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Interview: Sam Adeyemi Reveals How To Succeed Big in Life and Business Against All odds

Unarguably,  Sam Adeyemi, President of Success Power International and Senior Pastor, Daystar Christian Church  is one of Nigeria’s leading experts on personal development and self-mastery. Through his Success Power series on radio and television, Adeyemi has been able to build a unique brand that appeals to a broad spectrum of audiences. Adeyemi also runs an executive coaching programme where he guides people on how to apply success principles to achieve personal goals. A popular line from him is that  he came to Lagos 20 years ago with a pair of trousers, a shirt and a pair of shoes. Today, however, Adeyemi sits atop  mega business entities and has been in a position of influence around the world. In this chat  Adeyemi gives an insight into his world of dreaming and imagination where he says there is no boundary

Q: You have been associated with teaching people how to succeed in life and business, how to create wealth, and so on. But some think you are into pastoral engagement,  strictly…
A: Well, a lot of people recognised me for my broadcasts on Success Power before they knew me.  I am a pastor. The truth is that I have multiple gifts but the dominant one, from different gift tests I have taken, is teaching. And that can come in different dimensions. It simply means being able to get and structure information, and to teach it in a way that people can apply it to their lives with tangible results. So, on the platform of the Church I pastor, but on the platform of Success Power, which is non-religious, I am a teacher, coach and consultant.    
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Q: Strictly, can success or wealth creation be taught in a structured way or better still in a classroom?

A:: My life changed radically when I discovered that there are definite principles that control the achievement of success. As I began to learn them from books and apply them to my life, I started to get amazing results. Principles have no respect for race, colour, or social status. If you learn and obey the principles of aerodynamics, you can fly a plane whether you are Black, White, or brown. Yes, success and wealth creation can be taught in a structured way.

Q: What is the place of information in wealth creation?
A: Information is about everything in wealth creation. It is like asking what is the place of a tree without roots, or what is the place of a building without a foundation?  A long time ago, wealth creation was built on agriculture: ownership of land and the ability to cultivate crops and livestock.  And then, we moved into the Industrial Age.  Now we are in the Information Age.  In other words, we are getting back closer to the origin of everything.  This material world was created with intangible resources, the most basic of which is thought.  The people who control the world the most are those who have control of these intangible resources. Ideas are the primary resources with which we create things. You recognise people’s needs with your mind and you create products or services to meet those needs with your mind. The major difference between a rich man and a poor man is the way they think. Information is the baseline.

Q: Recently, some South Africans initiated a series of attacks against some other nations, accusing them of taking the jobs that rightly belong to them. What do you have to say about this?
A: The situation in South Africa is simply a failure of leadership and it is not just the South Africa problem; it is an African problem. It is primarily a cultural problem borne out of our history of slavery and colonisation and Apartheid.  I wrote in my book, The Second Revolution, that people who experience slavery and colonisation always inherit a mindset of poverty, low self-esteem, mediocrity (which is poor quality living) and a sense of irresponsibility because the slave owner provides everything for the slave. The mindset and skills that you need to operate in freedom are different from the one you used to survive in slavery. So, I quite sympathise with South Africans who have seen foreigners prospering right before their eyes in the free South Africa that they fought and died for. I will, however, encourage our South African brothers and sisters to realise that driving away and killing of foreigners will not automatically make them to prosper. They need to address the root of the problem. I encourage them to take the long look, go for training, and acquire professional and management skills. Also, they should no longer elect leaders who fuel this feeling of hatred and bitterness, but those who will help them to upgrade their skills. This applies to other African countries, including Nigeria as well.

Q: What qualifies you to teach people about wealth creation and how to achieve success?
A: As it is often said, you cannot give what you don’t have. I had a first-class experience with poverty and failure before. I know what it’s like to brush your teeth without toothpaste, or to buy used clothes. Well, that was then; this is now. Things have changed and I can describe how it happened. I discovered the principles for success and wealth creation, I applied them and I have results to show. I have an amazing and beautiful wife, and lovely children. I have results to show in my career and my finances. I have founded several organisations with hundreds of people in employment.  And there must be a reason why I am invited to speak at conferences around the world. Of course, I attribute every achievement to the grace of God. I believe that I have one or two things to share with a person who is aspiring to a better life. But more than that, I have been specifically called by God to do it.

1. How to Destroy Fear in your life, make success and be a champion

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4. 46 Truth Every woman must know about men, sex, love and relationship

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Q: How did you get into success teaching stuff?
A: Well, I grew up in a middle-class family in Nigeria. I studied Civil Engineering so I could work in my father’s construction company.  But things went bad for his business, and we experienced difficult times. By the time I was done studying engineering, there was no company in which to work. So, I began to search for a job. It took me almost two years to get one. As difficult as that experience was, I didn’t realise it was going to turn into an advantage in the sense that it helped me to experience what an average person goes through in our country. In my quest to find a way through, I stumbled on books that taught me basic principles and attitudes that guarantee success. I began to apply them. It was literally a revolution. My life changed. Candidly, I was not doing this because of anybody. I was doing that to liberate myself. But along the line I realised that the whole experience was to position me to be able to add value to other people’s lives.

Q:You were trained as an engineer; how did you get into pastoral work?

A: When I was in school,  I  accepted  Christ  as  my  Lord  and  Saviour, and  received forgiveness of my sins. Then, I had a strange experience.  I would pray and in my imagination I would see something like video clips. I would see myself standing before people to speak. Later I realised God was asking me to be a minister of the Gospel. So, while I was actually studying Engineering, I became active in church activities. I love to pray for people and to show them truths from the Word of God.  I get more fulfillment than I could ever get making money as a contractor.

Q: We understand that you run  a coaching programme. What is it about? Is it  coaching  about  pastorship  or what?
A: Yes, indeed, I run an executive coaching programme.  While pastoring sometimes involves a bit of coaching, my coaching programme is completely separate from my work as a pastor.  February 2015 made  it  exactly  20  years that  I  began  to  teach  people  the  principles for success on Radio. Over those years, the results have been phenomenal. However, when you teach like that  on the media, you give so many people the same information. It is like a fashion designer who sews a dress that is of the same size  for millions of people.  For some, the size will be  right,  but for some others it  will  either  be  too  small  or  too  large.  Many who have heard me over the last twenty years have just not been able to apply those principles with results. That is the gap that coaching bridges.  With  coaching,  not  only do you teach people  the  principles,  also  you  take them step by step through the  application  of  the  principles and the end result is that they  can  achieve their goals. So, what we are having is an evolution of our success development programme.  The next phase is taking it to the public where people would have the opportunity of interacting with me. That will be happening in two months’ time.

Q: Please explain more about the coaching programme, since you are trained as a pastor. What would you be saying without quoting the Bible?
A: Let’s get it clear here. I have also received training for skills apart from pastoring especially with respect to my teaching of success and leadership. I have a Master’s degree in Leadership Studies from a U.K university, and I am a doctoral student of Strategic Leadership at the moment. What I do in my coaching class is completely different from what I do on the pulpit.

Q: Do you also have a coach or a mentor? What is the difference between a mentor and a coach, or better still, between mentoring and coaching?
A: Well, I have many mentors in different areas of my life. Some I have met in person, others I have met through their products such as books, CDs (Compact Discs), videos. What makes them my mentors is the fact that I accept their advice. At a point in my life, Rev. George Adegboye coached me for life and ministry. In the last 20 years, Dr.  David Oyedepo has been my coach.  The difference between a mentor and  a  coach  is  that a  mentor is interested in you as an  individual  usually,  and where possible  cultivates  a relationship with you. When it comes to coaching, there is a definite end that is desired. It is focused more on performance and there are certain skills you need to acquire in order to achieve that end result.

Q: We have read about your coming to Lagos with just a pair of shoes and a few shirts. How did the transformation then happen?
A: Yes, I remember the day I moved to Lagos from Kwara State. It was in June 1991, and yes, I had on a white shirt, a pair of brown trousers, and a pair of white shoes. Weird colour combinations! I had a travelling bag hung on my shoulder, and nobody looked a second time at the guy who had just arrived the city. For close to two years I stayed with a wonderful family. I must say that the transformation  happened inside me before it happened on the outside.  I opened my  mind  to information. As a man thinks, so  he  is. I realised that God gave me an equipment called imagination.  Any picture that becomes dominant there will ultimately attract its material equivalent into your life.  So, I focused  on dreaming in my early days in Lagos. When  I  rode on the bus, it was my physical body that was  in  the bus. In my imagination I was in my own car driving around  the city. Sometimes I would be in  an  aircraft  flying out of  the airport in Lagos and around  the  world, all in my imagination. When  I  went  to the  roadside cafeteria which we call buka,  it  was  only  my  body that was there.  On my inside, I was dining in the best hotels. When I walk  on  the  road,  I  saw  people  driving  beautiful cars. I  used it as an opportunity to  say  to myself:  “In  this  Lagos,  we  will  drive  these  beautiful cars together.”  Everything human being functions like a magnet. If a magnet does not have the power to attract an object, you can reduce the size of that object, and that is what people do: they reduce the size of their dreams.  The alternative is for you to put more power in the magnet. As my thinking changed through the information I took in, I began to attract people, opportunities, and resources I had never attracted before.  Truly, information is the foundation for transformation. What I am saying is that the level changed by re-organising my thought life.

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Q: What are the key wealth-building principles that have worked for you?
A: The first basic principle is just the understanding that real money is not the paper or the coin. Real money is value. If you have something that  can  meet a need in someone’s life, either  to cure their  sicknesses, their ignorance,  hunger,  homelessness,  or  nakedness, money will come to you. So, those are the foundational principles. To create products and services, I have had to develop skills to create solutions with expertise. I try to serve with excellence. Also, I have developed management skills.  I always have a spending plan. I give, save, take care of needs and invest. Giving is critical. If you don’t overcome greed, you’ll be amazed to learn how difficult it is to control money.

Q: Which are the seven most impactful books that have helped you on the journey to the top?
A: Well, first the Bible. Second,  “The  Fourth   Dimension”,  by  Dr. David Yonggi Cho. Others include “Think And Grow Rich”  by  Napolean Hill; “Tough Times Never Last But  Tough  People  Do”,  by  Dr. Robert Schuller; “Towards Excellence in Life and Ministry” by Dr.  David Oyedepo; “The Purpose Driven Church” by Rick Warren, “The Cash Flow Quadrant” by Robert Kiyosaki. There surely are others.

Q: We understand that you had at one time attempted to travel out of the country in search of greener pasture? What then, changed your game plan?
A: Well, first, God so worked it that I was refused visas by several embassies over and over until one day I sat down and asked myself a basic question: What was I supposed to do. My eyes opened to the opportunities in my environment. The book, “Acres of Diamonds”, by Russell Cornwall, explains it. It helps us to realise that the best opportunities we are looking for are the ones closest to us at the moment. What I just simply saw was the enormity of the needs that people have in Nigeria. And I devoted myself to pumping out information that would help people to change their circumstances. It’s amazing how everything changed for me right here in Nigeria. Instead of struggling to succeed, I decided to help other people to succeed.

Q: What would you regard as the most difficult problem you have encountered, and how did you overcome it?
A: Candidly, the most difficult problem I have encountered is changing my thinking. I teach people that they need to change their thinking. If their thinking can change, their lives would change. But I always add that the reason many peoples’ lives don’t change is that it is hard to change one’s thinking. In fact, it is warfare.
Thoughts have a way of strengthening themselves in the mind overtime to the extent that the Bible describes a mindset as a stronghold. You see when thoughts come into our minds, they are in a fluid state. If they stay there long enough, they solidify. I found out that with persistence, mindsets do change.

Q:How do you see failure generally?
A: Well, I see failure on two levels: There is  a difference  between failure as a person and failure as an event. I will take on the event first. When something does not work out, I have come to see that it is an opportunity to learn. Those who invented the technologies that have helped us the most never got them right the first time. Their attempts took trying and failing many times; changing their approach and trying, again, before they finally got what worked. Why should we think that the achievement of success in any area of our lives should be different? So, I tell people that if your library on success does not have a book on failure, your library is not yet complete. I have tried many things that did not work, maybe one day, I will try to catalogue all of them in a book and if I will give it a title it will be ‘How to Fail Successfully’, taking a cue from John Maxwell.

Q: Many research findings suggest that fear, more than anything else, has prevented many people from achieving their full potential. Did you at any time also experience fear? Is there an effective strategy for taming fear?
A: Well, I used to be fearful of taking risks, but again, from my studies I came to realise that all human beings feel fear. In fact, there is a positive dimension to the mechanism of fear. If I come face to face with a lion, it is fear that helps my system to kick in and to try to find a solution, either to run or to fight. So, there is a positive dimension to fear that alerts us to danger. The dangerous dimension to fear is when it exaggerates the potential for failure and paralyses your initiative, and frustrates your capacity for imagination. Most of the things people fear never come to pass, and this reality has been proved by research. Someone said fear is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real.

Q: How do you keep fit?
A: I keep fit first by doing everything in moderation, and then, I play golf. Table Tennis is also a favourite sport. Playing golf helps me to walk long distances, to socialise and to improve my strategic thinking ability.

Q: Assuming you are in a position in which you should advise the President-elect of Nigeria (Muhammadu Buhari) on how to move the country forward, what would you tell him in a few sentences?
A: The first thing I will have for the president-elect is a question: “What is your vision for Nigeria?” If he describes to me a clear vision of a developed Nigeria, then, I will advise him to transfer that vision into the heart and mind of every single Nigerian through every available means. It doesn’t matter how fantastic your idea is if you cannot communicate it effectively as a leader…. Where there is no vision, people perish. One-hundred and seventy million Nigerians are going to pull in 170 million directions if there isn’t that one vision that transcends all the factors such as religion and ethnicity that divide us. And I think that an average Nigerian wants to live a good quality life. I think development is the message that the average Nigerian needs to hear. The president should speak to Nigerians by leveraging the media: Print media, electronic media, and the Internet to communicate that vision. People don’t buy into a vision in one day; so he needs to repeat this message, describing the ‘New Nigeria’ practically everyday.  And for people to buy into a vision, you have to put what is important to them in that vision.

Q: If you were given a chance to relive your life, what would you do differently?
A: Well, candidly, I don’t think I will want to change anything. I don’t think I will want to change where I was born, the family I was born into, or the fact that I experienced challenges along the line. Why? This is because I have been able to leverage even the seemingly negative dimensions to develop my character and to build competence. From the negative circumstances, I have derived what we call inspirational dissatisfaction. And I am just grateful to God because He is the one who makes meanings actually out of your life and turns whatever your experience is - whether negative or positive - into leverage for moving on to achieve success. Since the God factor is there, I don’t think I would want to change anything.

Q: Are there values or principles that have helped you over the years that you want to share?
A: Oh yes! If you lose your character, you have practically lost everything. To me, integrity is not being perfect; it is being perfectly honest.
I value independence and I think that helps quite a bit. The best hand that will help you is the one attached to your shoulder, learning to not push one’s responsibilities on other people.
Love is the greatest of all principles and values. There are many good things you can do and still end up a failure, but you can’t love and fail.
Prudence for me is critical. You don’t waste your resources and you don’t spend everything. It is a sign of foolishness and short-term thinking.
I have found that service is the key to wealth and real success. And it is the essence of leadership.

ADEYEMI  Wisdom Tips
• There is a divine design for everyone
• Look beyond your training to find purpose

• Build trust with your spouse over finance
• Be accountable to each other
• Create projects account and make it work

• The foundation for wealth is your mind
• Programme your mind to think wealth
• Put your imagination to work

• Use faith and action to drive fear away
• Do what you fear anyway
• Most of what you fear never happen

• It is the raw material for success
• Don’t take failure personally
• 1% success overrides 99% failure

• Find something that resonates with you
• Try playing golf, for instance

• Have a spending plan
• Save, invest and give regularly

• Treat your mind as your most important asset
• Reading can revolutionise your life
• Deliberately stretch your mind
• Have a clear vision for the country
• Then transfer the vision into the hearts of Nigerians.

1. How to Destroy Fear in your life, make success and be a champion

2. How to bounce back from life's setbacks and mistakes

3. 111 Ways to be safe on facebook, detect liars and identity thieves on facebook and whatsapp.

4. 46 Truth Every woman must know about men, sex, love and relationship

Join Our 2 Days Commercial Bread Baking Business and Start Baking Bread From Home, Shop or Factory 

Source: ThisdayLive.

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