Are you ready to network on the spot in any situation?
We all know that person who seems to fall into perfect opportunities over and over… the reason for their “luck” is that they are ready to network at a moment’s notice, so when the perfect opportunity presents itself, they are ready to go.
Well, little did I imagine that my driveway would set the stage for four sets of people and countless opportunities to be realized.
- my husband and yours truly
- two founders of a local non-profit
- my realtor, his wife, and their son
- my son and daughter-in-law
The Back Story:
My husband and I were emptying out a property we own in preparation for its long awaited sale. Never wanting to waste anything, I reached out to the two founders of Gateway Community Coalition to say that we had some items we would like donate to their efforts, and they agreed to come by and take a look.
Win #1: The day after I called the non-profit to schedule our meeting, they were told by the local housing authority that they had approval to set up food pantries in several locations that would be more convenient to the local residents (an approval they had been seeking for five months). As luck would have it, they were given three locations – the same as the number of refrigerators we had to donate. Now they have one refrigerator for each location.
Win #2 and a Bonus: Since the non-profit leaders were at the property, we showed them a garage full of furniture and household goods we also had available and they decided to take all of it. They work with many families who are in desperate need of food and basic necessities. Ironically, my husband and I had purchased the property to be a retreat center to help others. While the vision had not worked as we had hoped, I was moved to tears knowing that as we closed the doors on that dream we were helping those who needed it most. Upon hearing our conversation, my realtor shared that he clears, rehabs, and sells homes for families/estates. He currently was rehabbing a property that had items that the charity could give to their clients and he would introduce them to several businesses in his network who could donate from their clear outs as well.
- my son, who works in workforce development made a connection with the realtor and they exchanged business cards
- the realtor’s wife, who runs a marketing business, periodically needs freelance graphic design and connected with my daughter-in-law, who is a graphic designer and more business cards were exchanged
- my daughter-in-law learned that the non-profit group would accept fresh produce donations. Their property is home to many fruit bearing trees and they cannot consume enough of the fruit, so the non-profit will benefit from that in the fall as well.
Each group was there to help out another person and each were doing something they were passionate about. When the day started, none of the players expected that such incredible networking opportunities awaited them The chance meeting resulted in numerous synchronicities and connections as we all watched in amazement.
It was quite a day – one big coincidence where the stars aligned to bring us all together at the same time in my driveway! How does it get any better than this?
A few words:
Finally, I will let you in on a secret. I have a Super Power. I have a knack for seeing excess in one area and matching it up with need in another area of my life. I call it Supply and Demand Re-Imagined. Sometimes it involves excess furniture, sometimes disposables donated to charities, and sometimes I see how underutilized groups within society can be matched with business needs. I see capable resources filling the needs of overworked, understaffed businesses. GSS offered to allow me to use their non-profit organization to start these efforts under their umbrella and I can help them with some of their business planning needs. The possibilities are endless.