It's a great way to look at things. I admit that my first thought in these situations is, "What can you do for me?" But turning that attitude around means being more inclusive and more open. And, as he said, you certainly hope for something in return someday, but it's not your primary consideration. If you work to help others out, good things will likely come back to you.
And, in fact, he's put me in touch with some people who can be really helpful to me, and I'm introducing him to a client of mine.
Anyway, at yesterday's shoot we had all kinds of different people there. They wanted "real" types, and a couple of them were so real they weren't even actors. As we were rotated in and out throughout the day and it was almost like a progressive party or rotisserie thing, where you chat with someone for 10-15 minutes, then you're on to someone else, then you're picking up on a prior conversation with another person, and so on.
And I actually found I had a lot to say and -- more importantly -- a lot to hear from every one of them. Whereas in the past I might have just buried my head in a book or a crossword or my iPhone, I actually had a great time talking and joking with everyone. As a result of the conversations and subsequent exchange of business cards and followup LinkeIn and Facebook connecting, it turns out I have a lot of common with a lot of these people.
Most of all, though, I had a really fun day. I really need to relax more.