There’s a bakery at the bottom of my street in Bedford. I’ve lived there for years and have never been in. I kept telling myself, ‘I’ll stop in sometime.’ When I finally did last week, I was overwhelmed with the beautiful foods they have and spent ten minutes talking with the owner about her history and the shop.
The same goes for my office at the Chamber. Until our plumbing broke down, I had never set foot into the Office Interiors building below us. I slunk in yesterday, begging to use the washroom, and was seriously impressed with the place! Nice washrooms, too. The two gals who met me at the front were friendly and funny- and I wished, again, that I had gone over to make friends with my neighbors sooner.
We preach a lot about networking at the Chamber- and there’s a very important kind that I’ve recently discovered. I’d like to call it neighbor networking- and it starts on your doorstep. Sure, you can come to a Chamber event- but do you know anything about the business that sits beside you? Have you shaken hands with the manager of the place across the street? And, more importantly- do they know anything about you?
The old practice of stepping out just to introduce yourself has gone a bit to the wayside. I can’t remember the last time someone ‘just wanted to stop by and say hello.’ We always seem to need a reason. I require baked goods. I require the use of your washroom. I require an appointment.
I’m thinking about bringing back the pop-in visit, particularly with my neighbours. I feel apprehensive, because I don’t have a reason- other than to simply want to meet them, and find out a bit more about what they do. But I think that might just be the best reason of all. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes- and in the meantime, feel free to come over to Windmill Road and visit us- we have a nice washroom too.