Sometimes I’ll be asked a question like this:
“What is the one thing I can do today to change my network?”
And the truth of the matter is that the answer is it depends on what you want to change, but since most people don’t like that one, I do know of one thing that has always:
Led to more opportunities
Gotten me more introductions
Helped me think differently
and the list goes on and on.
I simply look at the person I’m meeting with, ask myself do they spark joy and…
But seriously, the one thing that has led to some of the most “magical” moments in my life is this:
I talk to people completely outside of my world
No matter what industry I worked in this was always a game changer for me.
When I worked as a school teacher I was also in the NYC Theatre scene and that led to the opportunities that got me into Broadway.
When I was in Broadway I attended gatherings of finance professionals and that led to finding new investors.
When I worked in the startup world I became friends with people in the fitness community which led to some of my earliest coaching and consulting gigs.
And when I brought all of those worlds together for a conference I had many instances in which people who attended who never may have met start businesses with one another, invest in each other, and even become best friends.
And this is something that is so easy to do but few people take the time to do it.
It’s easy to get caught up in our own little bubble and try to “tidy up” our network by abandoning the relationships we had when we change industries, but it’s staying in touch with and being a part of those worlds that give us some of our biggest opportunities.
So before you pack up your time in a prior industry and send it to the thrift shop, take some time to reach out and say hello.
You may just spark your next great idea or your next business by NOT tidying up.