I recently invited my virtual community–including people who have attended my webinars and workshops–to a meetup in Chicago on July 19. I’ll be there on business. When possible, I like to gather and “break bread” with people who are kindred spirits. Often, these are people who I have only known online or talked to on the phone. Although this invite went out to my entire list, including people around the globe, I expected only people in the Chicago area to respond.
To my surprise I received a response from a friend in San Francisco. His subject line said: “Decline with regrets.” His email went on to describe how he was looking for his next gig, after the last one was wholly unsatisfying.
I challenged him to think differently, including looking at missed opportunities in his LinkedIn profile. I ended by saying, “I’ll be thinking of you on July 19.”
This morning, I woke up to two emails from this same friend.
The second email had the subject line, “Accepted” and in the body, it simply said, “I’ll see you in 9 days.”
In the first email, my friend announced he had decided to get out of his comfort zone. He booked a flight from San Francisco to Chicago, to travel 2,000 miles….for dinner. Once he made the commitment to do something outrageous, he saw that he could also connect with past colleagues and friends in the area. (That’s called smart networking, folks.) He had previously lived in the Chicago area for 7 years.
Because when you travel 2,000 miles just to have dinner, that makes you remarkable. As Seth Godin says, you’ve done something worth remarking on.
Because when you travel across the country, people make time to meet with you. They are impressed that you went to the trouble. It’s so much more effective than sending an email with your resume attached, where it’s likely that the recipient will go through the standard motions to be helpful, but nothing more.
Because shaking things up and going on an adventure is good for the soul and food for your spirit.
Because when you get out of your comfort zone, that’s when magic happens. Things that you couldn’t have imagined get put into motion, because you were willing to show up, fully.
Here’s my challenge to you:
Do something where people will say, “You’re crazy!” And then the people who get you, people in your tribe, will think further and say ,”You’re brilliant!”
Here are the details. You’ll be in the company of interesting, accomplished people who are interested in hearing what you are up to.
* What: A great meal and wonderful conversation with fascinating professionals from my community
* When: Thurs, July 19, at 6:30pm
* Where: Dave’s Italian Kitchen (davesik.com), 1635 Chicago Ave, Evanston
* RSVP by 5pm ET on July 18 to carol[at] myalumnilink.com. I need to give the restaurant a count the day before.
Bonus: If you travel from another state to get to Chicago, I will pay for your dinner. (Hear that, my friends in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan?)
I can’t wait to see who shows up!