"It's not what you know, it's who you know."
I've come to find this phrase rather unsettling and quite misleading.
If this means that my educational achievements have no merit on how far I'm expected to advance in life, then why are college degrees such an important commodity in today's society? Why can't those who failed to finish high school get a decent job and live a financially stable life? Furthermore, why is that the majority of business moguls became successful without pursuing a higher education and how can I be introduced to who they know?
Although many of us come from various backgrounds and cultures, there is one common element that connects us all... Communication. How well we communicate will eventually be the determining factor in how successful we become, regardless of what we know or who we know.
When I decided to start my own writing business a few months ago, I contemplated about how I could take advantage of promotional methods and strategies without having to constantly speak about my efforts. I've never been much of an effective oral communicator. My writing has always spoken for me. However, I was recently inspired by a fellow FSU graduate and one of my most recent iWrite4orU clients to overcome my shy nature and connect with random individuals in order to spread my #WriterGrind message(s).
This particular client has initiated a TALK TO STRANGERS campaign and aims to reverse the ancient "don't talk to strangers" mentality that overpowers and hinders our option to actually take advantage of who we know.
The above mentioned ironic connection also relates to an association that I recently rekindled with an old friend that I met as a freshman in college. We introduced ourselves to each other at a job interview back in 2006, but lost touch after I graduated. While updating each other on our lives since entering the "real world", we realized that we both have similar aspirations. I'm a writer. He's a songwriter and producer. He has interned with two major record labels and mingled with various budding Hip Hop artists, such as Pretty Ricky, Tay Dizm, Verse Simmonds, and J-Luv. I've interviewed a plethora of famous actors and actresses as a Contributing Writer for EU Jacksonville Newspaper, including Ella Joyce, Darryl Ruben Hall, Renee Robinson, and the entire cast of The Color Purple Musical.
While discussing how we can assist each other with furthering our prospective goals, another interesting connection was revealed. I became aware of the fact that I actually work for the same company as one of his brothers. A few weeks later, another one of his brothers randomly contacted me on Facebook to request my iWrite4orU services. In the midst of us reconnecting, I was able to make two new connections (through his immediate circle) that will eventually contribute to the advancement of my writing company.
The biggest abstraction that seems to get lost in the beliefs surrounding the "who you know" theory is the power of an education. While taking advantage of who I know, I am still able to utilize the value of what I know to reach my final destination of success. "Who you know gets you into the door... what you know keeps you there." Now, that theory makes more sense.
Is what we know more important than who we know? Can who we know sometimes threaten our position of power? Is it possible to obtain an adequate level of success without a legitimate education?
*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*