“Is Cody alright?”

The look on her face was genuinely concerned.

A friend of my wife lightly touched her arm as she leaned in and said, “He seems… so quiet. Is he OK?”

OK?!?! I was great, in fact! I had just completed the gauntlet of socializing with my wife and her friends and I thought I nailed it!

Everyone gathered around for dinner and conversation and, in my head, I thought I did great.

But in reality my stoic demeanor led my wife’s friends to want to do an intervention with me after incorrectly assuming I was sad or depressed.

Maybe not so great after all…

Like most male college students I joined a fraternity my freshman year. I was quieter and bigger than the other pledges which meant I avoided much of the harassment that accompanies pledge life. Turns out if you’re 6’4″ with a near-constant scowl you get left alone.

People thought I was going to snap at any moment (which was fine by me as long as I didn’t have to scrub the toilets).

Now, to be clear, I’m one of the most grateful and positive-thinking people on Earth. I just don’t always express it. Cool if you’re avoiding doing chores for entitled upper classmen at the frat… not cool if you’re trying to impress your wife’s friends at a dinner party.

In 2018 I made a commitment to focus on relationships.

I was determined to figure out how to grow a thriving network of friends, colleagues, and entrepreneurs. Truthfully, life as an entrepreneur can be lonely.

In April I went to a networking workshop in Toronto. As part of learning to be a better networker I hosted 4 entrepreneurs for dinner which was extremely out of my comfort zone. However, it was one of the most rewarding moments of my professional life…

Last week I attended Mastermind Talks, a curated event of 160 entrepreneurs in Park City Utah. (curated = you have to apply and it’s hard to get in…)

Remember the famous scene of Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross? ABC… Always Be Closing.

Well, last week I learned the ABCs of Relationships:

– Always be Curating… your peer group

– Always be Collecting – interesting people to connect with

– Always be Capturing – intel on your most important relationships

I talk about all this and more on today’s episode of the podcast. Listen here and let me know what you think.

Action item – carry a small moleskin journal; when you hear something unique about a person such as a date/milestone, jot it down. Send a card congratulating them on the anniversary of their book, starting a company, or becoming an entrepreneur.

Until next time…