Sharing The Love: What two people can I connect today?

On August 29, 2012 by Eddie

I’m not a very big fan of the LinkedIn invite email. Actually, I really hate the LinkedIn invite email. I don’t understand it, so it always just frustrates me when it shows up in my inbox. I have a hard enough time keeping up with Facebook and Twitter, why do I need to get involved in another site, just to help someone else connect with other people? It typically goes straight to my trash bin. I’m sorry if you’ve sent me one recently, I’m obviously not a very good friend or networker.

So when I received the following email in my inbox a few weeks ago, I was very skeptical. It was from Jeff, the director of the Plywood Presents conference I was about to attend, and it addressed to myself and some guy named David that I had never met. I read it somewhat begrudgingly:

Hey Friends!

In preparation for Plywood Presents, I always try to connect each participant with a new potential relationship. The hope is that this starts an ethos over the two days of open sourced learning. I think the two of you should know one another. So, take a moment to share what you do and share a conversation at the gathering. 

Eddie and David. You are both going after your passions. I think good things will happen when you talk!

I hope you become great friends and work together on awesome things.

Peace.

Jeff

To be honest, at first I thought this was a bit of a crock, some kind of a gimmick to force “creativity.” Then, I got an email from David a day later, asking if I was coming to the conference. He seemed nice enough, so I decided to dive in and try to make a connection. Unfortunately we weren’t going to be able to talk at the conference because of our conflicting schedules, but after a few emails we decided to get together for coffee.

Fast forward two weeks- yesterday I met David Huey for coffee and got to hear his story, and it was pretty awesome. David is an incredible guy. He and his friend started a non-profit organization a few months ago called Hungry For A Day. Their organization encourages people to go without food one day a month and donate the dollars they would’ve spent on food to an organization they highlight for the month. This month’s focus is to purchase shampoo, peanut butter, and macaroni and cheese for a local food pantry. Pretty simple, but if a lot of people jump on board it can have pretty powerful results.

Stickman drawing

Take a few seconds and check out their website, learn about what they’re up to and see if it’s something you’d like to jump on board with. At the very least, follow them on twitter or facebook and stay up to date on what they’re doing in the Atlanta community and beyond.

Of course, none of this would have been possible had it not been for Jeff’s original email trying to connect two friends to collaborate and share ideas. Which is making me think today, who do I need to connect? In all honesty, most of the time I meet someone I’m running them through the grid of what they can offer me, in my world. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth and it’s obviously something I need to work on. I very rarely meet someone and think, “who can I connect this person with that I know?” I always seem to think that’s a job best left for “networkers,” and don’t really think of it as a way I should be helping people.

So here’s my question/thought/prayer for the day: What two people can I connect today? How can I serve my friends by starting a conversation and getting out of the way?

Take a second and ask yourself the same question, then take another second and fire off a quick email, just like Jeff’s. You never know how important that may be for someone in your world.

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