The Power of a Personal Network

Ben's Mazda

Ben's Mazda

They say life can change in the blink of an eye, but you never really appreciate how true that phrase is until someone blinks.

On July 7, 2011, at 4:30pm, life blinked for my 20 year old son, Ben and the ripple effects of that blink reach beyond comprehension.

He was hit directly in the driver’s side of his car while crossing an intersection by a woman driving 50 mph. He had thought the intersection was safe to cross, a two lane divided highway, because from his view, he only saw a tractor in the slow lane. It wasn’t until he was in the middle of the intersection that he saw the woman in the high speed lane. It was too late for either of them to change their course.

She is fine. Shook up, jarred hard by the air bag deployment but was treated and released.

My son will be fine…eventually.

His internal injuries are such that the best they can hope for now is stablizing him while they focus on his collapsed lung and allow the multiple fractured pelvis to heal. In three months they will see if additional surgeries will help to reconnect the many internal parts that are currently not functioning normally.

It is at times like these when you learn how valuable your network is and the interconnection you have with other networks. As I waited through the night for word from the surgeons, 12 young people literally and figurative surrounded me with their love for my son. The next day 19 of Ben’s friends waited outside ICU patiently for their turn; two by two, to sit by his side and hold his hand.

Ben’s network began a cross over, friends connecting with me on Facebook, liking my comments, emailing me, asking to put my cell phone in their phone. The generation gap bridged, hugs exchanged and the networks of myself and my son are forever connected.

The prayer chains of more churches than you can count around the country began sending up powerful prayers on Ben’s behalf. People began calling, email, texting, Facebooking, Tweeting and visiting with offers to help, food, hugs, cards, flowers, and prayer.

But then the help became more concrete.  Offers to take my teenage daughter for a few days, wheelchairs, shower seats, crutches were offered, legal assistance, counseling – all help from my network that has been carefully built over the years. Customers, peers, friends, neighbors – the offers have been unbelievable.

I am sharing this because in this blog I often talk about the power and value of building customer relationships. When you treat customers, employees, vendors and peers as friends, they not only buy from you and refer you, they line up to offer their assistance when life blinks.

My gratitude is overflowing. My heart is so full with thanks and appreciation and wonder at the generousity of those in my network. For all of you who have reached out or simply saw a status update on Facebook or heard through the grapevine and offered up a quick – “help Ben get better” I am so very grateful.

I hope you never have to know the full extend of your personal network. But do know – without a doubt – that your network is a powerful gift. When you reach out to build relationships, you just never know how they will benefit you or make your life richer.

Thank you to all of you!

One week later - Ben's First Walk

One week later - Ben's First Walk

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