Thursday, November 18


This week was Global Entrepreneurship Week at Middle Tennessee State University, and I was privileged to have met Victor Wooten, bass player for Bela Fleck and The Flecktones. The topic was not about music but rather about being who you are in business. His message was transparent, engaging, and full of spices.

Victor began his speech with a disclaimer that he did not know-it-all, nor was he the final say in becoming a better person. His message, "add my jar of spice to all the other spices." Spices? Spices were experiences, information, knowledge, education, and other learning tools. He said that, "once he gave someone the spice, it became theirs, and not his anymore." How many of us want to claim our contribution to other people, businesses, and society in bright neon lights as if to say, "It was me who gave them this knowledge," or "I helped them get here!"

Victor's message was about giving selfishly although it wasn't the main idea. You had to listen closer. He had been given a path because other people helped pave the way. He recognized in his journey that other people will help you as long as you are helping others in return. Sound familiar? That's right, networking.

We have lost the art of true networking. We live in a "what's in it for me," society. And all it comes down to is sharing with others. "Giving away your spices," as Victor stated.

We have to start engaging and listening to other people. There are people around us that are willing to help and add their "spices" to our mix. And think about it. As we add information, knowledge, and experience from others, doesn't our own spice become even better? Absolutely! So start sharing with other people without wanting something in return. And the spice you have been waiting for will show up when you least expect it.

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