Strengthen Relationships – Make Every Connection Count – Bonnie Ross-Parker

brp portraitUncovering special people is a skill worth developing.
Special people exist everywhere.

I’ve been and continue to be a networking ‘junkie’.  Networking is in my blood right along with oxygen.  I’m addicted! I love the anticipation of meeting new people, uncovering new talent and the satisfaction of introducing people to others they need to meet!  For me, networking is like a walk on the beach – you simply never know the outcome of any encounter – no different than finding one special shell that stands out from the rest because of its size, its beauty or uniqueness. You pick it up, hold it in your hand and take it with you.  Uncovering special people is a skill worth developing.  Special people exist everywhere.

What I’ve frequently discovered during networking experiences, however, is how quickly someone can dismiss another person because they don’t look beyond the surface of the individual to what is unseen. How can anyone know the talent one has, the resource someone can offer, the opportunity that a connection can generate if a quick glance is all that is offered?  Only through a conversation, an exchange of ideas and a door open to possibilities can anyone really know the value one individual can offer to the life of another.  That’s why I adhere to the mantra: Make Every Connection Count!

There’s no magic, no special skills or strategy to make this happen.  You simply treat everyone you meet with a smile, with acknowledgement and respect.  You express appreciation to the clerk who tenders your order at the supermarket, the teller who handles your bank transaction, the postal employee who delivers your mail, the clerk who hands you your clean laundry and anyone else who serves or impacts you in some way.  Replace ‘Thank you” with “I appreciate you.”  Get in the habit of expressing this anytime you can under any circumstance and you will soon discover that making every connection count becomes natural and joyful.  Someone holds the door open for you?  “I appreciate you did that for me!”  Someone does you a favor?  Express appreciation.  Make acknowledgement a habit.

Once I got in the swing of going the extra mile to bring value to even casual connections, I stepped up my game in the networking arena.  I don’t let any opportunity pass me by to make connections count.  Others will say, make a good impression.  I translate that to “Leave indelible positive imprints everywhere you go and in everything you do.”  You never know where a positive connection can lead.  You never know the difference you can make in someone’s life or the difference someone can make in your life.  You never know!  I had a casual conversation with a young woman I met at a chamber of commerce “After Hours” that ultimately led to a speaking engagement in Germany!  Not long ago, I met a business coach at a networking event and introduced him to an amazing woman who was developing an innovative training program.  They became partners!  You might be thinking, “Will I ever get rewarded for having a generous spirit?”  My answer is “Yes”.   The rule is simple.  Make every connection count.  Let others sing your praises and be raving fans.  Do what you do out of integrity and you will experience rewards for your efforts.  Sometimes, acknowledgement comes from an unexpected source, a circumstance you’ve long forgotten or because you gave someone your full attention.  Meet people.  Engage in conversations.  Make introductions.  Be a great listener.  Offer resources to add value to the relationships you wish to develop.  Again, Make every connection count.  You NEVER know where a connection will lead.  Make effective connecting a priority in 2014.  You’ll be glad you did and so will others.


Bonnie Ross-Parker, a.k.a. “America’s Connection Diva”, is a multi-dimensional businesswomen/entrepreneur with a background in education, franchise development, publishing, mentorship, network marketing, and community development.  She combines vision with a unique set of skills.  Formerly the Associate Publisher of The Gazette Newspaper/Atlanta, she focuses her energies on supporting women. Bonnie is a graduate of George Washington University, & earned a Certification in Network Marketing at the University of Chicago.  Several of her articles on owning one’s own business and entrepreneurship have appeared in publications including: Wealth Building, Home Business Magazine, Business to Business and Entrepreneur’s Business Start-Ups.

In 2002 Bonnie received The Athena Award ~ an honor designed to acknowledge women of leadership in cities throughout the United States.  In September, 2005 she was honored by the Women’s Leadership Exchange, a New York based organization, as an Influential Woman of Georgia and currently serves on their Atlanta Advisory Board.  Bonnie is a featured speaker with the Direct Selling Women’s Alliance.  In May of that same year, Bonnie was honored by The International Toastmaster’s Organization of Georgia with their annual Communication & Leadership Award.  In May, 2010, Bonnie was recognized as a distinguished business woman – part of the Princess Diana Tour/Atlanta.  In October of the same year, she was honored by People you need to know Magazine’s Business Superstar Awards Breakfast for her contribution as an entrepreneur. Career Magazine (California) featured Bonnie as their cover story “Branding Your Vision” November/December 2010 issue. OSBO, Organization Supporting Business Owners recognized Bonnie for her Entrepreneurship in May, 2011 at their 9th anniversary celebration along with our distinguished Atlanta recipients.

Bonnie is the author of  “Walk In My Boots” ~ The Joy of Connecting,  Y.O.U. Set A High Standard for Being Human and 42 Rules for Effective Connections.   In 2002, Bonnie licensed The Joy of Connecting™ gatherings for women. After a decade of supporting women, JOC has enhanced its program – now called Xperience Connections.  It’s mission is to encourage and facilitate the growth, performance and integrity of professional women by creating opportunities to foster relationships through a creative exchange of information and referrals.  Xperience Connections is expanding nationwide.  Bonnie lives in Atlanta with her husband, Phil, who is also a professional speaker/author.  

Bonnie Ross-Parker

770-333-7923 (Atlanta)
Xperience Connections

The Female Entrepreneur – Unstoppable Passion By Bonnie Ross-Parker

brp portraitWho is this woman?  She is empowered, enlightened and enterprising.  She exudes energy, enthusiasm and confidence.  She has chosen to embark on a journey and create a mission only she can fulfill.  The female entrepreneur is a risk taker.  She connects.  She collaborates and she gives back and she will not be denied.  She deserves success and takes pride in her accomplishments.  She knows that her gifts matter and strongly believes in her journey.  This strong willed, focused woman must live her destiny by sharing her talents with the world.  She sets the standard of excellence in all that she does and in all that she is.  She endures even under the toughest of challenges and naysayers.

The female entrepreneur is unstoppable.  She does it all.  She creates.  She markets.  She promotes.  She shares resources.  She supports other likeminded individuals with her ideas, her time and knowledge.  It requires courage to be an entrepreneurial woman in today’s marketplace.  There’s no fall back.  No guaranteed pay check.  No employee benefits.  No paid vacations.  It’s you, your products and/or services that are vying for consumers in an already established economic environment.  This individual possesses the fortitude to differentiate herself from everyone else by finding a unique way to be memorable.

When I decided to leave the teaching profession after 12 years in the classroom, I was ready to pursue what at that time was a dream to become an entrepreneur.  That was over 30 years ago!  I bought a franchise.  Everyone thought I was crazy.  A typical comment was, “How can you give up your career, vacations, benefits, etc. to owning a retail business?  You’ll have to work year round including weekends!”  No one and nothing could persuade me.  It was time and I as ready.  I was determined.  I was tired of someone else directing my life.  I wanted control even if that meant long hours, hard work and an unknown future.  Twelve years later I owned 6 franchises and became the company’s Regional Director with responsibility to oversee 22 other stores.

I look back on those years with huge satisfaction.  I went from school teacher to entrepreneur.  I went from a single, dependable pay check to multiple streams of income.  I proved to myself and those who doubted my unstoppable determination that I could meet the challenges and survive.

I know firsthand what it takes to break away and go out on one’s own.  I know the amount of faith it requires.  I also know the rewards that come from doing what you really want to do even if that requires following unfamiliar roads to travel an uncertain journey.  The female entrepreneur is doing better than surviving.  She’s thriving.  She’s unique.  She’s a gift.  She’s a person who endures.  It serves us all to pay attention to and support her economically.  She takes her tasks seriously, often over delivers and shows us what is possible by her example.  If you are a female entrepreneur, congratulations.  If you are considering ‘stepping out on your own’, go for it.  When you believe in yourself, others will believe in you. Be unstoppable.

Bonnie Ross-Parker, America’s Connection Diva, is a high energy, enthusiastic, successful businesswoman and solo-entrepreneur. She is a speaker and author who is passionate about teaching individuals how to step up their game in any networking situation.
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