It’s the third of a four part series, #TheLetterSeries.
This week, I tell her about leading, saving and entrepreneurship, and what they will do for her.
Get up to speed on the first and second parts, if you’re yet to. And if you have, let’s roll!
5. Be active in your departmental association.
Run for positions. Lead.
This occurred to me late. Even when it did, I made the grave mistake of asking permission from others to do so. I laid my dreams at their feet, and they did what people do when you do such – crush it under their feet.
I love what leadership does to people. Both the one leading and the ones led. Good leadership leaves people better.
“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It’s about one life influencing another.” – John C. Maxwell
When you take up leadership positions, you are better suited to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This way, you are better adapted to know what to build on and what to work on.
Leadership gives you exposure. It makes you vulnerable in a good way. It makes you a better person.
Student leadership adds to your credibility. It amplifies your suitability for a role you are applying in school and post-grad.
But if by any choice of yours, you decide taking the lead is not your calling. Please, by no means should you be ignorant or indifferent about the happenings in your immediate environment. Support the ones who are leading. Speak up when you have to. Care enough to do these. It matters that you do.
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson.
6. Save Some Money.
Saving as a student can be an uphill task. I know this firsthand. I also know that it is possible. Saving is not so much about how much you put away, but the discipline to consistently put away a predetermined sum or percent. Little drops, they say, make an ocean.
When you save, you would be able to visit places and participate in the activities organized by the associations and fellowship you belong to. These activities are what culminate in giving you a wonderful university (and life) experience.
You meet more people. Travel new places. Learn about others and have others learn about you, too. You see how differently or similarly others do the things you do.
I would love that you live a full life. A life filled with wonderful experiences and beautiful memories. Do not settle for less. If for any reason you do not make the most of these opportunities, it should not be from a lack of finance.
Do the due diligence. Save. You will be glad you were disciplined enough to do so.
7. Learn a trade.
Become an entrepreneur. Make some money – your money, not daddy’s money.
I hated the word “hustle” because it connoted hardship. I still have not got comfortable with it in my lexicon, but over the years, I have learnt the value of work – to let go of “entitlement mentality.”
Entrepreneurship is the path to financial freedom, and every individual’s financial goal should be some sort of financial freedom.
As a student there are various avenues to create wealth. It’s sad that our country disfavours student employment opportunities such as serving tables, working in shops as some other countries encourage. In these parts of the world, children are introduced early on to work.
This “disadvantage” nonetheless, puts us at an advantage; opens us up to the world of entrepreneurship, what some have defined the route to financial freedom. Contrarily to working for others, if we are open and willing to take up opportunities around us, we work for ourselves.
I would love you to find something you love doing, an innate skill/talent/passion you can develop and derive finance from.
Don’t merely depend on daddy’s money. If you can, your goal should be to liberate yourself from waiting on daddy at ever turn.
Daddy’s money may or may not come through. You know, sometimes, what you deem necessary, daddy may not. This is where your own money comes into play. Whoever said you cannot become your own money boss at a young age. Wait for no one, get to work.
Until next Thursday.
Have you learned anything from #TheLetterSeries so far? I would love to hear your thoughts. And if you find it worth sharing. Please, do not hesitate to share.
Ps: The last part of #TheLetterSeries would be posted next week Thursday. Same day the winner of our month-end giveaway would be announced. I haven’t noticed any entries. Did you try? Did you have any difficulties? I want someone to win the journal.
Hi, everyone. I hope y’all had a great holiday; time to relax, refresh and reconnect with loved ones. I had quite a full one myself.
In the course of the holiday, I was able to visit both my paternal and maternal homes. It was beautiful reconnecting with some family members I had not seen in a while.
On the trip to our maternal home, my aunt (my mum’s last sister) kept going on and about how much grander their village is in comparison with our paternal home, which we were traveling from. My mum joined in. When it seemed as though she was trying too hard to convince us, she concluded with what shuts any Thomas, “seeing is believing.”
It was not our first time visiting. We visited about five years ago. I do not recall visiting earlier than that.
You see, my mum comes from a large home. Her father had two wives and 16 children. Of the 16, about 11 are based abroad, mostly in the United States of America. As such, most of the family can be said to be doing well.
Having recently graduated from medical school with a promising future, and in the face of the dwindling health system (and every other system) of the Nigerian state, talks of relocating me to the United States of America after youth service majored in conversations.
In the current state of the nation, anyone singing the song of patriotism or not talking about leaving the country would be considered a madman or woman, as the case may be. Especially when the table is almost set for you.
I came across a tweet and could not agree more.
“It’s a valid choice to leave this country and go somewhere to flourish. It’s also a valid choice to stay and build. Just ensure that your choice aligns with your purpose. You won’t find satisfaction anywhere if it doesn’t.” – @supersanusi.
You see, I found purpose or a sense of it some years back. So far as is clear to me, my purpose is tied to Nigeria. One of my major prayer points this year is clarity of purpose; what to do and how to go about it.
I am not yet sure how God deems it best for me to fulfill mine. This I hope to unravel this year, by God’s grace.
I attended the annual Global Leadership Summitorganized by the Willow Creek Association last year, in keeping with one of my personal goals of becoming a better leader.
In the session pioneered by Bryan Stevenson Leading Through The Uncomfortable, I learned some things about leadership which I could apply to leading in Nigeria.
He categorized his talk in four sub-headings:
1. Get proximate
“Leadership requires that we do not run away from the problems, however painful and difficult, but we get close to them.”
2. Change the narratives that birth the problem.
“We have to understand the narratives that sustain these problems.”
3. Stay hopeful.
“Hopelessness is the enemy of effective leadership. You are either hopeful or part of the problem.”
4. We’ve got to be willing to do uncomfortable things.
“Effective leadership only happens when leaders decide to do uncomfortable things.”
Prior to this time, the plan had always been simple: Graduate. Go to a place with a better system. Learn. Come back and effect change.
After listening to him, I began reevaluating my plan. I had, however, before this time, told myself that I would leave Nigeria if I had genuine reasons to do so, and not merely because everyone thinks that is the figurative “Noah’s ark” to get on.
As I write this, I fondly remember an uncle who is also a medical doctor and had to go to the United States of America for a heart surgery and refused to come back afterward. He stayed back, is currently practicing there and has had his entire family relocate to be with him.
I also hear you telling me matter-of-factly that if I go over, like my uncle, for a year, a month or even a day, my language will change.
Again, it boils down to purpose. Why we do what we do. I hope each of us finds our purpose. I hope we lead our purpose. Much more, I hope we give ourselves the liberty to live out our purpose without fear or favour.