So yeah, sure, I try to make myself easily accessible.
I say everywhere, "drop me a line, reach out, etc."
Couple people have remarked lately that that's generous or cool of me. Well, thanks, but it's not a big sacrifice at all.
I get a kick out of meeting and connecting with people. Generally, anyone who drops me a line is either (1) doing interesting things and we swap interesting stories, (2) looking for my thoughts on something, in which case I wind up having to refine my thinking and learn even if I do most of the talking/writing, or (3) both.
So, it's usually a good time. Sometimes I get a lot of email at once, and it's kind of a drag, but then I remind myself - "Well, I don't have to" - and it's better. Sometimes it takes me a while to reply, but my reply rate is around 99% (sorry if you get hit by the spam filter or it looks like a form letter).
But as far as I can tell, this is extremely rare and uncommon, which is why I wanted to write this post.
Why do I do it?
-As mentioned above, either we'll talk on interesting things, or I'll get interesting questions... either way is good.
-I try to replace my entertainment time with helping/connecting with people time. It's plenty entertaining and enjoyable.
-Good for the world.
-Generally feels good to do.
My rough estimate of what happens when you do something nice for someone. 90% of the time nothing comes of it - you had a nice interaction for a little bit, and that's it, you move on with your lives.
This, in and of itself, is totally okay. I find most of the time you look to lend someone a hand or do something, nothing really happens afterwards and that's the end of it. While that might look like bad odds, it's not such a big deal - just expect it, and that's cool. Hey, you did a nice thing or reached out to someone and nothing happened. Totally a good thing. The world's a little better off, and you just created some goodwill in the world. Nice.
9% of the time, the person is grateful about it and follows up with a thanks, or what's going on with them a bit later. This is really cool! :) I always love hearing about how someone is doing, or when someone says thanks. I think everyone likes this.
That last 1% of the time... well, that's where the real magic happens. 1% of the time, you really connect and hit it off and become good friends or colleagues or do business together. Like, 1% of the people you meet and do right by are going to change your life in some way.
The frequency that happens is really only 1%, but it's amazing when it happens.
And it's very hard for me to predict who it's going to be, it could be someone just starting out without anything happening in their lives right now. Y'know, people never forget that, I've got silly amounts of loyalty to the people who treated me well when I was just getting started. Likewise, I've connected with people a little before they got started or when they were in a transition period, and then later on they go on to become crazily successful and we become colleagues or do some projects together. And you just never know who it's going to be.
I don't know, even without that last 1% it still would probably be worth doing as sort of a charity or philanthropy type thing - you better the world, you get some good feelings out of it, you learn from it. But the 1% chance you hit it off and become really important to each other's lives? Well, hell yeah, how can I do some nice things for another 100 people ASAP? If someone's a decent person and I can do right by them, I want to do right by them.
Most of the time that's the end of it, but on rare occasions it changes your life.