Today has been a day to remind me how rewarding networking can be, in some often surprising ways.
This morning I attended the weekly Vanguard BNI networking meeting I go to every Wednesday morning. The atmosphere was electric, with seven visitors, in addition to the three new members who’ve joined in the last few weeks.
There was a moment at the end of the meeting when the animated conversations were still going on and you could sense the energy in the room. That’s when you know things are going well. It was at that point one of the members surprised me by coming up to give me a hug and said thank you. He was thanking me for what I’d done to help to reenergise the meeting since I joined three months ago. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’ve contributed to where we are today because I’ve been working hard to consistently do the basics every week. But I was blown away by the gesture and it made me so proud to have helped and so grateful he took the time to say thank you.
After the meeting I went home to do the follow ups I said I’d do for people in the room. Then it was time to go off to another networking meeting. This time “board games and nibbles” at a local coworking site.
As the host prepared me a coffee we chatted. I happened to mention I knew some property people. A guy sitting in the coffee area introduced himself and reminded me he and I had met at the previous “board games and nibbles” meeting. He said he had something he wanted to show me.
He took me to the part of the building he was working in and showed me an invention he’d bought the rights to. It turned out the inventor had obtained a patent and then, sadly, passed away. He explained he was looking to meet property developers, because it was useful to them, and also looking to raise capital to launch it as a product.
I reeled off the names of several people who were either property developers, connected to property developers or potential sources of finance or investment. I promised to introduce him to them after the meeting.
As soon as I got home from the meeting I knew I had a limited window of time before the school run. So I rang and messaged everybody I’d promised to introduce him to. The result is some interest, a potential source of finance and a meeting with an investor. It even turns out the investor I introduced him to had been pitched by the original inventor six years ago, shortly before the inventor passed away.
I’ve just had a message from the guy I spoke to today saying how he appreciates the introductions. The funny thing is he also said he’s only been at the coworking space a couple of times since we met and it was uncanny how we’d crossed paths again. He said he’d had a sense when we originally met we’d do business together.
What do I get out of this? Financially, nothing. I won’t make anything from the introductions and that isn’t why I do it. It’s for the satisfaction of being able to make a difference. I’m sure karma will reward me at some point, but let’s leave that to karma. Tonight I’m going to bed feeling I’ve lived purposefully and knowing I just might have created a ripple effect for years to come.