Be Careful, Perception Could Kill...
That is how everyone, whether just for a casual chats or for potential gigs, I meet feel. One by one, group after group, they always wonder why I am doing what I have been doing.
Some are bold enough to ask me bluntly why. I try my best to answer as honest as I could, while maintaining the realization that there are things that I just can’t divulge.
Whether we like it or not, and despite what the politicians say, the truth is, politics in the country is toxic and filled with hatred and vengeance.
The slightest chance one is perceived to belong to or supportive of a particular party, the people from the other parties who are against the said party will automatically put one in a list of people they don’t want to deal with. You can be the best at what you do but when you are perceived to be from "the other side", all objectivity and professionalism are thrown out.
I know this to be absolutely true as I have been in such a position before, and truth be told, still am with certain people and groups. Fair or not, such is the realities for people who own businesses and just want to make a living.
Not too long ago, a very wise man broached this subject with me during one of my visits to his residence. He asked if my perceived strong pro-UMNO/BN stance had/has any adverse effects on my company.
I told him the truth, that it did and still does, with certain people and groups. But I also told him that even when BN ruled the country, we never met any politician in power to ask for any form of support for the gigs we were trying to win.
“Sir, if I did, I would have been a multi-millionaire by now”, I told him truthfully. He was a bit confused and replied, “I was told that you were the one who did xxx, xxx, xxx and xxx?”
I smiled. I told him that it’s true, that I was the one who conceptualized the campaigns and the works he mentioned, but I also told him that we were never paid a single cent for any of them.
He was shocked and shook his head.
What he said next, the advice he gave me is one that I will never forget, and is the very approach I take nowadays.
Which brings me back to what I wanted to write.
I am at an age where the pursuit of glory and money is no longer a priority. So long as I get to put food on the table and provide a roof over my family's heads, I am contented with life.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still want to come up with great campaigns but I am no longer as interested to see the execution of these campaigns. I used to firmly believe that the concept of any campaign is only as good as its execution, and I still do, but after having gone through what I went through, you realize that greatness at what you do pales in comparison to making amends to every wrongdoing you committed, knowingly or unknowingly, against the people you love.
Despite my decision to not be involved in the executions of the campaigns I conceptualized anymore, I can still help in making sure that they will be successful. All I need to do is ensure that whoever is doing the execution will rope in and get people whom I know would be able to deliver.
While it is late for people like me who have been branded a die-hard supporter of a political party, my advice to those who are still young, who have the future to look forward to, and the world to show their greatness, take care of how people will perceive you, especially when the work is related to political parties and/or politicians.
I am not asking you to be afraid to live your life and not follow your dreams but do so with caution. I personally know people who support the same party as I do, but in trying to fulfill their dreams – and make a living – they do take gigs offered by personalities and political parties from the “other side.”
While the private corporate world understands, people invested in and associated with politics and political parties don’t, no matter how smart or professional they are. Such is politics in the country.
Before I digress further, let me just reassure the people who have been confused with my actions, and tell them that I know what I am doing, and very well know why I am doing what I am doing.
I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense to most people, considering the circumstances, but since when did IO ever do things that make a lot of sense to most?
Like how y'all trust my ability to fulfill your clients' objectives, please trust me when I say that the light of fairness will shine when given the slightest chance.