Andrew Dokai Written by masterchief · 1 min read >

A while ago, while I was thinking about my journey in life and the relationships I have built, I realized some of the most rewarding relationships I have today are with people who were my schoolmates in school. There’s something about relationships formed with schoolmates that make them stand the test of time.

One of the reasons why I decided to do the MMBA program at Lagos Business School(LBS) was that I wanted to meet new people and make new friends. They say “twenty friends cannot play for twenty years” so it is important to form new relationships to replace dead ones. My MMBA 3 class is filled with a lot of great people and I hope that before the end of the two-year program I would have formed new relationships with some of my classmates that will stand the test of time.

Relationships are really important in life but I did not understand this early enough. Sometimes I wonder why my parents never asked me to build relationships with good people in school. Although I now know the importance of relationships, I still feel I would be far ahead in life if I had tried to consciously build relationships all these years. I guess they did not know any better.

I discovered the importance of relationships after I started running my business. I realized that to get jobs often enough to put food on the table for my family every day, I had to know a lot of people. In my profession, we are not allowed to do advertising and so we only get jobs/projects from the people we know and through referrals. We also get jobs through our website whenever someone who needs our services finds our website. Once in a while, we get projects from RFPs(Request for Proposals) that we respond to.

Relationships work best when they are mutually beneficial. People should not seek to take all the time without thought of giving. I also believe that it is right to try to build a relationship with someone with the thought of only getting what you need from them. I believe that people should try to build relationships with other people that they find interesting in some way because if the person does not interest you, there will hardly be any compelling reason to stay in touch. It is easy to go to a networking event and exchange numbers or business cards with strangers after a chat. However, it is difficult to keep the conversation going if you don’t find the person interesting. Maintaining the relationship becomes a chore and before long it withers away.

It has been proven scientifically that an active social life is one of the keys to longevity. It was discovered that those who live long, have wonderful relationships. Man is a social animal. He was not created to be a loner. Social interactions are necessary for man to function properly.

Go out today and meet someone. It is good for your career and your health.

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