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Business Lessons to Learn from the Ancient Warrior named Hannibal

By Fabiyi Rotimi
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Hannibal was the head of the army of Carthage, and was therefore never a businessman but there are hundreds of *business lessons* and *leadership lessons* that can be learnt from the exploits of Hannibal

1. *Have a clear overall target*
_Hannibal's overall target was the destruction of Rome._

This means that you should always have a clear overall target in your business endeavours (e g Dangote's overall target is to turn Africa into a manufacturing hub)

2. *You are never too young (or too old) to try*
_Hannibal crossed to Rome (which was the world power then) with his ragtag army at 26 years old._

This means that you are never too young (or too old) to try something new or something "impossible"

3. *Your background is not a criterion for success*

_Hannibal was an African, yet he defeated hundreds of thousands of professional Roman soldiers with his ragtag African soldiers consisting of fishermen, farmers, and hunters._

This means that your background never determines your potential

4. *Expect initial setback mostly at the beginning of your business endeavours*

_When Hannibal reached Rome, Roman soldiers were waiting for him to slaughter him and his soldiers._

Don't always expect everything to be smooth especially at the beginning of a business endeavour

5. *Do the unthinkable*
_Immediately he discovered that Roman soldiers were waiting for him to destroy him and his army (and he was not ready for battle at that material time), he fled into the swamps and crossed the Alp Mountains to temporarily avoid the Romans - an act which looked ridiculous and even suicidal to the Romans._

Don't be predictable in some of your business moves, be dynamic and flexible like dollar multibillionaires Dangote, Branson, Trump, and Buffet

6. *Fight one enemy at a time, and make the enemies of your enemy your friend*

_Hannibal deliberately made friends with the Gauls, who were bitter enemies of the Romans._

Identify your strongest business competitor and best him with better products and services (remember how the tiny Techno deliberately battled Nokia till Nokia collapsed despite all the university degrees of the bosses of Nokia)

7. *Learn all you can about your enemies*
_Hannibal usually had detailed information about the personality of each of the Roman military commanders sent to attack him._

Learn all you can about your business competitors and use their weaknesses against them (the problem with Nokia was that many of the bosses were just too self-deluded to think that Nokia will ever collapse under their noses, and this was the information its competitors used to practically destroy Nokia)

8. *Don't ever have pity for your enemy*
_Hannibal was reputed to never pity any Roman soldier, which was why he butchered all the 30,000 Roman soldiers he fought with at the Tiber River, murdered all the 50,000 Roman soldiers he trapped in the southern Roman mountains, and slaughtered all the 70,000 Roman soldiers he defeated at the Battle of Cannae (this was why he was known as Hannibal the Annhilator)._

Don't ever pity the competition, annihilate all your business competitors if possible (Bill Gates did not pity any of his competitors, that's why he became the richest man in the world)

9. *Learn how to work with all types of people*
_Hannibal used the Gauls as part of his army to defeat Roman soldiers even though he (Hannibal) was a Carthiginian, used a certain Numidian tribe that fought wars only when naked, etc._

Successful businesses are built with all hands on deck, be they Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc (Bill Gates employs all tribes, nationalities, and religions; little wonder why he became richest man in the world)

10. *Create something new*
_In the Battle of Cannae, Hannibal impossibly defeated 70,000 professional Roman soldiers (with his own 35,000 soldiers) by using the "double envelope" fighting method which he invented._

You can only succeed in business when you create something new or do something in a new way (WhatsApp changed the game in social media especially with its voice memo, video call, etc)

11. *Don't overstretch yourself*
_Hannibal never attacked any Roman town (he knew that attempting such would be tantamount to suicide) but always lured Roman soldiers into battlefield._

Don't scale your business up to a level that is too far above you (Zenith Bank started in a flat in Ajose Adeogun in Victoria Island but is now in several countries today)

12. *Personal injury is not a handicap*
_Hannibal became blinded in one eye while crossing the swamps into Rome, yet defeated hundreds of thousands of Roman soldiers that had their two eyes intact._

Don't allow personal weaknesses to disturb your business efforts (British multibillionaire Sir Richard Branson has always been dyslexic yet he made his billions of pounds sterling)

13. *Leave an eternal footprint*
_Hannibal's military skills are still studied in all military schools all over the world till now (2200 years later)._

Leave an eternal footprint in your business moves (secondary school drop-out Jay Z made history as the first musician to make $1bn, and his method is already been studied officially)

14. *Make yourself to be up to the task*
_Hannibal spent 6 uninterrupted hours to kill 70,000 Roman soldiers at the Battle of Cannae._

Your business might become far more successful than you ever think, so prepare yourself for the task ahead (Jim Ovia was fully prepared from the onset to make Zenith Bank go global)

15. *Nobody is ever the best in a field*
_Hannibal (a common African) used superior skills to defeat the professional armies of a world power._

You can use your own superior skills to defeat any of the business giants around you ("illiterate" Sir Richard Branson used his superior skills to form Virgin Airlines which nearly destroyed the giant called British Airways)

*Note:* For more details on the ancient Carthiginian warrior named Hannibal, watch the documentary titled _Battles B.C: Hannibal The Annhilator_

*#CompiledbyFabiyiRotimi 08184741410*