Sometimes it makes sense to follow the rules.

It seems to happen every time.

Every time I violate one of my networking rules, it seems like I get a “gentle reminder” from the universe about why I have these rules in place.

Today my object lesson was on the importance of confirming all aspects of networking meetings — one-to-ones, coffees, etc. I am such a stickler about confirming time, date, and (most important in this case) location that I have a mail template designed specifically for this purpose. The day before I’m supposed to meet with someone, I send out one of these messages.

It even includes my cell number, just in case there’s a problem.

So, today I was supposed to be meeting with a new contact who is a potential long-term connection. We had a small scheduling snafu at our house, so I was in contact with the gentleman trying to make some adjustments to the meeting time.

I forgot to verify the location.

We were supposed to meet at a local coffee shop called Sweetwaters. Easy enough. Unfortunately, I thought we were meeting at the downtown location (on Ashley) and he thought we were meeting at the Kerrytown location (about four blocks away). After waiting for five or ten minutes, I decided to give him a call. He said he was there, near the cashier and was waving his hand in the air.

And it was at this point that I realized something was amiss.

All ended well, I grabbed my beverage and headed to the other location. We had a good meeting (albeit shorter than originally planned) and there’s some definite potential there. Still, I hate starting off on the wrong foot.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m far from perfect. Will I violate this rule again? Probably, but I’m hopeful that the rolled-up newspaper the universe keeps whacking me with will come out a little less often.

So, what networking consequences have you faced because you broke the rules?

Photo by Wesley Fryer