Viewing entries tagged
networking

Change your environment

I hate work-life balance.

In my ideal world, my work informs my life and vice versa.

In fact, I desperately seek work that fulfills me each day and I love the feeling that comes with getting lost in something you care about.

The thing is, I don't get the chance to talk about these things with most of my friends. The conversations are usually limited to food, sports, music, and other group interests.

Don't get me wrong - I love sharing experiences with others and, at my age, many of these experiences happen in bars and other hangouts.

Yesterday, I met up with one of my best friends over lunch and our conversation drifted into this territory.

My friend has known me since seventh grade, which means he has seen all of the ups and downs that I've encountered while stumbling down my unconventional path. He knows how much pressure I put on myself and he is usually able to keep me in check when my ambition gets the best of me.

I mentioned how I wish our friends could share more of their work lives with each other and, as always, he dropped a little nugget of truth:

"If you want those types of conversations, maybe you should consider creating those types of environments."

I'm stubborn, but I couldn't deny how right he was.

The conversation I want doesn't usually happen at bars or while playing beer pong - it happens in a more intimate setting like coffee shops or at home.

Our environments really do impact our lives and the time we spent with others.

If you're looking for a change, try changing your environment first.


When worlds collide

There is no better feeling than when old friends meet new friends.

I love it when these worlds collide, the feeling you experience when the world shrinks just a little bit.

In fact, I wish it happened more often.

Unfortunately, work and other responsibilities get in the way.

Despite this inconvenience, I want to make more of an effort to facilitate these types of experiences, both for myself and others.

I wonder what type of format would work best. Dinner? Drinks? Some sort of shared activity or interest? These all work, but there are already plenty of options like these out there.

Personally, I would like to connect people using shared ideas and/or creative projects. This would give others the chance to flex their creative muscles a little more while meeting others at the same time.

As someone who values shared experiences, I always look for ways to include others as much as possible, even if I don't know a group of people.

After all, strangers are just friends you haven't made yet.


Real life is underrated

If you're like me, you spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (and LinkedIn if you're looking for a job).

When used correctly, social media is amazing. It allows us to easily connect with others who share our ideas and interests.

Personally, I try and use it in order to build communities around my work in a way that provides real value for others. This is a great goal to have, but honestly, I still rely on it a little too much, and I'm assuming I'm not the only one.

We've all forgotten that we're humans. We're social creatures that crave face-to-face connection with others and we need it in order to thrive.

Whether you're looking for new opportunities or a new friend, in-person meetups can help spark a conversation that makes a difference and can shake up the monotony that creeps into everyday life.

I always leave these conversations with a fire under my ass which is why I want to try and meet someone in-person at least once a week.

If you're not used to this, start small by setting up a coffee meeting once a month. It's a great, low-pressure way to meet someone new.

Also, who doesn't like coffee?


Don't be a loner

As a freelancer, things can get really lonely.

Back when I was working from home, there would be times where I wouldn't leave my apartment for a few days, closed off from the rest of society.

When your commute consists of a flight of stairs and you can hop on a conference call without pants, lines can start to blur.

That's why reaching out to others is so important.

Just because you're a one-man/woman army doesn't mean you need to be alone.

Whether you want to collaborate with other freelancers or just grab a drink with new friends, don't forget to take some time to meet others.

Believe me, you'll thank yourself later.