I struggle with this one. Some days I feel as if I should take every meeting since it’s impossible to know where it can lead. One meeting can completely change a business, generate some consulting work, or lead to new friendships. At the same time, taking every meeting would eat up a chunk of time and most meetings end up fading from memory.
I’m still figuring out my approach but do believe that having fewer, more meaningful relationships is more valuable than having many fleeting ones. Unfortunately, it’s not clear what will end up being meaningful before the meeting. Currently, I try to take every first meeting or at least have a phone call but have been scheduling them all on a single day, early in the morning, or late in the evening to avoid disruption. I’m also trying to make every meeting valuable by taking follow up notes in order to reach out later if I come across anything relevant or if I need to send an introduction. Probably the most important thing I’ve learned is that it’s easier to rejuvenate an older relationship than to create a brand new one so I’ve been making an effort to catch up with at least two former acquaintances each month.
There’s no single approach to meetings that will work for everyone but relationships are important regardless of what you do and it’s essential to maintain and grow them. I’d love to hear how others deal with meeting overload.