Face Time in Real Time

Jun 05, 2014Stephen Charles Lincoln

Being part of the community has always been very important to me. Whether it's in my neighborhood (walking down the street and saying hello to familiar faces—it happens even in NYC), the people who take my classes or the friends that I have kept in touch with since high school and even grade school—having that constant connection is important. I find in this day and (my increasing) age, it's more important than ever.

Stay connected. 

Which is why I decided to join the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Immediately, I was struck by the beehive of business activity. Through my communication with fellow business owners, I learned how pervasive and pernicious discrimination is. For no reason other who we are. That unfairness is the antithesis of who I am and made me more aware of my responsibility as a business owner beyond the confines of my own office. It made me step up my local business engagement.

Becoming a member was no easy feat though. The NGLCC checks you out like you're applying for a security clearance. Derrick Brown was the person who interviewed me and has been a great supporter of The Protein Bakery. He listened to my business model because he wanted to better understand how to help me grow my business in ways I'd never thought of. What a gift. I get so in my head about being a baker that I forget there's more to do than what I create in the kitchen.

Getting help from people who don't know me, yet want to offer me guidance and friendship never ceases to amaze me. As I said, it makes me feel more connected and I need that. So does the bakery. 

All of us sharing our unique business experiences opens us up to new possibilities. Ones I couldn't imagine sitting at my desk. 

I hope this blog entry motivates you to join some type of group. It doesn't matter if it's related to your work. Be it a book club or an activity you have a passion for, that you're connecting with other people, people who have faces and names and NOT just email addresses is so worthwhile.

No matter how fantastic social media can be, the internet can't replace what's out there in real life. I feel it's up to us to make sure we keep that in our lives. 

So please…if ever you're in NYC, make some time to visit us. Let's meet and make a connection.

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