LinkedIn’s George Anders to Nomads: ‘Network with Affection’

Does that phrase startle you? It floored me the first time I heard it from Mara Zepeda, a thriving Portland, OR entrepreneur. From my big company days, I’d regarded networking as a pretty relentless, sterile exercise. Go to a conference, collect business cards. Call 20 “contacts” and be satisfied if anyone engages at all.

The comforts of a big company logo and a shared contact management system could keep me going  forever. Flying solo, however, that hard-nosed old system falls apart.

I found myself swapping favors with other strivers, hoping that time and trust would take us to a good place. We started with trifles like restaurant recommendations or a few minutes of editing advice on a blog post; eventually, we teamed up on everything from high-profile speaking engagements to a hike across the Grand Canyon. We owned up to our vulnerabilities and created opportunities for each other.

The result: friendships across America (and England!) that straddled work and our off-duty identities in ways I hadn’t expected.

Source: George Anders via LinkedIn Pulse

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