Before founding my own company, Page by Page Graphic Design, in the year 2000, I worked for a small mail and copy shop in Katy. It's where I got my start designing logos and print material for customers before making the leap towards self-employment several years later.
I was surprised, one day, when a client asked me to design cards welcoming a new employee to her hair salon business. Her accent seemed eerily familiar and the more I probed ("Where are you from?" (New York), "What part of New York?" (Long Island), "What part of Long Island?"...and so on...), the more excited I got.
It turned out that not only did she live in a small, neighboring Long Island town, but we graduated from the same high school. Not only did we graduate from the same high school, we were in the same graduating class! Now, you might not find this surprising if I'd just said we were both from New York and wound up in Houston but we're talking about a high school in Bohemia, Long Island, New York to Katy, Texas. What are the chances of that?!
I recently found out that yet another Connetquot graduate lives here and we hooked up on Facebook. Not only that, but I went to college in Saratoga Springs, New York and there have been at least four other people I've met since moving to Texas who come from that city. Small world, indeed!
I have found that it's quite easy to make friends with other New Yorkers or people of the same faith or people who also have children with Special Needs. There's an instant camaraderie involved when you have something in common. It gives you a starting point and a launching pad which makes it a bit easier to connect. Do you know the same people? Did you frequent the same restaurants? Attend the same seminars? Use the same doctors?
A great thing about meeting people outside your shared experiences, whether through social connections or networking, is the ability to discover your commonalities and interests and to make new shared experiences. You have the chance to expand your circle exponentially, learn new things and support one another.
Whether you find support from people who have known you and your history or through people you meet from other arenas, the point is that having both types of people in your life will give you unique perspectives. Remember that one goal in life should be to help and support others, whether through friendships, through business or through a desire to pass on knowledge you may have that may be helpful to those in your circle.
If there's something I can help with, I try my best to be there to do just that. Because the excitement for me is when something clicks and either I've learned something helpful or I am able to share knowledge or resources that are important to someone else. Now, that's a Win-Win.