Networking (part 2): Sharing Your Passion

A while back, I wrote a post about networking and the importance of connecting on a real human level, not just a “so where do you work” level. After continuing to go to more networking events, I’ve realized something else that is key to successfully connecting with people: sharing your passion. To be more specific, if there’s something you want, share that with everyone you meet.

A good example of this: When I was in college, I played in a band that got some attention in the Dallas/Ft. Worth music scene (yes, I’m originally from Texas…shh!). Lance, a good friend of ours who was largely responsible for getting that band together, decided from the outset to be our booking agent and band manager. When he was a teenager, he started a production company called Spune Productions with the goal of bringing concerts to small West Texas towns where the kids wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to see live music.

I noticed that every single person we met who was in the music scene – and even a lot of people who weren’t – he’d tell them about Spune and about his passion to bring great music and well-known bands to the small town where our college was. But he wasn’t just sharing his goal…he was sharing his heart, his aspirations. At the time, I saw that is a bit self-centered. But looking back, I see that he was bringing other people into his vision in a way that got them excited, in a way that made them want to join in the mission and help in whatever way they could.

Because of his networking savvy, within a year my band that he was managing had played shows with a number of really well-known indie bands at the time and even played with the Grammy Award-winning band Switchfoot. Lance moved to Dallas after graduation and several years later was named Promoter of the Year there. Since then he’s also been named “Best Booking Agent” and “Best Record Label” by local press. To say the least, he’s having continued success with his business and is doing what he always wanted to do.

He knew what he wanted to achieve, and he told almost everyone he met about it. And it worked. I want to adopt this approach in telling people about my passion to help businesses and organizations communicate effectively and authentically through social media and grow thriving online communities that lead not only to more business but also improve the lives of their customers. I want to tell them how their company (whether for-profit or nonprofit) can have a mission that can make the world a better place. And it all starts with a handshake and “Hi, my name is Matthew.”

Why I play music

Someone asked me today why I play in two bands. While I’ve written about why I play in a band before, my answer was a little different this time. First of all, playing music moves my soul like nothing else I’ve found in this life. I could write about that for days, but let’s just move onto the next point.

Second, creating music with people is intimate in it’s own way. Writing music with friends then playing it in front of a crowd is the closest thing I’ve found to the sense of team camaraderie I experienced playing football and basketball in high school. If you’re in a band with folks long enough, it even starts to feel like a family – in both the good and bad ways. But better in the fact that you aren’t forced to spend Christmas with them.

Third—and I’ll be honest here—oftentimes shows just turn into an awesome parties with fun (and attractive) people. And, yes, though both of those photos are of mostly girls, my bands do usually have guys at our shows too.

Playing in two bands does take a lot of work and significant time commitments. But I guess the simple answer to why I do it is that I get twice the music, twice the friendships and twice the fun. What else can a guy ask for?

If you wanna check out the music we make: