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Focus on the Who

  • Emily Rice

Emily Rice

3 min read
Focus on the Who

Earlier this week we had the opportunity to speak with Mick White. He is a friend and a mentor. He has offered his advice and expertise on many topics that have helped us grow our company.

It’s easy to recognize that Mick likes to build authentic relationships. He explained that his outlook on life is like the movie, Schindler's List. If you haven’t seen the movie, Schindler's List is about this man who saved thousands of Jews from concentration camps. The man, Schindler, eventually had to flee and his biggest regret was that he wished he could have done more.

So, Mick moved from Illinois to Minnesota to do just that, he wanted to do more.

Mick is doing more, by getting to know more people. He likes to relate with people, to hear their stories, and to help others in anyway that he can.

Giving Mentality

In the professional world, we talk about ourselves and our company more often than truly getting to know the other person. If we reacted in that same way with our friends and family, where all we talked about was ourselves, it wouldn’t end very well. So, why do we react that way when talking with other professionals.

Instead, let’s focus on the who.

We may not talk about it, but almost everyone is going through something in life. Rather than discussing business, let’s get to know the other person. We can talk about business whenever.

Sometimes talking with someone about the stuff going on in their lives can be the most helpful, even if there is nothing that the other person can do for you in return.


If you were to explain to your spouse or kids what networking is, you would probably say that networking is typically a bunch of business employees who meet at a specific location and interact with one another. You exchange business cards with the hopes you’ll meet someone to do business with.

When you put it that way, it doesn’t sound very efficient does it.

Instead, Mick takes a different approach to networking. Rather than discussing business, Mick builds rapport. Commonalities can be great but what’s even better is truly getting to know what the other person’s values are, what resonates with them, what’s important to them.

It’s easy to get a sense of someone’s personality when they are in a natural environment. A sports game, a lunch, or a tour at the state capital are not your usual networking venues, but for Mick they work. These scenarios allow people to walk and talk. To talk not so much business related, but what’s going on in life.

We’re all going through things, so let’s talk about it. Let’s help one another where we can.

When meeting one on one with someone, Mick understands that time is valuable. Choosing your topics of interest is a strategic approach to ensure that the conversation has a focus and a sense of direction.

Keeping an organized schedule is also beneficial. If you have a lot of meetings, try to have them all on the same day or the same week. Rather than letting the chaos run your life, plan your priorities.

Balance Between Work and Family

In definition, the congruent symbol in geometry means to come together, the state of agreement. Except, somedays it feels like work and life is unbalanced, that one thing is always pulling the other.

So, how do we get both work and life to work towards the same goal?

Mick suggests that we think about what’s important to ourselves. Think about your priorities. Think about what you want your life to look like in 100 years. Then, make decisions that will point you in the direction that you want to achieve.

As you balance work and life you will become more of yourself.

And the more you become yourself, the better your life will be.

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