Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ralph Waldo Emerson Trust 30 Challenge: Time to Connect.

This Trust 30 prompt is from David Spinks. Simple and straight forward the challenge is to reach out and connect with someone. But not connect with just anyone. Connect with someone I've wanted to connect with but lacked the courage to do so. Not just set the meeting but to reflect on why I want to meet and then set up the meeting.  Maybe the prompt isn't so simple after all.

A challenge for me in this prompt is to think about someone I really want to connect with. I'm comfortable with my circle and rarely feel a burning desire to push beyond these boundaries.  Perhaps that's why my circle is so small. Maybe my small circle is the best reason to pursue this prompt with gusto.

I thought for a bit and realized there was an old friend I should reconnect with.  I have known Racer X (not his real name) for well over 20 years. We've done youth work together and even sat on a charitable board together. He's always been amenable and approachable. The last time I saw X was almost 10 years ago. He had left a downtown law firm to set up a sports related law practice in the suburbs. From everything I can see, X and his practice have been successful.

About a month ago I had a thought about a promotion at a generally ignored annual sporting event in town. In line with my desire to build a service creating and officiating at secular lifecycle celebrations, the promotion is a group wedding for 10 couples. I would solicit local businesses to donate wedding themed prizes, with each couple winning something. One lucky couple would win a full wedding package (hall, food, music, photo, video, portrait, honeymoon). Couples could enter through lottery or contest via local radio station. The promotion has the potential to breathe life into a poorly covered event and create buzz about me.

Since X has connections in sports, I thought X would be the perfect source for help. I'm asking X for ideas on contacts and pitch. Most importantly, X can advise as to whether or not I should even pursue the plan. Why my reluctance to reach out to X? I haven't been in touch while he was building his practice, so now I'm calling because I need something? This isn't about X and the way X treats people. This is all in my head. In my head I see the opening of "The Godfather": "You come to me on the day of my daughter's wedding, but you've never come to me in friendship..."

I contacted X via LinkedIn and we've agreed to meet by phone this afternoon. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Noel,

    Thanks for asking and reminding me I owed an update. X and I spoke Tuesday afternoon. I asked for 10 minutes and he gave me over 1/2 an hour. He also asked for a one page business plan to possibly strengthen the proposal and maybe even be involved. It was a great phone call and great to reconnect as well. Noel, don't be a stranger.