I've done fairly well when it comes to keeping in touch with the friends I've met at various stages of my life. E-mail helps a great deal with that.
Thus, I have a large and ever-growing group of friends and associates that I invite to my annual parties and try to see individually or in small groups as often as I can.
One thing I've learned: I may be a decent networker, but I'm definitely not an influencer.
Even with 200+ people to draw from, I can't ever seem to initiate any significant activities. The time I tried to get everyone to go see my cousin play at a blues festival at a much-beloved local roadhouse: nobody showed but me and my dad. Even my big parties are ignored by many of my friends year after year.
This Saturday, my community service organization is holding a fundraising lunch at a local steakhouse where all of the money collected will go to a battered women's shelter. The restaurant is donating the meals and the ticket prices are very reasonable for the amount of food involved.
I e-mailed everyone I know about this event and put it in my company's daily e-mail newsletter. My goal was to sell 25 tickets. Heck, it's close to Valentine's Day! What better time to go out for steak (or chicken or salmon)?
One of my friends bought six tickets. Another bought three. My sister and her husband are going. My husband and I are going. Except for one person, everyone else I e-mailed responded with stony silence and I heard nary an inquiry from the two days (actually four days, if you count my pre-Christmas attempt) that the listing ran in our company newsletter.
I'm not upset or anything - I just wish I could be more effective at getting others to support some of the causes that I believe in. As one of my favorite Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey says, "I think in one of my previous lives I was a mighty king because I like people to do what I say."
Don't we all!