“There’s nothing scarier than just having a moment where you looked away and lost your child.”
~ Rosemarie DeWitt

“Where’s your sister?”

When you ask that question at home, it’s nothing out of the ordinary and nothing to be concerned about. When you ask that same question at Disney World a mere hour after arriving, you can bet something has gone awry.

It’s May 9, 2015 and our family is at the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World. A series of mistakes has led to me misplacing Abby, our 4-year-old daughter. Let me assure you…

… it was my wife’s fault.

As a public service announcement, here’s what happened:

  1. Wife leaves me in charge of children — see how this is already her fault? I’m exhausted and jet-lagged from a week-long training program I presented in San Diego.
  2. Elder child wants to go back to room by herself. I agree (it seemed like a good idea at the time).
  3. Younger child wants to follow big sister. I let her (it seemed like a good idea at the time).
  4. Upon arriving in the room and discovering younger child missing, I — feeling a little panicky — text a quick message to the wife “Is Abby with you?”

Fortunately for my future marital happiness, the front desk contacts us moments later asking if we know a young girl named “Abby”. Apparently when Abby tried to follow big sister, her arms weren’t long enough to reach the sensor to trigger the external door. She pounded on the door until someone from the front desk let her in. Unfortunately, since she had lost big sister, she didn’t know where to go. She simply looked at the desk clerk and said, “Excuse me. My name is Abby. I seem to have forgotten my room number.”

Apparently Disney personnel are used to things like this. They scanned the bracelet on her wrist to determine who her parents were. By the time we arrived, she was happily ensconced on a couch in the lobby with a coloring book and crayons.

Now I’m going to ask you a question: On those occasions when you discover yourself in a bind, when you don’t have the resources to solve the problem yourself and those in your immediate circle are either not present or don’t have the skills required either, do you act with the wisdom of a four-year-old? Do you reach out to find someone who can help you?

This is why you are networking. Whether you need more clients, a new job, or access to resources that will allow you to serve your clients better, if you don’t know where to go or what to do, your network can set you on the right path.