Some time ago I read about an interesting concept called The Help Me Help You Dinner by Rand Fishkin. He describes this idea in a lot more detail but in a nutshell it is this:
- Find roughly 10 people in your geographic region who are first or second degree connections on your personal network. Choose people that you think both you can help with something and that might be able to help you in return today or in the future.
- Find a restaurant that suits your budget and has a reasonably quiet section.
- Send out a personal invitation to the dinner about 2-3 weeks in advance:
Subject: The Help Me Help You Dinner
Hey gang – I’m putting together dinner for a dozen of us in and I’d really love to have you come join. There’s no obligation, no sales pitch, no requirement beyond asking that we have a great meal together, talk about what’s working and not in our professional lives and at one point in the night, go around the table to each individual and do these three things:
- Share something you need help with
- Offer advice and assistance if you can help someone else at the dinner
- Share one way you can help others
The meal is my treat, and we’ll try to do it at on . The group will be mostly other , some of whom you’ll probably know. If you have someone you think I should definitely invite, let me know, and please do RSVP so I can get a head count.
Hope all is going well with you and hope to see you there!
- Work way harder on helping everyone with their items than on getting help with your item. The future favors and positive karma you’ll earn are what matters here.
I think this concept is quite intriguing. Recently, I saw a website named Help Me Help You Dinner that tries to actively promote this idea. I’ll take that as an incentive to try and organize such an event myself. If you’re an entrepreneur you should give it a try as well.