I thought this might be a good topic with which to kick off my 2019 blogging effort. I haven’t made any New Year resolutions but I am trying #100People again for what will be my third year.
A few people have seen the hashtag & asked me about it. It’s an idea that started out as one of my social experiments. I moved back to Ireland in May 2016 after 5 busy years in London. After about 15 months of being in Ireland I realised that despite spending a day or two in London most weeks there were loads of people that I no longer saw regularly or even at all … so I made a list. In that first 2017 list I included for good measure a couple of people I’d never met in real life but thought I would like to meet. (For completeness they were Ken Perry, Pat Phelan & Sir Tim Smit & the only one I’ve actually met, so far anyway, is Tim Smit).
That was the start of September 2017 & that first list had 36 names on it. By 31 December 2017 I’d seen 10 of my 36. Not a great result but nevertheless 10 more people than I’d’ve seen if I hadn’t made the list – back to that old adage about what gets measured is what gets done.
During the Christmas 2017 holidays I made my 2018 #100People list. My 31 December tally for 2018 was 23/100. Again not great. It’s a stretch target I guess! I’m hoping to do a lot better in 2019. This year’s list includes 10 people who were on my 2017 and 2018 lists. These 10 I must see in 2019 and that’s the closest I’ll come to a New Year’s Resolution this year. (In case anyone’s interested they are Charles Jennings, Donald Clark, Janet Harkin, Alexander Stevenson, Dee Forbes, Shirley Ayres, Paul Clarke, Kersten England and the two people mentioned above that I’ve still never met – Pat Phelan and Ken Perry).
So – for clarity – the people on my list are nearly all business associates; some are friends too but that’s a happy bonus. They’re all people that I genuinely like and enjoy seeing. My rationale is that a business network is essentially a live asset that needs to be cared for and given some attention, even fed and watered occasionally. Sure, you can keep up on LinkedIn and Skype and via social media but that isn’t the same as sitting down for an hour or two for a coffee and a catch up chat. I always say that everything good that comes my way in my working life comes to me from my network. I’ve only ever applied formally for one job in a career that’s so far lasted 38 years. Every single week someone rings me out of the blue to float an idea or a fascinating new opportunity arrives unannounced into my inbox and I believe that’s because I make an effort to stay in touch. The magic won’t happen unless you’re prepared to put in some time and see people in person, at least occasionally.
Next – over 90% of the people on my 2019 list I didn’t see at all in 2018 and seven of the people on this year’s list I’ve never yet met. There are a large number of people that I see frequently and none of them are listed. This list is about people I have to do a little bit extra to see.
A few other friends have so far tried it too. In 2018 Sinead Crowley, Sharon O’Dea and Amanda Smith all ran a list. This year it seems to be gaining a bit of momentum (probably down to Sharon O’Dea talking about it on her blog and on Twitter) and I’ve seen a number of people toying with the idea – Giuseppe Sollazzo, Dan Slee, Rachel Murphy, Sarah Lay, Matt Jukes and others. I’d suggest it’s worth a try if you find the years drift by and there are people you’ve met through work and liked but somehow don’t see anymore. 100 is perhaps ambitious (terrifying? – someone asked me recently if it had to be 100 new people!) so maybe scale back accordingly and don’t forget to include a few people you know online but haven’t actually met in real life. You can set your own protocols for your list. On my list this year, in addition to the two “unmets” above I also have Jonathan Huish, Emer Hinphey, Jo Cruse, Allyson Kapin and Deirdre McGlone. Wish me luck. Incidentally, I haven’t yet not liked a person in real life that I’ve already known online and I’m hoping to preserve that record.
My 2019 list currently has around 80 names. I like to leave a few slots for people who “emerge” as the year progresses (mostly people I forgot to include in the first place!) or for people I don’t know about yet. I’ll post my #100People to Twitter as I see them. If you decide to give it a try in 2019 I’d love to hear about your own #100People progress.
UPDATE 8 Jan 2019 The blog has started a bit of Twitter interest this week with lots of people saying they’re going to try their own version of #100People in 2019. One person is starting off with a target of 12 2019 meetings & Rachel Murphy is going to go with her age (40 – how can you even be 40 yet Rachel!!!). Good luck if you’re giving it a try … although we’ll all struggle to keep up with superwoman Sharon O’Dea who bagged her first in Thailand on 2 Jan …