5 Ways Connectors Forge Lasting Relationships


Success in any professional realm often relies on how skilled you are at bringing people together. It can be as simple as relating to a client and understanding their needs or as complex as translating a creative digital language in a way a businessperson can fully grasp. No matter the industry, Connectors understand that forging lasting relationships is key to achieving professional goals.

As the Connectors we’ve interviewed in this list have carved out their respective career paths, each has developed a unique vision for what success means in their industries. That ranges from breaking down nutritional misconceptions to managing creative personalities to building clothing empires — all achieved through the power of positive relationships.

Amber Pankonin

Dietetics, nutrition and wellness can often feel like a numbers game, something Amber Pankonin realized not long into her career as a licensed nutrition specialist. Her passion for using communication skills to break negative stigmas surrounding our relationship to food has led her to a multi-faceted business.

The Nebraska-based Pankonin worked in gyms, hospitals and universities before launching her own endeavor. Now, she is a content creator as well as a strong Connector. She combines experience in some of the toughest areas of the discipline with photography and media skills, running a website, podcast and managing dozens of clients at a time. Her mission? “I don’t want people to think they have to starve themselves.” Hear more in the video below.

Christopher Pfaff

Christopher “Drama” Pfaff falls into several career and lifestyle categories as CEO of clothing empire Young & Reckless and host of his own podcast. Perhaps most important to his business is the ability to relate his brand to cultural and style trends that change like the seasons.

Pfaff has seen a lot during the course of his public-facing life, first as Rob Dyrdek’s younger cousin on hit MTV shows Rob & Big and Fantasy Factory. Between that life and his run as an entrepreneur, he’s learned to give people what they’re looking for regardless of his own personal interest, and that one doesn’t have to be a genius to succeed.

“You just have to be willing to do whatever it takes to solve a problem,” he says.

Hear Pfaff talk more about running his business here.

Circe Wallace

Circe Wallace’s path from professional snowboarder to sports agent was marked by a devastating injury and a pivotal seizing of her own destiny. After being dropped by her biggest sponsor due to an ACL tear, she pursued restitution for her broken contract in large part on her own, writing briefs and depositions to make it happen.

That dogged pursuit has led her to a wildly successful second act as a sports agent focused on helping female athletes pursue their highest goals. Her advice for young people looking to break in is to pick a sport and be involved by finding opportunities to connect with that sport’s community, whether you’re scoring, managing or picking up equipment.

Find out how Wallace learned to push through fear and intimidation in our video interview.

Gabe Saporta

On a given day, Gabe Saporta might find himself in a number of different roles: an operations manager, creative director or even pseudo-psychiatrist. This is the life of a music manager striving to bring artists’ work to a broader audience.

Saporta launched TAG Music armed with knowledge from his time as Cobra Starship frontman and at least one idea of how to create a company that works for its clients. Connections are as good as gold in the music industry, and the more you make, he believes, the more likely you are to find the types of relationships you’re looking to build.

Crucially, a music business professional is “a person who brings people together.” Saporta takes us through his industry philosophy in this video interview.

Kelsey Janda

Kelsey Janda is a graphic designer by trade, but as with the other people on this list, her job as Hudl Design Director involves so much more than first meets the eye. In addition to designing and building products for clients in the sports world, she works with leadership to strategize new directions, manages creative teams and conveys that vision to sales and business people.

It should come as no surprise here that communication is key. Janda is essentially translating the language of design in a way that others outside that realm can understand. Her ability to connect multiple worlds has brought her to five different jobs in four years at a company that continues to rapidly expand.

Find out more about how vital connections are to design in our interview with Janda below.

Want to learn more about the Connector lifestyle? Take our Lifestyle Assessment to see where you fit in and what professional paths might suit the skills and passions you’re already developing. (Main photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash.)

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