When I left Port Harcourt for Lagos, my plan was to embark on a media production training. But upon arrival, it dawned on me that I didn’t have what I needed to start the training. Hence, I had to begin life in Lagos.

Several months later, after I bought my laptop (that met the required specifications), I was yet to raise the tuition fee. So I decided to make some moves.

I wrote to about 10-20 media companies in Lagos, seeking an internship opportunity. I let them know what I could do for them in exchange for learning media production from them.

A few got back to me and we even met to discuss the arrangement. About two made me offers (though with little or no payment); I didn’t care much. I just wanted to learn.

Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t take any of the offers, and that was because they came at a time when my engagement with some clients got serious, requiring my physical presence (and I needed the money).

By the beginning of this year, I had raised the tuition fee (a good 6-figure amount) for the training.

Why am I sharing this?

I shared a screenshot of a post from LinkedIn this morning (scroll down to look for it if you haven’t seen it). That post prompted me to share this story and what I want to say next.

See… There’s a perspective with which you look at life and you realise it is a market place. If you want something, you have to come with something else to exchange for it.

I needed to learn something and didn’t have the money to pay for the training. I offered my skills (writing, social media, etc) in exchange for an internship so I can learn.

Yesterday, I wrote about learning. So, for those who know they need to learn a skill and need someone else to teach them, why not make an offer to that person?

For you looking for mentorship… No one is ready to give out their limited time to a stranger just because you admire them and what they do. Make them an offer. Find a way that you can be of value to them.

And on a general note, I’d like to urge everyone here to not live beggarly. Always think of what you can bring to the table. This is one secret to becoming a person of influence and building a strong personality. Always think of what you can give to people.

That is how strong and valuable relationships are forged. People will take you seriously when you make them an offer, unlike when you just beg them for something.

Go for what you want. Make the first move. Forge relationships with important people. But never be seen as a burden.  There is something you have that you can give in exchange; a skill; service; support; whatever. You want people to be delighted to know/relate with you.

Be a person of value. Always bring something to the table.

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