Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sometimes You Just Have to Show Up!

I know you are busy.  I know there is not enough time in the day.  I know it is often hard.  But what about your dreams?  Are they big enough?

When I talk to business development individuals and active networkers, the theme is consistent – “80% of what I do is a waste of time.”  In other words, the activity cannot always be tied to a specific accomplishment.  We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule, but imagine if you only attended the “right” events or chased the “right” deals.  Would your success rate go up?  Of course it would.  Is that possible?  Of course not.

While we can get better through experience in picking the “best” activities, we never know.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had something on my calendar before or after work and I get that ugh! feeling.  Then, the voices start. “You can miss this time, it won’t hurt anything.”

My experience is that when that voice starts talking, I start walking because in my life, every time I show up, something good happens.  I’m looking for it.  It may be an idea.  It may be a contact I’ve been wanting to meet.  It may be an old friend that I haven’t seen in a while.  It may be somebody who needs my help.

On my campus visits I try to stay around afterwards and meet students one on one for as long as they line up and for as long as I can stand.  I’m amazed at how many tell me “I came along because my friend brought me but I really got a lot out of your talk.”  

As teachers and speakers, we are in the seed sowing business.  Somebody else will have to water the ground and tend the crop.  Make no mistake, seed planting happens every time two gather to exchange ideas.  The largest trees and the greatest crops, all start with a seed.  Sometimes you just have to show up to get them!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I couldn’t agree more with this post.

I would like to add that while showing up is important--engaging with your surroundings will increase you chance at success. You can’t stand in the back and expect to meet the right people.