I like to travel a lot. Thanks to my global business I also have “virtual friends” in many places in the world. That’s why whenever I’m going somewhere I’m always thinking of people I could see there. Especially now that the pandemic is subsiding, I’m appreciating again a chance to see new and old friends in-person. In the current virtual world, such meetings can build lasting relationships. Or if the opportunity is not taken seriously, this chance can be gone forever. Here’s why:
Only for the moment… and the moment’s gone!
I’ve lived enough to know that some situations are once-in-a-lifetime. If a friend or someone I’d like to meet is in my town, I almost always drop everything to see them.
I reschedule, I juggle things, I make it happen.
Even if it’s for only a few minutes. A cup of coffee. A drink… or a short lunch or just a brief walk together to chat.
It’s so worth it.
Experience has taught me that such opportunities show up very rarely and don’t repeat themselves.
Some people just don’t get it…
That’s why it always pains me to see that some people don’t get it.
Recently I was passing through a city I’ve never been in before and I reached out to an old friend there to see if we could meet for a cup of coffee. We have worked together in the past but we’ve never met in person. Turns out he was still living there and we agreed to meet! What a chance!
Well, it didn’t work out as he bailed at the last minute. He texted that his plans got mixed up and we wouldn’t be able to meet in the end. He didn’t even propose an alternative time frame.
I get it, we are all busy… but we should optimize for these rare moments!
We all have our plans, obligations and schedules. I should know, I’m running a business and I have three kids. However, I know that chances like this are very rare. Will I ever visit this town again? Probably not. Or maybe, but then I might not have the time to reach out or try again.
Very often in such encounters it’s now or never.
Luckily, most of the time the opposite situation is true. People get it and make time! Sometimes someone turns me down at first, but then after a few hours gets back to me to say that they’ve rescheduled whatever they had planned because they couldn’t pass up on this unique opportunity to meet.
Seize the opportunity and enjoy the moment!
If you meet someone by accident or they reach out to meet and you want this to happen, go for it.
Change your plans.
Reschedule stuff that can happen later.
Don’t let this moment pass you by or such an opportunity might never show up!
Some memorable moments I’ve experienced like this:
Lastly, to inspire you and to let myself go down the memory lane, here are some key moments I’ve seized or people who I reached out to, took me up on:
- When I was in Chicago on a conference and had one free day, I asked a famous blogger I admired who resided in Nashville if he’d have a lunch with me. He agreed but said he’d only have 2 hours. I flew in only for this opportunity. This encounter started a friendship for a lifetime. We’re in touch online since then and I didn’t have a chance to see him in person again. Not yet at least.
- When I was at a conference in Krakow I met another blogger I admired. Unfortunately he had to catch an early train back to Warsaw and I previously had plans to stay longer. I re-visited my plans and our 3-hour long train ride started a very close friendship. And now we try to meet in person any chance we get.
- When I was traveling through New York state I reached out to my online friend and he drove an extra hour (or more) just to have a chance to share a snack at a Panera Bread place somewhere in New Jersey with me and my family. This encounter only solidified our friendship.
- When a productivity blogger was spending a cycling holiday in a nearby city I reached out and asked if she wanted to ride with me one day. On her last day of cycling I managed to re-schedule my things and joined her group. It was a great ride.
- When my two productivity gurus told me about a productivity conference they were attending, I said Hell yes! and signed up for it as well and we met there, coming from different places and had a blast.
- When a podcaster emailed me that they were in a town nearby where I stayed, I re-scheduled my plans to meet him in person for a quick lunch. We became good friends since then.
- When a productivity coach inspired by my story asked me to meet, I didn’t realize he’d travel 5 hours just to see me in person. We spent another 5 hours talking and exchanging ideas. We’re great friends to this day.
- And there are many more stores like this (if you have one of me, email me and I’ll add it here)!
We also use these kinds of moments to meet up as a Nozbe team. Last week while traveling I met up with two of my Marketing Team members: Ewelina and Magda of the NieMaBiura Podcast (as you can see on the photo). Later I visited my long-time The Podcast co-host Radek. These were brief meet-ups but still brought us joy to see each other!
Just meet people when you have a chance. Take it!
If you have slight chance to meet someone in person who you’ve never met before (or haven’t seen for a long time), if only for a short moment, go for it. Just do it. This short meeting might have a great impact on your life. Your both lives, actually.
Yes, I’m all for working remotely but I’m also all for meeting people in person.