About two years ago, I was very fortunate to receive a phone call from a friend. She said, “Do you want to meet President Clinton today?” I said yes before even registering in my head about meeting the former President of the United States. Immediately, I went to my boss and told him I was leaving early.
It was Monday, August 16, 2010. I hurried out of the door of my job, and practically ran to my car. I drove to my friend’s house, and we headed to Pompey Park in Delray Beach. We parked the car, and headed inside the building to sign-in. From there, my friend and I headed to a private room.
In this private room, I was able to have fantastic conversations and shake hands with many of the local U.S. Representatives of Florida. This was already an incredible moment to just have casual conversations with all these amazing, influential people of the community. I could not believe I was really in a room with everyone, and about to meet the President.
Let me take a step back for a moment on why President Bill Clinton was coming to Delray Beach. Kendrick Meek is a democrat who was running for U.S. Senate. Meek was there with his wife, children and mother. I was fortunate to have a moment to meet his family, who were very kind and well mannered.
Okay, back to my story.
It was almost 6pm on that Monday evening, Kendrick Meek and President Bill Clinton came through the door. Everyone in the room lined up and had one minute to speak with them along with a photo op. Now, when you are going to meet one of the most powerful and influential man in the world, what would you say?
This is how one of the most remarkable moments of my life went.
Me: Hello. Happy Birthday!
President Clinton: Well, thank you!
Me: We have the same birthday.
President Clinton: Our birthday looks better on you.
Both: We both laugh (mine was loud and awkward)
Me: It was great meeting you!
President Clinton: You too.
Okay, so this was my moment to speak with the former President of the United States. It may be only a few silly exchanges of words, but it I will never forget the excitement that I felt.
Therefore, with that instant, I came to think recently about what I can do to better myself. It is not always about what you know, but whom you know. When it comes to networking, this can be the most valuable tool in someone’s life.
By not going to network with more people, one is losing the opportunity to meet potentially their best friends, loves and industry professionals. After all, you never know who will call you next and ask, “Do you want to meet the President today?”
If you had one minute to meet the President of the United States, what would you say?