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Connecting The Key To #FindingOpportunities

January 27, 2014

Connecting the key to finding opportunities

Everyone you every meet knows something you don’t”- Bill Nye

It’s not where you are that matters, It’s who you are with”- Dave Matthews

Happy Monday. I hope you are looking forward to a great work week.

It’s hard to gauge sometimes if we are raising our kids correctly.  Every now and then if we are lucky they may throw us a little nugget that lets us know they get it. Yesterday my 10 year old said to me “Dad I just want money for my birthday”. I was really worried  she was getting  materialistic and we were going to have to have a conversation about what is important in life.  So I asked her why she wanted money. She told me one of her teachers is getting married and planning a wedding. “Every time she talks about wedding ideas with another teacher she always says she can’t afford it and changes her plans, I just want to give her my birthday money so she can have the wedding she deserves.”  Boom! Crisis averted. My 10 year old gets it.

However it’s not my thoughts on kids I wanted to share this week. Last week I had a chance to travel to New Orleans for the first time for a couple days to catch a Dave Matthews Show.  One of my friends remarked he was surprised I was wearing a University at Albany hat instead of Siena gear when I ran into him at the airport.  The truth is I am loyal to both schools. Siena was great to me for my undergraduate degree and the University at Albany MBA program was superb.  It may seem weird but every time I travel I always wear something that identifies that I am from Albany. It may be a Siena Sweat shirt, Albany University Club hat, or even a Clancy Real Estate hat. I don’t know how many people I have met in my travels around the country because I had something that identified me as being from Albany and it started a conversation. If I hadn’t worn something to spark a dialogue and make a connection we would be like two ships passing in the night never knowing the other was there or what we had in common. Everyone you meet knows something you don’t and represents an opportunity to learn and grow. Every time I meet someone and have more than a 10 minute conversation I learn something new. Hopefully the person on the other end of the conversation feels the same way.

My wife has turned me into a huge Dave Matthews fan. When his music is played in your house 24/7 you either succumb or you divorce. So I became a fan a few years back. To me, it’s the fans as much as the music. The first show I ever went to I made a connection with a guy from across the country and probably spoke to him for 15-20 minutes before the show. A week after the show an unexpected package arrived at my office from him with a CD full of photos from the show. Turns out he was in the front row with an amazing camera. That’s just the way the fans are.

My wife and I enjoyed a great show in New Orleans and were blessed to somehow score third row seats.  After the show we grabbed a drink at the Ritz Carlton a block away with people that had been sitting by us. As we left the hotel we ran into none other than Dave Matthews himself on the sidewalk walking into the hotel. I have never seen my wife speechless but when she ran into Dave Matthews in person after years of following him around the country she was speechless. It was her dream come true!

It may seem like luck that we ran into my wife’s idol but it wasn’t. We had met another couple that had seen him in the Ritz lobby before the show and we knew that was where he was staying.  We ran into Dave Matthews as a result of a connection my wife made. My wife is amazing, and I can literally leave her for 5 minutes in a room and come back and she will have new friends for life.  So while other fans tried to guess where Dave Matthews was staying we knew as a result of new friends we made. As I thought about it on the plane ride back it dawned on me how important relationships and connections are in life.  We are always told it’s not what you know it’s who you know.  If you want to live a great life you need great relationships. No man is an island. Everything great in my life has been the result of a relationships. My greatest team members were all personal referrals as the result of connections and relationships. In fact, one of my greatest real estate agents was an introduction from an acquaintance I had a brief conversation with while standing in line in a bank. What if I never reached out to him in line and continued to email and text on my phone?  I met my wife on a blind date from an introduction from a connection with mutual friends. I could go on and on.  I think about my relationships and am simply grateful what I have learned from people in my life. There would be events, experiences, and trips that simply wouldn’t exist if they weren’t in my life.  I likely would be a bankrupt, single guy, living in a van down by the river if it wasn’t for a few incredible connections and relationships in my life that gave me just awesome opportunities.

There is a saying I heard a few years back and its “Shy business people have thin kids.”  Meaning if you aren’t assertive your likely won’t prosper and your kids likely aren’t going to eat well. Every time I have reservations about reaching out to someone or starting a conversation on an elevator, getting my oil changed, or sitting in an airport I think of my kids not eating. Crazy yes, but it is my call to action.  How many connections or opportunities have you missed because you didn’t want to strike up a conversation with someone you knew looked familiar but you didn’t want to look stupid if you didn’t know them? The reality is you have nothing to lose. You didn’t have a relationship before and if you take the chance and don’t bond you won’t have a relationship after so why not reach out and take a chance?  So this week try something new.  Instead of burying your head in your phone when you are waiting in line or at an event reach out to someone new and start a conversation. You just might make a connection that can change your life. It may change it in a way that didn’t occur to you. Maybe it’s your ability to help the person you meet not by them helping you.

This week I am going to do something unusual and reach out to you. We are hiring and I have an opportunity for one great real estate agent my office. Last year my fulltime agents averaged more than three times the national average for homes sold which also equates to three times the earnings of a typical real estate agent. If you know someone that is interested in a full time career in real estate please let me know. It is not in my nature to ask for something without offering something in return. I have a unique opportunity as the result of a marketing agreement with a vendor. If you refer me to someone that we ultimately end up hiring I will give you a free Caribbean cruise for two!  How this that for an offer you can’t refuse!

Rock on my friend and have an awesome week connecting!

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