Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Don't Let Them Forget!

Unknown personToday was my last official day at University of Michigan. As you might guess, after 17 years of working there, the send-off they gave me was just shy of unbelievable. As if parading me around on their shoulders wasn't enough, I don't know how they convinced the U of M marching band to come in for the finale. I was completely overwhelmed.

OK, so I made that all up. In reality, I didn't even get lunch. At first I was a little hurt. Didn't anyone care? And then I thought about it a bit.

You see, one of the great perks of my job at U of M was that I was able to work pretty much anywhere I wanted. I quite often worked at home, given my druthers. That was great, except that it meant that I didn't really get to meet anyone. No one really got to know me. If they never saw me, how silly was I to expect that they would remember me? As far as most people were concerned, I didn't exist. Also, to be completely fair, my boss was out of town on a family vacation -- bad timing on my part.

This led me to think about my new position as a business owner. I can't afford for people not to know that I exist. Where before it was enough for me to operate in obscurity, now I need to shout from the rooftops. More importantly, I have to come out of my cave and mingle with the other denizens of the world. My mom has a goal of meeting with ten people a week. I'm not quite the networker she is yet, so my goal is to meet and make friends with at least two per week.

Let me be clear, though, these meetings are not to sell, but rather to find out more about that other person and to find out how I can help them.

Of course, I intend on strengthening my few ties at the University, too. I have maintained a few contacts over the years and I would be foolish to write them off.

Oh, and don't feel too bad for me. My lovely wife took me out to dinner tonight to celebrate the end of one chapter and the beginning of the new one. Delicious Indian food at Raja Rani!

So, what opportunities have you missed in your life and how have you changed your approach so as not to miss them again?


Anonymous said...

Can I have some of your druthers?

Anonymous said...

I missed out on JoAnn. But how should I change my approach?