I’m pretty honest about one of my favorite guilty pleasure pastimes — podcasts. I love to listen to different ones from around the world to get their thoughts on anything from politics to marketing and even public speaking. It makes any commute go a lot faster and I feel like I am getting a free crash course in a subject that I want to grow in or don’t know much about. Many of these are connected to Facebook, blogs or Instagram pages, and one thing I have noticed is that these influencers all have one thing in common that they have mentioned a time or two. Being authentic in a dog eat dog world is tough. Many of these entrepreneurs use their platforms to raise others up and share their stories to help other people learn from their own mistakes, yet in a world of social media filters, it can be difficult to show who they really are and make meaningful connections.

Almost a year ago, we decided to focus on how we really show our authentic side and do more than networking with businesses. From that, DelCo AMP’T was created. DelCo AMP’T stands for Delaware County-Advancing Modern Professionals for Tomorrow. It is organized and run by a group of young leaders in our community to help connect people through social events as well as luncheons where local speakers share information pertinent to personal or professional growth. This group is open to anyone who lives or works in the area and has a desire to know people in a more authentic way. Rather than looking at networking as a means to an end, we want to use it as a way to build people up, make lifelong connections, and show that we really have more in common than we realized, even with different backgrounds and life stories.

These luncheons have turned into personal growth accomplishments, lunch meetings and friendships and we have a lot to celebrate as we look back on the first year. This group is not slowing down and we have some big ideas for the year to come. To help us celebrate our first year, we are inviting people to our Year End Social on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 5-7 p.m. in Heartland Search Company’s suite overlooking downtown Manchester. You can always stay up to date on what the group is planning on their Facebook page, and who knows, maybe DelCo AMP’T and this idea of being authentic and making lasting connections will end up in a future podcast that I’ll listen to on my way home from work.