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Posts Tagged ‘connection’

Twitter- You either love it or hate it!

  • There are those who feel it is self-indulgent and useless when it comes to promoting your business or career.
  • There are those who find it fun, powerful, engaging, entertaining or just plan addicting.

Regardless of which category you fall into, I want to share a couple of quick stories themed “How Twitter can help you face-to-face network”. I want to share some of the powerful connections I have experienced using those pesky 140 characters.

Great Connection Moment #1

On a date at my favorite NYC restaurant in December,  I tweeted about the delicious meal I was having and the spectacular quality of the ingredients. That tweet aroused the interest of the owner who does his own tweeting (love that!). Over the following weeks, we talked back and forth on Twitter about my love of the restaurant (been going there for almost 20 years but never met him) and some funny exchanges: quality of the food vs. quality of the date (smile). Fun. Authentic. Hysterical at times. Told him I was headed in there for brunch on yet another date with a different person a few weeks later. I was greeted with a reserved table sans the hour-long wait, special attention and a fully comped meal. Business owners and food lovers alike take heed. Brand loyalty is rewarded! All starting with 140 characters!

Great Connection Moment #2

Headed to the Do It In Person Party during NY Entrepreneurial Week a few years ago after just starting my business, I was certain I knew absolutely no one at the party.  I was on my own, but I enjoy meeting people so I thought, “this will be fun!”

After getting a drink, I wandered over to a guy, Nick, who looked nice and was not speaking to anyone at the time. We struck up a conversation about technology since that is his passion. Soon another person joined us- a lovely female copywriter named Sara. The conversation soon took a turn to social media (big surprise since it is one of my favorite conversation topics) and lo and behold we discovered that both Nick and Sara learned about the party on Twitter. How Fun!

We vowed to keep in touch and sure enough, the three of us continued to tweet.  A few months later had a meeting of the minds at a funky downtown hotel one afternoon.  Sara has since moved to Denver but we all send a tweet out to each other every once and a while keeping each other in mind for referrals.

Great Connection Moment #3

Matthew, a friend and colleague of mine who used to live here in NYC hosted a virtual telesummit of fascinating speakers a while back. I spent much of my time during the interviews tweeting nuggets of wisdom and observations to pass on. I was not alone in this. Another person named Jared was doing the same. With each interview it became more and more fun for me to share the space with him. And from that point on, we followed each other on Twitter and shared a few thoughts from time to time.

Not long after the telesummit, Matthew and I were in Seattle at a weekend event at which I was speaking and he told me he was getting together with a new friend who had recently moved to Seattle. Cool. But even more interesting was that the two of them had struck up a friendship first on Twitter and then over the phone. This was the first time they were meeting. When he told me it was Jared I squealed with delight! Oh I wanted to meet him too! And I did- he is as smart, quirky and generous in person as he is on Twitter.

And there are so many more of these stories! Stories from sporting events, coffee shops, concerts, lines at stores, Amtrak train rides and the list goes on!

Twitter is just a tool. A tool that can absolutely be used to help you to build your networking circle and provides for fun and often off-beat face-to-face networking opportunities with people you may not have interacted with in any other way!  Don’t be afraid! Try it! All you have to lose is a few 140-character thoughts!

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networkingA secret dream come true.

I never told anyone how much I really wanted to be featured in my alma mater’s quarterly magazine… I think I have dreamed of this since graduating from Wellesley 23 years ago. And this fall it happened! All surrounding one of my very favorite topics: NETWORKING

 

Take a look at three quick Networking No-Nos I warn you about. (check out pg 31)

Hint: Think Throwing Up, Baby Showers, Small Talk and Restroom lines…

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starbucks

 

This was a short, but super fun holiday moment for the blog.

Day 4 in my quest to find something celebratory about the holiday season brought the fun to me…

As I waited at the Starbucks bar for my Grande Americano (one of many for the day!), the holiday music was playing overhead. So I…. yup… started humming and then singing softly and then realized that I was not alone. The barista making my drink was singing. So we smiled and got a little louder at which point other customers and other baristas joined in and soon we were all singing “Winter Wonderland” together.

When it was over, we all cheered, giggled, hi-fived and went on drinking our coffee!

Love my neighborhood.

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I love the Muppets.

I am almost 46 years old and I love the Muppets.

They are my friends- at least that’s how it feels.

They make me happy and hopeful.

When I forget, they help me to see the world for what it is- magical, fun and filled with opportunities to love.

I have blogged many times about hero Jim Henson – ALWAYS the answer to any version of that question “if you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?”

Through his willingness to step out and be exactly who he is (at a time in the 60s and 70s when I cannot imagine it was a big popularity move to be a grown man creating puppets) has had a profound impact on my life. The risk, the creativity, the vision, the ability to reach people in the best way he knew how, and the gentleness of his entrepreneurial spirit shining through…. All make me cry with overwhelming joy. Each and every time I think about him. A perfect embodiment of that statement, “Attraction not promotion. I want what you have.”

And in my mind, an incredible example of vulnerability.

Thank you Jim.

Thank you for wanting to be on that new medium-television-so much so that you created puppets to be sure that your dream was realized.

Here is one of my favorite segments of a larger series called The World of Jim Henson to share with all of you. Some remarkable insights into how it all began.

On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful to you, Jim and the risk you took to share your crazy brain with us!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

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I cry every time I vote.

Presidential election. Mayoral election. Local elections. It doesn’t matter.

I cry.

Proudly.

I don’t hide it.

Right there at the polls. Tears streaming down my face.

 

 

The sheer overwhelm of it all:

  • That there are women in the United States still old enough to remember when they could not vote. Before 1920. Before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Less than 100 years ago.
  • That there are women around the world who were granted that right in MY lifetime or still cannot cast a vote in an election specifically because they are women.
  • That men and women of the military are fighting this very moment to allow me to retain that right. The right to voice my opinion and vote without fear of retaliation for my family or myself.

And here is what I know about me. When I cry, it means that there is something there for me to learn. Something to look at.  An issue that is moving me to tears and demands my attention. Time to study something new.

Full disclosure: I have bookcases filled with books, arranged by category (my own little Dewey Decimal system) and just waiting to be read, studied and poured over. There is certainly a “women’s rights section” (do you have one also?) Certainly there are a few books in there on the women’s suffragist movement here in the United States and around the world.  Heck, I went to Wellesley College,  grew up in Rochester, NY- home of the National Susan B Anthony Museum and House and right down the road from Seneca Falls and the National Women’s Hall of Fame– so there ought to be more than a few books on the topic in my collection.

I have interest. I have motivation. I have desire. I have emotional connection. I have resources.

NOW… and you will have to hold me to this… I must make TIME. Don’t get me wrong- I have time. I must simply choose to use it in this way.

 

 

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We all live with neighbors regardless of the structure we inhabit.  It’s tough to be completely isolated no matter how you might try. We must deal with the community at-large. We share a fence or a tree or a park or a sidewalk or a cul-de-sac with others.

For me, here in NYC, it’s apartment living.

And in my estimation, apartment living brings its own brand of crazy.

We share walls, ceilings, floors, hallways in addition to those sidewalks, front stoops and back alleys. Here in my new apartment of just a few months, winter apartment living is in full force. People are inside more due to the cold.  We are all together a lot more. And last night, my little world here was on fire. As I went to bed and tried to get to sleep early, there were kids playing what sounded like a late-night basketball tournament outside because there is no school today. There were Riverdancers upstairs, a poker game next door, a political convention in the hallway- or at least that is what it seemed like as I tried to get to sleep.

And then it struck me (and I laughed aloud)… what do my neighbors think when I scream at the Giants game, when my cats chase each other up and down the hallway like a herd of cattle or when I decide to vacuum at 7 am?

Regardless of where you live, community living is so visible. And as the “new girl” in the building, I am particularly visible. In my frustration, banging on the walls or shouting into the courtyard would just make me the “new crazy girl who lives in 5D” and honestly, when the Giants game is on, I don’t want anyone to “shhhhush” me!

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Maybe it’s an “entrepreneurial thing” or just a “human thing”, but one of the biggest challenges I have faced over the past few years (alright- alright-decades) has been asking for help.

I do it. I ask. Really I do. And people answer.

But I always ask when my back is up against the wall. When there seems to be no more I can do on my own. Because yes, oh yes, I have tried to do it all on my own first. When each moment seems utterly overwhelming and painful. When surrender is my only option.

One of my favorite phrases  (slogans, mantras, platitudes… you choose your word) is AWARENESS-ACCEPTANCE-ACTION. It is such an incredible critical guidepost in my life. Because when I don’t remember this, I skip right into ACTION. I jump right into doing it myself without pausing.  That solution is better known  in my world as “the hard way”. It includes a plan made entirely of marshmallows.  Soft, gushy, sweet, not particularly structured and definitely not challenging myself to take the toughest road. They come in multiple sizes of the same thing so simply more of the same…. More of the same. That is really all I can come up with an action plan in those times.  Plagued with limited thinking based on my best resources, I end up with a solution that is limited in scope, a little mushy, and more Candlyland than Battleship.

What I have found in these times of overwhelm and surrender is that I need the reasoning and “take no prisoners” approach of my friends. Truth- I need to be told the truth. No matter how ugly it is or how much I do not want to hear it. No fluffy marshmallows in that conversation. There is love and support but there is also focus, clarity and a level of ACCEPTANCE that my way is not working. That others can help to contribute to this solution. That I am no longer responsible for “figuring it out”. (FYI-whenever I say I can “figure it out” I am usually headed toward a marshmallow plan)

AWARENESS of the problem (back up against the wall because I let it go just a little to far)

ACCEPTANCE that I will need help with this (surrender and willingness to tell the truth and ask for the help)

ACTION toward a collaborative solution (no longer trying to do it myself because I have admitted that my way probably just perpetuated the problem- bounding forward with the new plan)

I know I am not alone is this challenge but it can be incredibly isolating in that moment just before the AWARENESS shifts to ACCEPTANCE. Hoping this writing will help you to sit in that lonely place just a little less often and for a shorter period of time.

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