimum. Work is the miracle God has given to each one of us to bring out the very best he has deposited in us.’

Please enjoy his other life lessons.

LESSON 1

God owns the secrets to wealth.

This is one secret I discovered early in life, and I want to say that it is responsible for the little success I have achieved. At the beginning of the whole venture, I did not look like someone who would succeed. In fact, many people, including relatives and close friends wrote me off initially. But I discovered this truth: the secrets of making money belong to God. For anyone who wishes to be successful, the first step is to know God, obey him, serve him and praise him in everything. That is what can take you into wealth, health and long life. When you know God and you ask him for the things you want, He will give them to you. Mind you, I did not say when you know God, you will not have challenges in life. You will, but you will always overcome such challenges and difficulties.

Everybody has what God has prepared for him. The problem we have is that some of us are in wrong places. Ask God to show you that thing, which when you touch, will turn into gold.

LESSON 2

Silence is golden.

There is so much virtue in learning how to keep your mouth shut most of the time, and instead cultivate the habit of listening to others speak. That way, you gain wisdom. This virtue has brought me fortunes. People think that I am foolish because when they are arguing and shouting, I just keep quiet and keep looking at them. I take time to listen to people to understand what they are saying and where they are coming from. Sometimes people think I don’t know what to say. No. If you are not a good listener and you rush answers without thinking through, you are most likely to make mistakes. I don’t rush in giving answers.

LESSON 3

Always listen to and follow your inner conviction.

Many people have continued to move from one error to another because they fail to allow their inner compass to guide them. God has given everyone this inner light, but many are afraid to follow it. Instead, they want to do what other people are doing. I started with buying and selling at Kumasi, Ghana. When I first arrived there, I joined other young men in the popular work of those days which was mining granite from the river. I did it for three days; I couldn’t cope. I hadn’t done such hard work before. So I quit; it was not for me. People called me names, that I was lazy, that I was good for nothing, and so on, I didn’t answer them. I prayed. I said God, I ran away from my village not knowing where I would be, but here I find myself, you can see I cannot cope, please tell me what to do.

I can’t really remember how I started with one or two Pound Sterling. I bought keys and other small things and hawked on the road. And within a year, I made money. It is always good to ask God for His guidance, wisdom and knowledge. He has a lot of it; he will give it to anybody who sincerely asks. You have to think and seek God before you go into any business. You don’t just rush in because somebody has promised that you would get good returns.

LESSON 4

Do not think you cannot fail.

Whatever you are doing, do not think that you cannot make mistakes or that you cannot fail. But be persistent in what you believe in. One thing you need to know is that in any business there are ups and downs; don’t see a failure in one as a failure in all. I have diversified interests in business. If this one doesn’t work, others will work. You know I lost my bank (City Express Bank) to the Federal Government. But today, that taking over has turned to be a huge blessing because the properties I gave to the bank have started bringing in multimillion Naira rents, which when the bank was there, I was not getting from them. Now, I make hundreds of millions from rents on those properties. So, every disappointment leads to a blessing from God; that is if you started with God of course.

LESSON 5

Trust your family into God’s hands.

Only God Almighty can raise families. It is not by wisdom. In my own case I have many children. Some of them are successful, some not so successful. We are still praying for all of them that God will lead them aright. Nobody has the wisdom to what God will make of his children. What you can do is try and teach them the way of the Lord, how they will rely on themselves instead of relying on people or government contracts. I have played my part; the rest is left for them.

LESSON 6

Don’t bother your head over who will succeed you.

As far as I am concerned, only God knows who will succeed who. A lot of us are worried about what will happen when we are no more. That is not your business. What you need is simply to make sure your business is set on the right principles and values. It is not your duty to determine who succeeds you. What if the person you have in mind is not interested, as I have experienced? What if he pretends to be interested, and as soon as you die, he squanders everything? All I can do is to tell God to show them where their talents are for them to be successful in life. These are my thinking and policy because only God knows tomorrow. He owns wealth and gives it to those who He wants to give it to. All that you can do is just to advise them and help them to live an honest life.

LESSON 7

Use your brain to create wealth for yourself.

I am not saying there is no miracle. There is miracle, but you must help your miracle. Many of our churches these days talk about miracles and miracles, but the real miracle is the brain God has given you; use it to create wealth for yourself rather than looking for miracles; you have to work for miracles. You cannot be sleeping in your bed and someone throws money at you. So, you have to work very hard, think very hard, and ask God for direction on what you can do to become a successful person in life.

Brain is not made to rest. If you look at those who retired at 60 and are doing nothing, you find them having stroke or not being able to walk right and think right because they are not using the brain.

FAVORITE BOOKS

The only book I read is the Bible. I hardly read other books. But I read the bible, I listen to bible. I have read it over and over.

WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE?

Nothing, other than praising God

WALL OF GRATITUDE

To God only. Sometimes I feel like rolling on the ground to thank God for keeping me alive and healthy. Many of my friends are dead; many are alive but battling one ill health or the other. But here I am healthy, so why would I not glorify His name?

EXTRA

Secrets for healthy life.

Live a balanced life. You should also eat well and eat what will give you good health. I am not a doctor, but I know that fruits and grains will help a lot. Don’t eat fried things especially when you are getting older. You shouldn’t even try smoking; it is dangerous. If you watch what you eat, what you drink, where you go, it will help a lot.

You also have to exercise yourself regularly because you need to keep fit. I do this daily as time allows. If you are sitting down and you don’t exercise your body it can lead to a lot of things. Exercise alerts your brain.

But as I said before, God owns the health and longevity of every man.