Years ago, I was relaxing on Necker Island in the Caribbean where I was meeting with about 20 business leaders including Sir Richard Branson the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways and owner of the Island.
My journey to this island is a dramatic example of “The Butterfly Effect of Networking”, a theory that a small action in one place may have a ripple effect that creates a dramatic action in another place. It is like a pebble in a pond creating ripples on the surface. For networking, it is about how a seemingly minor connection or conversation with one person may, after many ripples across the network over time, ends in a dramatic connection later in the process. Let me share my story…
It started several years ago when I received a phone call from a woman I did not know but who has since become a good friend. Her name is Kim. Kim asked me if I would be willing to help with the creation of an online networking and social capital community. It took some work to put this together, but at the time I had no idea what type of ripple effect this request would have on my life. I did it because it fit the values and direction that I wanted to take my company in. With that, the ripple began.
This relationship turned into a strategic alliance, which turned into a speaking engagement, which allowed me to meet Jack Canfield (co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul), which led to an invitation from Jack to participate in an international organization called the Transformational Leadership Council, which led to meeting a woman by the name of Nancy, owner of an ethics training company. Getting to know Nancy led to an invitation for my wife and I to spend five days on the breathtakingly beautiful Necker Island where we have been meeting with financial wizards of business, movie producers,and successful business leaders such as Sir Richard Branson
The ripples that take place in the networking process may not be clear when the pebble drops into the water and the ripple begins. What is certain is that there is a ripple. If you follow that ripple and make the most of the contacts that you meet during each stage of that journey, it can lead you to make connections and create relationships that may very well surprise you when you look back to where the journey first started.