“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
I’ve written about the importance of planting trees, both literally and metaphorically. In fact, one of the most important factors of a successful salesperson or networker is planting seeds: doing something for someone now so that it may benefit both of you later down the line.
As a natural introvert, I hate networking. Nothing gives me as much anxiety as going into a conference hall with 1,000 people I don’t know all wearing name tags.
But when I think of networking as simply planting a seed, my mindset shifts entirely.
It’s not going up cold to some important person that’s better than me: it’s just another human. And I’m just here to plant a seed. I offer something of value – maybe it’s a joke, an introduction, a thoughtful article – with no ask in return.
Will they respond to my email the next day? Will they even remember me? Maybe, maybe not.
But if you scale this approach out with everyone you meet and give yourself a long enough timeline that those seeds can begin sprouting, your whole world can change.
You’re seen as “that person” – the person that is thoughtful, that helps others, that makes shit happen.
If you gain that reputation with enough people, you won’t even believe the opportunities that arise.
Do your future self a favor and plant a tree today.