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click to enlarge Mindful Mornings

Mindful Mornings

If you want to be one of those rise-and-grind power players and don't know where to start, pull out the ole' Stephen Covey. Sure, you want to begin with the end in mind, a key principle in his classic book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."

But when you get to habit six, you're reminded of how to synergize.

"When people begin to interact together genuinely," Covey writes, "and they're open to each other's influence, they begin to gain new insight."

You might be out there on your own, running the sales race. Or pushing your new business as a solo entrepreneur. But you can't do everything alone. And in Richmond, you'll find resources for gathering everywhere.

There's a style to fit you, too — from the more traditional, structured business networking to the more community-building, soul-filling side. Here are three resources to make friends, build relationships and get the synergy going — while enjoying your first cup of coffee.

Two Twelve Referral Networks


Founded by Nhat Pham and Andy Fulghum, this network of teams across the area pushes efficiency, pledging to keep meetings to an hour.

Once you find one to visit, be prepared to have a host get you settled. Arrive with handfuls of business cards and your elevator pitch ready. You'll go around the room, following a tight itinerary. Members are encouraged to share leads and meet outside the group.

Before officially joining the network, you'll go through a background check, agree to an ethics covenant and establish an online profile. Training and mixers— and hopefully, plenty of leads — will follow.

Choose Your Own Meetup

You can sign up for a free account on to pinpoint all kinds of business events, social gatherings and networking opportunities across the area. Set your parameters and distance, and you're bound to find like-minded profit warriors ready to share ideas.

A quick recent search brings up a 7:30 a.m. gathering called "\Differentiating Yourself Before, During and After the Interview. It's an outgrowth of a Career Prospectors and JAM group out of Henrico County with 3,574 members.

There are groups targeted to women entrepreneurs, digital marketers, network-after-work groups — and fun stuff too. Not every business lead is made around a table, after all.

Mindful Mornings

Let's say you want to get away from the business-card game, and prefer your connections to be made organically with a side of positive vibes. Mindful Mornings might be for you.

At this free, monthly, interactive speaker series, people don't come for business or networking reasons. "They come for soulful reasons," says Becky Crump, a communications and community engagement consultant who founded the group in December 2016. "People come here to give, not to take."

The goal is to shine a light on people, programs and initiatives that are doing good things, with hopes that attendees will learn about the community and find what resonates with them on a higher level. "We unite people based on who they are and not what they do," Crump says. Expect a variety of attendees."

"It allows you to look at your life … and say, how can I do good through my work or through my life," she says. And it must be resonating. There are 10 chapters that have sprung up across the country since Richmond.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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