This is just one thought I have gathered with time and I decided to cut it through at this point. Trust me; this is strictly for young entrepreneurs and intrapreneur. Oh, maybe a young professional can also get the best from this.
At some point, everybody has had a professor who clearly didn’t give two shits about teaching. For me, it was a messed up moment in school. With those professors and lecturers, life was redesigned for hell. I quite understand that these folks were focused on research or they were simply burnt out on pension but my pain is that they somehow managed to make you feel even worse about yourself in class.
My challenge here is helping you sift through all the painful memories and recall those excellent teachers who genuinely improved the quality of your day-to-day life. It’s so simple to admit that among that tough academia were some who made our days adventurously amazing. These extraordinary people are the ones who care about the impact they have on young minds. For some of us with loads of energies, we made a whole lot of flagging errors and we were gently mentored and tutored by these amazing individuals – my shout out to them. They have dedicated their lives to teaching or they cashed out of the game early to spread their knowledge to the next generation.
It’s easy to forget about the subtleties of school once you have moved on to the next frontier, but as a young professional or entrepreneur, there are important reasons why you should reconnect with your teachers.
Gain Valuable Advice
Great professors are sages. These apt men have had it in life. You can gain valuable advice from them and build through content with them. They always seem to have useful input, and they relentlessly encourage your personal development. Now permit me to say these; whether or not you failed that particular class at school doesn’t matter; you can always learn something new from an old teacher. Meanwhile, you don’t have to be a great student to get through. You just have to be willing to pay the sacrifice. An average Professor has seen over 1000 bad students, so you are in the multitude. Walk up to an old lecture, introduce yourself and say ‘Sir, I need your advice on something important to the future’. That advice might turn out to be exactly what you need to solve a major problem in your quest. As you move forward with your career, call on these figures to bounce ideas back and forth or to shoot holes in your plans. Who knows—over time, maybe you can build a strong relationship or add an experienced member to your Board of Advisors.
Expand Your Network
Launching a business or making a big career move requires an enormous level of interdependence. This is another sincere truth – you cannot grow fast in isolation. You need a broad network of contacts that can help you make things happen. At this point, you would need a lot of input from people who have been to places and acquired it. Professors are great resources for connecting you to all sorts of people: from clients to investors and from expert opinions to new talent for your team.
You’ll never know what opportunities you’re missing out on unless you reach out. That sounds like what I wouldn’t tell an ordinary person. Early this year, I was sharing my best times as an entrepreneur with a professor in the Lagos state University. We discussed my breakthroughs and my challenges; it was an open conversation. He listened with all carelessness and I was about to give up engaging him. After a while, he walked to his old desk and brought out his phone. He called one of his students in the 80s who is a special assistant to the Governor of a State in Capital Projects, the rest is history. Be enthusiastic and passionate about your purpose; you might be very surprised to see where that energy can take you
Secure an Influential Evangelist
Professor’s pride can be used to your advantage. I was at a conference when I walked up to an old lecturer who was invited as a guest speaker for a high-level consultation forum in 2013 at South Africa. Little did I know he would be invited. I told him about how he brought out the doggedness in me through the tough times he gave us in school. Again, he listened with all carelessness. And I rounded up with a line I have memorized; ‘Little did I know you were making us great, now I covet to gain more from you as a son. Can I always have my way, sir?’ He answered with a hug and said,’ always son’
How many times have you heard this one? Truth: teachers are proud of past students who have gone on to do great things. They’re even more proud of students who have done great things and who keep in touch.
During the conference, he started his speech with me and ended with me. He was an evangelist for youth investment and shouted it. He would say, my Son Eyitayo said I gave those tough times and made him great. I remembered he said, ‘every academic here should give them tough time because life is tough.’ Everyone screamed! In addition to their networks, teachers possess a captive audience of young minds. They shape the thoughts and attitudes of countless students. Keeping in touch with these instructors might turn your story into a reference that can inspire others or even promote your business. You never know the potential magnifying effect of solid evangelism.
Nurture a Supportive Friendship
This is another truth. Please, permit me to say this with all sincerity. Most people never understand the intensity of the repository of knowledge left behind after school. When you graduate college, your student-teacher relationships generally dissolve. Most people never realize that they can take these relationships to the next level. Instead, they move onward to the next adventure without ever looking back. I was a victim of this too. It’s a graduation syndrome. Everyone wants to move on. Please, move on with them.
You have endured your old classes, and if you have done so with integrity, you can transform your ties with respected teachers into supportive friendships. These friendships can help you stay grounded while inspiring your ambition to succeed.
Show Your Appreciation
Appreciation is a stimulant. This one should be a no-brainer.
If any particular teachers come to mind as you read this, then they obviously did a great job influencing you. I always want to say thank you always. On a Monday morning, if I received 10 emails in my Inbox, I always would want to read the ‘Thank You’ email first. Everyone wants it. Let those individuals know that their hard work paid off and that they left a lasting impact on you.
Even if you do have some other motive for reaching out, don’t forget to show your sincere appreciation. Positive feedback reinforces a person’s core objectives. They sacrificed time and materials to help you grow; a thank you is worth the effort.
We are what we are today because we had great teachers. If you have seen farther, it’s because you stood on the shoulders of giants.