I wish I had a big secret to tell about this world of networking and building relationships, but to be honest this is so simple. The world today is obsessed with the idea of having to find the process of the perfect way to get something we want or to be who we want to be. The hardest truth about networking and building relationships is that we’re doing this all the time, so the only secret is do this all the time.
Growing up, I struggled with many things that came naturally to my peers. I decided to make an investment to get better at building relationships and connecting with people.
In the process of this investment an emotional life-changing event happened with the passing of my mother, as I had to move back to my old stomping grounds. I lost track of my choice towards working on myself. When I realized it was at its worse, I made an out of the ballpark decision, which gave me the opportunity to be connected to Des Moines with becoming a photographer for Iowa Nightlife.
This opportunity gave me the chance to meet many amazing people, which made me realize I was making strides unlike any time in my life before. In one night this decision came full circle as my job became more than making fun connections, I made a personal connection.
I walked into a Christmas party event which had many local musicians playing. The opening act took to the stage. After a couple of cover songs and hearing the dreams of the lead singer the band had my attention. During her tribute song to the troops entitled “Count The Stars” I knew this group was going to go far and the lead singer’s dream was going to come true.
I followed up with the band after the set and remained connected with the group through social media. A couple of years after the Christmas party, I found the band cut a song and video about making a stand against suicide and bullying entitled “Rain.”
During the process of connecting with the band, I had a chance to learn the story of the lead singer, Sydney Lett. Her story was nothing short of inspirational. It was filled with many storms, but with it she taught me the fun of dancing in the rain.
I have been friends with the local movie theater owners and presented the idea of premiering the video on the big screen with two amazing teen movie brands: Pitch Perfect and Twilight. The event was something that was personal to me because the message of the song was something I struggled with. Preparing for the event was tons of work because it was something that has never been done in central Iowa. When the band arrived, seeing the reaction made all the work worth it.
Today as I look back at that event, everything about it didn’t just make me a better event coordinator, but also a better man. Not even a year after the event, Sydney and her mom Stacie moved to Nashville, making strides towards getting Sydney signed with a major label. Her dreams of having a song on the radio and playing around the country are coming true.
In the end, I know most people would have the question, "What did you get out of it?" The answer for me; the great glimpse of knowing that through the eyes of someone else is the man that I may still hope to be, but even more better is the man that I am striving to be.
More about Zach:
Zach Johnson is still searching for a major career opportunity through networking and building relationships. He currently works as a Department Manager at Wal-Mart in Newton. Outside of work, he has taken opportunities to help as a graphic and media designer and event coordinator with businesses and business leaders in his hometown and around Iowa.
Zach grew a passion for people working as a camp counselor for Summer Games University, which has taken place in both Mount Pleasant and Grinnell.
In 2008, he lost his mother to health issues, which led him to move back to his hometown of Newton. In his seven years back, Zach has grown an extensive network with reconnecting with old friends and making many new ones. It’s through these connections and love of people that he has worked with Capitol II Theatres, Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce, First Avenue Speakeasy.
Like most of his peers, he grew a passion for Des Moines spending time as a photography work with IowaNightlife.com. It’s with this opportunity; he built a network that changed his life on a personal and professional level.
Zach is the current Social Media and Public Relations Board Chair for Weekend Pit Stop and Thunder Nites in Newton, which is a local non-profit that donates to charities around Jasper County.
Zach always finds himself on the road going to events and keeping up with everyone, but loves to connect with others. You can connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org