Going NetworkingPosted: August 17, 2007
So, Rick and I went networking last night. It’s a lot like going trick or treating. We dressed up. My costume was the always challenging “I’m creative but I’m also in charge” and Rick went for the ever-reliable “owner of small but successful media company.” Then we set out to bag us some treats. (Don’t you hate the people who give out apples?)
I know that networking, at its best, is about the other person. Finding out what they do, what excites them, what they’re working on. Making a connection that maybe, somewhere down the road, might lead to a collaboration that will be mutually beneficial to all involved. Networking, at its best, is sowing seeds. It’s is a long term investment with a slow but gradual payoff.
But in “the biz,” where things move at the speed of light, gradual is a hard concept to get behind. Something happens when you get in a room filled with ambitious, hardworking people. The survival instinct kicks in and suddenly you’re bragging on yourself. It reminds me of that joke about actors: “But enough about ME. Let’s talk about my career!”
Last night we went to a party sponsored by a company we do business with. Because we do both post-production sound and creative, there were lots of different people we could potentially work with in the future, on many levels. We met talent – people we hope to hire to work with us, and we also met other producers – whom we hope might hire US to work with them. At a certain point last night I started to feel like a used car salesman – “I got the perfect company for you right here! Ain’t she a beauty? Can’t you just see yourself sitting behind the wheel at Post Haste Media, taking her for a spin? Approving a campaign idea? Demanding last minute changes? Now, I’m gonna be straight up honest with you. You know if you don’t snap this little baby up right now someone else gonna come along and you’re gonna see ’em out there with a funny little promo and you’re gonna be kicking yourself! That’s right, kicking yourself, thinking ‘That should be me with that funny little promo.’ ”
But all in all we had a very good time. We scored a few business cards, and there were these totally awesome fried goat cheese appetizers. And we had a celebrity sighting – the young actor who plays “McLovin” in the new movie SUPERBAD. He was charming and down to earth and working the room. At first I wondered what he was doing there, being that his movie was about to open and he was on the verge of being catapulted to instant stardom. But then I realized – he was there doing the same thing we were. Networking! Smart kid, that McLovin.