Saturday, January 08, 2011

Be The Chauffeur

This week the Austin chapter of the National Speakers Association hosted a workshop by David Newman.

David specializes in working with service business owners who want to stop throwing money into a marketing black hole and attract, engage, and win more customers.

The event was educational, but I also had the honor of getting to know David while he was visiting Austin. I volunteered to pick him up at the airport and also drive him to the NSA event. We had a great conversation and I learned more about his successful speaking, coaching, and consulting business. He also shared some insightful ideas for my career.... and he has a friend who might be the ideal person for me to partner with for a new project.

David stayed in Austin through the weekend and I had the chance to meet he and his wife at my favorite Mexican Restaurant (Guero's Taco Bar). They had a great time touring Austin, and I think I helped them map out a few other cool restaurants and places of interest.

When your company or professional organization hosts a VIP guest from out-of-town you might want to consider volunteering to pick them up and drive them to their destination. This is a great way to get to know the speaker. At the event you are one of many people in the audience. In your car you are the only driver. You can get a lot of amazing input from these visiting thought-leaders and establish the foundation for an ongoing friendship.

Investing the time to serve as the chauffeur is not a sacrifice, it is an investment in people. Human beings are experiential creatures. When you share time with someone you create a bond, even if that experience is a short drive.

When Gary Vaynerchuk was in Austin to speak at a technology dinner I drove him to and from his hotel. I asked him "if you had Gary V in your car for 20 minutes, what advice would you ask you?" What followed was a great conversation, and I learned more about Gary than I ever could have from reading his book (Crush It!) or following his tweets on Twitter.

Spending time with people, even when you are driving them to and from their hotel, is a great way to expand your network and learn from the masters.

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

Brigitte Benquet said...

Observed same when chauffeuring top execs in the large organization I worked for: got lots of fabulous insight doing just that. Note: it does not replace doing the other things, it just adds up joyfully. BTW and seriously, I also learned a lot from Taxi drivers when traveling around new places.