A common complaint I have seen among my peers is a lack of connection.
Growing up, we were told that what was most important was what we know. As grown up, we have come to realize that who we know is probably just as important. In some cases, even more.
I have heard some people wish that although their parents aren’t millionaires or billionaires, it won’t have hurt for them to have a couple of wealthy friends.
Who am I to argue otherwise? Who no like beta thing?
It sure would be cool to tell one billionaire “uncle” about my plans to sell biscuits wholesale. All he needs to do is tell me to show up at his office tomorrow morning for a ten million Naira loan I never have to pay back. or at least, interest-free.
And if I tell one of my “big aunties” of my plan to revolutionize the office cleaning industry, she’ll outsource the cleaning of her office to me. Maybe even hook me up with some of her billionaire friends to do the same.
Just like that, I’ll be appearing on the Forbes list as “The Nigerian Millennial Changing The Face Of Office Cleaning”.
I might even get contracted to oversee or retrain the cleaners at the governor’s office and residence. With one meeting, I might get to do the same for Aso Rock.
That is the power of connection. It has been a major source of funding for lots of filmmakers, musicians, startups, fashion designers, and other young founders and creatives.
A billionaire businessman is more likely to give a multimillion Naira endorsement deal to his friend’s son, or son’s friend, than a stranger’s son.
Having a good connection can also be the difference between job hunting for three years after NYSC, and resuming as a departmental head after NYSC.
As an entrepreneur, if my friend’s child has proven to be innovative and industrious, I will offer them a job before they finish asking. While others might have to go through a low-paying internship, my friend’s child will resume with good pay, an official car, and an official apartment if they want one.
I don’t owe anyone any explanation for my preference too. As long as said child can do the job half as decently as anyone else, if you are upset with my decision, resign.
The reality is that most Nigerians would do the same. We love our own and would take care of them.
We’ve heard of silly and phony recruitments in governmental ministries, departments, and agencies. These were done by people who do not own said organizations.
What do you think they’ll do if they actually owned it?
With all of these in mind, what is the fate of those that lack this connection?
I have seen bright minds get wasted and frustrated. Some emigrate to countries they would never have considered. Others are forced to take up jobs that are beneath their qualifications, abilities, and potentials.
I don’t want the same for my kids. Or my friends’ kids. I want the best for them. I hope you want the same too.
The people you call friends today are the people your children will call “uncle” and “aunty” tomorrow.
If you keep accumulating quantity rather than quality, that is a burden your children will have to inherit.
The lifestyle your friends display is one your children will come to admire and adopt. After all, their favorite aunty and uncle do it.
At the same time, if you ever need financial help to help take care of some of the bills for your children, these are the people you will call on.
They will be present at all milestone events. Your children will look forward to receiving birthday gifts from them too.
What is the quality these people will be contributing to your children’s lives?
And finally, as your children are finishing school, these are the connection they will be depending on.
Your friends will be the “uncles” and “aunties” that would tell your children that “just bring your CV”.
Pick your friends better. They are part of the connection and net worth your children would inherit from you.
Prepare your friends for this role by connecting them to opportunities that would improve their lives too. The better their lives, the better the gifts and opportunities they will have to give your kids in the future.
Also, pick wiser friends. No matter how close you are to your children, there is always a possibility one of your friends will be their favorite aunt or uncle.
Hopefully, that doesn’t turn out to be the idiot among them. Or the predator among them.
You know can spot the idiotic and predatory tendencies already. You are probably making excuses for their nonsensical behaviors today. I’ll advise you try getting them to do better now. If they won’t, cut them off now.
On a closing note, you will also be an “uncle” and “aunt” to your friend’s children. What type of uncle or aunty will you be?
The one that never gives gifts? The one that only shows up when your life is a mess? Or the aunt and uncle they are always proud to tell their friends that you stopped by the house?