• Friday, March 01, 2024
businessday logo


Why you must develop, invest in social capital

Why you must develop, invest in social capital

It was Tanner Colby, who in sharing the strange story of integration in America, said; “You are the sum total of the people you meet and interact with in the world.

“Whether it’s your family, peers, or co-workers, the opportunities you have and the things that you learn all come through doors that other people open for you.”

Social capital is the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.

Read also: Nigerian entrepreneurs should leverage social capital for sustainable business – Akintayo

In every business capital is so essential that one cannot effectively start an enterprise without it. Most businesses use capital as a way to grow. Capital helps a company grow by providing the assets it needs to generate more revenue.

The same way is social capital imperative in leading a successful and impactful life on earth. Some people erroneously claim to be self-made. The truth of life is no one is self-made. That one time or the other in your life, you will need other people’s help.

There is something in life called “Social Capital.” The people you know; the people who know you and how they know you. This is very important if you must succeed in business and/or career.

It is very important that you take account of your social capital investment. How are you relating with others?

This is why Lynn Ujiagbe, founder of Learnzone Foundation once said, “Social capital is the new gold. Add value to others, value others and you will be valued.”

Unfortunately, some people think social capital is only needed on weddings and/or burial occasions. That is why you see someone will not have contacted you in ten years but out of the blue they are sending you a message, “Hello so and so, long time; next Sunday is my pre-wedding.

Or, I see you guys have advertised for some positions, kindly help me, I need a job, or, sorry to inform you that death is so cruel, it has taken my dad and I need your prayers and/financial support, as the burial is fixed for next month.”

Social capital is not built overnight; it is reciprocal and does not need money, especially in this virtually connected world to build.

It just needs being sensitive that people have emotions and that you cannot sneak into their lives only when you need help.

Read also: How Aderinsola grew her business from social capital

Social capital is massively important and when built and used correctly, it can make a very big difference to one’s quality of life.

It can save you money, make you money, get you a better job, make things easier and safer, it can save you from prison, or save your life: it can save your time and effort, and make life more enjoyable and productive.

It is very imperative that as people progress through the year, that they learn to connect with people in their circles. Check on people, send someone a birthday message, check their timelines and comment something positive and inspirational.

Pick your phone and call someone, or text them. It could be your relative, your colleague, your former schoolmate, a former or current boss, your CEO, and your parents, among others.

As you do so, you are investing socially and emotionally, and going by the law of harvest, which states that ‘whatever a man sows that shall he also reap’, you certainly will reap abundantly in due season.

Creating a connection with people is important for building your social capital. And even if they don’t respond, at least keep in touch and don’t just reach out when you are in need.

The most important asset you have in life is not your job, money or title; it’s people.

Hence, you must learn to respect everyone no matter their status in life and be there when others need you. Some people would insult and belittle others just because they are privileged to lead a unit or a company.

A fact of life is whatever position you are occupying today, someone occupied some days ago, and someone will occupy it after you have gone. So, why behave pompously?

To expand your social investment, learn to be a solution, an encouragement and inspiration. Avoid being a leech, a user or nagger. Just be a nice person who in a calculated way stays in touch with people and brings joy, encouragement and hope.

Read also: How Aderinsola grew her business from social capital

Everyone need to develop and invest his or her social capital in life. This is so, because social capital is an important source of power and influence that helps people to ‘get by’ and ‘get ahead’.

The adage: “it’s not just what you know, but who you know” relates to the powerful effects and importance of social capital. Remember, your network determines your net-worth! Be wise!!