My wife’s question stops me mid-stride with my coat half on standing in the chilly breeze from the open door because I truly don’t have a good answer.
“What are you getting?”
See, when I go shopping,
I don’t know what I’m going to buy.
If I know what I’m buying, then I’m not shopping.
I’m running errands.
CVS, Roche Brothers, Harvey’s, Comellas.
Prescriptions, stuffing mix, a car remote battery, and cheese pizza.
The goal in running errands is efficiency.
Check it off the list.
Shopping is different.
Shopping is more about discovery.
Being open to possibilities.
That’s when I find the best gifts.
When I don’t have a particular gift in mind.
Yet, I work with so many people
Who business network
As though they’re running errands.
They want to know
Exactly who they’ll talk to
And what they’ll talk about
And what they’ll get out of it.
When the real joy (and profit)
Of business networking
Comes from the unexpected.
From my first ever presentation
That launched this business.
I had no idea when I agreed to give the presentation
That it would lead to exactly the right relationship.
And, of course, the introduction came weeks later
And the relationship months.
An exciting business partnership
Born of a horribly (and completely) botched project.
Who knew that something positive
Could come from such a miserable experience.
An instinctive decision one day
At the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce
To join a networking group.
The relationships I developed
Through that group
Still fuel both my businesses
Over a decade later.
Business networking is not deterministic.
You can’t see (or plan) the path
Ahead of time.
You take the first step.
Start the first conversation.
And let the journey unfold.
It’s a process.
Expect the unexpected.