Are you familiar with the concept of “paying forward”?  When you pay it forward, you freely give your time and resources to others with no immediate expectation of a payback in return.  Invariably, the benefits that you receive from this good-natured act will come back to you in abundance.  Ann Marie and I spend a great deal of time networking and connecting people from our extensive network in St. Louis.  Because we have spend most of our adult lives in this city, we have been fortunate to meet and connect with many people from diverse backgrounds and industries, people who would not otherwise meet each other unless we made an introduction. When I speak about investing in others, I challenge you to find ways to connect people within your own network.

With the explosion of social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Plaxo, it is now easier than ever to connect people in the virtual world.  Imagine the joy and surprise on a business contacts face when you provide an unsolicited introduction for them to someone in your network that you think might benefit from a mutual connection?  It is a very simple matter of introducing them via e-mail and perhaps attaching their contact information to it and letting it proceed from there.  Here is how we do it:

Hello ___ and ___ :
I hope this message finds you both well!  Recently I met with  ___ and in finding out more about how they conduct their business, I felt that it would be beneficial for both of you to meet.  I know ___ from (insert workplace, school, organization etc.) and have know this person for X amount of time.  Attached are the contact information for each of you.  Please contact me if you have any questions.
Best regards,

That’s it!  It is very simple to introduce people and it only takes a few minutes.  By investing this little bit of time, you may see your own bottom line benefit as well.