I take a lot of random meetings. I meet with entrepreneurs, founders, and new friends that come to our meetup. Some of these produce great partnerships, most do not. Some have immense direct benefit to me and my business, but most do not. Considering I built a site to get out of meetings this practice probably seems like a contradiction but it’s not and I will explain.

I take almost any meeting for a couple of reasons in order of importance:

1. I know what’s like to have no one care about your startup and ideas. If I can just be helpful enough to encourage someone not to give up and keep pushing for another month, then it’s worth an hour to me. That energy motivates me to be better.

2. The ability to sit for an hour and brainstorm a completely different concept or idea, learn about someone’s business, and inject my background is very rewarding and beneficial.

3. If you get access to enough pieces to the puzzle you eventually start to see patterns the right ones to use for your business.

Let me give you two examples just from Friday.

*I met with a guy and we brainstormed and drew out the new layout for his website on my whiteboard. He then said he wanted to make an introduction video for the homepage but had a small budget. One month ago I met with a guy whose company makes quality cartoon intro videos on the cheap through crowd sourcing. They’re a perfect match for each other. Everyone wins (especially me – I feel good).

*I had lunch with a guy who said he wanted to give me a million dollar idea for FREE. After listening I wasn’t sure his idea is worth a million bucks, but a small piece of his idea works perfectly to solve a problem we’re having on a current project. I told him thanks for the business idea, but I would use a small piece of it for something else.

This kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME. When we’re getting exposed to lots of people we see different perspectives, encounter foreign problems or solutions, and are able to apply those to our own business needs.

This video called WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM is something I’ve watched a dozen times. There’s no better way to explain how this concept works, and how it can lead you to world class ideas.