The Blog Not About Hurricane Sandy
The video of course suggests the blog is about Hurricane Sandy but it’s not really. It’s more about relationship building and networking. Two years before Sandy happened, an adorable British family stayed with us at the Victorian Motel. I mean it is just delightful to hear the little one’s chatting away with their British accents. Get the picture?
Striking up conversations comes easily to me. So does building relationships. It didn’t matter to me at the time that this guest happened to be, Simon Wilson, the Washington D.C. Bureau Chief for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Beside discussing our twitter presence, it didn’t go further. We did the customary exchange of pleasantries, I was working and he was on vacation, so not much shop talk. Yes, we did follow each other on twitter.
Other than a nice review on TripAdvisor and reading about his assignments after vacation, we never really connected after his stay with us. That is until Hurricane Sandy put Cape May in her cross hairs.
Tweeting from Cape May about the impending storm and the town’s preparation caught the attention of the BBC. Remember that guest from two years earlier? He’s on the phone.
How would I like to be the point of information for the BBC? Me? “Yes, we would like to set up Skype interviews with you during the storm”, he said. And so it happened. Three times during the storm I was broadcast via my laptop in to an untold number of living rooms throughout the United Kingdom. Pretty cool. Not just from a news perspective, but from a tourism point of view.
Moral of the story, is that no matter how brief our interactions may be, we don’t know what impact they will have down the road. My prompt for this post was a conversation with a current guest, Terri Johnson a writer for the South Hills Almanac, near Pittsburgh. Terri reads my blog to keep up on Cape May. She mentioned connecting with people while on vacation that read her in the paper back home. We both agreed we never really know what impact we will have on our readers at the time. And for me, the relationships we have go beyond the present moment and return in ways we can’t predict.
This is your best blog post (imho). There are a number of younger generation folks reading this blog who should take this advice to heart. The seeds you plant today may not grow for 6 months, they may not grow for 6 years, they may not grow for 16 years. But if and when the seeds do grow, you won’t believe how beautiful that garden will become. When I look back at my career about 20 years after it began, it’s amazing to me how many connections I made long ago have come back to help me in some manner and form even today. Be friendly to all. Years later, you’ll find that friendliness and helpfulness pays off. And even if it doesn’t, it still just feels better to be nice.
Thank you Mark, for both reading and taking the time to comment. I hope people to have the same take away as you do. Some time I will do a blog about the $50K in window replacements that I bought from a man I simply had a cup of coffee with 15 yrs earlier but he gave me some great advice and tips on business. Thanks for reading.
I have been so fortunate that now I have a garden of friends because of small seeds of kindness that were scattered far and wide and cared for through out the years. You never know where that first hello may lead.