I have been thinking about staying relevant with some of my personal connections. Not close friends, but people across my professional and personal network. One of my biggest takeaways from 2021 was staying in touch with people I know without expecting anything soon on return. I achieved this with a non-methodic approach, recalling people I respect and admire, or maybe someone I know from a hobby, to ask about something.
It ended up being a serendipity journey. During the year, talking to some of them became part of the new projects and most significant transitions I have done in my entire life so far. So I started thinking: how can I scale my reach? How can I be valuable to my network more personally and consistently?
I saw a trend a couple of years ago about ‘Personal CRMs’. Although the name is poor and relates to business activities, the anatomy of the CRM worked pretty decently for some of the things I was looking for: saving important dates about that particular person, names, action items, even notifying about following-up to see how that person is doing. It is crazy to think someone should be using technology to track all of those interactions, or is it not? Memory is not 100% reliable, and you might lose touch with some important connections. On the other hand, technology can extend your human intentions and personality and help you build a sustainable system to scale your value.
It sounds crazy to think you will put some of your LinkedIn or Instagram connections on a spreadsheet. Still, core features of a follow-up and talking to them might be a game-changer to find the right timing to collaborate with them, start working on something new or have a playdate with children.
Technology can be seen as a bad or good force; it depends on your habits and use of that tech piece. Nobody knows how you manage your relationships, how your brain classifies your connections, and we shouldn’t understand it at all. By the time humanity expands the understanding of other brain corners, we might be in another life; we should accept how our mind operates and functions today. I respect if anyone uses a notebook, a spreadsheet, or a simple message to keep track of common connections. If you use a tool to tag me as someone irrelevant, I don't need to know. In the end, what I care about is being in touch with those unpredictable moments that can arise with amazing people at the most unexpected moments, and with tech, we might be able to replicate that effect.
Some ideas might sound crazy, irrelevant, or even absurd when you visualize them implemented in a tech context. Yet, that can be transformed with a clear purpose behind it, where the end can justify its means.