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I used to work at an ad agency in Austin. I worked with some of the best people I’ve ever met.

We did everything together. We stayed at work late. Once, I stayed past midnight with my boss, laughing at each others’ stupid jokes while we wrapped up a project.

After work on Friday, we’d go to a crappy little bar in Austin and get drinks together. It was an extended family.

These days, the vast majority of us are remote. You get lonely when you work alone, or work from home. It’s tough. It’s entirely possible to go days on end without any kind of legitimate human contact, especially when you’re super busy. Oh, what’s that? I’ve been wearing the same shirt for two days?

This Oatmeal comic (NSFW!) says it all.

Yeah. That can happen. Change your shirt, man!

But you know, you have to get out of the house. You have to meet people and team build, especially if you’re a social creature. You have to be around people. Whether you’re taking your customer out for a drink or visiting your friends or babysitting someone’s kid, you have to get out of the house and you have to network.

You have to hang out with your friends, because that’s some of the most important networking you can do.

Your friends can get you jobs. From the, “Oh, my friend Amber can make websites!” to, “I should give you my friend Amber’s number,” if your friends forget about you, you’re losing job opportunities. You’re reducing your network.

I’m going to argue that there’s only one kind of network, and that’s the one that benefits you mentally, physically, spiritually – that makes you a better person in a well-rounded way. If that involves going to a business conference and meeting people who enrich your opportunities, why not? If that involves spending time with those cool friends who don’t live super close that you never get to see, why not?

I sat down and made a list of the 10 people in my life who are the most exciting and awesome to be around, and the 10 who are most important to me. That list overlapped a little, of course, as well it should.

I was surprised to find out that I don’t communicate with the 3 most important people in my life on a daily or even weekly basis. What is up with that?

I think it’s time to fix that.

The energy that you get out of relationships is the energy you put in. We all get involved in our routines. Giving the best people your best opens up a world of opportunity – I truly believe that to be the case.

Do you agree or disagree?

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