Let’s Make September Electric

I hope that you had a great summer recharging your batteries. Whether you are heading back to work or heading off to college for the very first time, I truly hope that your September will be electric!

I hope that you will make new connections in September and sparks will fly. I hope that you join a new network of friends and peers and you become a conductor of energy that flows throughout them. Sometimes having all of this energy and electricity running through you might create some tension with others. If that’s the case, act like a lighting rod and deflect all of the negative energy and electricity and bury it in the ground.

As long as you have the nourishment you need to keep your body healthy, you’ll have the energy to do whatever you want. Channel it and put it to good use.

electric, electricity, lightning rod, conductor, sparks, batteries

These 4 Words Can Help You

Networking, Connections, Mentors, Inspiration

These are some of my favorite words––words that I use a lot. What makes these four words so important is that they are linked––well, at least I consider them linked. For instance: when you are “networking”, often times you are building new “connections”. These new bonds, over time, could lead to one of your connections becoming more of a “mentor” in your life who might support and give you some “inspiration”. Some people use their networking abilities to meet more like-minded individuals who are following down a similar path. They use their connections to opens doors for themselves both in business and in life.

But a word of caution: Don’t just take, take, take from your network, connections and mentors. If you finally get to that fourth word and find “inspiration”, and you owe some of it to the people in your network, you need to flip the script and learn to give back. Become a mentor yourself, and inspire a whole new generation. Be that connector in your group. This is when life really gets interesting.

4 words, inspiration, networking, connections, mentors

Be the Hub of your Network

Louis Henri Pingitore, Oread, light, photograph, photography

Louis Henri Pingitore, Oread, 2012

Sometimes when we chose to befriend someone, our network grows. That’s the key, right? To converge into a large enough bunch and intermingle, share ideas, thoughts, advice, and time with others––others who have similar wants, needs, and tastes. What if we got close enough to the others but never really made a connection: we never really clicked. We might just be floating along with no ending in sight, like random lightwaves traveling through time, crisscrossing and zooming by.

Be that beam of light that shines brightest and lights up a room. You are colorful in many ways. Show everyone what you are made of and you might become the hub of the network you so desired to belong to.

Seizing Your Opportunity

You can’t just linger out on the periphery and hope that you’ll get noticed. Some opportunities only come around once. You need to be standing up front and present. You need to shake some hands and introduce yourself. Let whoever you are talking to know how passionate you are about your art, your cause, your life. Be in it to win it!

As Milton Berle smartly stated, if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

frank armstrong, door

Frank Armstrong, Side Door – Fordyce, AR, 1986



As Fluid As Your Thoughts

“Your actions should be as fluid as your thoughts.
If someone does something good for you, don’t just thank them, find ways to reciprocate the gesture.
Building your network is a two way street.
Make sure things are flowing in both directions.”
~Jason Landry

scott lerman, fluid, water, liquid

Scott Lerman, Liquid 2

Focus on these 3 Powerful Words

michael donnor, connections, photographer

Michael Donnor, Connections, 2014 from the series Notes on a Paper Universe

Today I want you to concentrate on these 3 powerful words: Networking, Connections, and Mentors. These are words that you should get use to seeing. They are very important in today’s society where millions of people are trolling the Internet and becoming “social”––as in “social networking”. You’ve heard that term before, right?

People were social before the Internet––I’m certain of this. But the definition of being social had changed quite a bit from interacting in person, to then interacting via a telephone call, to now interacting via email, text massages and social media sites. We attend fewer social gatherings in person. They have been replaced by chat rooms, virtual meetings via Skype and Hangouts on Google+. I actually think our society is less social now even though we are more connected as ever to practically anyone in the entire world.

The three magical words (Networking, Connections, and Mentors) can be applied to your everyday life, regardless of what business you are in. You could be a corporate-type or an artist––it doesn’t really matter. When building your personal brand or climbing up that corporate ladder or even taking the leap to start your own business, it’s much easier if you have a defined and well-rounded network, a group of people who are connected within your industry, and mentors to bounce ideas off of, stroke your ego, and guide you away from a variety of pitfalls. The people defined by these 3 magical words should be people that you have actually met. People that you have shaken hands with or shared a meal. People who can vouch for you as a person, not just someone that is a connection on a social media website. There’s much to be said by this. Real networks, real connections, real people––real, real, real! They truly matter.

I love the social media websites that I visit on a daily basis. I get my news from some of these sites, I get inspired by words and stories people write, and I can catch up with family and friends. But I honestly would be lost if I didn’t have the core group of people that I refer to as my network, connections and mentors that I work with and speak to on a daily basis. They mean that much to me.

Today’s exercise: Think about these 3 sentences and see what you are doing in your life to fulfill them.

  • What are you doing right now to build and create your real, true network?
  • How are you creating connections in your industry without the use of social media?
  • If you wanted to have some mentors in your life, are there people in your network that could connect you to them?

What will 2014 bring?

jason landry, author, writer, collector“Opportunities will come at the unlikeliest of times. Sometimes they’re because of instant connections.” ~ Jason Landry


The biggest event for me in 2013 was getting my book published. I’m sure you probably figured that out by now. What will 2014 bring? I am not going to bore you with any New Year’s resolutions, rather, I’m going to tell you a few things that I will be doing for certain:

1.) I will be cooking more. Late in 2013, I got the cooking bug. I never really cooked much in our house. Either my wife cooked, or we’d go out. Okay, I would cook pasta once in a while––that’s not that hard. I’m also a master at making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. What I’m talking about is cooking real meals, ya’ll––and desserts too! We just purchased a whole new set of pans and I’m ready to get my chef on! If any of you have any recipe suggestions or good mobile app suggestions to find the best recipes, let me know.

2.) I will be spending more of my time helping others make connections. This is one thing that I learned from the people who have mentored me. They gave me direction over the last couple of years and helped me create the network that I currently have. I wrote about these mentors in my book Instant Connections ––it’s now my turn to give back. It’s not like I haven’t given back. It’s just in 2014, I’m really going to give back. This is something that makes me feel good.

3.) I will begin to write a new book. I have a few ideas brewing, but nothing that I can share with you at this time.

I hope that you all have a great New Year.
Try new things.
Set some achievable goals.
Meet some new people.
Shake some hands.
Break some rules.
Read Books.
Give back.

That’s all.

A Thankful Reflection

I have been connected to a lot of people in my life. My most important connections, besides my family and closest friends, are the peers, mentors and the network of artists, photographers, collectors and educators that I have met along the way. I am very thankful to all of you, especially on a day like today.

frank white, turkey, panopticon gallery, photograph

Frank Sherwood White, Turkey, from the series Inflatables.