You ask me how walking my dog led me around the world? I'll tell you and it's no tall tale. I was walking my dog in my neighborhood as I do every other day. I smile as I pass my neighbors while my dog greets the other dogs. My neighborhood is one of those special places where people do stop to have a brief chat. You pass the same people often so eventually those brief chats add up to learning more about each other. This was one such moment.
My neighbor and I stopped to talk and the conversation turned a bit longer than it typically did. We began to ask each other about our professions, both curious since we would pass each other mid-day.
I shared what I did with her and it happened she had just reconnected with an old friend from high school who was looking for a copywriter. She made the introduction and he instantly hired me due to her referral.
The job went on for several months. During the assignment, I covered a story on an event coming to town. This event was of particular interest to me because it combined two of my favorite passions: entrepreneurship and college students. I instantly submitted a request to volunteer for the event.
During the event, I networked with others, and one conversation led us to a discussion on Italy. This perked me up because I had been planning a trip to Italy sometime during the year. He shared a few memories of his trip to Italy and gave me his card.
The story doesn't end there.
I occasionally followed up just to reconnect. But, one day my follow up was intentionally brought back to our conversation on Italy. I had booked my trip and was ready for tips and tricks to travel to Europe for my first time--alone.
He kindly connected me to a family member who lives in Italy. Not only did she graciously give me tips and help me plan transportation; but, she also invited me to stay with them during a portion of my trip.
By this time I bet you forgot this trail all began from walking my dog; but, I didn't! Let me share some relevant reminders to use in business (and relationships for that matter).
First, you never know how influential the people you meet will be in your life and who they know that could be beneficial to you.
Second, volunteering can propel your career. Find a cause you are passionate about and get involved.
Third, always follow up with people you meet. It may not lead anywhere today; but, relationships aren't meant for just today.
Fourth, always be kind. People remember you when you take time to get to know them.
Fifth, walk your dog :) Your dog will love you and you will be more approachable.
And that's the story of how walking my dog has led me around the world. I'll write you from Italy. Ciao!