With a little help from our friends…

You need to be living under a rock if you haven’t figured out that times are tough. Perhaps you personally or your business may not have had financial challenges, but I bet there is someone in your life or a business around you may know that has. (Congratulations by the way!)

So the time is NOW to get creative in how you are thinking.

Some people are particularly good at networking.  Most of these people don’t actually consider it as the LABEL “NETWORKING” because they live, breathe and do it every day, all day.  AND they like to hang out with people that feel the same way. (Don’t we all?)  A few years ago, I met a lady named Sheri,  a mortgage loan officer from Maine Savings Bank,  recently, she started a Sushi Lunch Group that “meets” on Fridays at a local Japanese Restaurant – Ichibans, here in Bangor.  The purpose of the group is simple. Connect and help each other.  No bylaws, no dues, everybody pays their own bill.

Photo credit: pingmag.com
Photo credit: pingmag.com

AND it has not only accomplished people getting together regularly and sharing, for me, I have met new people I would never have otherwise gotten to know.  The usual Chamber Business After Hours events, just don’t seem to do that for me anymore.  AND being new to Japanese food, these folks are always more than happy to share with me some of what they have on their plate, so I can try new things easily – also great fun for everybody!

One day as Sheri and I were leaving the restaurant, “Ruai,” one of the owners came up to her and said, “Thank you Sheri for your business and always bringing people in that are new to Sushi.”  (She was looking at me.)

Sheri said, “You are always so nice to us and always bend over backwards – the food is great.  See? We help each other.”  (Big Smiles all around!)

It is also no secret that the restaurant industry has taken it very hard during these times. Seeing Ichiban full of customers and NEW sushi fans is great.  But when people are making choices in where to go to eat, they may not try something different, because they don’t want to feel disappointed,  going out that one time per week (or month).

Thinking “out of the box,” during “out of the box” times is necessary these days.  Regrouping and doing things simply, can be very effective.  You never know, while you are helping yourself,  you maybe helping your friends and neighbors too!! (YAY!)