Lia and Ashley are planning a vacation to Las Vegas. They are looking to find a place to stay, but want to save as much money as possible. Knowing a close contact who works in Operations at the Bellagio, they hit him up to ask him, if he can get them a room there for cheap. He actually wants to smash Lia, so he says, I got you, I can get you in here for $60/night and a free spa treatment. Lia does not want to smash him, she takes his offer, but when she arrives does not have time to hang out with him and spends most of her time on the casino floor or in the club.
Lia and Ashley are roommates and planning a housewarming. They would love to have the event catered. They know a guy named Chris who owns a restaurant called Catfish Fridays. They call him up about catering the event, he agrees to the do the event. After receiving the invoice, Lia is upset because there was no discount applied, she tells Ashley that they need to speak with Chris. Chris obliges at 30% discount because of the contact.
Lia and Ashley are planning a bachelorette party in Vegas. They need to coordinate everything for their girlfriend who is marrying a famous basketball player. You may know him, Richard J. They are behind schedule because of work commitments, but do not want to do a half job on the event. Lia remembers that she knows a guy whom she met a few months back who works at the Bellagio. She calls him up and asks him, although, late notice could he provide them with a suite for 12 girls in two weeks. Her contact, although put in a bind, gets her an executive suite which comes with a couple complimentary bottles of champagne. Ashley also recalls that she has been to several events that were catered by Catfish Fridays and on one occasion met the owner. She shoots him an email asking if he would be available to cater the event and organize logistics for getting the food to the room with the Bellagio contact. He agrees.
Here's my point. Too often, I see Black folk looking for a hookup, but not leveraging their network. People always want something for free, but are really selfish when you have to pay for it. I bet that both of their contacts at the Bellagio and Catfish Fridays will throw them a discount because they appreciate the business, but it is more important that we support our people and our network than we exploit it. "No taking from the table, if you giving nothing to it." The result of this exploitation leads many buppies to just stop messing with the network and not give anything to anyone. However, people who leverage their network always are able to pick up the phone and their contacts make it their business to assist.
I look at it this way. Out here in DC, we go out all the time. I know a lot of promoters and I used to throw parties with my partner Dwayne a few years back. You always get people trying to get into parties for free. When a promoter gets those texts it's really annoying and disappointing. Peoples should always want to come through and support, even if they have to pay, just to show love. However, if you have a group of friends in town and they looking to step out. Call up that same promoter and say, hey all my girlfriends are in town and we looking to go out tonight. We're thinking about heading out at 11PM, are you doing something that we can stop by at? I guarantee you that he'll hit you back like, I got a party at Park tonight, how many of y'all is it? I'll put you on the list.
Moral of the story: You scratch my back, i'll scratch yours.
Keep it 100.