Sam Semako Blog, Career Development, People And Career (PAC) “Learn to pick your friends the way a coach picks members of a football team.” – John Obidi

“Learn to pick your friends the way a coach picks members of a football team.” – John Obidi

My name is John Obidi, founder SmartBcamp – a platform designed to connect working professionals with connections and information.


I’m the 1st of 5 kids, born to a preacher’s household. I’ve never really had a job before, so I’ve been entrepreneurial my whole life.

And when I say my whole life, I’m not so old. I’ll be 31 this Saturday.


In 2013, I was nominated for The Future Awards Africa prize for New Media for my contributions to the space.


In 2017, I was voted amongst the Top 5 Most Influential Young Nigerians for my contributions to Personal Development and Academia. The rest, I guess you can google.


Let’s get into the lessons. I know I’m supposed to share career lessons, but I always share on LIFE. There will be connections here and there.




This lesson alone can be taught for hours and days. It is however, the secret to my extraordinary wisdom. It will enable you learn from those you love, and those you don’t.


I wasn’t born into a perfect family. My parents weren’t the type that would go into the room to argue so that the kids wouldn’t see.


In my house, dangerous objects were flying all around. It was a turbulent one. We got caught up in the melee multiple times.


This isn’t to be a sob story. Learn something. An average kid would carry on about how bad their childhood was, and they might in turn become violent. I however did different. From their drama, I was learning emotional intelligence.


From watching the madness, I was able to understand how to be at peace, and how to influence others to be at peace.


When you can learn from GOOD and BAD, your growth game will be accelerated 1000 times. You won’t be on the same level as the average person.


Humans will be humans. Resist the temptation to play the victim.




You need to learn how to comfortable in your own skin. Learn this and you’ll be impervious to what mortals call peer pressure.


Learn who you are. It’s good to have human company, but be comfortable having just yourself.


There are people who don’t know how to be alone. It might drive them mad. Because of this, they’ve walked into terrible life situations. Got themselves involved in debilitating relationships. Just because certain people weren’t good for them, they couldn’t stand being alone. You have to learn it.


[bctt tweet=”Study alone, meditate alone.” username=”@JohnObidi”]


This brings me to number 3.



A great philosopher once said, “Man, know thyself”.


Learn yourself, your configuration, your likes, dislikes, what makes you happy, what makes you sad, what pisses you off.


Learn about the possible situations that might cause you to compromise on your values.


[bctt tweet=”You don’t prepare for war on the day of battle.” username=”@JohnObidi”]


When you learn yourself,  you can then begin to change yourself and grow yourself.




You must’ve heard this one from motivationals. But I have a twist to it.


When we are younger, we pick friends of convenience. We’re not very intentional.


We pick friends because we live on the same street, go to the same school.


Our criteria for picking friends was superficial at that stage of our lives. We pick the most good looking, the funniest, the coolest.


Learn to pick your friends the way a coach picks members of a football team.


Pick, based on core ability and future potential. There are people you have missed out on because they couldn’t sing well, when you were sure to wanted to marry Michael Jackson.


Surround yourself with people who are going where you are going, or who at least have their heart in the right place. Sometimes, they might not be the best looking. Stick with your values. Don’t be like the average mortal. They might not be the sexiest. Stick with your values. Be nice to them. Such people don’t forget.


Don’t move with easy. I don’t move with easy crowds either.


[bctt tweet=”Move with people who will make you level up.” username=”@JohnObidi”]




When I was a final year Computer Science, I was easily the best programmer in my set. But one day, I realised that I knew so much about computers, but almost nothing about life. I knew nothing about negotiations, about business, about geography.


I knew nothing about the systems of this world in which I wanted to be successful. I dumped my computer books and changed my diet.


The richest people in IT, knew almost nothing about IT. They were excellent at certain life skills – communication, speaking ability, physical appearance, branding, finance.



And so I started learning those skills. I used to be incredibly shy and lacking in self confidence. I started unlearning it. I accepted to lead Cell meetings at my local church just to get past my fear of speaking. That was my training ground.


I gave free seminars to my church members, teaching them about social media using them to get comfortable with public scrutiny.


My destiny is not to be known by a few hundred people. NO! But you see, it’s not just about saying it.


[bctt tweet=”You must prepare for the destiny you’re visualising.” username=”@JohnObidi”]


Learn how to speak in public and to a camera. In this age, it’s indispensable. Practice in your room.


Learn how investment banking works. Learn the money markets. Learn about international investment systems. Travel. Figure out how to derive value and make money from others countries.


Learn how to enhance your appearance. Learn how to dress. You don’t need a huge budget. Learning colour combinations is a great start. Personally, I used to be bad at colours. I learned by googling and reading fashion mags on Men’s fashion. I built my sophistication from the ground up.




It’s the language of this age. Learn how to use the internet to contribute value to and derive value from the global economy.




Konji doesn’t care that you have a bright future. Konji doesn’t care that you have potential. Konji doesn’t care that your heart is right. It will destroy you if you don’t learn to control and master your sexuality.


All you’re hustling for can be brought to heel overnight, because you slipped. If other people are getting away with carelessness, that’s their business. Face your front.


[bctt tweet=”Getting involved with the wrong person will be the beginning of your HELL on earth. ” username=”@JohnObidi”]


And this, my dear friends, is the end of my presentation. I have to be on Facebook LIVE in a few minutes. So please drop your questions, let me go and set up. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!



John Obidi is an Online Business Coach who helps thought leaders to communicate and monetize their knowledge.


In 2013, he was nominated for The Future Awards Africa Prize for New Media for his contributions to the industry.


He’s the founder of SmartBcamp, an Online Community dedicated to building intellectual capacity in young Nigerian Professionals. 


Through his LIVE weekly show, The Smart Business Teleseminars, he has been able to reach over 200,000 listeners in 105 countries; providing them with strategies with which to dominate their marketplace.


In 2017, he was voted among the Top 5 Most Influential Young Nigerians for his contributions to Personal Development and Academia. 


John Obidi is passionate about internet technologies and personal development.


John Obidi was with us on People And Career (PAC) on Whatsapp. To be part of this group, send “ADD ME TO PAC” + your full name + location to Dr Daniel on +2348068548636 or Mayowa on +2348032704998.
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Author: Sam Semako

I am a Career Development Consultant who mentors those who are confused regarding what to do with their lives, or frustrated about their work or struggling to find what they need to do with their lives. I also help train them to become experts in their fields by providing them with significant career-based information, resources (in form of opportunities and networks), and training relevant to their fields in order for them to live their dreams and make a lasting impact in a space of 1 year and beyond.

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