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November 14, 2009

Sometimes, asking is just a pretext...

...for getting your name out there.

Case in point: At the conference today, I met a distinguished expert the field of financial and economic analysis. We were both ditching a boring session, met in the hallway and ended up trading opinions about it. Opinions led to a longer conversation, which led to questions about one another's careers in the past, present and future. Which led to a statement from him about an issue I care deeply about.

At which point, I blurted out, "Would you like to co-write a book about that?"

He looked at me blankly, I guess taken aback.

I clarified.

"Not that you would have any reason to collaborate on a book with me. I mean, you've been writing your whole life and I'm just starting, but perhaps we could start with an article, or basic research, or I could help you if you took this on as one of the longer projects you were talking about. I think it's tragically undercovered. No one has the courage to write about it."

"You think so." He paused. Skeptical or just unconvinced? And then, at last: "Do you have a card?"

"I do."

Our talk moved to other subjects, and then we sat together for the rest of the conference. How awesome would it be to collaborate on a research project with this expert, thanks to a split second of sauciness? Even if that does not happen, and I realize that most likely it will not, I hope that, at the very least, he'll remember me. Next time his organization is looking to hire someone. Hint hint hint.
[image via somevelvetmorning]
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