Register here

Register using an email address

Terms & Conditions

Already have an account? Login here

Register using a social network


Login using your email address

Keep me logged in
Forgot your password?

Login using a social network


Read Letter

Million Near

My dear Jil, it was raining cats and dogs in Lagos. You don’t want to be on the road when the weather is that angry over Lagos. The roads were flooded, as usual. We’re told the flood has something to do with the level of Lagos, that Lagos is below sea level, or something like that. It is on such occasions cars test their mettle. Those who can’t cut it gulp a cocktail of water mixed with Lagos detritus. They naturally choke. The water can rise up to the window level of a sedan. Jeeps of course have it easier. It’s one of the reasons Nigerians love four-wheel drives. It’s based on environmental impact assessment. Cars with over fanciful electronics suffer. Lagos floods tame such prideful dispositions. Such cars are too sissy for Lagos flood. Car companies ought to test their cars in Lagos conditions.

Cars wade through Noah’s flood during the rainy season in Lagos. And those who can’t wade? Well, it’s not unusual to see such cars parked by the road side, the owners forced to acknowledge the limitations of their cars. Saw one such car parked by the road side just two days ago, or shall I say the car parked itself. It just refused to continue the journey. It’s not an amphibious vehicle after all. What a sight it was to see the gentleman owner of the vehicle scooping water out of his car. The car had swallowed gallons of water, like a victim of waterboarding.

Evidently, the car had holes in the undercarriage. Probably due to rust. Such a sight is not uncommon in Lagos in the rainy season. But our gentleman was up to the task. He had removed his top, displaying his white singlet. He had his trousers rolled up. He had no shoes on.

Which kind of reminds me of a tale told me by the wife of a particular billionaire. I’m withholding her name of course. She said when she met her husband his second hand car was more or less a leaking Ilaje canoe. The man had nothing. We need to hear more of such tales. Successful people tend to edit unpleasant chapters out the story of their lives. But young people need to hear such stories. It brings hope, even comfort. The point she was trying to make is that she didn’t marry a billionaire, she married a young man who became a billionaire.

There are many such stories of course. Many of those we consider rich were not born into wealth. Their dads weren’t rich. They struggled and became rich. Because she married him poor there are certain claims she has on him, certain fiduciary rights. She was there when there was nothing, was there when he was nothing. Some would of course rather marry a made man, and that’s okay. Do what your faith can carry. It has its challenges though. Because such men are not many the law of demand and supply kicks in in their favour. There’s too much demand chasing little supply. Gives them power. The big moral is not to belittle the possibilities in a young man’s life. That he’s struggling today doesn’t mean he won’t make it tomorrow. And so when you look down on him or reject him because he’s not yet made it you may be missing out on a million-near. His millions may be near.

Now, that’s not saying you should date an unserious guy who’s obviously headed nowhere, a wishful thinker who won’t put his hand to the plough. You can tell such young men. They tend to be very expansive and boastful. They paint wonderful pictures of how they’ll spend the imaginary money they’ve not earned. They’re high on generalisations but low on specifics. They go through the motions of Acting Big Man and they’re always borrowing from their girlfriend. There’s always one hare-brained project that will make emergency money. I’m not talking about one of those.

If a guy lacks drive he’ll hardly succeed. If you want to show me your future show me your drive. And you can tell when a guy is serious. Such people tend to despise the shame. They put the shame aside and face what needs to be done to succeed. You can tell the guy is going somewhere. He’s very responsible when it comes to opportunities. He applies himself to his work – is very diligent and hardworking.

But the other sort… He just makes mouth, talks big. May add an accent or two just to show he’s a culturati. He’s just play acting. Invariably some lies will creep into the mix, and then the lies will take over, become the main story. There’s always this mega business deal he’s working on. He knows all the short cuts to success. Some even dress the part. They dress to go to meetings in the morning. Only there is no meeting to attend. They’re just trying to impress their friends. No, these are not the kind of guys I’m talking about. You don’t date such. Your hopes and investments will be dashed.

You have to be careful where you invest your hope, be careful who you hitch your wagon to. Don’t hitch your wagon to a talker. He just talks, he won’t achieve anything. But don’t despise days of small beginnings in a young man. Many of the people you envy today started small. They built up from small. Some started with absolutely nothing. I know a then young man who started with less than a dollar. By dint of hard work and determination he’s probably a billionaire in assets today. And I’m talking clean money. These are not crooked young men trying to strike it “big” at all costs. These are guys irrevocably committed to succeeding the right way.

Never underestimate the vision of a young man. If he couples that vision with determination and intelligence only God knows what he can become. But many times those young men get help along the way. They may meet a wonderful young woman who believes in them, is devoted to them. When they make it they tend to treat such women like royalty. They’re a critical part of their story. Without them they wouldn’t have become. The reason they treat such women so special is because of the investments those women made. They were there for them. They encouraged them when things were tough, comforted them when they met disappointment, spoke words of faith into them. In some instances they even loaned them money, or helped them source for funds for that contract. They absolutely believed in their future. Be that woman if you meet a worthy fellow. Be the secret of his success.

Now of course some men forget. The law of anomaly dictates there must be such men. They lose their head once they make it, forget the women who helped them. Which is why you can’t dispense with character in your consideration of marriage partner. Character matters, values matter. And you should be wise unto a user – someone who just wants to use you and use your resources. The problem many times is that some young women don’t want to build with a young man. They want made men. Perhaps the reason many made men tend to be married is because they were made by their spouses. They invested faith in them.

Not everyone will marry a rich man. Some will make their men rich through the supply of wisdom, encouragement, comfort and faith. Chances are the successful guy you see today is the product of another woman. She worked hard to support her man. Some move into built houses, some have to build with their husband. Building of course is tougher. It requires faith and determination. You should give a guy with determination and vision a chance. It’s usually a matter of time for such people. Don’t despise him or look down on him.

And you have to be careful about over-negotiating your affection. If you vaunt yourself too high you may come up short. And all those guys you looked down on… In time they’ll begin to make it and there you are! Don’t despise anyone. Be willing to build with your man. Many times success is a joint effort. Sometimes all a young man needs is a woman who just believes in him. He’ll conquer mountains with her faith. It’s the nature of young men to try and please their women. That’s how women end up being catalysts of attainment. The dream of buying you a particular car can propel a young man to so much drive he’ll succeed. All in an effort to please you.

I know another young man who had holes under his only pair of shoes. Things were that tough at the beginning. By dint of hard work he’s made it. And now he can afford many shoes. A guy must however show promise if he wants such support. There must be evidence of the things we cannot yet see.

If you feel this guy is serious and you feel he’ll make it may be you should give him an opportunity to disprove your belief. At least go on a date. The young man we discountenance today may just be the billionaire of tomorrow. And the young man scooping rain water out of his car today may end up very successful tomorrow.

Don’t despise small beginnings.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

If you want to show me your future, show me your drive. Click To Tweet


Tags : Success, Vision, Choosing a partner

Post Your Comments Here