“You’ll never regret going to the gym”.
My first boss told this to me a lot. He is a very athletic guy in his 60s, does cross-fit 2 times per week, yoga 2 times per week, and spin classes on his day off.
His point was that doing something good for yourself might suck before you start, but it is good after you finish.
This holds true with going to an event, with one additional corollary – you’ll never regret going to an event, if you have something specific you want to get out of it.
If you have an inkling of interest in an event, then there is a reason you want to go. Maybe there is a speaker you’d like to see, or a subject you’re interested in, or you’ve heard of the event before and it sounds great.
If you have an inkling to attend, find a way to get there. Go there with the following mission, and you’ll instantly achieve the mission:
WANT to get something out of it.
The thing doesn’t even need to be definite. It might be something you’d never have considered finding before, and it may not materialize until weeks or months later, but it WILL happen, if you WANT it to, because a WANT needs to be filled.
Simply going to the event and looking for something to get out of the event is enough. Your brain will do the work for you.
But you need to prime yourself: going in with a positive mindset – one that is curious about what others are doing, and focused on creating a new connection: a new dot.
Here is a great example of this.
I recently went to an event held by my friend George Popescu. He has started a news source called “Lending Times”, and brought together people in the space to talk about their companies and experiences in the crowd funding & Venture Capital space.
The event was after work, and before I left, I considered skipping the event – getting home has a certain comfort to it, and I’ve got work to do.
Then I thought to myself, “WTF Ryan, maybe you’ll meet someone you don’t know, learn something you didn’t know, and have an idea that you’ve never had before.
Plus, I want to get George on my Podcast. He has an interesting story, and wants to get the word out about Lending Times.
Then, I told myself “you WANT to go to this event”.
I went – totally worth it. Why? Saw George (shows I’m supporting what he is doing), talked to a few interesting people about what they’re doing in life, and in my head, I’m naturally figuring out if what I do can help them do what they do. If their careers or aspirations are at all aligned with mine. I’m trying to connect the dots.
Right when I walked in, George introduced me to Isabel, a PhD Student studying cross-border transactions who was producing the event with George. When I asked her how she was involved in the event, she told me she had met George at another event, and they decided to put this one on together. I told her about an idea I have for her, which was of interest to her, so we exchanged info.
Then I spoke with a guy named Marzan. He worked at a bank in the lending department (this was an event on crowdfunding). I was curious about how the event had been marketed, so I asked him how he heard about the event. He had gone on meetup.com two weeks ago, created a profile, and populated some of his interests in the system. This event popped up, and BAM he was able to sign up. The event was free. Hard to turn that down, especially given the fact that George is also the owner of a Beer company from Boston – Down The Road brewery – and had brought in some Beer for the event.
In all, I got 4 new contacts – no telling what they could lead to in the future.
All because I decided to WANT to go to the event – its never a bad idea to make a few serendipitous connections, and create a few new dots.
Because once you have dots, you can connect them later.