Every so often, you may find yourself in a situation where you can proudly say that something, at some point in your life, prepared you for what you were dealing with at the time. Whether that’s having learned to interact with others in a social setting in kindergarten, or hands-on training in college, it all added up to make you who you are today. Everything you learned prepared you for that moment.
This is not one of those kinds of stories.
It’s easy enough to say that you are going to bring your business cards with you wherever you go. You may bring them with you to a networking event, or you might have them with you at Starbucks when you’re grabbing your morning coffee. But when I say you should bring your business cards with you everywhere, here is why I say it.
A few weeks ago, I had the immense pleasure of going to my second LeakyCon – a Harry Potter convention – in Portland, Oregon. I exchanged all my normal purse items, like lotion and a normal wallet, for a wand, a volunteer t-shirt, and other “fandom” paraphernalia. I gave no thought to the pocket in my purse that normally held my business cards.
The Moment of Truth
Halfway through the convention, I got to meet a guy that I truly look up to. He works with a theater company (Team StarKid; you may have heard of them if you’ve been around me for longer than five minutes outside of a meeting) as a set designer and graphic designer. While we were chatting, I mentioned how much I looked up to him, as a designer myself. “What kind of design do you do?” he asked.
“Web design.” I replied. He responded enthusiastically, stating that he couldn’t stand doing web design because it was a completely different world than print (which I completely agree with). So I responded, “Well, if you ever need a web designer, I’m here!”
I think you see where this is going.
“Do you have a business card?”
I’m pretty sure the next few seconds lasted for at least an eternity in my head as I mentally raced back in time to the point where I was packing. Unfortunately, there’s no other way to put it. I did not have my business cards with me, and as a result, I had no way to quickly give him my contact information. What started out as an awesome conversation between designers making connections quickly devolved into me apologizing for being unprofessional and feeling as if I had made a terribly wrong decision.
Now, what did we learn from this…?
Sure, I was at a Harry Potter convention. I never though that I could make business connections at a Harry Potter convention. But, I was wrong. Nothing in life had truly prepared me for the rude awakening that was that moment. Fortunately, as you should with any situation-gone-wrong, I have learned something very valuable:
Always bring your business cards with you. And better yet, always bring your business cards in a Han Solo Carbonite Case.