Every Tuesday, I attend the local Chamber of Commerce
luncheon and yesterday was no different. I arrived, along with several other attendees, promptly at 11:30am and like a shot, the networking began. Local, small business owners and marketers were present along with several larger businesses that included a radio station, the oldest two-year college still in operation, and a well-known mortuary/cemetery Rose Hills - five locations in Southern California. The cemetery's quirky little tag line recited at each meeting - "We'll be the last to let you down."
This is a great group of about 80 - 100 people that regularly attend and the true, in-your-face networking and referral system is incredible. Everyone seems to really like each other and there are actual referrals that take place. I have connected with several new clients, hired an attorney, supported a couple non-profits, found a new favorite wine, and made some really great friends. This is old school networking. The old front porch is still alive and well and it coexists magnificently along side the new one
A funny thing happened to me while attending this meeting. I broke away before lunch was served to use the facilities. I had to traverse a lengthy hallway before I reached my destination and proceeded to enter what I thought was the ladies' room. I took care of my business, and thought nothing of the urinals I passed on my way to the sink..., my only thought, "Hmm, I wonder why they put urinals in here, that's strange." Then I realized my error and quickly exited before my faux pas was discovered.
entered the "real" ladies' room. Shook my head and scolded myself in the mirror, washed my hands again, because, well..., yuck
, and then returned to the luncheon where, in that same long hallway, I passed two older gentlemen on their way to the real men's room, I think. I was astounded that this had happened. I am usually fairly cautious when entering public restrooms, especially after a couple close encounters at large concert venues. I had let my guard down in my haste to return to the "mad round of networking."
It has often been described as being akin to speed dating. No thank you. This is much better. Not that I would know...
No, really, I don't know.
Are you focused? Are you in the moment? Do you take care for the needs of your client first or do you dwell in the world of limbo? where tasks seem insurmountable or undesirable so you practice avoidance or what I call "stuck in the middle" - where a lot is thought about and decided upon, but no action takes place. Stay in the moment, thump your melon every once in a while, and embrace tools that help you to do that: like your personal media device, or a planner, or something as simple as a pen to inscribe details on the back of a business card to be entered, later, in your rolodex or CRM. And then, DO!
My lesson: know your surroundings and always question a urinal.