Leaving a Meeting With a "Friend of Ben" With Increased Energy

Name: Colin Wiel

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I meet and talk with new people all the time, so how does one become a lucky star in my Friends of Ben series? There’s nothing I value more than someone who fires me up – who gives me the most important currency there is, energy – and thus leaves me re-charged after a meeting. Colin Wiel did that for me a few days ago. Colin is starting a San Francisco chapter of the angel investment group Keiretsu Forum and is a successful entrepreneur. His kid is also entering kindergarten at the same grammar school I attended for nine years.

After our spirited conversation Colin sent me a hilarious review of Friedman’s The World is Flat (see another critical review here). It’s funny, but it also focuses way too much on rhetoric and not the neoliberal vision Friedman argues for.

Back to the theme of this post: I believe people leave meetings in two different states. The first is one of general tiredness – ready to get back to your computer, back to your family, etc. You are emotionally drained. The second state is one of renewed energy – you can’t wait to think more about what went on in the meeting, you can’t wait to continue the conversation next time. In a world where meetings are perhaps the most hated thing on earth, a meeting that fires you up is a rarity. That usually happens because of the people involved. Surround yourself with good people, and you’ll have awesome meetings.

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