Often times when entrepreneurs discuss policy or negotiate deals, three little words often come up in the conversation: “Let’s do lunch.” This is hardly surprising, since from the beginning of time, the meaningful act of sharing food creates has created profound bonds between people.
Although rugged individualism was championed and as such became de rigeur throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in the new millennium, networking and building communities has become the norm, both online and in person. The cliché about safety in numbers has become an immutable truth as more and more jobs are attained and career moves are made through personal referrals. In addition, being able to seek out kindred spirits, interact with them effectively and exchange information among one another is a key tool for building strong and effective leadership skills. In his book Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi, the world’s foremost expert in professional relationship development writes, “Autonomy is a life vest made out of sand. Independent people who do not have the skills to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won’t be seen as good leaders or team players. Their careers will begin to stutter and stall before too long.”
Another proven fact is that many companies not only provide services to Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public, but also amongst each other. Case in point, in Santa Monica, California a coastal town in Los Angeles County that has earned the nickname “Silicon Beach,” many representatives from internet-based companies such as gaming firm RiotGames or social commerce company BeachMint often and regularly rub elbows with people who work at advertising and entertainment firms that utilize digital media, making for a natural symbiosis that is not only beneficial to each industry, but also has been driving Santa Monica’s economy.
Therefore, the next time you plan to meet with a potential client or business partner, meet them for lunch. The benefits will not only be nutritional, but the will at least very possibly be financial!