Lessons on Determination and Diligence from my 14 year old Friend

Personal Development

For all of you over here who need some inspiration to get your butt up and finally start learning that skill, you’ve been saying you’ll learn for the past 500 years, here’s some inspiration from my 14-year-old JHS 3 friend.

Meet my friend, Tariq Sulley. He is a regular 14-year-old JHS 3 student preparing to write BECE. But here’s what’s different. At 14, Tariq is a self-taught software developer.

He got fascinated by programming and decided to learn on his own. In 2 years he has completed courses in Python, Javascript and HTML and has built a number of cool projects along the way including a “Snakes” game.

Of course, there are those who think he is crazy…According to him, “You’ll be surprised to know that I’m the only one in my school who is interested in programming; and my friends say it is very boring”.

He learns programming from
“youtube tutorials, codecademy and other similar sites, by reading people’s questions and their answers on Quora and StackOverflow, and reading books on programming”.

Aside from learning programming on his own, Tariq is actually investing time to be a good developer. He attends developer conferences where most of the other people attending are at least 8 years older than him and participates actively in developer forums.

He showed me his digital library and I was amazed. It contains several hundreds of different books on programming and software development.

And he combines all of this with school work (memorizing periodic tables and digestive systems) and preparation for BECE as well as doing things that regular 14-year-olds do such as playing football and video games and taking selfies.

He also has his own blog and writes about technology!

Now, this post is not about software development or learning how to program.

It’s about determination and focus and commitment and discipline and diligence towards the achievement of your goals.

Tariq is not a “genius” or a “whiz kid”. He is just a regular 14-year-old who has discovered what he wants to do and where he wants to go at a young age and has committed himself to doing everything it takes to get there.

If Tariq continues on this path and remains focused on his course, I have no doubt that in the next 5 years he will be one of the finest software developers in Ghana and will start reaping the rewards of his diligence.

There are so many of you over here who want to start something: A business. A blog. A website. A skill. How to code…..the list goes on and on….Many months have passed since you decided to start and you are still at square one.

Some of you started well and have given up along the way…..sadly.

But here’s one thing I keep repeating every time.: No one rewards mediocrity. All the people you see today who are crushing it in their respective fields… people whom you aspire to be like….people who you wish to mentor you..are people who have been diligent and focused and consistent over a long time and are now reaping the fruits of their labour.

The world doesn’t reward mediocrity. It rewards excellence. It rewards those who remain diligent and focused.

So what is it going to be? Would you be read this, hit the like button and move on? Or you’ll be inspired enough to get up and take action? And finally start that thing you’ve been wanting to do all these years, stick to it and become successful?

The choice is yours!


My name is Isaac Sesi. I am an award-winning entrepreneur, front-end developer and embedded systems engineer. I started my first company, Invent Electronics in my second year in college and have co-founded 3 other companies since.

On this site, I share practical a lot of practical insights and resources in entrepreneurship from an African entrepreneur’s perspective to help you become a better African entrepreneur too.
Read more about me 

Businesses I Am Building

Invent Electronics The premier electronics components retail store in Ghana

Sesi Technologies An Ag-tech hardware startup manufacturing affordable technology for the Agric sector

Wires & Bytes A Software development startup with a focus on developing SaaS applications for the educational sector

Sesi Consult A business consultancy service for startup entrepreneurs

Businesses I Am Building

Sesi Technologies An Ag-tech hardware startup manufacturing affordable technology for the Agric sector

Invent Electronics The premier electronics components retail store in Ghana

Gravy CodeA Web design agency providing web design solutions for brands, individuals and small businesses

Apreneur Consult A business consultancy for startup entrepreneurs in Africa.


Do you want to start your own business and don’t know where to begin? Or you’ve started your own business and you need expert advice to help you grow? Or you need help getting your business online?

I have helped many people like you start and grow their dream business and I WANT TO HELP YOU TOO!