10 Rules of Success Ibukun Awosika, the Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Lives By

I come from a place where there are opportunities staring you in the eye, but it’s looking for the people who have the heart and the courage to do it and do it right.

Ibukun awosika

Nigeria is truly a land flowing with milk and honey. A fertile ground for investors and a land filled with boundless grounds yet to be unbroken. Unlike in the developed world where almost every opportunity has been over-utilized, Nigeria still has lots of gold mines to explore. However, it only takes a deep mind of an entrepreneur (someone who sees light at the end of the tunnel) to realize that problems do not exist just for the fun of it.

Rather, problems exist so humans could create solutions. If you are smart, you will not be given to complaining about your problems. Instead, you will think of ways in which you can provide solutions. Entrepreneurs are solution providers and they have unlimited potentials for growth in Nigeria. This is the kind of message Awosika has been preaching to the Nigerian youths and it’s one of the reasons why she’s considered as one of the best minds that Nigeria has ever produced.

Successful entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author and Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria, Awosika is definitely a well of knowledge you’d want to draw from. Below are 10 rules of success she lives by.

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1. Determination

As a graduate of Chemistry, Awosika was an improbable candidate to start a furniture business. However, she did not allow her educational background or gender or people’s opinion to stop her from going after her dreams.

Your starting point is irrelevant if you insist on doing the right things and doing them well

ibukun awosika

She was simply determined and even in the face of obstacles, she insisted on doing the right things and doing them well. This has paid off today. If you want to be truly successful, “determination” is one rule of success you need to embrace. When you are determined, your background, age, gender, location and any other excuse you might have will become irrelevant.

2. Integrity

Unlike most people who believe it is okay to be corrupt and cut corners, Awosika maintains a high level of uprightness and tries her best to follow protocols. 

Don’t give me the crap that, ‘this is Nigeria’. That is, things are done in certain ways.

ibukun awosika

She is a strong believer that wealth acquired by cutting corners never lasts. Isn’t that true?

3. Excellence

If there’s one watchword Awosika lives by, it is that excellence is key. From a young age, she made a personal decision to be excellent in whatever she did. This decision has not only helped her grow, but it has also been the reason she has been propelled to the pinnacle of her career and also attract international investors to her business.

Take a personal decision to be excellent in whatever you do.


One of the things that gives her so much joy and satisfaction is to see how well her products fair even after many years. If you truly want to become successful, you must commit to being excellent in whatever you find your hands doing

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4. Foresight

This rule is so key if you truly desire to be successful especially as an entrepreneur. If you do not have foresight, you’ll be easily trapped into doing someone else’s bidding and not believing in your own dreams.

Sometimes you have to take a hard decision and when you take such a decision, you have to stand by it. It’s not everybody who sees what you are seeing.


If Awosika did not have foresight, there was no way she could have started a furniture company as a fresh college graduate. It was because of her foresight and her ability to go with the gut feeling that made her take such courageous decisions that have paid off greatly today. Do you have foresight? It’s one of the requirements to succeed in business and prosper in life!

5. Continuously Seeking Knowledge

Are you an entrepreneur and you do not look to seek more knowledge? Then, you are not ready for success. For Awosika and many other successful entrepreneurs across the world, continuous learning is a non-negotiable pre-requisite for success.

Every year, I must go for at least a brief course.


Learning expands your mind, gives you insight and helps you to stay ahead of the curve and if you truly want to be like her, you must enroll for a brief course every year or at least attend training that can help you in your field or industry. 

6. Authenticity

AwosikA believes if you truly want to be successful, you must stay true to who you are and never be carried away by the false life many people live.

Don’t get carried away by the false life people live


In other words, she believes you need to be authentic. In her words,  “success is left to the person interpreting. What others consider success, for you, might be the beginning. I don’t give myself out for people to measure. I will rather be the one measuring.”  

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7. Prudence

Awosika believes that if you spend every dime you make in satisfying your pleasures, there will be nothing left for you to build on.

I could buy a car every two months if I wanted to. But a car was not my priority. The business was my priority.


As an entrepreneur who aspires to be successful, prudence is one rule you should definitely eliminate from Awosika. Prior to making that big purchase, ask yourself, “how will this help me reach my goals?”  

8. Discernment

All the decisions you make in business and in life will fall in one of two categories – bad and good. The goal is to make more good than bad decisions.

I know my strength and I can see or smell an opportunity 10 miles ahead. I am innately proactive and I am also an ideas machine.


Making good decisions, however, does not come on a platter of gold. It comes from a place of intuition and discernment. Awosika believes that you need to be discerning so you can distinguish between good and bad decisions. You need to assess opportunities that come your way and carefully proceed so that you’ll not end up biting the finger of regret.

9. Family is Everything

Awosika believes in being complete. She believes everyone can win at home and also in their business and careers.

Success for me means also winning as a wife and this means to help my husband be the best while he supports my dreams and desires.

ibukun awosika

She cares about her family – husband and children – and have done her best to succeed both at home and in her career.

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10. Empathy

If you are an entrepreneur and you truly desire to be successful, empathy is one rule you should live by.

You are not the most important person in your business, the guys who work for you are just as important as well. You must learn to respect them and the value they bring into your business. You can’t pay them peanuts and pay yourself all the money.

ibukun awosika

With empathy, you’ll be able to relate well with others, attract great people and produce great results. This is one rule of success Awosika adopted when she started her business and it has helped her all through her career.

Thank you for reading! Which of these rules of success would you like to live by? Share with us in the comment box.

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