I recently had a networking conversation with someone who is just starting out on their own as an independent consultant. A mutual friend connected us, and we shared stories about life-working-on-our-own and the kind of work we're doing.
While we were connected because of our similarities, just in this brief encounter, differences among us became apparent. He was astonished by my 1900 blogs ("what I would give to have that kind of content") and I expressed the same envy over his network and local connections. We talked about the desire to work from home vs. traveling and varying degrees of our application of technology and marketing techniques. Even though we were doing essentially the same thing in the same city, chatting with him helped me see the distinctions I have to offer and the audiences I could serve better than he could (and vice versa).
We often only see the obvious when it comes up against something new. It is hard to realize your own gifts if you don't compare to someone else. It is difficult to appreciate the richness of your location if you never travel outside of it. Those who work for extended periods at the same organization forfeit exposure to different processes or cultures unless they interact with others outside their company. If you stay within the same social circles, it is harder to widen your viewpoints or perspective.
Make it a goal to get out a little bit more and to embrace both the differences and discomfort that expanding your world creates.
How does this dot connect with you? Leave a comment and share your observation with others.