Hello everyone,

I'd like us to ruminate on these thoughts.

There's something about human connections many seem to underrate.

If you observe the interactions of the elderly folk, especially our parents, you'll realize how smoothly they get things done with a short chain of phone calls. These moves would have been otherwise laborious and hopeless, had there been no inner tool - friend or acquaintance - known to them.

I once came across an elderly woman at a corporate event sometime ago and was impressed by how expansive her contact base seemed to be. During the tea break, I watched how she exchanged pleasantries with a handful of influential guests, all of whom were delighted to see her. And on one or two occasions, I also noticed she exchanged business cards with accomplices/friends of the influential guests she'd bumped into, amidst flashy smiles and warm hugs.

She would later grace the stage to discuss critical avenues for personal/professional growth and development and for all it's worth, I was impressed by her points and most especially how she seemed a chatty discussant. Then came the time to advise "youths of today" and she highlighted the importance of building a network from scratch.

I remember her randomly ask few attendees, "how much is your contact base worth?"

Though the question elicited both sparse chuckles and eerie silence, it didn't take long before the underlying point dawned on many, with especial credit to how lucid her points were.

Today as I sit in this comfortable BRT, I'll pose the same question to you, how much is your contact base worth?

Many times, we hear and see how the most daunting challenges are solved with few phone calls, challenges whose solutions would have otherwise gulped thousands and millions of cash. Border (customs), employment, security, bankruptcy are some of the various problems people solve with connections. And if I do say so myself, the feeling is often a composition of fulfillment, gratitude, self-importance and of course, indebtedness.

Ask yourself, what direct or indirect problem of yours can you expressly solve with a few phone calls? Can any one of your friends loan you a substantial amount of money without batting an eyelid? Can any one of your friends conveniently offer you a huge discount or free purchase for a product/item you'd love to acquire? Can any one of your friends fast-track a process that would ordinarily require you to stand endlessly on a queue?

Bringing this home, what's the net worth of your Facebook contact base? You might be puzzled by the ridiculousness of this question considering how many perceive social media to be a virtual leisure hub. But if you can take some time to ask what some of your friends do, you just might realize you've been sharing cyberspace with goldmines, decision makers and creators of opportunities.

Interestingly, some of these influential guys hardly ever grow their cyber base for reasons bordering on security and the need to remain low key. So, no matter how hard you try, you may never find them. Funny enough, their cyber beneficiaries do well to shield them from the public just so they could continue enjoying the largesse without disturbance from new parasites or commensals.

No matter what happens, they'll never share these contacts with you. And while you may call it greed, they call it security measures. People see things differently.

In all of this, remember that in order to build a valuable contact base and consequently get the best out of them, you must be relevant in your own field. Nobody wants a parasitic connection. At best, it should be symbiotic and at worst, commensal.

In today's world, people spend less and get way more. Life's all about making crucial moves and adopting smart strategies.

Bottom line, be the guy who can solve huge problems with few phone calls.


-          Damzy.