When I decided to take up design as a profession in 2010, I mailed a number of the leaders in the industry then for advice. Only Tola Alabi responded. I decided to face development of my skill using Google but I vouched that from then on, whatever I learn along the way, I will share so that less people get to suffer rejection. Fast forward a few years later, some people now think I’m a leader in the industry (only God knows what is deceiving them that I am that awesome) and when I decided to write a book to help fresh designers in the industry by interviewing industry leaders, everyone who didn’t reply me then replied now.

From experience, I now fully understand why they didn’t respond to me then and why it was right for them not to. Who the spoon was I to demand that somebody leaves his busy schedule to dedicate time and intellectual resources at absolutely no gain to the person – In fact it is a loss to them because I’ve distracted them from what they are doing and they cannot get the time back – all for nothing.

These days, I get loads of messages requesting for one help or the other and because of my vow to myself to always help, I always respond but some of the messages, in my mind, I’m responding by loading a digital gun and shooting down to eternal abyss, whatever device and app they reached me with. How does a human being start a message to a total stranger with xup, guy, dude and further mannerless salutations? I don’t welcome such people nicely. I just can’t. That I accepted your facebook friend request does not make you my guy. Others will be sending you all their designs for correction on per-second basis as if you’re their quality control manager but when you give honest criticism they’ll be crying wolf because you didn’t hail the design instead.

For me, if I have what you need I will give (until you start constituting a nuisance) but for most people, that is not how it works. In fact, life works on a give and get basis. You want something someone worked years to get and you’re demanding how and when you can get it (not if) as if it is your birth right? Well done. Your message will be answered in year 4190.

Most of us need to understand that nobody owes us anything and we need to pay some price to get what we need from others so let’s stop acting like entitled piece of poop when requesting things from the ogas at the top. Offer to be useful first and people will give you things you can use.

This is a big problem among mentorship seekers in the design industry however, showing the problem without providing a solution will make me as pointless as political analysts on political shows of Nigerian television. That can’t be me so, here is what a higher authority – Steve Harris – advises on how to get the best of a Leader and how you can be the best mentee the leader ever had.

6 Responses

  1. Thank you so much sir. I think I have just begun to desire to take graphic design more seriously and my understanding is being opened to so many things

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Dear Mentee, Behave Yourself!

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