Saturday, July 24, 2010
I recently visited a large company in the middle of a medium-sized city. Their offices are arranged around the sides of a square with a beautifully landscaped area in the middle. A series of interconnecting ponds and streams are interspersed with grass covered hillocks, bushes and ornamental trees. A block paved path runs amongst all of this with patio areas overlooking the ponds. A dozen or so tables with chairs provide the perfect place for the staff to eat their lunch or chat with colleagues.
This peaceful little oasis in the middle of an office block, in the middle of a city is home to several families of ducks. They spend their days lying in the sun, swimming lazily amongst the reeds in the ponds and generally enjoying their self-contained world. They have no reason to leave their world – everything is there for them. As far as they are concerned, that IS the world.
What is your world? You have your friends and family, your work colleagues, your virtual friends on Facebook and your conversations on Twitter. People and situations that you know and feel comfortable with. But what about the rest of the world? There are 6 billion of us living on the planet – what an opportunity that represents to anyone who wants to expand their business or widen their circle of friends.
In reality, of course, most of these 6 billion people won’t be interested in you or your business. But some will and the trick is to find those who are interested enough to start a conversation.
You will never find them if you confine yourself to your current contacts, in your own world. You have to network, online and offline, and ‘fish where the fishes are’.
Unless, like the ducks, you are perfectly happy in your own world and don’t want to explore more. The difference between you and the ducks, though, is that you know that there is a much bigger world out there. It would be a shame to let it all pass by without trying to make your mark.
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