This past month I got the opportunity to participate from the Nexus Youth Summit in New York City. This was an amazing conference to build strong networks of like-minded young entrepreneurs from around the world who not only have amazing ideas to promote social change in their countries but are also willing to help out others’ initiatives too.
Motivated by all the networking going on and all the relationship building I was doing, I decided to take advantage of being in New York, to re-connect with friends I’ve met throughout my life that were based in this big city. In only 7 days I was able to have coffee, lunch, go out and hang out with friends that I’ve met in high school, university, study abroad programs, past jobs, Panama, past conferences and traveling.
Reconnecting with all of them while making new friends made me realize once again of the power of meaningful networking. What I mean by this is making real long-term relationships that regardless the purpose of forming them (whether is for work, for friendships or for partnerships) you form them by being your true self, you maintain them alive because you care and that when you reconnect with them it feels like nothing has changed.
It is so easy to reconnect with people nowadays, that if you don’t do it is really because you don’t want to… So, to encourage you to reach out for people you may know the next time you travel I want to share with you some crazy discoveries I found out when I met up with some of my friends in New York:
- When reconnecting with my Hecha y Derecha co-founder and partner in crime, Lindsay, she shared with me she has met Abby from Atlas Corps a couple of months earlier and she had recommended Abby to reach out to me, since they were looking for Panamanian fellows… little did they know I had already applied and was on my way to become the first Panamanian fellow!
- When reconnecting with Pete and Alex, whom studied abroad in Prague with me, we realized we had a friend in common in NYC whom I met while travelling in Thailand and even though we didn’t get to hang out all together it was still really crazy to see how SMALL the world really is.
We are natural connectors… we are constantly referring, recommending and talking about people to people for free!!! This always results in amazing opportunities and synergies… so all it takes is to type in the city you are heading to in Facebook and search for friends that live in this city… shoot them an inbox and set a date and time… you’ll see if you have done meaningful networking your response rate will be around 80%. Or even easier, update your status to “In (enter city here) for 4 days” and you will see how people will reach out to you and then it will be up to you to really make it happen!
I am extremely lucky and blessed to have the friends, networks, contacts (call them whatever you want) that I have… and I dedicate this blog to them… because no matter how much time passes by since I last saw them or how long did I spend with them when I met them… they still consider me their friends and they still go the extra mile to reconnect, to refer me and to connect me with others.
Thank you, you know who you are!