Yesterday, Kaylie and I flew solo for the first time.
Well, what I mean is that ordinarily, when Kaylie gets on an airplane, either it’s just Mommy or it’s both Mommy and Daddy with her. This was the first time it was just Daddy. Rest assured, it wasn’t an unmitigated disaster by any means. Taking after her mom, Kaylie fell asleep right before take-off and didn’t wake up until everyone had left the plane after landing.
The trick was in just getting us there.
I don’t know how Lisa does it, but she always remembers everything. That’s one of the many things she brings to our marriage. For me, I was running around the house, trying to make sure that I had everything taken care of — locating pacifiers, blankies, shoes, my own luggage, and a cat who got accidentally locked in a closet. By the time I got on the airplane, I was a nervous wreck. I will never again take for granted how much easier my life is when I have a partner I can call upon.
Strangely enough, this has a bearing on good networking.
In the community of entrepreneurs, we often have the view of ourselves as “John Wayne”, rugged individualists. We are completely self-sufficient and don’t need anyone else’s help. After all, we started our own businesses in part because we didn’t want to be a part of someone else’s story.
That may be all well and good in fantasyland, but in reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth. We entrepreneurs depend on other people all the time. We have clients or customers, employees, vendors, local, state, and federal politicians. There are the people who take care of our homes — the plumbers, electricians, and HVAC experts. We have the people who take care of our families — doctors, dentists, teachers, and certainly don’t forget about our childcare support.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Despite the fact that we want to see ourselves as the iconoclastic trailblazers, we are, in fact, at the center of a vast web of relationships. A web that we make stronger each time we take the time to focus and strengthen those connections which form its many strands.
So, the next time you think that networking isn’t something you really need, remember that for the most part, the very measure of your success in life is dependent on the connections you choose to forge.