During my corporate days I belonged to an association of writers specializing in one field of subject matter. Two of my fellow employees belonged to a similar association in the same profession. It was scheduled to have its annual meeting in Tucson, Arizona, at about the same time I was scheduled to be in southern Arizona on a trip. So I agreed when my colleagues asked me if I would attend to represent both them and our organization.
When the time came, I went to the hotel where the meeting was being held and signed in at the registration table. Then I eased my way toward the large banquet room where in an hour the first event, a banquet, was to be held. Association members responsible for getting the room ready were making sure everything was in order.
I casually walked into the room and asked how everything was going. They assured me they had everything under control except for one important detail; they had yet to find and assign anyone the task of greeting people at the door, taking tickets, and regulating the flow to prevent a large number of people from crowding into the room all at once.
Before he’d said the last word, I’d already identified that as a rare opportunity for me to automatically meet every one of the more than 400 attending the conference. Without hesitating, I said, “If you’d like, I’d be happy to do that for you.” They were greatly relieved that I’d volunteered to do the job.
Everything happened exactly as anticipated, a fun experience. From then until the end of the conference, everyone there remembered who I was.
It’s impossible to know how much I benefitted. I’m sure, however, that over time it came into play in some form or fashion.
Such opportunities are constantly presenting themselves where you work, every place of business you visit, everywhere you travel, and every social or professional organization to which you belong. It could involve only one person or hundreds of people.
The exciting aspect is that you won’t know how the relationships you’ve created will later affect your life. Every day and with increasing speed, the world is becoming smaller. It’s never been faster or easier for more people to learn about you or you about them.
Yes, you might fret that with that comes an invasion of privacy, but that risk is far outdistanced by becoming better known for what you are and can do. That’s particularly true if you have the kind of job or social environment where opportunities for meeting others is limited.
That benefit also flows in the opposite direction. Just as others might be able to help you, so will you be able to help them. That’s how friendships develop, how talents join and blend for the common good.
So, here’s the punchline: No matter who, what, or where you are or what you do, always take advantage of every chance you have to introduce yourself to other people and let the conversation go where it will.
Indeed, the sky isn’t the limit.