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Creating a business, running an organization, or being a community leader takes some stamina and it also takes some strong leadership skills. One of those leadership skills, that I think is probably the most important one is the ability to connect, and I mean really connect with people.

I have been so blessed in my career, especially now that I’m working as an independent contractor, to have these amazing colleagues, mentors and friends I can lean on from time to time.  And who can lean on me from time to time too. Having a network of business professionals is so much more than whose following you on Facebook or how many contacts are in your phone. It is really about who can you call to discuss a project with and trust that they are going to give you their best because at the end of the day your friendship and business success is important to them.  And it is key that this type of business relationship is a two way street.

So here is my advice today- take the time to get to know those you are working with! Get a cup of coffee and truly understand what people do as you never know when a connection will come in handy for you and for them. Join an association or a club of interest in the field you are working in, or go to a conference and challenge yourself to meet 10 new people.  It can be hard and uncomfortable, but trust me at the end of the day knowing that you have a team supporting you is worth the cost of a cup of coffee or a glass of beer.  Enjoy your time and make friends along the way.