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As you may know, I’ve been becoming increasingly interested in digital photography. I started taking pictures a few years ago, in a very casual way. I took a couple of introductory classes and then would go out on day trips in the local area. I accelerated my learning within the past few months by investing in a week long photography school in Grand Teton National Park.

business-while-relaxingSince then, I have been so inspired to learn more, try more, and keep improving my skills.

One way I’ve started to do that is to select nearby areas to visit, and I spend the day there with my camera.

What I’ve started to notice is that the more I am out in the world, even when relaxing, the more opportunities are showing up for me, business-wise.

This is because you can build relationships anywhere.

I’ve come to understand that I will never know when someone will want or need online marketing help. And I’m continually amazed at how many connections I can facilitate between people in my network. This happened just last week.

I was out taking pictures at a public garden and I stopped in the garden cafe for a rest break. The place was packed. I had one seat at my table, and after a while, a man stopped by and asked if I would share my table. I agreed, and he sat down. As he did, I noticed that he, too, had a camera, and so we got to talking about photography.

After a while, we found out that we are both in marketing. He works in a corporate marketing department, I work with small business and online marketing. In the course of our conversation, it turned out that his company was looking for some outside marketing help in the areas of search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing.

He asked if I might be able to assist them- and I said I thought I could.

We exchanged business cards, followed up a few days later, and I have a meeting with their marketing department scheduled for next week.

And all this while I was out enjoying myself, and improving my photography skills.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last.

I am, however, becoming more attuned to this pattern, and more open to it. I now carry business cards with me more of the time, for instance, because I have had numerous experiences of people asking for my card after a brief conversation at the grocery store, movie theater, or, now, public gardens. Does every contact turn into business? No, it doesn’t. And, in fact, many times I never hear from the person again- nor do they respond if I follow up.

This is ok, though. I don’t expect to hit a home run every time. And when people are interested and do follow up, it usually results in business for me. So it doesn’t take a lot to carry my business cards and be open to what happens.

Because when something happens, it’s usually pretty significant.

It’s possible to create new business opportunities when you are out having fun. So go out, have fun, and be open to building new relationships as you are doing so.