I have just been spending a quiet evening going through my backlog of business cards, turning each one over like in a game of Patience to discover if there is any useful metadata on the back of them. As a consequence, today, some of the people whom I met several weeks and months ago will be receiving an e-mail from me out of the blue, inviting them to connect up with me or for a lunch in the near future. Others will most likely never hear from me again, according to their ranking in the Harley Lovegrove selection process. This is how it works…

Every day I empty my latest business cards onto the pile already stacked up on my desk. The urgent ones are either placed in my PA’s in-tray or are entered directly into my Outlook database. However it is the left-overs that intrigue me the most. They are not so important that I am scared that the cleaner might accidentally misplace them, nor are they so unimportant that they are immediately dumped into the bin.  They lie in a kind of limbo, collecting dust while their fate is decided, being too important to give up on entirely.

How many times I have reflected on a meeting, convincing myself that the person I just met is going to be vitally important to my business in the very near future? And how many times have I left their card on my desk waiting for an appropriate stimulus to contact them? Somehow, too many things seem to get in the way and the vital person either never calls me first or simply becomes less important in the elapsed time.

But here they all lie, my ‘to be sorted’ business cards. Some with fancy embossed printing, others spectacularly colorful. Some so innovative that I remember only the trick of the card and not the person who handed it to me. There is a Dimitri and a Bernard, a Hans and a Carsten, even a Mario and a Koen.  And yet all these people will not go into the database, what’s the point unless I know why?  But then again I cannot possibly throw them away.  It feels as if that they will somehow know and become offended!  So they will be the ones that will remain under my computer screen until the next game of Patience begins. Perhaps they will send me an email or call me and gain an immediate promotion in meantime? Or maybe will jog a creative thought in me about how I might be able to help them, or they me, who knows?

Such important things business cards,

Have a good week,