From The Publisher

Beverly Denver Photo Pleasure of Your Company

Like most professionals these days, my mailbox and inbox are overflowing with invitations to attend lots of meetings, gatherings and special events. Mostly, these invitations come from friends and associates. And, it doesn’t matter to me if the requests come by phone, via email or on a beautifully designed and printed card; each of them always puts a smile on my face.

The truth is, I love when opportunities arise that allow me to connect and keep up with those I care about. I love knowing what they are doing, and I love being present to see them do it. I also love the fact that someone thought of me and requested the “pleasure of your company.” Admittedly, that gracious little phrase gets me every time! When I receive personal invitations, I do everything in my power to respond promptly and courteously (with an RSVP) and in the affirmative — and then, God willing, I show up! I want to stay engaged with my friends and support them and their special interests. And, why wouldn’t I? My friends do the same for me! Often and big time!

However, like most professionals, I’ve gotten used to receiving invitations (to a variety of events) from people or groups I either don’t know or have no obvious connection to. I used to wonder, “Why me?” In the old days – when I was dumber than dumb – I simply tossed the “mystery” invitations aside and moved on to other things. Rarely, if ever, did I give them a second thought, like that all-important one — “maybe this could be a great opportunity!” But, over the years, I’ve grown and evolved and learned a whole lot about the joys of connecting with new people and exposing myself to the unexpected. I know now that “talking to strangers” is fun and, sometimes, life changing. I was reminded of this recently when a brand new subscriber to Houston Woman Magazine — another very busy professional woman — sent me an email and asked if I could meet her for coffee. Of course, I could, so we set a date.

We got together several days later. We met not knowing if our visit would be long or short, if the topics of mutual interest would be light or heavy. And, of course, we met not knowing whether this was the beginning of a new friendship or the only time we would ever want see each other! As it turned out, the woman and I really hit it off. A one-hour meeting turned into more than two and, over several cups of coffee, we shared stories about our childhoods, our parents, our children and, yes, business and our beloved work. We talked about being self-employed and why we had first chosen to go out on our own. We talked about the positives and the negatives.

We talked about the changes we see ahead. Though our fields could not be more different, we found ourselves sharing ideas and offering suggestions. We found ourselves being exposed to some new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things. Throughout it all, we laughed and sighed — like old friends — about the challenges of the future and how we would meet them. Like I said, “talking to strangers” is fun and, sometimes, life-changing. 

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