Dear Young Folks (Series 4: Collaborate, Volunteer, Partner and Network)

Dear Young Folks,

I recently had the pleasure of attending a surprise birthday gathering graciously hosted by Honorable Dapo Lam Adesina to commemorate my own birthday. Such gestures are rare and mark only the second occasion in nearly four decades of my life. The event was truly enjoyable, and I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all who contributed to its vibrant success.

Upon reflecting on the speeches delivered during the celebration, as captured in video clips, I felt compelled to share some insights from my own journey in the hope that they may resonate with others and offer valuable lessons.

Successful individuals often possess distinct traits, one of which is the ability to discern opportunities where others may overlook them. Therefore, it is essential to persevere in one’s pursuits, projects, or endeavors until tangible results materialize.

When queried about the outcomes of my sacrifices or the personal gains I anticipate, I often jestingly respond, “I don’t know.” However, this jest belies a deeper belief in the transformative power of positively impacting others, which in turn fosters societal advancement and personal growth.

I have cultivated unwavering self-belief, steadfastly adhering to my principles despite facing skepticism from those around me. My faith in the value of partnerships, collaborations, and volunteerism as conduits for expanding my network remains unshaken.

Today, my writings and contributions garner attention organically, devoid of sponsorships or advertisements, owing to the resonance I share with my network of acquaintances. While some may view me solely as a resource to be leveraged, I am beginning to witness reciprocal benefits from these relationships.

I have even secured loans from financial institutions based solely on the reputation I have built, demonstrating that one’s personal brand holds intrinsic value beyond immediate financial gains.

In a previous communication, I emphasized the importance of offering services in exchange for assistance rather than seeking immediate financial aid. I reiterate that collaborations and volunteerism are pivotal to personal development, even if the benefits may not be immediately apparent.

The journey to success often mirrors the narrative of the Chinese bamboo, requiring years of nurturing before manifesting exponential growth within a relatively short timeframe. This underscores the importance of patience and persistence in realizing the dividends of one’s investments.

Furthermore, not all rewards are monetary; some of life’s greatest achievements stem from meaningful connections and experiences that defy quantification. It is through such intangible assets that one truly flourishes, unaware of the seeds sown along the way.

No success story is solely authored by one individual; it invariably entails the contributions of others, albeit sometimes tacitly. Trusting solely in fate or wishful thinking is insufficient; instead, cultivating partnerships, networking, collaborating, and volunteering are essential strategies for navigating the path to success.

Grab a copy of Unstoppable by Babatunde Ojobaro this weekend and let’s reflect on the lessons there in.

See you next week.

Idris Animasaun
Architect and Social Change Advocate

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