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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Deja Vu? Have You Considered Hooking Up With Your Past?

Okay I was skeptical.  One day I got an email from someone I "sort of" knew in high school wanting to connect for coffee.  "We live in the same town, why not connect?" she suggested.  I was the same age as her brother, but I still had a picture of her perched on the backseat of my top down VW convertible in the parade for our rivalry football game in the Rose Bowl.  Debi Frausto.

With some hesitation I agreed to meet her for coffee, despite being slightly worried that this was going to be like my ten year reunion; awkward and weird - coffee with someone I had glommed onto in high school for pure survival.  When we greeted each other, I noticed she seemed a little nervous too.  After about thirty minutes, I started to remember why we had been friends. Now in 2008, she was way cooler than my memories.  An added benefit was that she had lived in Seattle a long time and seemed to know everyone.  I was still trying to grow Alchemy's business here in Seattle.

One by one, Debi introduced me to some of her network, each person more creative, smart and unique than the last.  These "contacts" gave me new ideas, leads, hired me for work, and made my head spin with delight.  When I landed my first job through a contact of hers, I asked Debi if she wanted a referral fee?  "No, I  just like connecting people," she replied.  How lucky was I?  New work contacts and a really cool new/old friend who was always scheming new ideas and projects.  Finally I gave her a copy of Now Discover Your Strengths so I could know what made her so good at networking.  She, in turn, gave me more contacts and a terrible picture of me from  high school for Christmas.  Bleeech!

When your high school "friends" send you a note to connect, how do you respond?
What was your experience? I'd love to hear about it.  If you haven't connected yet, it might be well worth your time, you may end up as pleasantly surprised as I was.

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