Wednesday, 22 December 2010

My Year of Exploration

So how did you score on meeting new people in 2010?

Lots of people and organisations don’t seem to extend their networks. They hang out, work and collaborate with the *same* people, year in, year out. The long-term staffers, clients and suppliers don’t change. It’s all very predictable and safe. Yawn!

Being self-employed I’ve always been stimulated by my ability to renew and refresh who I work with, who I hang out with. I can change that whenever I fancy.

Hey, but nothing wrong with the long-term contacts. I have friendships and business relationships that have endured over fifteen years and that I value highly. But the relationships that promise to shake-up my business and fuel inspiration are those new people I meet. People in unrelated fields, doing totally different things challenge and inspire me in equal measures.

Those connections are often more about personal development than business development. I’m not selling them anything, but inevitably they evolve to a relationship of reciprocity where we help each other, work with each other. Or maybe not, we just have a damn good lunch.

So back in January I set a goal of meeting at least one new person a week this year. Looking back , I did at least that: not quick handshakes at a conference, I mean quality exchanges over a coffee. Some of those connections have come from existing contacts who are good at ‘I don’t know if there’s anything in it, but you must meet Sam’ type of introductions. Others are more random or have come via Twitter. This year Twitter has brought me a new client, a book deal, some great stories for my blog and just some good espresso time.

Has it been good for my business? Yep. Has it been good for my soul? You bet.

What was your ROI on all those connections” a friend asked me. “I don’t know” is my honest answer. But what I do know is that renewal feeds my ideas and I intend to keep up the pace of making the effort to meet a bunch of totally new people in 2011.

Because who knows where it will take you? So get out there and go explore…

* above is me and a bunch of new people at SXSW 2010. Picture credit: Marc Salsberry

No comments: