Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Reinvent Yourself: Connect (1/7)

Picture courtesy www.chuckbalsamo.com
Seth Godin believes something is fundamentally wrong with education today. I agree, and if you have studied in a Nigerian University – you should too. Many of us spend four years in University realizing that we don’t want to spend our lives doing what we are learning. The best degrees prepare us for middle-class lives. Top-tier life requires creativity and innovation; neither is taught in our classrooms.

I’m sorry, but I don’t know which University Dangote, Adenuga, or Otedola graduated from. If you know without recourse to Google, please tell me. AND before you question the propriety of their use in this context – know that they are only sound business-men who have exploited a corrupt system. Walking with your shoulders high ‘cause you studied Mechanical Engineering at OAU? Oh great! Solely based on that degree, you’re just another one out of thousands!

Am I disparaging formal education? No! For every dropout who becomes a billionaire (think Gates), a million others are penniless loafers. Formal education broadens your mind, grants you access to important networks, and gets you past the door. What happens in the room is another ball-game entirely!

In Brainwashed, Seth describes seven ways to re-invent yourself. I’ll discuss them one at a time over the next six days.

*****

The first is to ‘Connect’.

Seth says, “Social media is either a time-wasting, wool-gathering, yak-shaving waste of effort or, perhaps, just maybe, it’s a crack in the wall between you and the rest of the world. It’s a choice… up to you. If you’re keeping score of how many followers you have, how many comments you get or how big your online footprint is, then you’re measuring the wrong thing and probably distracting yourself from what matters”.

Three years ago, I connected with Gladwell after reading The Tipping Point. Yesterday, I mailed Seth asking for permission to do this. I only spoke with Ola Joseph once or twice in OAU but today I feel like I’ve known him forever from reading his notes. That kind of connection was impossible a decade ago. Via social media, we can all make real connections, earn permissions, and gain insights from people we would NEVER have met otherwise.

@omojuwa, @eggheader, @amasonic? They have achieved levels of relevance and influence that were impossible five years ago – through Twitter. Are you on Twitter? How many real connections have you made?

I wrote a piece about NYSC from my Blackberry in camp; it got read a thousand times in one hour. @lindaikeji does over a hundred thousand page-views daily. @elnathan’s “How to…” series quickly went viral, spreading through online newspapers and blogs. Do you have a blog? Are you connecting with and influencing an audience?

We were isolated, now we’re connected. A simple email, BBM chat, or Skype call can open up endless possibilities! We need fewer connections and money to get heard today. You need to get in on this!

The ability to connect changes everything… if we let it.

Koye.
PS: Excerpts and paraphrases from Seth Godin's manifesto are reproduced in Bold print.

3 comments:

  1. After all, the job of connecting the world is not left to Nokia but we as individuals.. lovely and thought provoking... thumbs up

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  2. Woah this is very insightful for me as an individual! Thanks Koye.

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  3. Woah this is an insightful one. Thanks Koye!

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