I attended TEDWomen 2018 for free. It was sold-out by the time I was offered the chance, but I still got in.

Networking & friendship.

About 8 months before I went to TED, I read a post by Chirryl-lee Ryan’s where she listed 10 or so people that she thinks are awesome. I looked up and connected with everyone on the list. I wrote, “if Chirryl-lee says you are cool, then I want to know you.”

One of the people I connected with was Galit Ariel. She is a very cool human, When we met she lived in Amsterdam, and then she moved to Toronto Canada. She sent me a message when she got here, and said; “if you are ever in Toronto, we should meet.”

A few weeks later I spoke at the Discover your Personal Brand conference in Toronto and invited her to attend for free. I loved her when we met in person and our relationship began.

For months, we spoke every Friday or Saturday morning. She helped me to see that I was bigger than resumes, and I helped her to get more clear on her brand and offerings. We would give each other homework and helped each other grow. There were some weeks where one of us was having a rough time, and others where things were great.

During texted one day and said, “I HAVE HUUUUUUUUGE NEWS” and we got on a call. She let me she was speaking at TedWomen in Palm Springs. And then she said, “if I can bring a guest, you should come.”

How I met Galit

And, so I did.

The beautiful thing in this story is not that I got to go to TED. That is beautiful, but the more important is that I have a new friend. And I got to witness her doing this amazing thing, and also be her cheerleader. We added on a weekend trip to LA, and spent a weekend decompressing, bonding and planing our next moves.

Networking is a long game. 

If I had focused on trying to make her a client or selling her a resume, this wouldn’t have happened. We did have a call once where I could have made a pitch, but I was noticing the way I felt when I spoke to her. She saw things in me that I wasn’t seeing. She brought a new perspective to my work. It felt like she could coach me.

There is always a way to strategically grow your network. You can identify who you want to know and work the connections until you get there. But alongside that, pay attention to the ones that make your heart sing.

Talk to them.

Help them.

Share with them.

Love them.