I got a call recently from someone I hadn’t seen in 6 years, and even when we met back then, we couldn’t have talked to each other more than about 2 hours.  In fact, I couldn’t even remember what we talked about back then.  I certainly couldn’t remember what his company did.  And I didn’t have a clue as to what he was doing now.

All he said was, “I enjoyed our discussions back then, and I’d like to catch up if you have time.”

I quickly said, “Sure, I’d like that.  How about tomorrow at 3:30?”

After I hung up, I kept wondering why I said yes, and what in the world we would talk about.

I strained to remember anything about him and his company, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember anything about either.

For a while, I seriously considered calling and cancelling, but some very quiet voice kept telling me to keep the meeting.

In fact, at one point, I started to send an email saying I’d have to cancel.  I don’t have the time I need to fulfill all of my current commitments, so adding impromptu meetings to my already overburdened schedule didn’t seem like a bright thing to do.

But I couldn’t send the email.  That quiet voice kept telling me to go.

So I went.

And I greatly enjoyed the hour we spent together…catching up…sharing his business struggles and survival…talking about what he needs next…and talking about whether we could help him out.

We can’t.

But after talking with him, I certainly want to find a way to help.

His struggle isn’t unusual, but his survival as a business certainly may be.

His ability to stick with it when anyone else may have shut it down certainly may be.

His ability to call people that he hasn’t seen for 6 or 7 years and make both of us absolutely comfortable talking about family, friends and business certainly may be as well.

He’ll need each of those skills and many more as he now tries to find investors or partners to help him move from survival to growth, and then from growth to financial success.

So after an hour, we shook hands and agreed to talk again soon.

As I think back on the meeting now, I still don’t know why that very quiet voice kept telling me to go.

It’s a longshot for him to have any meaningful relationship with the companies he so desperately wants to partner with.  It’s also a longshot for him to convince partners or investors to provide the funding he needs to achieve some growth.

But I’m convinced that the very tenacity that kept his company alive till now will make it awfully hard for those he talks with to walk away without making another connection, without suggesting another path, without opening another door that he can then charge through.

Maybe that’s what he needed today.

Maybe that quiet voice wanted him to connect with me so that I could provide encouragement, or an introduction, or a sounding board as he pursues that lifeline that keeps his business afloat for another 6 or 7 years.

I don’t know yet.

I may not know for awhile.

I may never know.

But I’m learning to listen to that very quiet voice.

And I hope that I fulfill my purpose for going to that meeting.

Whatever it was.

Whatever it may be.

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