I have been studying and teaching about success for many years now. But it took me many years to understand the power of association. Here, I do not mean association as it implies an “organization of people who are affiliated for a common goal.” What I mean basically is associations with respect to who you interact with, relate to or keep the company of.
I consider myself to be a very smart, self-driven person who has gone very far in his journey of success. However, I am not yet where I want to be. I am not yet experiencing the level of success I thought (some years ago) I will be right now. I still feel like there is more I should be doing, earning, enjoying, impacting, and pushing at this level and time of my life.
I have a friend who is also very talented. I always refer to him as a “walking” dictionary and encyclopedia. He knows and has answers about and for almost everything. He can create detailed cash-flow projections. He can create websites. He knows a lot about sales. He understands business process engineering. He can read up on any technical subject today and teach it to a high profile and very experienced audience tomorrow and still wow them. He understands (to a very large extent) spiritual matters! What does this my friend not know. He is my “go to guy” when I have questions about certain matters.
Despite the fact that we are so smart, we were having struggles in our finances. We were not making as much money as we should be making at the level we were operating at. We knew it was time to start enjoying some levels of revenue in our businesses. But there was only one challenge. That challenge was getting people who were rich and willing enough to give us the money we needed to invest in our businesses to scale up.
While our expertise could attract certain contracts to us, it was difficult to consistently get some kinds of contracts that would result in a lot of money (millions).
That was when it dawned on me. We did not know the kind of people who could help to connect us to these kinds of contracts or capital. So I told my friend “lets begin to vigorously network to meet this kind of people.”
Let me show you some examples of the power of associations
The success of the king of pop music can be evidently attributed to a few primary things. One of them is his family. While the father reportedly worked with a band called Falcons as a guitar player, his mother was music inclined as she aspired to be a clarinet and piano performer. It is no wonder then that he and his siblings created and made the Jackson 5 popular. Even the abuse he reportedly suffered from his father also helped him to tend towards being a perfectionist – a trait that saw his music career blossom like none other’s in the world. Michael Jackson’s association with his family made him to discover his talent and start developing it on time.
Everyone knows the Facebook story. But if you really pay attention, you will notice that association is a very pivotal factor that helped to transform the social media platform from just a mere college project into a company. Sean Parker, who had experience with Napster and Friendster did not only join Mark to help work on Facebook, he also brought Facebook’s first investor, Peter Thiel, on board. David Kirkpatrick wrote that “had he [Sean Parker] not joined founder Mark Zuckerberg in Palo Alto in the summer of 2004, when the fledgling Facebook was just five months old, the service almost certainly would not be the colossus it is toady.”
According to Kirkpatrick, Sean Parker believed in Facebook’s potential more than Mark Zuckerberg. According to him, Peter Thiel said “Sean consistently argued that Facebook was going to be really big. If Mark ever had any second thoughts, Sean was the one who cut that off.” Again, you see association transforming Facebook, Mark and our lives!
It is obvious how association help (or even destroy) people! Lets come back to Nigeria. You may have heard of how Dangote’s uncle helped him with N500k as capital to start his business. You may have also heard of how he garnered essential business experience from working his uncle. Today, he is the richest guy in Africa.
What about Korede Bello and Reekado Banks? How come they are so successful in their careers with endorsements and other juicy stuffs despite the fact that they are young and new in the music industry? They met Don Jazzy!
I have created a tool that will help you in your associations. I call it The Life Collaboration Wheel. Sign up for our newsletter and I will send it to you for FREE.
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