I had a lovely email exchange this morning with Beth Pite – a person who has had a profound impact on my business and professional career. She paid me a very nice compliment (see quote box) and inspired me to write this blog post.
“I had forgotten how we met. In fact, I forgot about the person who introduced us. You, however, are unforgettable!”
– Beth Pite
Accidental Good Fortune
I met Beth Pite quite by accident ten years ago. I was participating in an outplacement program having lost my corporate job. I was still trying to find my identity now that I was no longer “Vice President of Marketing.” I wasn’t sure if I wanted to return to the corporate world, or if this was my chance to spread my entrepreneurial wings.
That’s when Beth Pite hobbled into my life. Literally. You see, she was on crutches, having broken a leg or ankle or some other important part of her mobility. Beth and I had opposite intentions, which made us a very interesting networking match. Beth was coming off a 17-year career owning her own marketing consulting firm. She was interested in returning to the corporate world. I was coming off a 20+ year corporate career, and I was interested in starting my own business. Boy, did we have a lot to share.
Beth landed at LIMRA International, one of the world’s largest trade associations for the financial services industries. She was in charge of LIMRA’s Executive Development Program and was motivated to refresh the programming with new instructors and new courses. She invited me to “audition.”
Five Fabulous Things Resulted from Beth’s invitation to audition:
- I built a strong and lasting relationship with Beth Pite – who has since left LIMRA and now runs her own marketing consultancy firm, focused on helping small business and nonprofits succeed. She is also pursuing her passions as a professional artist. Check out her vibrant art –http://bethpite.com/
- I met Adrienne Milics who was also auditioning for the new LIMRA program. Adrienne is a remarkable executive coach who specializes in women’s leadership development. She has become an important part of my business and my life. I consider her a dear personal friend.
- I developed the presentation planning tool, Clean Sheet Thinking, while preparing for my LIMRA audition. This tool has been used by hundreds of professionals to help plan for their presentations and meetings.
- After being accepted into the new LIMRA Executive Development Program, I built the nucleus of my signature coaching/training program – The Motivated Presenter.
- Lastly, through my LIMRA connection, I’ve had the privilege to work with many fabulous leaders within the financial services sector, including Kurt Fasen of Voya Financial, Cynthia Tidwell of Royal Neighbors of America, Sean ODonnell, Faye Williamson and Todd Silverhart of LL Global, and many more.
And it all started by meeting Beth Pite on an ordinary day. It became quite an extraordinary networking connection. Meeting Beth was and will remain an unforgettable beginning. I will always be grateful to her and the Universe for bringing us together. That’s the magic of networking!
What makes people unforgettable in your mind?
I asked Beth Pite what makes people unforgettable in her mind. She answered thoughtfully with the following perspective:
“There are different kinds of unforgettable. Your question suggests someone who stays with me for decades, which is partly habit, but largely shared history (jokes, memories of escapades and relationships, remembering birthdays with a card, etc.) In your case, it’s the shared history plus your unique energy.
What makes a relatively new person unforgettable is different. It might be a signature style (a guy who always wears bowties, a woman who always wears a hat) or creativity (a man with colorful clothing, a women who always has eye-catching jewelry or shoes.) It might be humor or a slightly off-center way of expressing themselves in presentations and business discussions.
I remember a few specific incidents that make the point. A professor at Wharton stated that a suitable ethical standard for business was not “getting through the day un-indicted.” An expert witness said “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” A client said “If you see a turtle on a fence post, he didn’t get there by himself.” These are all unique and memorable ways of saying things that would otherwise be fairly trite.”
Six Ways to Become Unforgettable
“You care, you dare and you share; this is the unforgettable rule of every true believer and achiever.”
– Isrealmore Ayivor, author of Daily Drive 365: Positive thoughts for positive living
- Always be networking. Be open to the possibilities that anybody can become significant to your life, and you to theirs. Don’t prematurely judge the potential of a human connection. We are all connected in weird and wonderful ways. Diversify your network, build relationships, and grow your sphere of influence daily.
- Help other people. As noted in my book, the spirit of networking is helping others & asking for help. Give comes before Get. Help yourself by helping others. Make it a daily practice of paying it forward by helping strangers as well as people in your network. It will come back to you in wonderful ways!
- Stay in touch over time. The goal is to build a relationship, not just a connection. Social media is nice, but it’s not enough. Stand out by doing what other people are reluctant to do: a) write personal cards and letters, 2) make the effort to share a meal; 3) pick up the telephone and let them hear your voice; 4) connect them to other people that can help accelerate their business,career or life. Face time will accelerate any relationship.
“You may like me. You may not like me. But, one thing is for damned sure…you will never forget me.”
– Peter Cimino, author of The Four Corners- A Sicilian Story
- Express your appreciation. Let them know how they impacted your life. Don’t just think about your gratitude, share it. Reach out and remind people how important they are/have been in your life. Share the love with words of affirmation and personal communication.
- Bring good energy and positivity to every encounter. Nothing stands out like a good attitude. Realistic and optimistic are not mutually exclusive. Don’t blame your personality for your negative thinking or communication ineffectiveness. There are things you can do to shift your energy in more positive directions. (e.g., eat well, rest/sleep well, exercise, hang out with positive people, practice gratitude, and avoid consumption of negative/violent/sensational news reports,movies, media, etc.)
- Be the extraordinary person that you were meant to be. Don’t settle for ordinary, average, or good enough. Embody the leader that you strive to be in all that you do and say. Be extraordinary when you are with people, by being fully present. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted with your Smartphone, your email, or your To Do List. Prioritize and invest in your own personal development …until the day that you die. Don’t forget about yourself. After all, you are unforgettable!
Uncomparable versus Unforgettable
Nat King Cole perhaps said it best in the song, Unforgettable. What a voice, what a man, and what a timeless and inspiring message! I found it interesting to learn that this famous song, written by Irving Gordon, had the working title of Uncomparable. The songwriter changed the title to Unforgettable and the song was released with the beautiful voice of Nat King Cole in 1952.
Since human beings are always comparing people and things to other options, the goal of being incomparable (defined as without an equal in quality or extent; matchless) is unrealistic. Unforgettable seems to be a much more desirable goal to strive for.
Please enjoy this recording of Nat King Cole performing live the song, Unforgettable.