Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman, famous evangelist, said that the New Testament records tell of forty people, each suffering from the same disease, who were healed by Jesus. Of this number, thirty-four were either brought to Jesus by friends, or He was taken to them. In only six cases out of forty did the sufferers find the way to Jesus without assistance. Of the vast number of people who find their way to Jesus today, most of them reach Him because the friends of Jesus are concerned about the welfare of their souls. The same way we need relationship to survive in the marketplace today.
We need people to survive.
Relationship is a powerful force for success in today’s increasingly tricky business world. It is the very thing that separates heroes from losers in the workplace. Inasmuch as you have all the necessary skills to become a successful businessperson, you need to engage the right people to sell yourself. Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They are attached to real people and real places. If you are really looking for an opportunity, you are looking for a person. You are looking for a place. You are looking for the right network, says Reid Huffman. Opportunities are not distant from our imaginations. They are the very voices we hear and scorn each day. Study shows that the people you spend most time with is the shadow of what you will become eventually. The most effective way therefore, to bring yourself out there, to the fore of purpose is to hang out with the right set of people. These are folks who are already where you want to be or the way you want to be. Don’t follow crowd of losers who will do nothing but drag you down. Engage peers that will challenge your intelligence and exude your creativity. And since we need relationship to survive, that means we ought to be careful not to write any man off as being incapable of helping us.
We need each other. A rather crude and cruel experiment was carried out by Emperor Frederick, who ruled the Roman Empire in the thirteenth century. He wanted to know what man’s original language was: Hebrew, Greek, or Latin. He decided to isolate a few infants from the sound of the human voice. He reasoned that they would eventually speak the natural tongue of man. Nurses who were sworn to absolute silence were obtained, and though it was difficult for them, they abided by the rule. The infants never heard a word, not a sound from a human voice. Within several months they were all dead.
A friend told me a story of an okadaman (Nigerian commercial motorcyclist) whose bike was impounded by the police, which was a response to a new state government ultimatum to ban okada riders (commercial motorcyclists) from plying on major routes in the country. He tried all he can to get it out from custody but did not prevail. He resorted on getting drunk that day. As he got to a beer parlor (bar) to drink himself to stupor, he stumbled on this fellow that was the ridicule of the community known as Joe-boy, the world-famous village drunkard. In his state of unconsciousness, what he wouldn’t ordinarily do if he was sober: he engaged Joe-boy in a conversation and exhaustively told him all that happened to him that day. Joy-boy, though trying to crawl into the deep hole of drunkenness, knew he could help the guy get his bike back from the police because the senior officer in charge of that division was his younger brother. Aside that, Joy-boy entertained the police often with his tosspot jokes at the village bar. Knowing that he could shrewdly influence the police to release the bike, he then literally dragged the okadaman to the police to get his bike back. The rest was history. Did he get the bike out? Yes he did, and very easy. To the astonishment of the okadaman, the police did as Joe-boy told them and gave back the bike without him paying a dame for it. Had if theokadaman had underestimated the community no-good (good thing he was drunk at that time), that would be the last he would see his motorbike. A bright day that was darkened for the okadaman later became bright for the him as a result of an unexpected action by an unexpected useless wino.
God can use anybody to meet our need.
The problem with us is that we hastily make unjust claims and assumptions about people, especially those we hardly even know. Imagine if the okadaman had not taken a drinking honeymoon and lost consciousness, he may choose not to share his problem with his wino stranger.
Speak to people. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting. Smile at people even when you don’t feel like. “It takes seventy-two muscles to frown, only fourteen to smile,” says physicians. It is no big deal saying “hi” to a stranger. The mere fact that you are meeting face to face with someone is evident to the fact that God has providentially arranged for such connect for a reason. God could use anybody to bring that opportunity to you. Make no mistake about it. Don’t always expect your help to come from that over-familiar mighty source. Sometimes we may need the bizarre routes, persons and environments to attain unusual breakthroughs.
And since opportunity is not an abstract theory and the most reliable way to find a business opportunity is through people. The best way therefore to meet people is by people you already know. You may think you do not know the right people but the existing network is much bigger than you think. For instance, if you are connected to a hundred people on linkedin you are at the center of a network of more than two million people. In other words it means that someone you know already knows someone who could help you. Never underestimate the people God positions around you, they may be the answers to your prayers.
Seek. Find. Lead.