And it is not just getting business leads, sales and money. Those who have heard me speak or read my book, Some Assembly Required, know that we located the pediatric neurosurgeon who saved my daughter through our network. There are many less dramatic situations in life where a network will come through with amazing results.
Earlier this week, it happened again. My kids, like all other pre-teen girls in America, wanted to go to see the Hanna Montana concert. However, it was impossible to get tickets. You would need to be living under a rock to have not heard about the hysteria that this Disney created fictional pop-star and the 15-year-old actress, Miley Cyrus, who portrays the TV sitcom singer/regular teen have created with this sold-out concert tour
(Yes, Miley Cyrus is the daughter of one-hit-wonder country music star Billy Ray Cyrus of Achey Breaky Heart fame. He also stars in the Disney network show portraying the father of "Miley Stewart and her alter ego, "Hanna Montana". Those of you who do not live with kids in the 5 - 15 age range have fortunately missed out on this cultural phenomenon and Billy Ray's big time come-back ).
On the morning the tickets had gone on sale my wife spent an hour on the phone and on-line trying to buy tickets, which sold out in 45 minutes. While there were tickets available on ebay, I was not interested in spending $300 per ticket to attend this show (The Police, Rolling Stones or other equally big sold out show maybe, but not for a Disney show! Even the Beach Boys...but not Hanna Montana).
In comes the power of networking. For six weeks I let people know that I was looking for tickets, and that I my family had saved the date in the calendar. I figured that someone might come across tickets. At 4 PM the day of the show I got an email from a friend, with the right connections, informing me where I could buy four tickets (face value). Five minutes later the month long dilemma was solved and we were on our way to see Hanna.
Were the kids thrilled? Ummmmmm...you bet. My ten year old told me "Wow, those books you write about networking....it's all true!"
The show was well done, but from a grown up point of view it was hardly worth all the hype. That being said, the pre-teen girls who made up the audience were delighted by the performance which included singing, dancing and fireworks. I was one of about a dozen dads in the arena, as mostly mom's and daughters were there. They even changed the Men's Rest Rooms to Women's Rest Rooms, since all those in attendance were 99% female, leaving the men to hunt the halls for the one remaining place to pee.
Miley Cyrus performed the first half of the show in the blond wig that makes her secret identity of Hanna Montana, and the second half of the show as herself. The premise of her television show is that she leads a double life as a normal teenage girl, while secretly also being America's top pop star. The theme song of the show (and the name of the concert tour) is titled "The Best of Both Worlds" since she can have the life of a star, and still live a normal life.
One day Miley will stop being "Hanna Montana" (which is a Disney created character), but needs to build her own brand as Miley Cyrus, so this duel show is really a brilliant marketing plan for the young teen and her future career.
She closed the show by saying she would be performing a song that means a lot to her family. For a split second I was afraid she would be singing a cover of "Achey Breaky Heart", but instead played a song in memory of her grandfather. Very talented for fifteen years old, we have not seen the last of Ms. Cyrus. Hopefully as she grows up she will have a better track record that other former Disney kids like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
Have A Great Day