I met Guy Kawasaki on Twitter a few years ago, and liked him immensely. After several Tweets back and forth; and one phone call, I ended up working with him on Alltop and loved every second of it. Through our working relationship, he was always a class act and a friend. He’s the kind of Guy that really cares about the people he gets to know. Strangely, though we exchanged tons of emails, Tweets and a number of phone calls over the years, we had never met face-to-face.
I wasn’t going to BWELA. I wanted to, really wanted to, but I couldn’t afford a pass. I’m unemployed at the moment, except for occasional freelance work. Conference passes are on the luxury side of my budget for now, which means I don’t go to them. Still, I had planned on meeting up with some of my friends who were flying in for the conference and meeting a friend that morning out that way. Then I heard Guy was coming to BlogWorld LA to speak, and I knew I just HAD to meet him, so I sent him an email. Being Guy, even though he gets about a ton of email, Google pluses, Tweets, DMs; whatever, he responded within the hour. He’d be there for a three-hour slot. I emailed back asking when and where. He responded that he’d be at the Westin, so we set it up to meet there and I’d drive him to the convention center. Only…I don’t drive. LOL.
So I DM’d the friend I was meeting that morning and asked her, “Do you mind meeting me at the Westin in DTLA and giving a friend a ride to the convention center?” Being the sweetheart she is, she said, “of course, what time?” Didn’t even ask who it was. That’s a friend.
I found Guy sitting on a bench outside the Westin, working on his iPad. We chatted for a bit and he found out I wasn’t going to the conference and said, “Let me try and get you a ticket.” While we were chatting, he was almost immediately surrounded by people who wanted to say hi, shake his hand and show him their gadgets. That must happen a lot.
I forget sometimes, just what a celebrity he is. To me, he’s the Guy who let me build a topic about bacon, who sent me an iPod Shuffle for my grandkids, who played hockey with his kids and talked about it. He’s the Guy who always asked about my kids and grandkids; and the guy who always had time to answer a question, no matter how silly it seemed. He’s the Guy I respect and admire as just a regular guy, a good friend and a great person to work with and for. The celeb thing at the Westin and again from the people in the convention center gawking at him from the escalator was a reminder of his rockstar status amongst marketers and a kind of surreal experience.
I didn’t think much about the pass, to be honest, I was just thrilled to finally meet him in person and to hang out for a few. As soon as we got him to where he needed to go, he quietly used his Guy Factor, and the next thing I knew poof, there was not only a full conference pass for me; but one for my friend who was in the process of paying for hers. The person taking care of the tickets wouldn’t let her pay. Wow. He’s a class act, Guy is.
You know what? The best part of getting that pass was listening to him speak with Chris Brogan. That was all kinds of fabulousness.
I emailed him with a thank you when I got home and didn’t think he’d get it. He was on a plane somewhere or some place else in the world speaking and doing the Guy thing. Almost immediately, the email was responded to with gentlemanly good manners and class as usual.
Graciousness, thoughtfulness and kindness say class to me, and I was enveloped by it. Not just by the Guy; but by Ana Lydia and the other people (Danica Kombol, Sarah Evans, Brett Green, Ted Rubin, Calvin Lee, Ruben Orozco, Ramon DeLeon) I finally got a chance to meet in person. You all rock and are serious class acts.
Thanks again Guy!
*Special thanks to Neenz for letting me know that Guy would be visiting L.A. Much love, my friend.