Beginnings of any relationship – personal, professional, experiential – used to begin with that first try, first meeting, or first collision. Intentional collisions nearly always or chance meetings, or learning of unexpected like interests or common experiences …
Those ‘first meetings’ of old now morphed into ‘first connections’. Might be text, email or voice-jail messages. I don’t believe we recognize most of them for what they could be. Each day a few, some days none, I surely miss noticing many …
There are so many.
But we all get busy doing what we are busy doing so much so that we don’t lift our eyes or open our ears well enough to see or hear signals opportunity. Busy, so our excuses go, we pay them too little heed.
If someone set us up with quality referrals, influential introductions, or for great dates – we would prepare, plan, and shine our smiles. And shine our shoes. E-mail queries or voice messages with scarcely a garbled question doesn’t get the same quality of attention, doesn’t rise us up to do our best. More likely that we take that event as an inconvenient interruption. We respond quickly without thinking, or not at all. Yes, of course we are busy.
But when we wrestle with budgets and charts, how many complain of too much business, too many customers, too much revenue?
My point: we don’t need to spend as much effort to grow relationships as we think. We need to pay better attention to signals and opportunities, especially ones I often ignore or swat away like uninvited insects at picnics.
I don’t think opportunities, or the people who bring them our way, has a ‘look’ or ‘sound’ but they do leave their fingerprints on us. Something indelible – too soon to know if it is a print we will revere or one we can never seem to wash away no matter how hard we try.
Each time we must ask, do we want this friend, this dollar, this connection – or those deep indelible fingerprints of that person and shared experiences?