January 24, 2022|3 Minutes|In Editor's Desk|Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop

Editor's Desk

"Luck be with you."

Welcome entrepreneurs of Africa to another week of grind and sweat – or does it have to be like that ? Maybe not so much if you have lady luck on your side.

Napoleon once said he preferred a lucky general to a good general. In these difficult times more and more people are acknowledging the important part luck can play in the life of an entrepreneur.

Take the moment a stray 10-shilling note fluttered to the ground on a road near a racetrack in Tasmania off Australia in the last century.

The  man who picked it up was a down-on-his-luck journalist. He put it on a horse, at 13-1, that romped home.

That man’s name was Sir Frank Packer who used the money to pay for his passage across the Tasman Sea to Australia where he built a world-famous newspaper empire and became rich enough to own a string of racehorses.  It is possible that we may never have heard of Sir Frank , let alone the Queen make him a knight, if that 10-shilling note had not fluttered to the floor.

Yet the other side of the argument is that Sir Frank was a strong and determined character who  could have made his way to greatness even if the 13-1 horse had lost that day.

A lot of analysts are now looking into the connection between luck and successful entrepreneurs . Findings include that to increase your odds of striking lucky you  need to be optimistic, humble and willing. Furthermore, it has been found that people who consider themselves lucky are more likely to spot clues for resolving puzzles and problems.

How many times will these qualities be brought to bear, this week, by entrepreneurs the length and breadth of Africa.

I think persistence with emails should also be on the list. Take the story of cross border payments tycoon Iyin Aboyeji who told Billionaire Talks how he emailed US investor Jeremy Johnson once every few minutes in an attempt to secure the meeting in New York that was to change his life.

It was a difficult and busy time for Johnson; he was listing his company in New York. But persistence paid off – the two men met over a salad and coke – and shook hands on an investment that was to disrupt the West African fintech scene. We will be hearing Johnson’s story this week in Billionaire Tomorrow.

Entrepreneurs of Africa: long may persistence favour the brave. Long may luck be in your corner. If you want to be lucky – think lucky!