Video: Connecting

Karen Hoffman, entrepreneur, business owner and Chief Possibilities Officer for Gateway to Dreams is sometimes referred to as the Kevin Bacon of St. Louis. Even as a child and young person, connecting was a common practice she engaged in with passion, naturally and often. These days, Karen fully utilizes technology to help her track and maintain information on those she’s met so her relationships remain fresh, real and authentic. She asserts that each of us can develop great skill in connecting with others.

Karen draws upon her copious experience as a seasoned connector and lover of people as well as industry data to express the following tips and strategies for making positive, lasting and mutually supportive connections:

  • The greatest investment in your business is the positive personal connections you foster through use of positive energy so commit to be positive
  • Recognition of the gifts and strengths in others and unconditional acceptance and love of people accelerates progress in business
  • Cultivating and sharing positive words, thoughts and attitudes about people is key to making connections quickly and easily
  • Our attitude and energy is a felt experience with others and we are responsible for what we create
  • Invite and share values and priorities early in the conversation so you can determine where you easily bridge with those around you and feel connected right away
  • Pay attention to the level of stress in your body so you can slow down, relax and be present
  • Pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses in your personality so we can regulate and draw upon them effectively
  • Practice how to catalog and track business cards you give and receive
  • Provide gift certificates and other giveaways at events
  • Cultivate the art of listening well to others, suspending judgment and paying attention to what excites and matters to them
  • Fall in love with people and enjoy the energy exchange you both experience
  • Be more interested in other people than trying to get them interested in you
  • Create strategies for how you want to stay connected and follow-up after an event, including how you will manage the information you collect and keep relationships alive and authentic
  • Use innovative and memorable ways to solidify your connections through mail or packages or other ways to impress your new connections
  • Engage in email introductions to support your connections

Karen Hoffman is founder of Gateway to Dreams, an organization designed to connect and promote people so they can live their dreams and provide their valuable services to the world. Call her today at 314.503.6376 or email her at


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