Thursday, April 9, 2009

Five Principles of People Connect

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Blog posting from Erick Pettersen from People Connect:

"Today, I want to talk about how you can begin to connect with like-minded people. Though, before I get too far into that, I want to tell you about my recent work with non-profits.

This last weekend, I went to a launch meeting for a new non-profit in San Diego, which will focus on connecting readers and writers. It’s not a legal 501 C3 yet, but the executive committee is moving in that direction. At the meeting, which brought in a group of about 25 people, the director (Karla Olson) talked about the vision. After she talked, everyone broke off into one of the four preset committees. Of course, I joined the web/marketing committee; and, of course, when the head of the committee asked my specialty, his ears perked at the sound of “SEO Content.” Everyone with a web site needs SEO content.

Within the last four months, I’ve connected with people on the ground floor of two non-profits and one entrepreneurial venture. I also connected with another literary non-profit, called Dime Stories, which is in its early stages and growing. That is what my vision is all about—people connecting with people. So, for the rest of this blog, I want to lay out some steps I believe everyone can take to begin to connect with like minded people.

First, choose your goal. Several years ago, just out high school, I decided to step out of my comfort zone. Since my favorite sport to play was basketball, I found some basketball courts. Though, rather than going to the basketball courts in the uppity neighborhoods, I went to the courts in the barrios. San Diego has no true ghettos, just barrios—Hispanic versions of ghettos.

Many times I was the only white guy, sometimes I was the only guy who couldn’t claim affiliation to a gang, sometimes other guys told me we had to leave because the park became gang territory at night, every time I knew I had earned people’s respect for stepping out of my comfort zone. Before Oprah calls me for an interview, I will set the record straight and say I never ran drugs or anything like that. I don’t want to become known as the James Frey of bloggers. I went to those parks with a goal—to begin to break down walls—to set a precedent

Second, create an environment for yourself that allows you to nourish your goals. That can happen in several ways. For me, I believed in my goals so much that after 3 years of studying philosophy, I completely back tracked, lost way more than 50 credits, changed universities, and changed my major to literature. Along the way, I developed relationships with people; though, I kept my goals in mind. I learned that if I was going to accomplish my goal of graduating from college, I had to surround myself with people who encouraged me toward that goal. Not all of my friends went to, or had any plans to ever go to, college; though, all of them respected that my studies came before going out on a Friday night.

Third, speaking of studies coming before going out on Friday nights, be willing to sacrifice for your goals. If your goal is to start and raise a family, it’s time to hang up your bachelor/bachelorette shoes. If your goal is to make money, spend wisely. And, along with creating an environment that allows you to nourish your goals by developing relationships with people who support your goals, be willing to let go of unhealthy relationships. However you sacrifice, don’t plant daisies in a field of weeds.

Fourth, and this is one I am passing onto you from former New York State and U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, when I asked him about pursuing my literary goals, “Don’t expect it to happen over night . . . Let it move into the center of your life.” My ultimate goal is to connect people to people; to break down social walls. My writing is a means to that goal. Give your goals time to flourish, just as a caterpillar’s goal of becoming a butterfly requires patience.

Fifth, reflect your goal. This goes along with the Law of Attraction. If your goal is to start a business, and you’re just sitting at home and watching television and thinking of great business ideas, you will never meet other people who might like your idea. The Law of Attraction works, because if you create an environment that allows you to nourish your goals, at some point others with similar goals and environments will see your environment and be attracted to your similar goals. Of course, the fastest and best way to find like minded people is to join organizations, such as San Diego Writer’s Ink or GreenPeace.

Those principles are the ones that work best for me. I welcome any questions or comments. Also, I want to start connecting, so tell me about some of your goals. I have begun to connect with people, because I’ve set principles into my life, and I follow those principles. It’s come because I respect people and their ideas, and they respect me and mine." See

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