I was interviewed by our local newspaper and after she asked a few questions announced, “I know what you are, you’re a connector”. On many occasions since, I realized she’s right—I am a connector. It’s one of truly satisfying & rewarding facets of my professional & personal life.
Yesterday my son and I went out to scour yard sales. He’s searching for mechanical odds & ends for a creation he has in mind. A couple who sold him 3 boxes of pool widgets was taken by his passion & creativity. So much so, that the gentleman handed him his business card. He offered that perhaps my son might like to send them a photo of his completed creation. I was surprised by this as my experience is that exchanging business cards seems a lost custom. Greater & greater reliance on online alternatives seems to be what’s at work.
So… here goes!
Why I don’t leave home without my business cards:
1. Connections are unexpected. I don’t always have a pen & paper handy—e.g. at the nail salon, on an airplane, at the beach so… I keep cards in every day & dress purses, gym bag & change purse.
2. Quick to retrieve. Last weekend I met a young man while waiting for my husband to pay our restaurant bill. He relocated from the west & was discouraged by the lack of art & culture in Chatham Kent. Ooooo… I had people he needed to connect with! I excitedly told him about the art work I recently purchased at the “culture factory” event. I handed him my card with a follow up promise to connect him with this cool group.
Art work by: Elizabeth Downey-Sunnen
3. Inexpensive and tangible. In meeting so many people in professional & social settings I am terrible with names. Cards really help me place & remember people.
4. Security check. Googling the person from their business card information affords the opportunity to verify their presence, background & gives you an option to determine if you wish to further the connection.
5. Gets you to second base. I have handed out two cards when the other person didn’t have one to return, so they could fill in their information for me on the back of my card. In doing so I am past the first step of a “cold call” for a business connection.
I am a professional & personal connector. One of my life highlights was my 45th birthday party for my 100 closest past & present friends. To witness them mingling & worlds colliding was such fun.
Connections lead to relationships & belonging and this is valued by parents as one of their top wishes for their children. One of our child care educators shared with me that her parent’s number one question is if their child is playing well with others. They appreciate seeing the photos of their kids—using HiMama classroom software. It enables parents to view their children throughout the day in social play—connecting & belonging with other children.
Perhaps a resurgence of the old fashioned Victorian calling cards is what we need—so everyone would really be oriented to that social custom. Thanks to “Paul the Painter” for giving my son the first of many future connections.