Tonight is my final night in Utah after spending the month of July here. As most of you know, I live in Las Vegas (technically Henderson for those stalking me at home), but my wife and I have started a tradition where we “move” somewhere each summer to avoid the heat and give our kids (4 for those counting) a new experience. I call it “moving” somewhere since I’m still working most of the time. Certainly one of the beauties of being a blogger is that I can work anywhere I have an internet connection. It’s basically the same. I imagine most of you who read this blog regularly didn’t even know.
While in Utah I’ve had a chance to do a number of work meetings. It’s really quite amazing how many healthcare IT companies call Utah home. Each day I’d think of another company that I could have gone and visited while I was here (sorry to those I didn’t see).
Seeing other companies in person is always enlightening. However, as I get ready to head home tomorrow I was struck by something even more powerful. Since Utah isn’t a hot bed of tourist travel like Hawaii was last year, it was super expensive to try and rent a place for a month in Utah. So, I turned to Facebook and asked if anyone knew of a place to stay in Utah for the month of July. The amazing power of social media turned up a number of options.
The best option turned out to be a lady I’d met in Italy (although she’s from Utah) about 14 years ago. I believe I’d only seen her once since about 13 years ago. Long story short, she was going to California and would be happy to have us stay in her place. It’s worked out great for her (she made money on her house that would have otherwise been empty) and us.
What’s this have to do with healthcare IT? Maybe nothing. However, beyond the power of social media I mentioned above, there’s also something really interesting and powerful about building trusting relationships.
When I think about the people I’ve met in the four years I’ve been blogging about EHR and Healthcare IT full time (the blog officially started 9.5 years ago), I’m starting to see how so many of those relationships are paying off in ways I’d never have expected. Maybe it was just drinks at a HIMSS event or a Twitter exchange with someone interesting. Now think about the thousands of people I’ve met at events or interacted with on social media. It creates a powerful network effect that’s hard to fathom.
I would just offer one piece of advice that I try to live by (and sometimes fail despite the effort). Build true relationships with a give before you get approach. Don’t make every relationship you have transactional. Instead, give freely to many people with no expectation of a specific return from a specific person. This is not altruistic giving. You fully expect that all this giving will provide you a return, but not in a pure transactional sense. You have no idea how and who will provide the return, but you will reap the benefits of all the giving. (Note: I learned this concept from Brad Feld, and it’s great.)
I guess the morale of the story is to build great relationships with people and you’ll be amazed at the results.