Bad Girl, Good Business

Cast On & Sign-Up: First Steps in a New City

Reading Time: 3 minutes

My last post (about MN) was a tad negative.

But it generated 5,000+ views on LinkedIn and Facebook.

“You should write a guide to navigating a new city,” my cousin commented.

Well, that’s what I’m doing here. I’m on the third installment. Please subscribe and you’ll get the new ones as soon as I hit the blue WordPress button. And yes…I’m hoping a literary agent or publisher is reading this and I become the Charles Dickens/Grandma Moses of serial publishing.

When “The Man Who Fell to Earth” landed on our planet, the first person he went to see was a patent attorney. I did not do that when I fell into Arizona. My intellectual property is well-protected thanks to my kick-ass IP attorney, Tiffany.

But what I did do immediately is look for ways to build my social/business circle. Before I even arrived, I connected with about 50 people on LinkedIn, some of whom got back to me and offered to introduce me to other people. I also published in a professional Facebook group that I was relocating, which almost immediately led to two amazing connections.

Although this whole “welcome wagon” thing is a work in progress, here are some things I did and discovered. I…

  1. Joined two health clubs. One is closer to my home and one is less convenient but has fewer little kids and more business events. Even if I don’t meet people I like, I will muscle-up and slim down.
  2. Toured all the local co-working spaces and signed-on with one of them.
  3. Became part of a knitting workshop (hence the “cast-on” in the title, for those folks who are familiar with needlework). Not only does knitting produce the same relaxation results as meditation, I met a few really cool women and will walk away with a handmade sweater.
  4. Went to a few Meetup activities — hiking, movies, and a happy hour. That was a mixed bag. I met a great woman on one of the hiking excursions and we hung out afterwards. But the 50+ crowd seems to be comprised of many retirees who enjoy discounted appetizers, men who didn’t get the #metoo memo, and women who are looking for men (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m in a relationship). The movie Meetup was a bust. Only four of us showed up and most of the other attendees just wanted to watch the film and not talk. Now that Meetup is owned by WeWork I suspect it will transform into something new and perhaps more segmented.
  5. Took calls from two Chambers of Commerce. They both want me to join. I plan to attend at least one event before I commit.
  6. Speaking of committing, I attended one networking group as a guest (although they swore they are not a networking group). I have never been to a Singles Party in the Catskills, but my guess is that it’s a lot like this 3-hour “thing.” Enough said. Large, un-targeted cluster communities are simply not my scene.
  7. Committed to co-hosting local events for Ellementa. A little controversy is good for the soul. (Don’t tell my 91-year old mother, however.)
  8. And, of course, I talk to strangers. Not people I pass by in the mall, but my neighbors in my building (if I sense they are open to it), the aforementioned professionals on LinkedIn who seem to share a common thread, and occasionally random women sitting with laptops at Starbucks or other gathering places. You never know who you might meet.

Since I appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal, strangers are contacting me too. Some are great, some want to sell me stuff, and a couple are a little creepy. It’ll take me a while to “find my tribe,” but the lessons I’ve learned so far are:

  • Keep an open mind and heart
  • Trust your gut
  • Try before you buy. Don’t commit lots of time or money to a group or place until you’re sure it’s a good fit
  • Even the not-so-great experiences are part of the learning curve.



  1. Nancy Fedder

    Busy lady and great read. Is it ok to say I really hate the word “meetup”? Is it really a word or is it jargon? It reminds me of the East Coast Bob’s Discount Furniture Commercials…a bit cheesy. Anyway the Nancy club is very proud of your adventurous side. You look great too.

  2. Sari Stefancin

    Excellent content Nancy I am learning a lot from you….maybe I’ll consider relo you make it look easy!! And I’ve subscribed to Bad Girl Good Business…. what took me so long? You’re brilliant and talented and of course good looking. Family traits of course, I have them also!! Carry on cuz, I love watching your rapid growth in a new town– teach us all!! And I love your style, your writing is such high content with great humor, I was ROFL when you referenced the men who did not receive the me too memo…. only you, you vibrant creative kid you! Love you, I enthusiastically await your next post!! Count me amongst your biggest fans!!


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