Editor’s note: A while back, Paddy Adenuga, son of the renowned billionaire and Nigeria second richest man, Mike Adenuga, shared a story that became the internet sensation for a long time — how he almost bought Chevron at the age of 29.

It isn’t surprising that the story was abuzz the internet in such voracious way —  It’s not every time you come across a 29-year-old whose goal is to acquire a large corporation at such young age. In this article, Justine Tochukwu, a Contributor on Smepeaks, shares the wealth of knowledge he extracted while reading the Paddy Adenuga’s literary piece.

Note: If you are yet to read the full story, you should do so right away!

While reading Paddy Adenuga story, there is a tendency to get carried away by the prowess of his strategies and awesomeness of his writing style, which may make you trivialise and almost neglect the lessons it teaches. This is why I have decided to summarise lessons from his story here.

Sense of Timing

Paddy Adenuga had a good sense of timing

While working for his dad, Paddy Adenuga gathered a wealth of experience and most importantly initial startup funds for his business venture before he left.Thus, he knew just the right time to leave.  Budding entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs that are currently working need to realise that timing is key. Hence, knowing when to leave and how to leave is important. Do not burn the bridge you will need it later.

Big vision

From the onset, Paddy had a big vision. He knew clearly and audaciously what he wanted. As a result, he won over many partners and advisory board members when he pitched his vision to them. As an entrepreneur, you need to be totally convinced, passionate and audacious about your business, especially when pitching it to investors. This makes you stand a greater chance of funding and partnership.

Small Start

Paddy started small. He adopted the lean model when he turned one of his room in London to an office and opened a small branch in Lagos. As an entrepreneur don’t wait till all you need is available. Rather, get started with what you have and you’d realise that it’s just enough to get you by.

Competent Team

Paddy had competent hands. Most of the people that he worked with were experienced and excellent in different fields. Although you may not have the funds and credibility to attract top talents as a budding entrepreneur, you can spot potential talents that you can nurture, train and grow together with. Know that your business only grows on the strength and competence of your employees.

Due process

Paddy Adenuga followed due steps

Throughout each phase, Paddy Adenuga followed due processes. From registering his company to meeting the necessary government parastatals, he played by the book. As an entrepreneur, you need to always do the needful. You can begin by registering your business as a legal entity and opening a corporate account. Your credibility is enhanced when you give clients your corporate account details for payment.

Branding and Online Presence

Paddy had a good sense of branding and understood its purpose. As such, when he was done with the company registration and getting the needed competent team, he focused on branding his business — from logo to website and company profile. Entrepreneurs do not neglect the importance of giving your business, or startup a face through branding. There’s a way branding increases the credibility of your business, as well as your online presence.


Paddy understood the role of a mentor and was accountable to him. Most business and startups founders have failed simply because they trivialise the importance of mentors on their entrepreneurial journey.Why not learn from their mistakes and be wise enough to have a mentor like Paddy did. Asides that mentorship relationship saves you tons of errors, it also gives you a competitive edge. When you have a Mentor you not only have access to his resources but their networks also. So, dear entrepreneur, become accountable to a mentor.

Personal Appearance

Since Paddy understood how that dressing goes a long way in determining how is addressed, he consistently put in conscious effort in making the first impression with his appearance. Dear Entrepreneurs, take note of your appearance, you might be competent and reliable but most people won’t know at first instance. Since you are judged at first glance through your appearance, it’s only wise to make it a priority. You can’t be bidding for a contract worth couple of millions and you dress like a pauper during the negotiation they won’t trust you with their money.

Negotiation and Networking

Networking is paramount

Indeed, Paddy Adenuga mastered the art of negotiation and networking. As such he was articulate in his negotiation dealings and understood networking to it fullest. Entrepreneurs master the art of negotiating. This will save you a lot of funds. I recommend you read “You can Negotiate Anything


Paddy clearly understood the power of collaboration and teamwork. Knowing that “Together Everybody Achieves More” made him consider teaming up with other competitors. Entrepreneurs forget competition and consider collaboration as a new competition.

Open up where and when Necessary

If Paddy had opened up to his friend he would have known the mystery bidder and that cost him the bid. While it’s imperative for to protect your business idea and process as a founder, you should also be able to discern when wisdom demands you open up. Who knows, you might be talking to the final piece of your success equation.

Trust your Instincts

Not doing that cost him the contract. My dear entrepreneurs, sometimes it’s necessary you pay attention to your instincts in business. In my own case, I call him the Holy Spirit. He can save you a lot of untold stress and pain in the future. Finally, Pady  Adenuga never removed God from the equation. And since God still rules in affairs of men I believe it’s wise to add him from the onset. Commit your ways into the hands of God and your thoughts would be established (Prov 16.3).

I hope you have learnt some strategic lessons Paddy Adenuga taught us with his story. What other lessons did you learn from it?

Meet the Author

I am Justin Tochukwu a Business Strategist/Consultant, and a knowledge Development Facilitator for the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). I help businesses get the competitive advantage with research-driven concepts and ideas for market penetration and traction. And I also run a creative agency that helps startups and businesses build compelling brands through websites and mobile apps development, creative designs and digital marketing. I love you deeply, but Jesus loves you more. I also write at ideas2startups.com


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