Each Wealth Story is Unique In its Own Way.
I happened to read a story in the Forbes magazine about Australia’s richest people in 2019 last week that was published on the 16th of January 2019. The list got me thinking. The story by Lucinda Schmidt revealed the vast fortunes accumulated over time by our elites. In that column, Gina Rinehart is said to be the richest person in Australia, having invested heavily in mining. She is the Chairperson of Hancock Prospecting, a privately owned company that deals with mining exploration. In as much as it is an inheritance from her late father, she has managed to keep the company on top and is valued at $14.8 billion in 2019 making her the richest Australian for that matter according to Forbes’s research and analysis.
While pondering on this story, I decided to do a comparative analysis of Australia and the US in terms of their crème de la crème in realms of wealth. In America for instance, the richest person at the moment is a man heavily invested in the tech industry; e-commerce to be precise besides other investments. Compare that to Australia. For Kenya, the purported richest Kenyan could be a politician, though legitimately there could be an Industrialist.
Of the 35 dollar billionaires in Australia, it is alleged that only three are technology entrepreneurs. The rest are miners, real estate moguls as well as bankers. This contrasts sharply with the US where over 80% of the first 50 dollar billionaires are technology entrepreneurs. It then means that there is no precise determination that investing heavily in technology in any place across the globe could make you the richest person within those confines.
It still stands that the richest person in the world might end up being a mining investor especially now that there are multiple races by world renowned billionaires to take custody of space mining. The minerals in space are worth trillions of dollars, which means that taking huge custody of that could potentially spiral someone after a while into the world’s first dollar trillionaire, assuming ‘crude’ capitalism is left to fair play. Let us not be surprised that that may potentially come from the western world and that Africa may not feature.
The reason being that largely, you guessed it right, we are good at following the aftershocks- might be because of inadequacy of innovations or lack of it thereof. Surprisingly, more often than not we sit on resources till they are found. The Turkana oil exploration and success of it explains this all too well to Kenyans, Africans.
In the Book Zero to One by Peter Thiel, the writer begins by stating, “The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.” To add on that, the next Jeff Bezos won’t build an electronic market. It thus means that the next story won’t be copy paste of the yester year’s success stories. And this brings me to the point that our success stories are as unique as our DNA.
There has been a lot of projections that the bulk of investments in Africa for the next decade will go into ICT infrastructure. This has made a number of many people to be very speculative, myself being one of them, into channeling a lot of investment into that sector. But there is a catch which possibly may point to a different kind of successful entrepreneurs who will simply use the technology others will build into amazing lots of wealth.
Moreover, it means that there is no need of channeling our interests completely into building a version of windows because Bill Gates has the over $90 billion dollars worth of wealth. It is neither feasible committing your entire life into making a replica of Amazon because Jeff Bezos is worth above $120 billion. Ours is to walk our entrepreneurial paths faithfully and instead use the technologies to our own benefit. Fitting the tech ideologies into our contexts and further them to our own gain is what will make us successful.
To make a fortune means solving a single problem affecting a multitude of people. Moon Express entrepreneur Naveen Jain puts it in a way that is easily understandable. He says that to become a dollar billionaire requires one to solve a problem affecting a billion people and charging just a dollar for that. And what are these greatest challenges?
Committing ourselves into finding a simple solution to solve the issue of water shortages and challenges in the largely arid areas of the continent. Getting more effective ways to plant, grow, harvest and store food with minimal wastage in a rapidly growing world. Finding a simple way to analyze and treat diseases affecting millions of people across the globe.
In the documentary, How We Became Billionaires, Naveen Jain at one point hints at a short conversation he envisions in a club with buddies in the near future. Whereas some will be saying, “I am making apps for iPhone,” he will proudly say, “Well, I mine the moon.” Think that is crazy? That is big thinking. A unique story weaved in in its own way.
The richest person in the African continent and in Nigeria, Aliko Dangote, is a manufacturing magnate. He owns the Dangote group of companies. The richest person in South Africa, Nicky Oppenheimer, is in the mining industry while the richest Indian, Mukesh Ambani, has invested heavily in gas, oil and petrochemicals. The riches Mexican has invested heavily in telecommunication. And this explains the fact that each wealth story is simply unique in its own way.
As a matter of fact, every wealth story is great and developed under its own circumstances. So don’t try to make someone’s success story yours, you will end up miserable and disappointed. Follow your own path and do your thing. Use others’ stories as inspiration and motivation in your own quests. Who knows, the difference could simply be time and another unique wealthy story making headlines in our dailies will be that of you in the coming days.
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