What I Love About Hackers

Yesterday my computer work was abruptly interrupted by an apparent hacking effort. Having gone through this in the last year, I immediately recognized something was entirely amiss, and quickly closed my laptop. Knowing that it isn’t perhaps enough to have the lid closed, I needed to shut it down. Now.

So I reopened the lid, tried to shut it down….spinning….spinning….

[close the lid again] What do I do? Will the shutting down ‘take’ – will I be able to force shut it down??

[open the lid again] Thankfully it closes down in seconds. I then turned off the power strip that activates my office modem. Maybe the lack of a wi-fi connection will thwart the hackers….I don’t know, I’m an expert at other things.

Less Screen Time Is More

I called my Mac Pro (HUGE props to my Macman, Lenny), texted my tech savvy spouse and remained uncertain of what I should do next.

With a groove I had gotten on in my work for the day, it was a sudden stop. Now what, I thought?

‘What’ turned into the feeling of I’ve Gotten A Lot Accomplished Today AND I tell myself I want to spend less of my life with a screen looking back anyway. So I somewhat happily started into other activities, like the reading that keeps me in tune, sharp and up to date. Books, people. The original printed technology.

It was a delightful few hours.

Lenny called me back, we went through a few things (seems like I dodged a bullet), so commenced again a bit later. I’ll take it in for a check up all the same, yet it has been fine…so far…*knock on wood*

Overall, it’s a reminder that Less screen time is More. My talents and energies are much more valuable than my fingers tapping on a keyboard. Yes, the computer may connect us in some ways; and the forced cessation of work was a welcome if unexpected change to my day. It helped me reconnect with a valuable exercise: reading books to feed my brain and future.

So I’ll thank the hackers for reminding me that non-computer endeavors is where I really find my hum. No thanks to them for their totally unacceptable activities.  A pox on them all….

My bigger thought now is, with this having happened (again), adjusting my schedule and activities to reduce my screen time is in order.

Can do.

Connectivity Is…

Knowing why you want to connect with another person.

Relevancy In Connecting

Connecting Goal = making relevant, mutually agreeable associations.

Those associations can become casual, periodic. They can grow into some sort of regular pattern of communication, connecting and intersecting where it makes sense and is of good purpose to the parties involved. They can become torrid love affairs….

To be sure I’m clear, here’s the big idea:

  • Connect with relevant people.

Connections & Relevancy go hand in hand.

We don’t have a crystal ball to predict which connections will be absolutely fruitful and which ones will fizzle and which ones will pop up prairie dog style. What we do have is choice. Choice is important in connecting.

By choosing where, why, when and how you show up you can better estimate that you’ll meet and connect with meaning, instead of connecting by chance.

Connecting with purpose and on purpose requires forethought. Intentionality plays a big part of connecting. Knowing the Why of your connecting efforts is key to determining relevancy. It’ll be more worthwhile for us all to consider our connections – the ones we already have and the ones we want – when we do it with intention.

Relevance is part of connecting.

Here’s another helpful article on tenants of connecting.

Filling Out The Wrong Applications

My chiropractor knows I love to cook. She’s even been to my home a number of times, wherein I cooked for us as part of our getting together. Sometimes business, sometimes non-business.

She encouraged me to fill out an application to a popular TV program, featuring accomplished unknown civilian cooks in a contest…you know the drill, yes? Everyday people apply, compete, and someone rises to a faux pedestal of celebrity.

Since I like my chiropractor and I love to cook, I said – why not. Download, start filling in, considering how it’d all work….

I put it aside then, once it was mostly filled out, came back to it and began reading the fine print. Since I’m in business for myself, I know to be careful and complete in reading all materials a client and otherwise partner sends along, making sure affairs are mutually in order.

Once I started reading the fine print, I realized – quickly – that this show wasn’t for me. Or anyone else really. The wording was so surrender-everything-to-them oriented, the applicant is expected to sign off on being stripped of any protection whatsoever – while the party engaging applicants holds all the power.

What’s screamingly wrong with that picture?

It should be obvious: partnerships, applications, relationships aren’t dictatorships. They are conversations based on mutual trust, respect and connectivity. We take care of each other; that’s the best contract to write and to sign.

Suffice to say I ripped up the application and satisfyingly recycled it. If we allow ourselves to be careless and get into situations that have serious repercussions and didn’t take the front end time to make sure we knew what we were getting into by choice, that’s our own mistake.

Connectivity is a mutually beneficial relationship. Connections with value and meaning will always take care of all the parties concerned.

I told my chiropractor what I had done. While her enthusiasm for my cooking hasn’t waned, and I know she’d love to see me on TV, she was as supportive as ever.

After all, she knows what it means to take care of yourself. Connect with self first, everything else will follow.

Think I’ll start my own program…

What’s Right For You

It’s not what’s right.

It’s what’s right for you.

Who Are Your Right People

The last week has been enlightening for me. Assuming every week is theoretically enlightening, the one just past was particularly so for me. Here’s how and why.

  1. As I venture forward into connectivity – my mission being to connect people on purpose, with purpose – I’m still allowing myself to get stuck in some lingering fumes from previous endeavors.
  2. I love my work. And I want to work. So saying no to supposed opportunities is difficult for me, no matter the parameters. Though it’s getting easier, it’s still hard because – like I stated – I like to work.
  3. The concept of detachment is playing a bigger role in my life. With big thanks to a colleague for teaching me detachment, I made progress quicker out of the fumes from last week, more rapidly than before.
  4. Two different possible clients invited me to speak; neither had laid out cash to bring in a speaker before. Both balked and neither ended up being smart for me to accept. I said yes to one first, realized I couldn’t face myself in the morning if I went through with it, and bowed out. The second one – while attractive, also undervalued speaking and I’d definitely not want to face myself in the morning.

Setting your own bar where you want it – however high it is for you – is part of my enlightenment. I coach my clients to set and hold the bar high for themselves. When I’m challenged with it, being human and all, I can see where it’s sometimes difficult to do.

Where are your right people?

More and more though, as I practice what I teach, keeping the bar where I want it to be, it becomes easier. What gets murky is that desire creeps in – daring you to justify taking that one job that *could* be worth it. The one where the audience appreciates, will talk about you, and you *just might* get a client.

Nuts to that. The client is the one who invests in the speaker to begin with.

Being paid to speak isn’t hedged on who will pay you after you speak; it’s who will see your value to bring you in the begin with.

When I’m not paid, I’m disconnecting with my own value. Connectivity has to feel and be right for all concerned. And for the record, I do speak for free when it fits. I work so I can give. The right people know this and live this and act as such.

My right people include the ones who understand that value is a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s never one-sided or lopsided, to only benefit one party. That’s what both of the above offers were; lopsided. And to be clear – these are good people; just not my right people.

All of the mental gymnastics and communications from last week in these instances helped me seriously think, rethink, gather  my thoughts, remove emotion and then remove myself. Saying no is saying yes, because – you guessed it – they weren’t my right people. It ended up being invigorating instead of frustrating.

Could they become the right people for me? Sure. Change and connecting with the right people where and how it fits makes everything possible.

Who are your right people?

Love Letters & Thanksgiving

A Thank You letter seeks volumes for your gratitude. Hard copy, hand written – no substitutes – are meaningful to recipients in several ways.

  1. They make an immediate impression of import. “Wow, so-and-so took the time to write an *actual* letter to me.”
  2. It’s evergreen and much more likely to stick around than an email, text or phone message.
  3. Everyone likes whobody mail. (Junk mail = anybody, impersonal mail; notes & letters = whobody mail)

I’ve seen clients hang the postcards I send them on bulletin boards when I visit their offices. For years I’ve had simple postcards printed with a variety of fun phrases to send out, matching the phrase with the person.

This time of year – American and just passed Canadian Thanksgiving – is a perfect time of year to send whobody mail to those who have been good to you. Your clients, your suppliers, your supporters, your team. Send them a love letter, hand written, succinct and clear. We’re not talking a novel here – a short & sweet note of thanks is what it is.

Plus sending written notes now, pre-Christmas/Kwanzaa/end of year holiday flood of mail, is more noticeable and meaningful.

When’s the last time you got a piece of whobody mail – a love letter from a provider, supplier or client? It’s a good day to write one or two or ten.

Tactics for successful hand written notes include:

  1. Hand written; no derivation from this including the card writing services. It ain’t the same.
  2. Colored papers and notes stand out.
  3. Colored envelopes and full color postcards stand out. Pale colors are fine; far better than white and ivory.
  4. Portrait orientation stands out more than landscape.
  5. I ask my printers for what I call ‘renegade’ papers and envelopes; the small quantities remaining after bigger jobs by other clients. I help my printer by getting them out of their storeroom by buying them and I get a screaming deal on price.
  6. Return address label, clear on the front of the item (if it bounces, you need to know and correct).
  7. Short & succinct. Specific thanks. Neatly written – practice if you need to before to make sure your writing is legible.
  8. Commemorative stamps. Colorful (see the theme?), fun, singular.

Love letters of thanks fit the season. Go get your pen and paper and start now….

Announcement: Connectivity Purpose

  • What are you looking for – and what can you give in return?
  • What if who you knew changed the world – and your world – for the better?
  • What kind of connections do you want that you currently don’t have?
  • What if you had more of those real connections?
  • How would you plan to make those connections starting now?

I’m here to announce a major shift in my work and want to share with you directly, my fine reader & visitor. Thank you in advance for your time and attention, support and spread.

  • I’m on a mission to connect the world, to make it a better place for every creature.
  • I’m on a mission to help people who see value in what I can bring to them and do with and for them.
  • I’m on a mission to connect people on purpose, with purpose.

What am I getting at?


  • Connectivity: the art and science + chutzpah of learning how to truly connect with other people.
  • Connectivity: isn’t networking – it’s way more than that, way deeper, more meaningful and purposeful.
  • Connectivity: with the right people with an open mindset improves our world.

Ready to know more?

Life = Personal + Business

Connectivity provides deep understanding of how to communicate with others, how to hone your own communication skills and abilities, how to utilize such skills to improve our world. How do be more confident, creative, comfortable and fruitful in your connecting efforts. How to help teams and groups do the same: connect better.

Seem too big or vague?

Let me give you an example:

  • Say you’re getting some groceries.
  • You notice the person in front of you in the queue has something of interest to you.
  • You make a simple, conversational comment or ask a basic question.
  • They reply.
  • What can happen after that?


That’s what can happen.

You’ve opened a door and have started a connection.

The next consideration – or even the first one before you start is: where do I think I want this to go?

Whether the person welcomes the chat or they don’t is irrelevant.

What does matter is that connecting happens one move at a time.

One comment, one question, one complement, one step.

Connecting changes us AND it changes the world. They are intrinsically bound; we function and thrive – or break down – together. Do you want to thrive? I can help.

Learning why connectivity is critical to a robust life, finding out what skills can be learned, engaging in training, exercising and honing these skills all make this true.

That’s what I’m telling you today:

I’m now helping people, individuals and groups, learn the totality of Connectivity:

                  Why, who, what, when, how, where, follow up & follow through,

maintenance & longevity

All the strategic and tactical aspects of successful, purposeful, meaningful connecting are now what I offer.

Connecting people on purpose, with purpose.

This endeavor is where I’m now putting my full attention and energy.

I want to do business with people who believe that meaningful connecting matters.

That it’s valued, worthwhile and entirely possible.

Because I know everything is possible.

  • Whatever your personality style, this works.
  • Whatever you want to accomplish in life, this works.
  • Wherever you live, whatever your age, creed and geography, this works.

Connecting leads to remarkable relationships, fruitful professional endeavors, generous engagements, fulfilling friendships, business progress (no matter your technical tax status).

In your personal life, work life, volunteer life, service life, retired life. Every life.

It can lead you anywhere.

I met My Fine Husband at a public dinner; I connected with him afterward – and now we’ve enjoyed 14+ years of fabulous partnership together.

My closest and longest standing friends come from all directions of life experiences.

Newer relationships are the same, simply younger in their tenure.

When you look around your life, who do you see is part of it?

Who do you value, how did you meet them – when did you connect originally?

What’s that relationship worth to you?

It’s often said that it’s who you know in life that gets you ahead.

I’d agree and challenge that simultaneously: if you know them, if you’ve really connected with those people, then you’re putting forth the energy and purpose necessary. If you don’t, it’s a falsity and won’t be meaningful or useful.

For anyone, really.

And when you truly connect with people, you give more, you get more and you have more fun in all of it!

One of my mantras is “If you’re not having fun, get out!”

Another is Everything Is Possible.

With connectivity and knowing how to create and build true connections, these are both absolutely true.

Since some of you may ask, here’s the starting service line up.

  • Speaking: Keynotes, Breakouts and Panels.
  • Programming: Education, Experiences and Events, including my signature Dinner Party Experiences and the critical (often neglected) Follow Up & Follow Through Mastery course.
  • Membership: The Connectionarium, Coaching and VIP (very interested people).
  • Plus: the 30 Day Connecting Challenge with more surprise opportunities to come.

All of these are further explained on this page. I’m particularly keen on speaking – lively, meaningful, useful & interactive. FYI: I have & continue to happily travel for work.

I’d invite you to this entire website to gain a better understanding of this direction. Please ask me all the questions you have.

All of this is intentionally designed to help build confidence in connecting, challenge outmoded and unhelpful assumptions and practices, provide enlightenment through education and training and develop leadership skills.

Regardless of what you ‘lead’ – household, community, workplace, club – connectivity skills will serve you well.

Ever gone to a ‘networking’ event because you felt you ‘should’ attend? Was that fun? Gratifying? Successful?

Likely, no. Part of the why, is that Networking is only skin deep.


Connecting is the real deal. It’s where life happens.

  • It’s meaningful, gratifying, intentional, useful.
  • It’s investing time, never wasting it.
  • Use the precious hours of your life on purpose; never waste time with the feeling of “I should go/do” again.
  • Connecting helps teach you what matters – for you and for the others you’ll connect with.

I’m asking for your help in recommending my services as a Connector – Speaker, Teacher, Coach.

My services tend to resonate with people seeking value and long lasting real-world education.

Value is first, always. If price is the first question on their mind, frankly, it’s not a fit.


Thank you in advance for referrals and recommendations to others seeking my services for their needs.

I’m booking clients now into 2018. It’s the right time for serious inquiries and endeavors to begin. Thank you for all previous engagements as well, as you’ve been involved.


  • Connecting people on purpose, with purpose.
  • It’s a way of looking at life.
  • If you’re a doer and change maker, you’re in the tribe.
  • Because there are remarkable people everywhere.

It’s time to begin brand new endings, starting with connectivity.

Again, many thanks for your time, attention and assistance. Call me at 515.450.7757 with all questions, please. It’s always good to talk with you.

My enewsletter comes out every 2 – 3 weeks as well (sign up for your own copy); Twitter @gingerjohnson; LinkedIn too. The Connecting Canon will be published by 12.1.17.

THANK YOU. Be well, so glad we’re connected. Onward.

What Do Design And Connectivity Have In Common?

They’re both often taken for granted.

Connectivity is the art + science of meeting and getting to know the world, one person at a time. Connectivity is meeting on purpose, with purpose. It’s the connections we make and build and maintain in life that provide the platform for progress.

Think about this for a minute:

You see someone ahead of you in the grocery store with their items on the belt, next in the queue. You make a simple comment on one of their items – something friendly and innocuous. “That [insert grocery item here] looks interesting. What are you going to do with it?”

The person turns to you, hopefully with a friendly expression, answers your inquiry and either 1. you can tell they are open to chatting or 2. they aren’t open to chatting.

Both scenarios are successful: you’ve taken the first step toward connecting with another person. Whether the

What will open your next conversation?

question was genuine and you really did want to know or if it was simply to talk with another person…whatever the reason is for taking that first step, that’s connecting. You’ve done it!

The key to connecting is to keep it real, grounded, everyday. Open your conversations – the portal to connectivity – with common ground in that moment. See where it can go from there.

Connecting with other people can be taken for granted. And I guarantee it’s misunderstood. Being technologically ‘connected’ to others isn’t nearly the same thing as being connecting in person, real world, real-time. Electronic ties of your own making are not real relationships; they may start some (I’ve experienced it being true). It takes real live interaction to make any relationship – however it’s begun – real and meaningful.

Appreciate your connections; your relationships. Be grateful instead of apathetic (taking something for granted) and you’ll reap and give great rewards.