How important is networking?

A few examples: 

- Hung out with the same guy at Tuesday night Bible study for 3 years. One day he said, “I heard you tell someone you know something about computers. My company needs software for our factory. Do you know anything about that?” Turned into 50K over the next 6 months. 

- Went to an industry dinner/speaker event. The stranger next to me asked what I did. I told him. He asked if I ever did . Before I could answer, my partner joked, “That’s how we made our first million.” The stranger said, “How’d you like to make your second million?” We talked all night and started work 2 days later. 20K in 2 months. All from a joke. 

- A contractor friend got a great full time job. She asked me to “take over” her maintenance accounts (3 of them). Many thousands part time over the next 3 years. 

- Had another friend who I met for lunch once a month for years. She always talked about her job. One day, she suddenly had to move out of state for personal reasons. I emailed her employer, telling what I did (which was exactly what they had her doing). Turned into 4 years of work. 

- Met my aunt’s next door neighbor while sitting on her porch. My aunt said, “Eddie’s into computers.” He said he had a friend who owned a pawn shop with a computer running Windows that “froze” every day at 3:00, their busiest hour. He was going nuts. (Licking my chops), I said I could look into it. A 6 month gig with all new cool software (not Windows). 

- Went to a Monday Night Football party. A friend of a friend who owned a small distribution company said the bank wouldn’t lend them any more money until they computerized their inventory. After 3 months of me (for $20K), they were able to borrow $300K. Pretty good deal for everyone. 

- A friend was offered a 6 month gig in Detroit for $60/hour. He didn’t want to move to Detroit. I took it. Got an efficiency for $400/month, drove my own car there, and dialed in to my other clients. 6 months later, moved home. Not a bad deal. 

- Had another friend who owned a small software house. (Didn’t know it until I knew him for over a year). He coded everything with linked lists because he didn’t know anything about databases. I converted all his software to DBMS over a 6 month period. Again, everyone happy.

I could go on and on, but you kinda get the picture. And I haven’t even touched on the web stuff. 

The demand still far outweighs the supply for good software. If you know what you’re doing (a big assumption), there’s millions of people who need what you do. So get out there and talk to them!