A couple of weeks ago, I got a message from Julie Hanson, a longtime Winning Ways subscriber, from Glasgow, Scotland, whom I first met when she attended a Making a Living Without a Job seminar there.

Julie said she was headed to Las Vegas and wondered if we might connect. A few days later, we located each other under the Chihuly ceiling at Bellagio.

A lively lunch followed and I learned that she’s one of the leading authorities on seasonal yoga, which I knew nothing about. She gave me a copy of her beautifully done, self-published book 5 Seasons.

She said coming to my seminar had first opened her mind to the possibility of creating products to go along with her yoga teaching. I loved hearing about the evolution of her business.

Then she whipped out her iPad and we discovered our mutual passion for Apple technology.  That reminded her of a delightful story about going to her local Apple store for her weekly one-on-one training session.

When the fellow who was working with her asked what she wanted to focus on in their session, she said she needed to design her book cover. “You’re kidding, aren’t you?” he asked. “Did they put you up to this?”

She assured him that she that the book cover  truly was her project of the week. He then told her that in his other life, he designs book covers for which he is paid large sums of money. She was the lucky recipient of his talent that day.

I loved that story and loved knowing that the Glasgow Apple store was as jolly as my local one on The Strip.

Then our talk turned to Julie’s visit. I gave her Las Vegas travel tips. When she mentioned she was going to go to Sedona later in the week, I gave her some more.

In many ways, it was an ordinary encounter with a kindred spirit. Even though they’re ordinary, those encounters never fail to make my heart sing.

Of course, I’m not alone in realizing how important connecting with creative, self-actualizing people is for anyone wanting to succeed in their own business.

Even though I don’t know them personally, I follow a number of joyfully jobless folks on Twitter who are good friends. They all run fairly young businesses and do quite different things, but are each other’s biggest fans.

If one of them is launching a new product or running a program, the others all Tweet about it to their own lists. They’re wildly supportive of one another and although they live in very different parts of the US and Canada, it’s obvious that these relationships matter.

They originally met at the massive SXSW conference in Austin, Texas and have continued to stay in touch and cheer each other on. There’s no doubt in my mind that their individual journeys—and thriving businesses—have benefited enormously from that shared experience.

Your business will benefit, too, from sharing time and space with others who are bringing their own ideas to life. That’s precisely the kind of opportunity we’re busily creating with the upcoming Joyfully Jobless Jamboree, also in Austin, TX, on October 15 & 16.

We’re going to make it easy for the folks who attend to get to know each other, to explore ways they can collaborate and leave with new connections that will be valuable alliances. Some of those will undoubtedly be lasting connections.

If you’re really quick, you could save $150 on the Jamboree registration. But that’s not the best reason to attend.

To paraphrase our friends in real estate, it’s connection, connection, connection.

4 Responses to “Lasting Connections”

  1. Dee Relyea

    Barbara, Thanks for pointing out the incredible value of connecting with like minded, entrepreneurial, self actualized, creative people! Whenever I teach a workshop, I pass around a signup sheet for networking and encourage participants to stay in touch with each other.
    Not only are there cross referral possibilities, there are true friendships that may develop. And who knows where these connections may take us? Maybe to a gathering such as your upcoming Joyfully Jobless Jamboree!

  2. Sherri Garrity

    When I worked in corporate (and when I work with my wanting-to-leave or recently-recovering-from corporate clients), collaboration and connection really wasn’t part of the scene. The thought of sharing details and asking others to support you in a corporate setting was unheard of – it was about decimating your competition and protecting your knowledge. Controlling versus going with the flow and developing relationships. Connecting with like-minded people and business owners supporting other business owners is one of the BEST surprises I got! I have met so many lifelong friends attending conferences and doing what I do now. The water is so fine, jump in people! I am looking forward to speaking at the Jamboree this fall and getting to be a Posse host. And I finally get to meet you in person, Barbara, even though it feels like we already have!

  3. Jane Beaver

    Thank you, Barbara, for this confirmation of something I have felt so many times before. Absolutely, my most wonderfully sustaining and long-time friendships, loves and other miscellaneous connections have resulted from what at first seemed a random meeting. Hey, you are actually one of those connections! I believe that Donna Simons was the woman who was reaching out for independent-minded and creative women in business who brought us and some other great women together – oh, my, those many years ago. Seems that my realization and appreciation of people who move in and out of my life grows better and better with time!

    And, I can’t finish this comment without saying how much I appreciate and have benefitted from your generosity, dedication and consistency in reaching out to others to share what you have learned and to encourage us to follow our dreams and grow in the directions that bring us the most satisfaction in life. Kudos to you!

  4. Barbara Winter

    Thanks for your kind words, Jane. Goodness, I haven’t thought about Donna Simons in ages. She really was a visionary in so many ways. And I must say it’s hard to believe that our Santa Barbara days were so long ago!

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