Sometimes people ask me how it is that I know such interesting people and get invited to hang out in wonderful places. I often wonder about the question since I think the answer is clear: I do what I keep telling people in my writing, speaking, consulting, and now in this blog…network and develop relationships with interesting people.
I happen to be writing this in Washington VA, a teeny tiny place in the middle of the beautiful horse and wine country of Virginia. Last night I spend hours with Sweet Honey In The Rock hanging around after they performed a spectacular concert in the magnificent 140 seat theater of The Chateauville Foundation.
How did this happen, I hear you thinking. Well, it started some years ago (things do take as long as they take). I became friends with Paul Reisler… master musician, songwriter, and founder of Kid Pan Alley…through a friend of mine who was on his board and suggested we meet. hmmm, networking?
Next thing you know he’s inviting me to join him at The Summer Gathering, an amazing congregation of people from around the world at Hollyhock in British Columbia. Hollyhock is on a tiny island way north of Vancouver and is one of the more spectacular retreat centers you will ever have the good fortune to visit. (yes, go there)
I like it so much that I’ve returned to the Summer Gathering every year since. And who do I meet there? Ysaye Maria Barnwell, member of Sweet Honey In the Rock.
Then some weeks ago I get a call from Paul. Our friend Richard Russell is coming in from Hawaii to think about how to expand the reach of Kid Pan Alley and they think I should be there and help them out. And, oh by the way, Ysaye and Sweet Honey are going to be right next door for a couple of days.
And so off I go. It’s been an exhilarating several days of continuous thinking about branding and marketing and kids writing songs and Sweet Honey singing away and wandering the unbelievable Chateauville Foundation property watching the zebras. And next time we get together to continue the thinking and planning, we decided that it really ought to be at Richard’s ranch in Hawaii. Who knows who I’ll meet there. February sounds like it might be the perfect time…