Someone New (All the Time)

Someone New (All the Time)

I’ve seen the advice quite a bit:

Eat with someone new every week.

The reason: networking — to talk about what you are up to in the hope someone can help you. The theory goes, if you eat with a new person every week, you’ll eventually have a large network and maybe even — through sheer numbers — stumble upon someone who can help you in what you do (or want to do).

Rarely, it seems, do those dispensing the advice talk about what you could do for others; it seems to be “Quantity over quality until you get what you want.”

I’m not saying it’s bad advice, but it seems so shallow.

Lacking Depth

While the idea of 52 lunches with 52 different people in a year appeals to the side of myself that likes to be challenged, if my goal is to have in-depth talks about writing, podcasting, life, or other things…it doesn’t seem like a new person every week is the way to go. In a hurried world, it seems like those lunches would consist of catching up with each other — not enough time for much more than, “This is how I am, this is how my family is, and this is what I’m up to.”

Just an exchange of information that can probably be found on any person’s social media site.

Quality Over Quantity

Last Wednesday, I had dinner with a good friend. Not somebody new…somebody who knows my writing, at times, better than I do. Someone who knows what I’m trying to do with all the things I work on.

We don’t meet weekly, or even every other week, but when we get together and talk about what we’re doing, it beats sharing a meal with someone new all the time. Hell, sometimes we don’t even talk about writing and things like that — it’s not about networking; it’s about friendship.

It’s not about quantity; it’s about quality!

The Thing About Shortcuts

I’ve seen people network with their own needs put forward and seen people get what they want from that move. The staying power, though, is often weak.

It’s always seemed that someone wanting a shortcut to whatever it is they want desires the result without the effort to secure that result. At some point, the work must be done, and those looking for the easy way in often can’t sustain things once they get there because they don’t like the work. So they constantly hit up everyone they know in the hope they can sustain a life through shallow relationships.

I’m fortunate to know people who make a living doing so many cool things, and those who have sustained their dreams are those who surround themselves with a handful of good friends who really understand them — not 52 people, most of whom are acquaintances — in the hope of a quick payoff through networking.