6 months ago, a young singer songwriter calls me and asks if I will listen to his music and come to his show. I say, "Sure, and I will help you connect in to my network." So he comes over, I cannot go to his show as I am in California and attending an event in Los Angeles the night of his show. A few texts come in after and then about three months of nothing. I invite him to an indie showcase I help with here in NYC called The Big Apple Indie Music Series aka TBAIMS still nothing he does not show.
This week out of the blue he texts me saying he has lost his job at the restaurant/cabaret and wants to borrow money from me. I say I never loan money to people, bad practice, and we barely know one and other anyway. I then offer to call a very well known restaurant I frequent, and who knows me well, and speak to the managing partner, he says on your referral Mark we will see him as you never send us bad people, tell him to call me immediately and we'll set up a time for an interview. I told unemployed singer/songwriter I made the call to one of the best restaurants in NYC and all he had to do was call.
Last night after 5 days of not hearing from him I text him asking if he called them, he said no, I got my unemployment so I now have some time. My reply was, "Wow, I hate when people flake!"
His response was as follows, "Well man you did that out of the kindness of your heart, I did not ask for it, and I don't like being called names." "I'll call them eventually, and besides all you did was make a call, it's up to me to go, interview and get the job on my own merit". I said, "You're right, I did it to help you because you called me, a near stranger asking to borrow money, I knew I might be able to help and if someone offers something at the very least follow through." I went on to say, "You are the one asking for a handout, so next time have a little more integrity to follow up, even if you don't think it's a fit, or let the person helping you know so they don't call in a favor that just hangs, it's not cool."
He continued to tell me how life works, how mean I am and how just because I am older does not mean I know how life works.
Want to guess how far this guy is gonna go?
Lesson for me:
Keep helping, keep offering, hope that your events, your network and the majority of those you speak with are not of this mindset. But, if they are, help anyway no matter how exhausting, selfish, small minded, arrogant or flakey people are. Every once in a while, among the thousands of people I meet, who attend my events for The Art of Active Networking or my speeches and in the daily course of my nutty life, someone sends me a kind note, calls with gratitude and or expresses their thank you for help, my offer to connect them or referrals in small ways. And those people, those moments are worth 50 needy, lazy, selfish, flakes who expect things handed to them.
RANT IS COMPLETE...ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND AND REMEMBER, SOMEONE OUT THERE IS STRUGGLING, DO ALL YOU CAN TO HELP THEM IF YOU CAN, BUT KEEP YOUR BANK FULL IN THE PROCESS!