Personal Networking Story: The Little Things Pay Off

I’m always a little suspicious of analogies. Don’t get me wrong. They can be great tools to help explain complex concepts. The problem I have is when people try to use them to prove a point. That’s when you have to put on your balderdash detector to make sure someone isn’t trying to sell you a bill of goods.

I you’re like me, my recent discussion of my girls at Disneyworld experiencing magic for the cost of a handful of sequins and somehow conflating that to show that somehow our smallest efforts performed at the right time could somehow reap amazing benefits, well, it might have left you dissatisfied.

So, for those of you from Missouri (the “show me” state), let me offer this true story instead.

At the Michigan Chapter of the National Speakers Association, we often have some of the most amazing and accomplished presenters at our bimonthly meetings. This time, our guest was Ford Saeks, marketing genius and highly successful speaker in his own right. How successful? He is the chair of the million-dollar speaker round table at the national level.

I don’t know how much he normally charges for an hour of his consulting time, but, just a rough guess, it’s in the thousands of dollars — for an hour!

At dinner with our Board that Friday, Ford was struggling with his iPhone. It just wasn’t behaving properly. As he was about to embark on a two-week speaking road trip, he was definitely in a bit of a pickle. I volunteered to drive him to the local Apple store to see if they could help. We ended up spending an hour and a half there. During that time, we grabbed one of the floor model notebooks and he coached me on my current marketing.

Great, right? I got a couple of thousand dollars of coaching for the price of a drive to the mall, but that’s not the half of it. Thanks to the changes I’ve already made at his advice, my revenues could easily double or even triple in the coming year. Oh, and after asking for my advice on networking, he made the video testimonial above.

Such a small thing, driving him to the mall, but what a return on that investment!

Really it comes down to adopting a mindset of service — of always looking for ways to help others succeed in whatever capacity we can bring to bear. Our legends, fables, and fairy tales are replete with stories of small kindnesses rewarded many times over. Now, we see that, like at the magical world of Disney, fairy tales really can come true.

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About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.

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