I have a friend who is always taking pictures. He started this habit when we were in School, final year at Babcock University to be precise. He didn’t have a camera at the time but that didn’t stop him, he used his Motorola phone and made sure he backed everything up on his computer. I remember asking him once why he loved taking pictures so much and his reply was inspired; ‘I’m capturing the present for future reference’ he said. Wow, what a response from a student. My friend is a Professional Photographer today. He is also a trainer of photographers as he has a photography school, about two (2) published books, a lot of articles and a YouTube channel where he shares about his photography journey with other professionals.
With over 14 years working experience, I see myself as moderately experienced in my field and in these years, I have worked with some really brilliant minds. My last boss in the real estate sector for instance is someone who has achieved a lot. He has till date built over 10 luxury and ultra-luxury estates in Victoria Island and Ikoyi axis (the most expensive locations in the whole of Lagos/Nigeria). He has been through a lot of battles (some won, some lost), been the Managing Director of a failed commercial bank, found a way to raise billions of Naira in project finance in a country generally plagued with shortage of funds but despite all these accolades, has no single article to his name much less a book. He has no platform or medium for sharing of wisdom and experience, he simply keeps most of what he knows to himself and probably a few people around him.
The saddest thing about this, is that he is not the only one; there are hundreds of billionaires and Captains of industry in Nigeria who are in this same boat. They refuse to share their wealth of experience with the struggling populace (who are mostly youths) trying to break free from the jaws of poverty in this country. So, we always have to start trial and error all over again just to find our way. I know there are several books by foreign authors (mostly from first world countries) everywhere but every Nigerian knows, that to make it in this country, you have to put into consideration the Nigerian factor. What we really want to know as youths is how our role models beat these Nigerian factors to become successful. Unfortunately for us though, our elite have refused to share. The few ones that share in the world of business are not completely truthful. I guess there is something they don’t want us to know. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting all of them in this category as there are a few very open and transparent ones amongst them but their number is just too few.
It has been said that every generation rises on the back of the quality of information left for it by its predecessors. I find this to be very true and I have practiced it very well myself. Every time I get a new job, my first cause of action is always to study the files.
That where you will find all the stories, the victories, mistakes, customers (both disgruntled and satisfied), the strategies (both successful and failed ones), minutes of meetings, action plans and so on. But imagine resuming in an organization with no files or previous means of documentation, where do you start? Your new colleagues will probably carry all the information in their heads and will decide to share it with you only if they like you. What kind of system would that be?
This is the same thing our preceding generation is doing to us and it is what we will also be doing to the next generation if we refuse to write and document our stories. It’s not about you, but about the next generation. It’s all about giving them a soft landing and helping them save time.
You may think you have nothing to share as you are not rich or famous. As a matter of fact, you may have failed all through your life. Wow, you have the best stories to tell. Most people will feel like you’re just trying to rub it in when you share your success stories in a very poor nation like this. They may even call you arrogant (this shouldn’t deter you though) but everyone listens carefully to stories of failure and try to see what they can learn from it to avoid making the same mistakes.
As a matter of fact, according to the movie; Legend of 1900 by Alessandro Barrico.Pruit Taylor Vince’s character(Max Tooney) mention a very profound statement that blew my mind and still blows my mind today. He said (I’m paraphrasing); ’a man who is down on his luck shouldn’t call himself finished in life if he has a story to share’. Words are powerful, stories are liberating and your story can set you and many others free. It is your way back to financial freedom. People like J.K Rawlings can testify to this. So, pleaaaassssseeeee, share your stories!
Start small, write articles and post on line. This is how I started as well, I later graduated to making videos and sharing on my Youtube channel and then moved to writing e-books (I’m still evolving). It really doesn’t matter which level you are in and how you wish to share your stories, the important thing is that you share them. Make wisdom available for your children and the next generation to access when they need it, what you see as not so big a deal may be very important in their time. Morals, cultural values, etiquettes and so many important things we hold very dear in our generation is being lost every day. We have to find a way to save them from themselves and the ignorance that may plague them in their time and leave documents they can run to when troubles come.
Think about it; see it as a rescue mission. Again I say, for God’s sake, SHARE YOUR STORIES!