but only true friends leave footprints in your heart"
Last week's WPPI convention for me personally was one of the best. From meetings with new potential sponsors of SCU to catching up with new and old friends to the wrap-up surprise of receiving WPPI's Lifetime Achievement Award, it was a remarkable week. In fact, I don't think I've ever had a week with a more jam-packed schedule.
I wanted to kick off this week with one big point - the quality of your network. There are two types of people in my network, associates who work together on a variety of projects and true friends. Both are important. However, it's pretty amazing when both groups come together. There's nothing that can't be accomplished.
Over the years, I've heard comments about how many friends people think I have. The truth is, I have lots of people who I've met, worked with and enjoy catching up to, but only a handful of very special true friends who have left those "footprints" in my heart.
When I was looking for a quote that fits today's post, Eleanor Roosevelt's above hit home the most. We all have people who walk in and out of our lives. Some stick around for the ride; others are just short term travelers on our journey. Others still, help us non-stop, looking for nothing in return. They're always by our side whether we know it or not.
But here's the thing about today's post. You have to take the time to let them in. You have to be willing to show your vulnerability and invest in the friendship. The word "network" is so abused and over-used, but it's the only one that fits in what I'm trying to say.
Pay attention to the key people in your network. Invest the time in developing new friendships and reinforcing the old ones. Don't just head off to a convention to collect business cards and meet people - take the time to get to know them. There's a big difference between a handshake and a hug! Go for relationships with hugs, but be selective. At the same time, respect those relationships with handshakes. Having a balance of both is what builds a strong network, and it's what makes attending a conference like WPPI or ShutterFest coming up so worth it!
Next stop - St. Louis! See you there.