Day 718, 717: Down time doesn’t mean shut down time


I was wondering if only business days should count as part of the 720 days to quit my job. And then I thought: Of course not! The clock shouldn’t stop clicking just because it’s the weekend.

I’m not suggesting that you hunch over a computer all weekend, plotting and scheming business plans while taking mini-Bejeweled breaks (http://bit.ly/arFRQW). However, even in your spare time, you should always look for opportunities that could benefit your future empire.

For instance, I thought this weekend was a write-off until I realized that I had actually engaged in some valuable networking.

Saturday: I was at a Police/BMO Capital Markets Bike Rodeo for little kids. It was a nice event, 80 bikes worth $400 each were given to little kids. And about 700 BMO Capital Markets execs were on hand, volunteering to put the bikes together. Normally, I’d just be content with helping at a charity event. But I figured: There’s no better time then now to start networking. Whenever I come up with my Big Idea, you never know who could help you.

So I got a chance to just chew the fat with BMO Capital Markets CEO, Tom Milroy (http://bit.ly/9Yl9kX). Good guy. Got some face time. And whatever I do next, if I ever need to call him about something, he can at least say: “Oh yeah, I remember you from…”

Later that evening, I was hosting my buddy’s bachelor party at a restaurant and I found one of the waitresses there to be quite attractive and well-spoken. She lamented about how she waitressing was just to pay for the bills, and she was actually into graphic design. I mentioned that I could be in need of a logo design in the near future for a business idea that I didn’t have. I got her number and if worst comes to worst, she can at least roll over in the morning and say: “Oh yeah, I remember you from…”

Sunday: I was at a multi-cultural gala event that featured over 400 of the city’s top ethnic business and community leaders…and no air conditioning. It was a real melting pot of cultures.

I don’t know why, but it didn’t take me tell near the end of the evening, when they were handing out awards, that I realized it would probably be a good idea to chat some of these people up.

I eventually introduced myself to Milind Shirke, president of Asian Access (www.asianaccess.ca). Shirke’s firm produces commercials, advertising, and marketing for major firms hoping to appeal to ethnic demographics. So if BMO wants to put together a marketing campaign that can best speak to the Chinese community, Asian Access can offer insight and production services. I’m certain Shirke is someone that will be valuable in my “720 Quest”.

The lesson learned this weekend? There’s no harm on making the extra effort to put yourself out there and network at social events during your down time. Talk is cheap, but it could result in you laughing all the way to the bank.

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