August 17, 2014

OPINION PIECE: SUPERFICIALLY YOURS


In the fashion industry you meet a lot of social and industry climbers.
Social climbing is a twenty four seven hour job.
Staying relevant in the social circle you worked so hard to worm yourself into requires more effort than you think.
It may sound laughable and may even be ridiculed but social climbers are amongst the ambitious and smartest people I have even encountered. They are calculating and strategically witty; they never do anything just for the sake of doing it, like any business persona. A social climber will tell you the same thing any businessman or businesswoman will tell you, “Your net worth is determined by your network”.
The first question a socialite may ask when they meet you is, “who do you know that I need to know?” 
A successful socialite is one who does not have to wonder if she or he will be invited to a gala dinner or not, one who has made a good living from being a socialite and has become influential in his or her industry through networking and hard work.

I, personally have a lot of respect for “social climbers” because they have to do a lot more work than everyone else; they are constantly having to put up with people they do not like to get to party in the right circle. They make friends with all the people they do not sincerely like, they are at some point in time some one’s “Chihuahua’ and they have gone bankrupt keeping up with the Joneses but most of all they have acquired what they set out to do.  
Call them what you may but they are GO-GETTER’S.
And nowadays, socialites are financially savvy too; they do not just make connections for name dropping or that odd power favor but they are using their sociable status to make an income; after all showing up smelling like money and looking like a cheque is expensive.


Socialites are living the life your dreams are made of.
They figured out a long time to ago that in order for them to earn an ounce of respect or be taken serious in their craft they needed to “connect with people of similar interests”. 
A great socialite knows and understands what great networking is and what it means and what it entails; the trick is to make oneself’s irreplaceable. You do not want to become last week’s old news. Socialites work harder at knowing all the influencers and power players in their industry or society or at least connecting to a person that would bring them close enough and staying around long enough to prove themselves worthy of getting a nod of approval. A socialite knows how to be nice to everyone but show love to those who have the power, money and influence to get them to where they need to go (remember influence is leadership). In some societies you last name, your money, who you know and at times the color of your skin determines how far you go in the door. If a person sees no “need” to be polite to you then you will not even get the time of day from them( remember that others have a lot to lose by letting strange people into their lives and being overly nice-you need to earn their trust). Just another biscuit trying to get through the door and who knows; you may end up replacing them on the influemcial person’s list.
It’s nothing personal; it’s just social-business as it is.

Truth is someone gets on the A-List by virtue of birth or lineage and the rest either through sincere service or through association (ever heard of guilty by association?). And everyone else who says they could not care less…well casually invite them to a party filled to the brim with shot callers and people of influence in their field of trade and watch what their response is going to be. #PRICELESS
I can not knock their hustle. And neither should you. This is the world we live in today.
We all need to do what we need to do to get what we think we need.

Your talent can only get you so far, especially if you do not plan to get out of your own home country and go and explore other places often, and even when you do arrive at your destination of choice. You will still need to get it in with the right crowd (connecting to people of similar interests. An alternative word would be 'network’), if you are not seen at all the right places and mingle with the mighty muscled-well just pack your bags and go to Pluto. Just as men with a vast amount of wealth look for influence whether political or other wise ; it further proves the point that getting ahead is nothing compared to staying ahead and becoming more influential.

 In some societies you last name, your money, who you know and at times the color of your skin determines how far you go in the door. If a person sees no “need” to be polite to you then you won’t even get the time of day them because you are a nobody to them ( remember that others have a lot to lose by letting strange people into their lives and being overly nice-you need to earn their trust). Just another biscuit trying to get through the door and who knows; you may end up replacing them on the popular person’s list.
It’s nothing personal; it’s just social-business as it is.
The other side of the coin is that there are people who sincerely just want to be friends and want to build their careers, individuals who have worked and provided services and stayed loyal to the worse of the worst, the people who make it seem so effortless that they do not have to kiss butts to stay in the circles.
But these come few and far between.

If you really want to become part of the “movers and shakers club” I advise you show up and put in the real work where you need to. Be focused. Do not spread your energies and confuse your audience of your personal brand.
You know why?  Even though the fashionable set is by its very nature, a pretty superficial but hardworking bunch, they are not hard to impress if you prove your worth. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist – keep your word, look fabulous, speak fabulous and work hard.

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 Photo Credit: www.standard.co.uk
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