May 2019 Issue

A client recently expressed wanting to expand their network as a desire, “to be embraced by in the ‘in-crowd.’” They had attended high-end parties, networking events, and conferences with a laser focus on the one person they considered "the gatekeeper" to landing their coveted gig. “I’ve done my homework, my work is up to par, I’m in the right places at the right times, but I just can’t seem to win this person over. I feel like I’m in high school continually being turned down for the prom.”

The sentiment sounded all too familiar. Strangely similar to the plotline of an 80’s teen movie; the artistic but awkward main character just dreaming of being asked out by the richest guy at school. They wallow, they study the cool clique, and they finagle a deal to get closer to their obsession. In the end, there were always two outcomes. First, the fairy tale version where they go back sewing pink dresses until, finally, their idol sweeps them off their feet. Or, the alternate version where their quirky best friend takes off their glasses, and they realize that what they wanted was in front of them the whole time, duh!

Continually tap dancing to a disengaged party of one is a waste of your energy - one person does not make an "in-crowd." Expanding your network means engaging...with everyone! The person ordering the same cocktail at the party, the one standing in the bathroom line with you at the conference, and definitely the one cracking up at all of your jokes during a networking dinner.  They are the perfect prom dates. 

It’s easy to get lost looking up at the one person you think can change your world. But sometimes all you really need to do is look around, and you’ll realize your "in-crowd" is already there. 

P.S. – I often hear “yours are one of the few emails I actually read,” (blushing) so I spoke with Kimberly and Annie of This Week in Weddings to tell it like it is in the podcastEmails That Keep People From Unsubscribing, if you know someone who wants to avoid snooze-letters altogether, pass along this month’s LFTE.  

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