It was 2013, I was working in my office, when I got a random LinkedIn Request from a Stranger, doing sales. It was from an organization that I was familiar with, but had no previous dealing with. Curious at what they were up to, I agreed to a phone conversation with this Sales person.
Her name was Fiona, she had just moved from Ireland to Australia, and was working 2 jobs to try establish herself. Fiona was actually volunteering at this organisation she was presenting on the call to try and build out her network. I could see how she had thrown herself into the deep end to make ends meet, and the kind of bravery it took for her to change countries and start from the very beginning. In the end Fiona actually sold me..not on her products she was pushing, but on her as a person.
I was cautious at first, do I want to spend wasting my time with someone I barely knew? Would I want to share my network of individuals I had worked so hard to build up a reputation with? Fair questions for anyone to ask, especially since it started as a sales call. However I truly admire at how willing Fiona was at asking for help. For her, I was simply another random stranger on a list to call. It was like cold calling, the person on the other side could be verbally abusing you. For someone starting, it was an impressive amount of effort, and none could fault her on her persistence and determination, and so I chose to help her out.
For the next 45 minutes, I flooded Fiona’s inbox with LinkedIn Profiles, and email introductions to the people she needed in my network. She was introduced to some of the senior people in the Startup Scene in Sydney, Australia, and a possible clients for her organisation. I also recommended her books, video and websites to read to improve herself. She understandable was surprised and we remained good friends since.
Since that moment, we caught up every few months, chatting as friends, sharing our respective adventures. 18 months later, Fiona came to me and told me she was engaged to a wonderful man. Naturally I was happy for her, it did however come with an extra surprise. Her husband to be, had taken her to see Richard Branson on his Island, and I was utterly jealous as she recounted the stories of what had happen.
That was when she told me that she was setting up an event on Richard Branson’s Island, where Richard would generously give a week with 30 individuals on inspiring them and helping them grow. She remember how I had being so generous to her at the start, and she loved the work I was doing in building up a commercial space industry in Australia. She offered me a spot on the island and I said yes.
Since that faithful moment, I have recommend many of my friends to Fiona for a chance to see Richard Branson. Many of them have enjoyed his company and I am certain many more will. It’s a real pleasure to share my adventures with my friends.
By so choosing to err on the side of generosity, I now have an amazing opportunity to see Richard Branson on this island for a week with many of my friends, and the many opportunities that will come out of it.