Business lessons from the Palm Wine Tapper who used the business to build a duplex, bought a Mercedes Benz and trained his wife in the university.
So, yesterday I watched this video of a man in Eha Amufu, Enugu State who said he built his 6-bedroom duplex, bought a Mercedes Benz and trained his wife in the university from Palm Wine tapping business.
Most of you may have watched the clip also. I have equally listened to some mixed reactions to it. While some persons commended the man for achieving so much with a business most people consider to have passed its relevance others believe the story was made up.
If you ask me what I think, I will tell you that I don’t know the man in person and I can’t say for sure if it is true or not.
But I believe that it is possible.
First I have been a business analyst long enough to know that there is no impossibility in business.
Secondly, my dad was a palm wine tapper and he lived and worked particularly in this same Eha Amufu.
Lastly, this man is not the first person to have trained people in higher institution using palm wine tapping business. Most of our fathers did same in the 60s and 70s.
However, this post isn’t actually about proving whether it is possible or not but rather about sharing the lessons I picked from the story.
So as an entrepreneur I would rather you look at the story from the eyes of lessons rather than that of doubt. After all, as an entrepreneur you should already know that impossibility is nothing.
So below are the key lessons I can extract from the story:
Business Lessons From The Palm Wine Tapper Who Built a Duplex and Bought a Mercedes Benz From The Trade
1. There is Money in Every Business
The first of the business lessons from the palm wine tapper is that there is money in every business.
If you have followed me long enough you will know that I have since last year been insisting that you already have more than enough.
The skill you have is enough
The knowledge you have is enough
The money you have is enough
The exact industry where you are is enough.
All you need to do is to use what you have.
Some of you believe that to succeed in life you must:
- Be from a rich background
- Have a PhD
- Be into cryptocurrency
- Be an IT guru
- Work in oil company
We tend to tie success to a particular filed or a particular skill simply because we see people succeeding in that industry or with that skill.
But I have personally seen people succeed with all manner of businesses. I have seen successful millionaires emerge from:
Packing shit (faeces) – yes, Otumba Gadaffi built a multimillion naira business called Dignified Mobile Toilet just by packing shit.
I have seen people built business empires by choosing to wash other peoples clothes. All over Lagos are testimonies of high-end dry cleaning services turning in hundreds of millions of naira in revenue
I have seen people move from madam put (road side restaurant) to owing chains of quick service restaurants.
Just few days ago the internet was on fire about the lady who claim to have made over 1.3 billion naira selling local snacks – kulikuli.
So, it is not really about what you are doing, but about how you are doing it.
And that leads me to point number 2.
2. Consistency is the Name of the Game
The second of the business lessons from the palm wine tapper is that of consistency.
You are not surprised I am mentioning this, are you? I believe you should rather be surprised if I hadn’t mention it.
The theme across all my brands in 2023 is CONSISTENCY. I preach it everywhere I go and I share it with as many as care to listen. If you can consistently show up every single day on that path you have chosen to follow, your success will be multiplied.
One thing I have discovered about enterprise is that efforts accumulates. Yes, anything you are doing today is an investment into tomorrow. So imagine you suddenly diverted from that path – the effort may have become a wasted one.
In fact, there are 7 things Consistency does for you and your business:
1. It helps you to improve and become better at that thing
2. It helps you build authority in that place
3. It makes it easy for people to remember you each time they think about that service
4. It wades off distractions from you
5. It quickly turns the work to a routine thereby becoming less stressful
6. It attracts admiration from onlookers thereby leading to more opportunities
7. Consistency builds your self confidence
According to the man’s own testimony, he has been in Palm wine tapping business for about 26 years. Come on guys, tell me anything at all you will spend 26 years doing and you will not succeed in it.
In 26 years he must have failed
In 26 years he must have met discouragement
In 26 years he must have fallen from the top of one palm tree
In 26 years he must have met spirits in the forest
But in those same 26 years he must have built a network of palm wine suppliers in major cities and towns around Eha Amufu
With consistency no result is impossible
3. Build From the Position of Knowledge not of Greed
The third on our list of business lessons from the palm wine tapper is that knowledge is more important than greed.
In point 1 above I said “the Knowledge you have is already enough”. Yes. However, there is a context to that. I am saying that on the assumption that there is something you are already knowledgeable about.
If you are a Fashion Designer and you are very good at that but you are not making money from it, the solution is not to switch to blogging because you see some millionaire Bloggers.
If you are a writer and everybody knows that you are one of the best writer of your time, but you are still broke as a writer, the solution is not to start producing peanut because you know a woman who made 500 million naira from peanut.
What you should rather do is to do a comprehensive audit of your business and find out why you are not making the kind of money you need.
If there are courses you need to take to improve especially in your marketing or customer service do so.
The man could become a millionaire tapping palm wine because he must have known so much about it. According to him, he started the business at the age of 12. This means he must have come to a point where he don’t need to climb a palm tree before telling you if it is fertile or not.
He even tried to run a restaurant at a point, but it only lasted 5 months before he stopped and went back to something he has a knowledge of.
So, for you to succeed in whatever business you are into, you need to learn all you need to know around that particular business.
And let me add, don’t you ever jump into a business you know nothing about just because you heard that there is money there – that is greed.
4. Master the Art of Leveraging
Another important of the business lessons from the palm wine tapper is that of leverage.
I see a lot of people who are limiting themselves to the resources called their own.
If only they can learn to leverage on other peoples’ skills, money, time and resources they will be operating at a far bigger level than where they are today.
This man did not limit himself to the number of palm trees he inherited from his father. He went ahead to lease as many palm trees as possible.
He must have noticed many palm trees lying fallow and as a smart entrepreneur he is he knew that he can make 10x any amount he pay them for leasing those trees.
The wealthiest men on Forbes list of billionaires are all using leverage to their advantage and you too must learn same.
If you are a farmer, don’t limit yourself to the plots of land you inherited from your father.
As a Blogger don’t limit yourself to just the amount of words you can write in a day.
As a businessman don’t limit yourself to the businesses you can cover with your physical presence
As an entrepreneur don’t limit your ideas as to the ones the money in your bank account can fund.
5. Have a Retirement Plan
The final on my list of business lessons from the palm wine tapper is to have a retirement plan.
Unfortunately this is the only place I feel this palm wine tapper did not get it right, at least judging from the information in that video.
According to this palm wine tapper he spends 19 hours on top of the palm tree every day of his life. And I think that is possible. From what I learnt from my dad, palm trees that are grown for the purpose of palm wine (some are for the purpose of palm oil) is serviced at least twice a day, some must be three times a day. So what this mean is that for each palm tree, the man has to climb it in the morning, in the afternoon (optional) and in tye evening.
Ideally after going round to service all the trees in the morning the men go home and rest before going back for the afternoon round. After the afternoon they go home and rest again before going back for the evening round.
However, with the number of palm trees this man is covering it is possible that before he will cover all the trees for the morning round it would have been around 12 noon or even 1pm and rather than going home to rest he will continue with afternoon round immediately.
Now, for a palm wine tapper working 19 hours ago, the least we should expect of him is early retirement and something to fall back on.
There is no guarantee that in the next 20 years he will still have the strength he has now. With that he may not be able to cover the number of trees that he covers. We are not even talking of other risks that are involved in the business.
What I would recommend
The man should consider investing as soon as possible (if he has not been doing that already). That car the palm wine tapper bought doesn’t look much like an asset. Neither does a duplex in the village.
So as a businessman who knows that there is no government pension waiting after retirement, you must have your personal retirement plan.
Consider in investing in real estate. Consider buying shares and consider setting up other businesses.
Your Opinion Matters – Share with Us
Did I left out anything?
Do you have more business lessons from the palm wine tapper who built a duplex from that trade?
Feel free to share with us. I personally will like to read your thoughts.
The comment section is open.
Business lessons from the palm wine tapper who built a duplex and bought Mercedes Benz from the trade.
Business lessons from the palm wine tapper in Eha Amufu
5 business lessons from the palm wine tapper who used the business to train his wife in the university
Business lessons form the palm wine tapper
Business lessons from the palm wine tapper
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