A couple of weeks ago I found myself at a camp out in the woods in a remote area of North Carolina… It was my second time in the month at the camp and the sixth or seventh time in total visiting Camp Bob in Kanuga, North Carolina just outside of Asheville. We are already making plans for next year.
It’s times like this that makes me connect the dots and reflect on how I got to this point. Sometimes you have to connect the dots to see how the decisions you make can bring you closer (or further) to your goals.
Back in 2004 I decided to take a trip to Atlanta. I didn’t know many people there. A friend was generous enough to let me stay at her house for a few days. I came down with Cd’s and brochures – Cd’s for the rap game, brochures for my speaking game. I thought there could be an opportunity for expansion. I never did end up making solid contacts in the rap game or securing shows at schools, but I did attend a conference while there. I saw it in the newspaper and figured it would be worth checking out. At the conference, I approached the panelists. I made a connection with a man that I would come to refer to as Poppa T. He encouraged me to hit him up if I was ever coming to New York.
The trip to Atlanta led to New York which eventually led to coming to Kanuga, North Carolina where I met David Griffin who organized Camp Bob – a camp for youth who may not otherwise have a chance to attend summer camp. The work I do with youth through the Stay Driven program looked like it would a good fit.
It took another two years before the connection materialized and I was on a plane to the camp, but with the success of the first visit, I came back two more times that summer. Now I’ve finished my third year with plans for a fourth.
Connecting the dots is about putting yourself in a position to succeed. The first step often involves a risk. For me, it has been travel. Whether going to Atlanta or to a conference in Hong Kong or Cannes, France, I’ve realized that the best opportunities come when you create them.
Connecting the dots is planting the seed. It will take time, and you have to water it, but soon enough it will grow.