EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I am sometimes surprised how bashful financial types can be. Although Matt’s rule of networking is “any excuse will do,” many members of The FENG do hesitate picking up that phone and asking for help.

Our goal in The FENG is to take away their excuses and get them to call us. As Forrest Gump would argue, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know if that person calling you will become a friend for the rest of your life or not, but you always have to be willing to take that chance.

In all my years of being in the world of work, I have always returned every phone call. Call me stupid, but I have been more than pleasantly surprised too many times to stop at this point in my life.

They say appearances are everything, and I agree. It is for this reason I have a very complete outgoing signature with all my appropriate phone numbers, my physical address and my email address. No, I don’t expect many folks will come to visit, but what if they did? I can always put up a fresh pot of coffee.

By not appearing to “hide,” I hope I get more phone calls and emails than just about anyone in the civilized world. (Yes, I am going for a Guinness Book of World Records record, so thank you for your individual help in this regard. It will go under the heading of most emails personally answered in any one year.)

Networking is a state of mind more than anything else. Calls from friends I know and calls from friends I don’t know aren’t interruptions to my day, they ARE my day. This is what I enjoy, and I must confess that it is slightly addictive.

Yes, I know many of us are extremely busy. But, that is part and parcel of life in this century.

We all need to make time for those things in our life that are of enduring value. Jobs come and go. To a degree so do friends. That said, if I had to bet on one or the other being more valuable to my continued happy existence on this earth, friends would beat work by a country mile any day of the week.

So, when the phone next rings or you hear those familiar sounds indicating “you’ve got email,” think about the joy that is about to befall you.

If you leave yourself mentally open to networking, you will find that life won’t be passing you by anymore. No one lies on their deathbed wishing they had just spent one more hour at the office. They do wish they had spent more time with family and friends.

My light is always on for you. I hope you will always leave your light on for your many present and future friends in The FENG.

Regards, Matt

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