I remember, two years ago, finishing school and itching for something to do. I kept disturbing a friend of mine to find me a job so I could keep busy.
My wish finally came through and he linked me up with someone who ran a media company. I joined the team as a content creator and writer. The ‘team’ comprised of myself and the three co-owners of the company. Being the only and most junior staff, I did everything.
They had a blog which I singlehandedly managed. I had to, on my own, come up with content for seven different columns the blog ran. In addition to this, I managed their social media accounts, manned the email, wrote and sent proposals, attended business meetings, and should we get a new client, come up with marketable content and also add the client’s accounts to the accounts I was managing already.
My salary was peanuts. Literally. Subtracting my transport fare at the end of each month, I was left with next to nothing. Did I mention I also attended events during the weekends? I had to blog about those too. I hated my life then. I was miserable. I remember I’d come home late at night, tired, hungry, exhausted. I’ll wail in my mother’s room and tell her I’m quitting. She’d always force me to eat and let me sleep. The next day, she’d wake me up for work. Her mantra was ‘Winners don’t quit.’ I hated work and the mantra.
I kept the job for a year and six months. I didn’t gain any monetary value working there. Instead, I rapidly depleted my savings trying to keep up but I gained two things: experience and social cash. I learned how to effectively multi-task and be productive. I mastered blogging and content creation. Then also I built strategic relationships (social cash).
Our generation is pressure filled both in the good and bad way. Timelines are constantly filled with people’s success stories. How they achieved one great feat. The number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019. On average, we spend not less than six hours a day on our mobile phones, thus making social media a huge part of our lives. The good part of this pressure is that it pushes you to want yours. You want your own success, thus you work hard. The negative part is you don’t see how these people got to where they are and so there’s no procedure to follow. Take for instance if you want to be a medical doctor, there’s med school; to be a lawyer, law school; but to be a success? There’s no institution.
A point of pivotal notice is that this has made us money driven. We want the results and we want it now. No one is interested in building a relationship or working to learn. We want to work to earn immediately. This creates the doubt and mistrust when someone says “let’s have a partnership”, “be my intern,” “work and learn,” “I can’t pay you now.” The next thought usually is, ‘they want to use me,’ ‘they want me to work for free’ and working for free is definitely not our definition of success.
We just want to end up at the top, no room for little steps. While money is important, money doesn’t equate success. The word success has nothing to do with money. Success is the accomplishment of a worthy goal. When you set goals and accomplish them, you’re said to be successful.
Of course, human beings are unpredictable, and the good book rightly says, the heart of man is desperately wicked. You can toil and slave for someone who won’t appreciate you now and even in the future, but we won’t get very far with that mindset. If you intend to pay for everything in life with money, you’ll be paying bills for a long time to come. There are things relationships can get you that money can’t.
I learned one key principle over the weekend from Adebola Williams. On his Instagram page, while speaking on the celebrity wedding between Lala Akindoju and Chef Fregz, he wrote, paraphrased: We managed to set them up for many priceless moments on this journey of love, many of their good friends did their best to make them have the day they truly deserved because are both so full of gifts and they give till empty tank. When you see everyone going above and beyond for this couple, it’s because these ones have sown directly or indirectly and by God they are deserving, reaping in gratitude.
Did you know, statistically speaking, you’re four people away from the person you want to meet? The easiest way to succeed is to invest in relationships. This investment may not pay off now, but it definitely will in the future. Don’t think you’ll knock once and the door will open. Never be embarrassed to invest in quality relationships. Choose your friends; you’ve probably heard, your network is your net worth. Most importantly, sit down and learn, embrace the work. So many times, when great things are about to be dropped into our lives, they may appear in another form, sometimes, very discouraging.
God may decide to encourage you through a little text message from your friend and not from that mentor you admire and hope to connect with. I know it’s not easy, when it seems like everyone around us is having it good, living the life and looking happy. But remember, social media is an illusion, things are not always what they seem.
I dare you to swear, ‘I won’t let a stranger on social media make me feel bad about myself.’
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