It was Magic.

We recently took our daughters, Kaylie (7) and Abby (4) to Disney World for a short vacation. It was our second evening there and we were sitting on Main Street USA waiting for Mickey’s Electrical Parade to begin. This is the nighttime parade with brightly lighted floats.

From our vantage, we could see things were moving at the end of the street and would soon reach us. A young castmember approached us and called out to our “princesses”.

“Excuse me, ladies, but I was wondering if you could help me. The parade will be here soon and someone forgot to turn out the streetlights. Would you help me turn them out?”

Of course, the girls were more than happy to help. The young gentleman pulled out a sack of “pixie dust” — Mickey-shaped confetti — and poured a small amount into each girl’s hand. He then told them to think happy thoughts, pass their hand over the dust several times, then on the count of three to throw it in the air. They made the motions and “One! Two! Three!” The dust flew up and, just like magic, the streetlights went dark.

For the price of a few pieces of confetti and a little bit of timing, that young man made sure that I will be visiting Disney on a regular basis for the rest of my life.

One of the loudest complaints I hear about networking and passing referrals is “I don’t have time to find referrals for myself, let alone the people in my network!” Here’s the thing, though, sometimes it’s the little things, relatively cost free to us (in terms of time and effort) that can mean the most to our connections, given a little bit of timing.

  • Are they traveling someplace you’ve been before? Lend or give them the travel books you have gathering dust on your shelves.
  • Are they looking for new employees? Introduce them to the head of Career Services at the local community college
  • Are they looking for more clients? Send them that article that gave you the breakthrough in your own prospecting.
  • Are they looking for a nice restaurant for their anniversary? Tell them where you and your spouse went last. Oh, and tell them where the good seats are, too.
  • Are they feeling a little confused about their next steps? Lend an ear. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

For most relationships, it’s not the grand gestures that build the strongest connections. It’s the little things.

What are some of the little things you’ve given to or received from your network? Join in the discussion below.

Photo by Flickr user HarshLight