We always hear about making a good first impressions and how it’s important to focus on how someone who has never met you before might perceive you for the first time. But what does it take to make a lasting impression, one that lasts for twenty years? Do people remember you twenty years after you interacted with them?
20 Years Later. I was thrilled when I received an invitation for lunch by Jim Goodmon who is the President and CEO of the Capital Broadcasting Company for the people who helped start the company, Interpath. I was especially surprised by this as I first met Jim Goodmon twenty years ago. I was a young manager at the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) at the time, and I had written a business plan on behalf of the company to spinoff its Internet dial-up service.
This was during the days when the Internet wasn’t common in the household. In fact, the Internet was exclusive to educational and government institutions and only a few research companies. I even remember the days before email addresses used the Domain Name Service. Instead of sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, you would have to send the entire path in an email to a long path such as !ucsf!berkeley!jade!naomi. (I know I’m showing my age here.)
Key Achievement. This business plan was one of the key achievements for me in my young career which was written in August 1993. Since I had written this outside of company hours, the company allowed me to sell it separately to another group, and it was my foray into the big leagues of entrepreneurship. Jim Goodmon at Capital Broadcasting paid for the business plan and offered me a job with the new forming company. Jim Goodmon made an impression on me then, and today — 20 years later.
Entrepreneur At Heart. If I have any regrets in my life, that is one of them. Had I considered leaving my corporate job for entrepreneurship, I perhaps could have been in a different place to where I am today. After watching episodes of Shark Tank, I realize I should have jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this new company, and now after being an entrepreneur for the last 10 years with 1000 Cranes, I know I am doing what I was meant to do. I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and this just validates that event twenty years later, people remember me as an entrepreneur as well.
Communication Powerhouse Tip of the Week: It’s never too late to make a good and lasting impression. Today is a lesson for me to always remember that people can and will have positive memories of who you are as a person. If you can get an invitation to a celebration event twenty years from the time you interacted with someone. That’s special.
Think back to where you were last year, five years ago, 10 years ago, etc. Think about who you met and what kind of lasting impression you made on them. Now, think about where you are today and what kind of impression you want to leave moving into the future. Impress people today for that invitation to lunch twenty years from now!
- What impression do you leave others and is that lasting?
- What is it that people remember about you?
- Is your work congruent with your personal philosophy or are you leading your true life?
How about you? Feel free to comment below or contact Naomi here.