I pride myself in being very creative and organized most of the time, but lately I have accumulated about 175+ business cards. Believe me, it’s quite easy to carry out such a fete if you’re in the nation’s capital and you’re involved in networking your services and products.

 It’s no secret that Washington DC is steeped with a vast amount of historical memorials, monuments, gardens, landmarks, museums, governmental bodies, and parks which would take you weeks to visit.

Just think for a moment the amount of paper products produced on a daily basis (an embarrassing realization if you’re an environmentalist or a Save the Trees advocate).  However, my task at hand is to figure out what I am going to do with the business cards I have collected over the past year and not how to reduce the amount of paper used by the federal government.

 I will admit that I have a sundry of items on my desk i.e. family photos, laptop/desk top monitor, a mini wood sculpture of a man holding his head in his hand, a collection of daily vitamin bottles, phone, pair of glasses, a couple of articles ,and a book  that I’m reading. My desk could use a little organizing and cleaning.

  No, I’m not a hoarder. I intended to contact most of the people I met at past networking events and if nothing else email them. I’m beginning to question whether they remember me at all.

 Networking is powerful but something is speaking to me loud and clear …Son, “those cards have sat there on your desk to long…three- fourths of those persons you met at those conferences and networking events have either thrown away your card or have found a related service. 

 You might ask, “What’s the worst thing that would happen if I sent them an email and as an incentive, offer them a product or service of value?”

 OMG, a card just caught my eye…would you believe I recognize this business card …the date and time and the person.  “Holy Moly Kids!”  I recall how difficult it was to hear the person speaking next to you…the conference area was absolutely overcrowded. I noticed this woman with her seemingly new-born baby. I spoke with her momentarily and asked for her card although her business had to do with children’s clothing. I suppose I could drop her an email…that’s exactly the benefit of networking. If I receive a response then I’ll add this contact to my database, if not then I can consider tossing the card!

 I still want to know what suggestions and comments you may have …

 Curt Canada practices Personal Development, Career, and Executive Coaching in Washington DC.  Curt holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Teacher Education from The America University. Curt has Postgraduate training from the Institute for Life Coach Training. Email Curt at curtcanada@verizon.net for more information about his services.