A couple of months ago I had a meeting with a board of directors. When I entered the room a dozen people were already there. After I greeted the host who invited me, she cheerfully turned to the room and asked, ‘Does everyone here know Adam?’ This is a question I hear often at my witness protection program meetings.
But I had studied who was going to be in the room. I always prepare for such meetings. From my prep work, I knew that I wouldn’t know anyone but my greeter.
And I loved that.
In that meeting, I was introduced to 12 new people in the town I live in. (Which is kinda like being the defendant in a jury trial.) I met leaders. People who were involved. Successful people. Board members. Good people to know. And suddenly 12 unknowns became known to me. My life improved as a result.
While some people dislike going places where they don’t know anyone, it is among my favorite things. Right behind being in a room where I know half the people. Like at my friend Molly’s recent birthday party.
Molly and I have a lot of friends in common. But she also knows a lot of people I don’t know. Because, as Digable Planet said, she’s cool like that. The great thing about a room half full of friends is that the familiars introduce you to the unfamiliars. By the end of the evening, I had met 14 new people. (Well they weren’t really new people. I could tell they have been people for a while. But they were new to me.)
It all adds up.
Meeting 14 new people at a party or 12 new people in a business meeting is a greater reward than it appears. Because when you meet someone new you are suddenly just a degree away from their friends, families, coworkers, and business associates. Which always leads to an interesting yet unpredictable way of improving your life.
If you conservatively assume that everyone knows 500 people, when you meet 10 new people, you are now a single degree of separation from 5,000 new people. This increases opportunities for new and better friendships, partnerships, introductions and recommendations. You never know when and how those associations may prove valuable. But experience has taught me that the value always appears.
Most great opportunities come from humans. The more humans you are connected to, the more opportunities you will enjoy. That’s why a room full of strangers is a room full of value. Take the initiative to make as many new friends as you can. They are among the most valuable assets you will ever collect.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.
+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.