Who You Know is Important

But who they know can change your life

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

What do you want out of life? Do you know anyone that can help you get it? Family and friends are important. They give meaning and purpose to your world. But can they do anything to change it? If they can’t help you, who can?

No matter what social or economic position I’ve been in during my life, my friends were at the same level. And because we were in the same position, we couldn’t help each other lift ourselves to the next step. What we needed was someone that could change our lives. What we needed was a change maker.

If you want change, find a change maker

Find the right person, and your life can change. I had a neighbor who worked for a cruise line. One day I was talking to her about going on a vacation. She asked how much I was planning on spending when we were going, and if I’d ever taken my family on a cruise. I told her about my budget and that I’d never been able to afford to take a cruise, but it sounded fun. She thought about it for a minute, then said she had to make a phone call.

I didn’t know it, but my neighbor was a top executive for a cruise line. The call she made was to reserve tickets on their newest cruise ship for my family. She got them for the same amount of money as I was going to spend on our vacation. Then she called the captain of the ship and had us upgraded to a suite rather than the cheapest room on board.

On the day we boarded the ship, the captain met us and arranged for us to eat at the best restaurants. Because the captain met us, people wondered who we were and why we were so important that the captain met us.

Out of that experience, I learned that who I know is important, but it’s who they know that can change my life.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

How to find a change maker

There are change makers all around you. But they won’t force themselves on anyone. To find them, you need to talk to people you know. Your friends are the gatekeepers to the change makers, and they probably don’t even know it. The second thing you want to do is learn to be nosey. Listen to people’s conversations. Hang out and mingle with people who can help you. Don’t think of it as snooping. You’re doing some intel work.

The other day, I was talking to a friend who had gone to the local Walmart. He’d been out of work for several months and needed a job. While he was waiting for his wife, he overheard the store manager talking to an employee about how he had jobs to fill and not enough applicants. When their conversation finished, my friend talked to the manager, and he landed a job. Being a good listener got him to the change maker that could help him.

Final thoughts

A life-changing event doesn’t have to involve jobs or money. In my case, for a week I experienced something like how famous people must feel. Twice the captain came to our table at dinner with his entourage to ask how we were doing and if we were enjoying his ship. He wanted to know if there was anything we needed. When he left, people in the restaurant keep looking at us and whispering. They thought we must be someone famous, but they didn’t know who. If they only knew we were nobody special, but we knew someone who knew somebody that could change our life.

Who you know is important. I knew my neighbor, and we were friends. But it was who she knew that made a life-changing experience for me and my family.

Published in The Ascent, The Writing Cooperative, Illumination-curated, Writers’ Blokke.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store