History repeats itself, and if you’re careful, it will treat you well.
I experienced this firsthand today while at the SoMeBizLife conference where I ran into two old friends from college. My friends had fallen out of touch – or I had fallen out of touch with them – more than a decade ago. These relationships had previously been built around our mutual college newspaper work, hopes for bright careers and several ill-advised-but unforgettably hysterical romps across campus at 2 a.m. Years later, we stumble into each other between breakout sessions at a professional conference. We have business cards and email addresses, Facebook pages and LinkedIn profiles. We find ourselves brushing up on the latest social trends and networking for business opportunities. We all grew up, and none of us know when exactly that happened.
But it’s that common history that binds us. We sit and discuss how we’ll use that past history to help each other build stronger business contacts, open professional doors otherwise seemingly locked, and reconnect on a whole new level. It’s a striking juxtaposition from our last encounters. Long-ago conversations once dominated by the ridiculousness of ‘Titanic,’ inside jokes from our group of mutual friends, the unfortunate Marv Albert incident and what we wanted to do once we got into “the real world” were suddenly replaced with observations on social media metrics and debating the statistical accuracy of the consumer trust factor. We blinked, and we were thrust into the real world we’d once only pondered from a distance.
But history was kind to us all. We’d parted on the most positive of terms, and many years later we’ve been brought back together – ironically on another college campus – in part due to the changing social media landscape and its impact on countless business professionals. Now we’re in positions to help each other professionally, and grateful for the shared history.
History repeats itself, and my old friends are suddenly new acquaintances who I can’t wait to get to know both in person and online.