There’s always something to say.
No matter where you are, who you’re with, or what’s happening around you, you can make an observation, ask a question, or share a thought with a stranger. And when you do, you tap into a world of unlimited possibilities you never knew existed until that moment.
I should admit that I’ve been striking up conversations with strangers through chance encounters and staying in touch with them for a long time. So although it might seem a bit extreme that I’ve remained in contact with the doctor who delivered me into this world many decades ago, it’s simply how I began my habit of meeting, talking to, and connecting with strangers for the better part of my life. Over the latter years, I have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting and training fees and have built long-term, mutually profitable relationships with people I met in the most random of ways: on planes, in coffee shops, in restaurants, in hotel lobbies, at weddings, in elevators, in doctors’ offices, and just about everywhere else I’ve been.
Talking to strangers comes naturally to me. And although the results have been remarkable, I can’t tell you for sure exactly what has driven this behavior since a young age, except that I always found people available to me—willing to smile back, to acknowledge a common experience in the moment, to share pieces of the stories of their lives, and to teach, guide, and help me. I also have an insatiable curiosity about the people I ...