Networking (the people kind) has been my passion for years. I believe
you must constantly keep in mind those people to whom you can refer
others in order to receive the benefits of networking you must
first be willing to give. One of the highest compliments to receive
is to be viewed as a resource a source of help and hope for
many other people. Fifteen years ago I started a consulting business
and called it The Haggerty Group, after myself, of course. Two years
ago, I realized that name identification was not what was important,
what I did was. Positive Connections® was born. Today
Positive Connections® focuses on connecting organizations and
individuals through positive strategies in communication, human resources
For years my greatest joy has been introducing people to one another
and watching a positive connection occur seeing my friends
become friends, seeing clients finding better employees or a new vendor
or business partner. As a member of the National Speakers Association,
my favorite job at our workshops and conventions has been to get people
involved in the organization by hosting a breakout session. This assignment
allows them to meet lots of other speakers they might not have had
the opportunity to meet otherwise. I love getting people on the periphery
involved in the organization. NSA is a type of home for me and just
as I like my friends to be friends, I want my fellow speakers to feel
at home at NSA. Showing people the ropes, giving folks directions
to the meeting rooms, talking to pals about what's going on in their
lives connecting everyone in a positive fashion to what or
who they needed.
My Dad never knew a stranger they were only friends he had
not yet met. This philosophy has permeated my life as well. My husband
tells people I'll talk to anybody. That's true you never know
when that taxi driver or store employee or neighbor or person at a
sports event/concert/dinner is going to turn out to have valuable
information for you or need valuable information from you.
And giving, being of service, is a reward in itself. I've lived this
philosophy for years I never dreamed what an impact it would
have on my life.
Last December 13th, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In a very
short period of time, the course of treatment was determined and I
started down the path that entirely too many women face. One out of
eight women will have breast cancer during their lifetimes. 75% of
those cases are in women over 50. Breast cancer is curable if it's
discovered in the early stages. My strongest emotion through the whole
process has been anger anger that cancer still attacks so many
women. Anger that cancer affects one in three people. Anger that every
three minutes another man is being told he has prostate or colon cancer.
With the resources available to us, cancer should have been eradicated
by now. Knowledge is power and I determined that I would journal the
process I was going through with the intent to share it at
the end of the journey.
I had a modified radical mastectomy January 31st. Another complication
led to the need for a hysterectomy as well. And, of course, there's
the chemotherapy that's required to insure as best as possible that
no stray cancer cells remain. My attitude throughout has been positive
it was something to get through and then to get on with life.
I let a few close friends know I truly believe in the power
of prayer and positive thoughts and then proceeded to "update"
them at various points in my journey via email. I told them about
all the tests I was going through, how they felt, what they involved.
I painted verbal pictures of the waiting rooms and processes.
To my great surprise, one friend told a mutual friend who then scolded
me, "We want to know when you're going through bad times as well as
the good that's what friends are for!" My email list expanded.
Then friends told my story to our National Speakers Association prayer
chain, another mentioned me to a Writers' Newsletter I subscribe to,
a group I speak with put the prayer request out to their entire email
list. Over the period of just a couple of months I have received hundreds
of emails many from people I do not know, but whose lives have
been touched by my story in the "updates." "Thank you for sharing
this. My mother is going through breast cancer so I've forwarded your
updates to her she's much encouraged." "Thanks for your candor
and explanations. I have three other friends who are going or who
have gone through this and I know so little. You've helped to educate
me and to demystify the process." "I'm so encouraged by your faith
and positive attitude you've given me hope that I can get through
the problems I'm having in my life right now." "We love you and we're
praying for you!"
I have received, in prayers, encouragement, positive thoughts, advice,
other stories much, much more than the time I'd given in making the
connections for or with these people. I am humbled and awed by the
return on the investment of caring for people enough to connect them
to each other. I am overjoyed to be the recipient of such Positive
Maybe I'm an exception, but I hope not. This has all been a reminder
of how important people and relationships are in our lives. Our businesses,
successes, riches, fame all are nice, but nothing takes the
place of people! Make the time right now, to think of those people
that you know to whom you can connect others. Take the time to make
that phone call, write that note, send that email. You may never know
how much impact your actions will have, but on the other hand, someday
you, too, may receive the overflowing of love and affection that has
been my privilege these past months. In the end result, the only things
that truly matter in life are the connections we make, that is, the
relationships we establish with other people. If we can all make Positive
Connections®, we will positively impact our surroundings, our
companies, our countries and our lives!
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