May 11, 2014

Rachel Strella

The Power of One Connection

You’ve likely heard of the term ‘six degrees of separation,’ which simply means that we are connected to anyone and everyone in the world, by way of introduction, within six steps or less.

Social media has taken this theory a step further with studies showing between three and five degrees of separation by users of Facebook and Twitter, alone.

However, I’ve found that it really only takes one connection – of the hundreds, or even thousands we might have – to expand our network beyond what we ever thought possible. And, I can give you an example based on my own experience.

For personal and professional reasons, I recently made the decision to move two hours away from my home in Harrisburg. It’s been challenging as I’ve tried to find my footing in a new place without really knowing anyone. But, connections – people – saved the day, again. Not only did I re-connect with a handful of Facebook friends who now live in my new area, I’ve also been fortunate enough to have some colleagues take the initiative to introduce me to local movers and shakers. Such was the case when a gentleman I know reached out and suggested a dinner with him and two local business owners.

First, I should say that I know this person – Fred – because he was referred to me over two years ago by a client. We’ve consulted about his non-profit ventures and stayed in touch ever since. When he learned of my move to the Philadelphia area, he offered to introduce me to some ‘dynamos’ while he was in town for work. I jumped at the opportunity to get to know some folks who could help me take the next step on my professional journey.

While the power of networking, relationships, and social media has always been my mantra, it never ceases to amaze me the difference we can make by sharing our personal stories with other human beings.  Meeting with Fred and his two friends, Jennifer and Karen, served as a great reminder of this.

The best way to realize the impact of one connection – one dinner – is by sharing an update.  The picture below was posted by Karen, in private Facebook group, the morning after our dinner.  That group – Networking Women PA, was mentioned by the ladies at dinner as they suggested I check it out. There are 1,433 members in this private group, which means that this post had the potential to be seen by all of them.  I didn’t pay anything or ask these ladies to post on my behalf. They took it upon themselves to introduce me to this group of professional women and asked nothing in return. It’s truly inspiring. I look forward to continuing to spread the message of the importance of a single connection.

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