01/19/18 | Sponsored

How to Make Friends, Network Powerfully, and Have Fun While Doing It

This article is sponsored by ShaprSwipe for 1 minute each day and make the connections you didn’t expect.

Being a huge success in life and work can also be deeply enjoyable, especially if you’re doing things that give you bigger bang for your buck. For instance, sometimes 5 minutes IRL is worth more than 50 minutes online. Here are six of our favorite high ROI tactics than can take you from underachieving to booming quickly and efficiently.

#1  Branch out.
90% of how you learn is watching great people. When you are surrounded by good actors, it lifts your performance.” -Natalie Portman

Surround yourself with great people by taking your networking game up a few notches this year. Try Shapr, a networking app that helps you avoid the awkwardness that occurs at networking events, and helps get you connected with the right professionals, fast.

Artisha Mann-Cooper, a young indie film producer in New York City, relies heavily on making real connections with inspiring people, since much of her job involves connecting creatives with potential investors.

Within a few days of using the app, she was in touch with a venture capitalist that she is pretty sure she’d never have met otherwise. “Since then, I’ve been using Shapr every day,” Artisha says. The perusing of profiles and the left and right swiping translates pretty quickly into real lunch meetings, phone calls, and real relationships.

#2  Join CrossFit.
“Use it (your physical body), or lose it.”

Or any other rigorous (as much as you can handle) and guided physical pursuit done with a consistent team of friends on a regular basis, be it ballet class or rock climbing. There’s no online substitute for this, and even yoga classes don’t quite cut it.

The endorphin release that comes with higher intensity exercise pays dividends throughout the day and in the long term, too. And there’s no better cure for being irritated by your girlfriends who won’t shut up about CrossFit than just joining them.

Seen at our CrossFit box this morning, a sign that said, “CrossFit isn’t easy. It doesn’t get easy. It’s not supposed to be easy, ever. That’s the point.”

#3  Pack lunches.
“Everybody’s got to eat.”

In addition to clicking like, sharing inspiring stories, donating money, and signing petitions, sometimes we must actually use our hands to help. Shopping for and assembling brown-bag lunches for a local shelter (check for local guidelines) is one great way to help in real life, without making a very large or recurring time commitment.

#4  Foster kittens (or dogs).

Even if you only foster one per year…

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#5  Throw a party.
“I will never, ever forget that magical night.”


If you go to parties but never throw them, you are causing an imbalance in the universe! Invite people into your world, and give the gift of your hospitality. Read Amy Sedaris’s I Like You or Sally Quinn’s The Party: A Guide to Adventurous Entertaining for sparkling (and hilarious) inspiration.

Even a dinner for six can involve enough angst and joy and vegetable chopping to make a real impression on your life, and a real strengthening of your ties to others.

#6  Make something creative with other people.
“Nobody on their deathbed says, ‘I wish I’d spent more time on Snapchat.’”

For instance, maybe a short film, a mural, or a newsletter? Last year, Annafi decided to launch a newsletter, but didn’t know how to get started.

“I was influenced by the news cycle surrounding the election,” Annafi says. “I didn’t want to wake up each morning knowing I wasn’t doing enough to make a difference, so I set out to create a bipartisan news source that would help readers break from their social media echo chambers.” But she needed collaborators.

Through the Shapr app, she met a cartoonist who now provides illustrations for her newsletter, and a PR professional, who gave her ideas for getting her newsletter seen. Annafi says that in one cup of coffee, she learned how to pitch her newsletter to journalists, discovered ways to find readers on social media, and got some important tips on what not to do. Her latest connection is an investor, who is considering joining the project and helping her vision become sustainable.

So let’s make 2018 the year we get out of our seats, out of our bubbles, out of our comfort zones. Go ahead, jump!


This article is sponsored by Shapr.


Emily Hopkins

Emily Hopkins

Emily Hopkins is Women 2.0's editor.

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