I recently heard an expression that I quite liked: Grow Where You are Planted. After Googling the quotation, I discovered that it has religious origins, but no matter one’s faith, I believe that it has universally appealing connotations. And, of course, for our purposes, let’s consider it in the context of networking.
First, a story… When I was getting ready to publish Coffee Lunch Coffee, someone asked me how I planned to get the word out about my book. I had been so focused on the writing aspects of the project, that I had not spent much time focused on marketing. My friend said to me, “Focus on going big in Kansas City. It is your community, people know you here. Make it a learning lab for yourself. Once you nail it here, then start thinking about going bigger.”
I thought that was a pretty good idea. In fact, it took me all the way back to when I first set out to network. Recall that I began my networking efforts because I discovered that I had a very limited professional relationship base in my own city when it came time to pursue a new career. Determined to turn that around, I spent nine months solely dedicated to meeting folks right in my hometown. And, what fun it was! Growing my own professional network, in my own city, helped me to feel a deeper connection to the city that I had called home my whole life. It made me feel like a more important member of the community. I felt more capable of contributing something and to collaborating with others to get things done.
So, when I hear the expression, “grow where you are planted,” I think of the following:
- Find a place to call home and embrace it;
- Make a commitment to be a contributing member of your community;
- Engage in the community – get involved;
- By doing so, you will develop a deeper sense of belonging and the experience of networking will be enriched and ever more meaningful.
Your turn. Go ahead, dig in. Grow roots wherever it is that you call home. In so doing, you will establish community and gain access to opportunities that you never imagined.
Tomorrow… extend your branches….