Three years ago I was invited to a Morton’s steakhouse for a networking event sponsored by UBS in White Plains. There was a room set up with free wine and appetizers. I’m talking all the lamb chops you could eat. But that is besides the point. After the initial mingling session, we were asked to go around the room and introduce ourselves. Many of these folks were members of other networking groups, so the commercials were very good and succinct…I am such and such, I do this and that for these types of clients, and I’m looking to connect with these types of companies or individuals. When I gave my elevator pitch about handling publicity for folks in entertainment, the server in the room thrust his biz card in my hand.
You know the drill. He was working at the restaurant between gigs. But this guy was a feature film director and well-respected 1st AD on various television shows. Soon after meeting him, he was back in Los Angeles working on more projects. We have stayed in contact with each other via email, phone, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This year looks like the year that we will work together. He has some great projects coming up.
So the moral of the story is not only should you never look down at those who serve your table, but also that you should stay in contact with people, even those that don’t hire you right away. First off, you don’t know who they know. You don’t know who they really are or who they are about to become. Being an entrepreneur is not about sprinting, it’s about preparing for the long marathon. Heck, this year it may be more appropriate to call it a triathlon.