I met Audrey Joy, a blind musician (from birth) at my Rotary club in New York City where she was our pianist and singer. With fingers that fly on the keyboard that create beautiful music and a voice that would rival anyone on The Voice, she lights up any room she enters. She and I became friends when I was giving away a book one day at the club and just happened to say-"Who has a birthday in February?"
Audrey 'sees' so much more than so many people when it comes to taking the initiative, creating a wonderful life and doing it all with a smile and a positive attitude in spite of any challenges that she has had to endure in her life. As she told me- "Music and Networking are my lifeblood". She truly walks the talk. As she described how she started to network at an early age, she grew up in Long Island and Monticello New York -always attended public schools- so she quickly learned how to "recruit & enlist helpers for guiding, reading, describing, and later, driving. She now carries those skills to this day as she runs 2 businesses and has a performance career which also include her writing original songs. And whenever she takes public transportation or is waiting for the train, she always strikes up a conversation with the people around her. I loved her most recent story and what resulted already: "On Thanksgiving Day, I took the Long Island Railroad out to my cousin's home for dinner. I sat in a seat that was facing 2 young ladies: Lydia & Josephine. I overheard Lydia telling Josephine how much she dislikes her job. When I introduced myself, we spoke about her job and her desire to go back to school to study fashion. I told her my partner and I had friends at The Fashion Institute of Technology and at Macy's." (She has an interview at Macy's as a result of this conversation). Action was taken and Audrey always leads with "How can I help this person"? "It turns out that Josephine is a student at New York University and is in need of vocal training. I told her that I can help her. The upshot: Lydia is helping us build our branding, and Josephine is building our websites. What an exchange, right?" (All from a conversation on the train that Audrey reached out and started. )
"Through networking at my synagogue, the Rotary Club where I play piano, and on the streets and trains/buses, I've met so many wonderful people who help me in business, come to my shows (I did 2 shows at the Cutting Room, a local nightclub, with regular gigs coming up at some hotels in New York)." When Audrey called me and shared this story and to touch base as she always does, I realized what a true inspiration she is and she is the Real Deal. I wanted to start the new year on a high note in my Networking Nugget and am thrilled to be able to highlight Audrey Joy- a person we can ALL learn from.
"The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure." -- Tibetan Proverb