By Jim A. Luff
In the past two weeks I have had the same weird thing happen to me twice. People come up and say hello to me, greeting me by name but yet I have no idea who they are. I know this sounds terrible and I feel terrible about it. However, it did open my eyes to something that I think is a critical key to our continued growth in a bad economy. That is being out and about and involved in your community.
There is no doubt it takes a great amount of time and energy to do it but I think I live a fun life while networking and serving in the community. Some people ask me what I am doing up at 5:30AM sending e-mails. Well, you know the saying, “The early bird gets the worm”. I start early and finish late and hope to be productive from start to finish. The truth is, there are simply not enough hours in the day to accomplish the things I need to get done. I devote 5:30AM to 8:00AM for routine e-mails, time on the limo forums, checking and updating my Facebook and MySpace social networking pages and taking care of personal bills and other personal matters.
In both cases of having “strangers” talk to me, they both made comments about the limousine business. While I knew neither, they both knew I was in the limo business. The first one I saw at the hospital where my Mother-in-Law is currently being cared for. She was a nurse who walked in the room and said hello and addressed me by name and asked me how the economy was affecting the limo industry. The other one was at a restaurant as I was having breakfast. This gentleman said he sees me out everywhere. I said every time he goes out he sees me. Trying to place him, I asked him where we last saw each other. He said it was at our local arena and it could have been at a hockey game or it could have been the Neil Diamond concert. I was at both. I am an avid hockey fan with season tickets and I don’t miss too many games. Of course we sponsor the hockey team. I am friends with the coaches and management staff and the arena is my account so anytime someone needs transportation at an arena event, they call me.
Being at the arena for every major event is one of the best ways to socialize and network at the same time. I also volunteer on many committees within the community, serve on the board of directors of several prominent charity organizations and volunteer my time to work with youth organizations such as the Police Activities League for youth. I am involved in my local chamber and active in community politics frequently showing up at city council meetings, county supervisor meetings, school board meetings and even serving as a campaign manager for several friends running for office. Then there is the see and be seen factor of business lunches. Every city has those restaurants that business people flock to lunch to.
In case you missed the big picture above, the real point is this: The more people that know you, see you and think about what you do, the higher the likelihood is they will call upon YOU when they actually need transportation service because you are always on the forefront of their mind.
So, in thinking back to the gentleman who said I was “everywhere”, I suppose I am and I am tired so I am going to take a nap now. Get out and about everyday.
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