Meet people and look for ways you can help them. Understand their business, their pain points, and their challenges—keep them in mind. Then, when you come across a helpful article, eBook, application, referral, and so forth, send it to them. Don't expect anything back in return. Be genuine. Jeff Archibal

I've always found networking events a bit stressful. But with this new approach in mind, I can just look at it as a professional party. A chance to meet people and learn what's going on. And ... perhaps be of service to someone.

Photo Credit: Kelly Schott
Photo Credit: Kelly Schott

I the last two months I've spent a lot of time outdoor with my camera. I've taken photos of lakes and farms and portrait shoots. I've volunteered to help make trails in the woods and walked in local parks. I've had a lot of free ( as in FREE beer ) time.

Eight weeks ago my previous employer restructured and my role along with many others was eliminated. I had been with the company ten years and ten days. Over the last few weeks, I've attended networking events and worked with an outplacement firm to develop my résumé and my marketing plan. At first I considered just finding another job. But, after talking with my friends and family I realized that perhaps consulting was a better path. Last March (2012) I wrote a draft of a business plan for a technology services company. In the last month, I have developed that business plan, registered my company, Monkey Hill, LLC, bought business insurance and engaged a logo designer. It's working!

Two weeks ago I won my first client. I'm a subcontractor with the New Jersey Judiciary helping with information security architecture. I'm at once exhilaration and anxious. I have worked for myself in a long time and I'm concerned that my skills may be insufficient. I'm concerned about the cost of health care and many other things. But, I'm also excited because once again my success is in my hands. I'm the boss. If I serve my clients well, I'll succeed.

This note is thanks all who have helped me get to this point. Family and formers coworkers who are good friends who have cheered me on. New acquaintances from networking events who have helped me develop my elevator pitch. Old acquaintances who are willing to give me an opportunity. And of course, my understanding wife, who gave me space to take on a new adventure in my career. Thank you. Thank you all.

Tomorrow , my time is no longer free.

These photos [click the thumbnail or scroll down] are from the events that transpired over the course of two days for my brother-in-law's wedding. I could spend a lot of time explaining everything but … I'm too tired and to research everything would take more time than I want to invest.
The first sets are for the Grah Shanti.
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The second are from the day of the Shaadi (wedding) itself.

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