By Otas Telo
There is something in life called “Social Capital.” The people you know; the people who know you and how they know you.
Quite unfortunately, people think or behave like social capital is only needed on weddings and burials. That is why you see someone will not have contacted you in ten years but out of the blue they are sending you a message, “Hello so and so, long time. Btw, next Sunday is my pre-wedding. I need your support.”!
Social capital is not built overnight; it is reciprocal and does not need money (especially in this virtually connected world) to build. It just needs being sensitive that people have emotions and that you can’t sneak into their lives only when you need help.
Social capital is massively important and when built and used correctly, it can make a very big difference to one’s quality of life. It can save you money, make you money, get you a better job, make things easier and safer, it can save you from prison, or save your life: it can save you time and effort, and make life more enjoyable and productive.
Ever wondered how Raila Odinga has managed to conquer our political space since 1997? Oh yes, he invested on a network from a very tender age, he has people loyal to him to all government agencies be it at the spy agency NIS, Central Bank, KDF, Statehouse, Police, DCI, PARASTATALS, county government, embassies, diaspora, etc, he is basically an institution !
As we progress through the year, please learn to connect with people in your circles. Check on people, send someone a birthday message, check their timelines and comment something positive and inspirational. Pick your phone and call someone, or text them. It could be your relative, your colleague, your former schoolmate, a former or current boss, your CEO, your parents etc.
Creating a connection with people is important for building your social capital. And even if they don’t respond, at least keep in touch and don’t just reach out when you are in need.
Most importantly, respect everyone no matter their status in life and be there when others need you. Be a solution, an encouragement and inspiration. Avoid being a leech, a user or nagger. Just be a nice person who in a calculated way stays in touch with people and brings joy, encouragement and hope.
The most important asset you have in life is not your job, money or title; its people. Your network is your networth!