Sometimes living in a rural(ish) area – as stunningly gorgeous as my town of Bend, Oregon is – can feel so isolated.

We have really smart people here and passion abounds. But, for the most part, people don't move here to start a business. They move here to live amidst crystal blue skies (300+ days of sunshine here, is what they say), towering Ponderosa Pines and to gaze at snowcapped mountaintops out their windows. Lots of them come here expressly to ski and fish, but since I don't do either of those things I forget how much that's a big deal here, too. Anyway, my point is – people are too busy living the lovely outdoor life to stay indoors and build big business.

I'm good with that. I dig this area very much. The thing is, I'm also a passion-driven Entrepreneur. While we have many business owners here (I recently heard that 60% of the adults in our area were self-employed), there aren't all that many who want to talk hard-core business for long periods of time. I like to do that – so I miss this element a bit 'round here.

Enter Skype Video!

To stay connected with other passion-driven entrepreneurs, I Tweet (a bit), blog (obviously) and use Facebook (off and on). Sometimes I use LinkedIn, but not that much right now. It's nice – I have met some very cool people through these interactions. And while I have very mixed emotions about Twitter (more on that later), I must say that I have made the coolest connections through that crazy platform. Like my new friend, Tara Joyce.

Tara Joyce is a leading-authority on the Innerpreneur. She writes a really cool blog where she shares statistics from her own data gathering, shares stories and ideas and – my favorite – she talks brazenly about her own innerpreneur journey. I'm an innerpreneur! So, I really like reading Tara's blog. Somehow, we connected on Twitter (who ever knows how?) then we had a few exchanges. We moved to email a bit then Tara suggested we Skype.

Skype for Networking?!

I would totally have gone to coffee with Tara by now if we lived locally. Our businesses are so compatible and our interests so very similar, I knew we'd have some excellent conversation. I Skype with clients, and my brother (and our kiddos show each other their latest art projects and costumes there, too) and my very good friend Nancy and I get on Skype regularly to catch up.  It simply hadn't occurred to me to use Skype as a networking tool.

It was so awesome. It was almost like a real coffee date!

I'd just like to put it out there to you as a possible network/friendship expanding opportunity. Next time you are wishing you could have a cup of coffee and get to know someone a bit better under more personal-style, face-to-face circumstances but a plane ticket would be a bit overkill, consider grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting in front of your Webcam. I made a meaningful connection that way today. I bet you would, too.

Thank you to Chichacha for the cute little duo coffee mug photo.