I went through my old stash of business cards tonight, and it was very illuminative.

While no announcement has been made yet, I’m preparing to launch a new marketing company (web design, content, and video).  I went through all of my old business cards and culled out all the ones who would not take my call at a moments notice with a ‘Hey, what have YOU been up to?’ on the other end.

This left approximately 1 out of 10 contacts that I felt certain enough in calling over the next month to have a hearty reception.  While some of them overlap with my LinkedIn contacts, I don’t always have phone numbers for all of them accessible (although thats never more than a few clicks away for anyone with half-assed Google skills).   Due to the size of the network I developed while working in insurance, I decided to start with my best business cards as my contacts for February.

I’ve got a stack of 200.

The huge pile of the other 1800 is sitting in my recycling bin.  I’ve got their email addresses, and they would probably recognize an email from me (for now), but they aren’t necessarily personal relationships that I can count on, that I can trust.

I have 200 people in a stack on my desk that would be happy to hear from me, and have a decent shot of knowing someone who could use my services.  These 200 people will form the core of my new database.

If you’re reading this, chances are pretty good that you’re on the shortlist, and we’ll be talking soon.  Do me a favor, and save me the trouble.  Give me a ring, wouldya?