One Time, One Meeting

My daughter, Cassie (AKA Dorian Prin – professional name), is a graphic designer and she’s working on the cover of my next book: The Networking Mentor.  I’m including a “sneak peek” of the working graphic for the cover of the book here in this article.

I was talking to Dorian about the paragraph below which is excerpted from the book:

We’ve all had mentors who are in “our story.” When we talk about how our life has changed through our experiences with them, they are part of that story. However, there is something even more important: The real question is not who’s in our story but whose story are we in? Whose life have we made a difference in? That’s what creates a meaningful life, and that’s why this book is for both mentees and mentors.

In our conversation I mentioned that sometimes you might meet someone only once but that meeting is so profound, it can have an influence on you for the rest of your life.


Dorian spent some time in Japan and can speak the language.  She said the Japanese have a saying that relates to this concept.  She said the Japanese phrase is: 一期一会 (ichi go ichi e).  Its direct translation is “one time, one meeting” but it probably can be translated more accurately as “once in a lifetime meeting” and is about the cultural concept of the importance of the unrepeatable nature of connections between people who meet. It is a Buddhist concept specifically tied to the tea ceremony and was the topic of contemplation for the tea ceremony she once participated in during one of her visits to Japan.

The lesson here is that you never know how the things you say may influence someone else.  Even if you only meet them once.  An off-handed comment can have a profound effect (either good or bad) on the person you are talking to.

So, I have a question for you.  What has someone said to you that profoundly affected you in business OR in life?  Share your story here on my blog.  I’d really like to hear it.  Post it below in the comments.

6 thoughts on “One Time, One Meeting

  1. Serendipitous post! I just received this note from a colleague I haven’t seen in more than a year: “…I don’t know if you have noticed the TYFCB I have given you over the years, just with that one presentation to the group of planners. Mainly I have worked with Ramekins and The General’s Daughter (I handle most their events now!), Cornerstone (Also, handle most their events now), El Dorado Kitchen, and Chateau St. Jean from that one presentation. For that I am eternally thankful. You have single handedly really grown my business. I just wanted you to know that. It reflects in the direction my business and life have gone lately. This year has already been amazing for me! I married my girlfriend, had a beautiful daughter and we are in escrow to buy our first home as we speak! I would love to take you out to lunch to catch up and find out about what you have been up to and how I can try and refer some clients to you! After all, givers gain! 🙂 Again, I am SO appreciative. I hope to see you soon to thank you again in person!…Warm regards, Leo James, Owner, Techtonic Events,”

    When we first met, Leo was generous enough to share with me that he was going into business for himself with some trepidation. It was a BIG leap of faith for him to leave a steady employer. I queried him about contacts at places I knew could use the services of his new business. I took him to meet key event directors at local wineries that could be linchpins to future business. Afterwards, I got the feeling the connections didn’t pan out. But I heard from him that those connections led to others.

    I had NO idea he’d parlayed those connections into more prosperous ones that then paid off in spades. I’m looking forward to our celebratory lunch. It’s more fun to celebrate someone else’s victories than our own.

  2. A lawyer colleague who practised family law once said to me, “You should take a look at this organisation that I work in called BNI.” He left the law firm about a month later to join another firm. After he had left I recalled what he had said and I searched out the lady running the show for BNI locally; she was the Executive Director. I found a chapter, applied to join and was accepted.

    That was nearly 15 years ago. Fast forward to today. 4 weeks ago I had to leave the law firm where I was a partner. I set up my own firm.

    In just 4 weeks I have had 7 new clients referred to my by members of BNI.

    That one short comment from the colleague years ago made me dig my well before I was thirsty.

  3. I am very fortunate to be in such a great BNI Chapter. In our last meeting I looked around and figured out that 12 members of my chapter have come in to see me,(I am a chiropractor). Some have come in to see me once and some 10 times, This is just business from my BNI chapter and doesn’t include the referrals that they have sent me over the years. Great experience, and good, honest people that I can trust. Givers Gain is truly the mission of our chapter.

  4. I was affected by Masa, Japan SoftBank founder. Firstly, he went to official meeting in slippers.
    I’m sure I was visibly surprised. But even more I was surprised when I asked him, “What’s your long-term vision?”
    He said, “ I believe the people will live for more than 120 years”,
    He spoke about his mentor who first believed in him (after his father). It was the founder of the Sharp company. He is now 100 years old. I owe him, and will do everything to prolong his life and happiness.

  5. This reminded me of a person that had a 5 minute conversation with me and changed my career path for 20 years! I had graduated High School and was unsure what I wanted to do. So I went to the local Vocational Technical High School and signed up for the Data Processing Course. I was told it had to do with computers but once I started, learned it was a glorified secretarial course. That want for me. In 2 days, I completed the filing class (work at your own pace work book), got 100% on the whole thing and asked, now what? Can I start another class… I will have only missed the first 2 days, I’m sure I could catch up… Nope… need attendance to get the grade… the she said… you’re not happy with this course of study… I agreed… and then she asked me if I can cook. I had NO idea at the time where THAT came from but soon found out the other classes you could take as a post graduate was Culinary Arts. (this was bank in 1981 when no one knew what Culinary Art was! ) Anyway, I said I can cook and she suggested I check out that. So I went to my guidance counselor to ask about it and she proceeded to ask “why would I want to change to that, your a girl”. Basically that was all the “challenge” I needed and asked what that had to do with anything. She said “OK” but you won’t last a week. Go see Mr. Coakley and see if he will let you switch (head of Culinary).
    Here I man in a dress, nice shoes, hair down, walk into the kitchen looking all “secretarial” and ask to be admitted to the Culinary program. He looks me up and down (literally) and says “why”? After my obvious answer “to learn to be a cook”, he says ok but you won’t last a week! I go that night, buy uniforms, shoes, hair all restrained… and for the first 4 days he sends me in the coffee shop to scrape tar of window frames in the coffee shop with all the “trouble” kids figuring I would leave. Nope, showed up every day, ready to go…. the next Monday comes and the Chef that was to teach the class shows up, doesn’t know me but realizes I’m older than the rest of the class and takes me under his wing. By the end of the year, I was chosen as the one Soux Chef for the major end of the year banquet and Mr. Coakley has made calls and gotten me a $2,000 scholarship and a $2,000 work study job at Johnson & Wales and said “your not coming back here for your 2nd year, your going to college!
    So that one teacher that had a 5 minute conversation with me, changed my career and life! You never know!!

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