Get out there. Keep meeting new people. Take an interest by asking what they do. Offer your assistance or help. It's called networking, and there's something very mysterious about it.
So last night I almost skipped a networking event - a local alumni gathering for the university my wife attended. But I went because I always seem to meet someone I need to meet at these type meetings. Also, they offer free food.
So the first few people I met were interesting, nice, and I felt like I was able to encourage or offer some direction in their pursuits. We exchanged business cards. It's always fun to be useful to someone.
The fourth and last person I met was a financial planner, so we naturally hit it off - my latest book is on personal finances. He mentioned that he was raising two boys, trying to help them toward independence, so I mentioned that getting my own 7 boys independent inspired my recent research and writing. Finally, I offered him a free copy, thinking he might find it useful. And, who knows, he might could recommend it to clients or when he teaches seminars or something.
So he says, "Hey, my wife works with a textbook distributor to schools. I'll let her see it."
I thought, "A textbook distributor to schools? A TEXTBOOK DISTRIBUTOR TO SCHOOLS!!!"
It just happens that my top marketing goal for this year is to figure out how to get my book into schools. I don't have a distributor to schools. I need one.
This is so bizarre that it almost defies imagination. On the way home, after giving him a copy (always, always, keep copies of your books in your car), I looked at all the lights of stores in Kennesaw and thought, "Out of the 30,000 people in Kennesaw, Georgia tonight, what are the odds that one of them works for a book distributor to schools? And what are the odds that I would meet that person's husband at a random event that had nothing to do with book marketing, and that the meeting would occur in the very month I was prioritizing marketing to schools?"
Coincidence? Because of my faith, I have to believe that this was a God thing. As someone once said, "a coincidence is when God works a miracle and decides to remain anonymous."
On the other hand, there tends to be a human part in miracles - someone prays, someone is out helping the needy, then God shows up. Networking gurus would say that miracles tend to happen more around people who are out there doing something, rather than to people who are sitting on the couch eating nachos and watching TV.
Whatever you make of this, I think it pays to get out there and meet people. I help them; they help me. That's when miracles happen.
J. Steve Miller
President, Legacy Educational Resources
Author of Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It
"The money book for people who hate money books."