I tend to meet people everywhere I go. Whether it’s introductions by friends or just starting conversations with the person sitting next to me on the plane. I like people and I like meeting new people, and although there have been times in my life I’ve been more of a recluse and shy, I always enjoy the people around me.
Over the years I’ve learned, you never know who you’ll meet and there’s no telling when or where those meetings will occur. Who you are, how you present yourself, in every facet of your life determines many of the variables involved with these opportunities
I am actively involved with a huge community of online marketers and entrepreneurs. I didn’t, however, discover these people all on my own. About 3.5 years ago, a woman posted a message on a mailing list I was subscribed to. She was asking for programming help for a project she wanted to start. I wasn’t looking for work, nor had I spoken with this woman before. I let curiosity get the best of me, the project sounded intriguing and like something I could easily help with. So, I responded and it went from there. Since then, we have become fantastic friends. She’s introduced me to an entire world I didn’t know existed.
We never did work on that programming project.
A few summers ago I went to a lunch meeting with a group of people I had never met. I wanted to start mingling with internet professionals closer to home and this group was just people I was looking for. I found out about the group from a friend that lives down in Florida, yet knows the man here in Colorado. While at this meeting we all introduced ourselves, said a little about who we were and what we did. I said my piece and listened as the conversation moved around the “circle”. When the introductions reached a woman who had stopped in for lunch on her way home to Arkansas, she looked right at me and announced how much she loved my work and she had been following my progress for quite a while. I was speechless and over joyed!
My favorite and most unexpected example story…
Over the years I have supported Breast Cancer fund raising in a variety of ways. I’ve sponsored various people involved in BCA walks or donated to different organizations to help support the cause. A few years ago I heard of two women who were walking – I knew of both of them, yet didn’t know either well. Because of my knowledge of who they were and what they did I got involved to support. Then just this last year, I asked if they were walking again and could I join the effort. The team grew to about 12 men and women, most of whom I didn’t know at all previously. Since that experience I have gained so many more fabulous friends.
I also met a family on my flight to the event that lives just an hour from me (the walk was in Seattle, I’m outside of Denver) – the husband was walking for his wife and the children were traveling along so they could all experience the event together. We’ve been building a friendship through facebook ever since. I hope to support them on their efforts to walk this year in Colorado.
More example snippets of people we meet…
I’ve connected with people via Twitter – introductions that seemed to start out of thin air, yet I’ve gained new friends and colleagues from mini lines of communication. I’ve run across names I haven’t heard in a decade to find we have kids of the same age and our lives have followed a similar path. No idea we would have so much in common as life progressed. I’ve made connections in two directions only to find out that both sides know one person in the middle.. talk about full circle relationships.
I could write all day with examples I’d love to share. People I’ve met and become friends with through the most unexpected circumstances.
The idea that these examples all have in common
The opportunity for a new connections can happen anywhere, at any time, for any reason. Many times not related to what you are really doing. You will never know what you’ve said or done that inspires someone to speak (or not to speak) with you. How friendly do you appear to others? Do you intimidate or invite? How open are you to something new, someone different and the unexpected connection?
For me, I am the same person right here on paper as I am if we met in the grocery store or crossed paths at a conference. Part of that is my inability to stay organized enough to have different personas. But really, for me, what it comes down to is… I am just me and that’s the best I can be.