Spend one too many fluorescent-lit cocktail parties stuffing your face with cheese cubes and your bag with business cards and ?networking? can quickly become a dirty word.

Chicagoans Rajiv Nathan and Martin McGovern hope to turn the tide on the outdated concept with Idea Lemon, their start-up that helps professionals connect in memorable ways.

Idea Lemon?s ?Immersions? are 30 days of 30-minute activities ($20 to participate) done independently and then discussed in person and over Google+.

Though you should sign up for an upcoming immersion to get the full experience, McGovern and Nathan were kind enough to share a few insider networking tips with us:

Meet five new people a week Put away the headphones. McGovern found the only way to rack up acquaintances is to fully engage with the moment--while waiting for the train, grabbing coffee or eating in a crowded restaurant.

Listen to a new music genre Seriously! So you?re a die-hard hip-hop fan. But if you open your mind to, say, country, you?ll be more likely to welcome new ideas in the office. It?s all about flexibility.

Write down one thing you?ve learned each day In addition to remembering all the stuff that ordinarily quickly exits your brain, it?ll remind you to take failures in stride and be thankful (woot!) for successes.

September?s meditation-themed Immersion kickoff event takes place tonight at 7 p.m.; $20 a person or two for $30; 118 N. Peoria, #2N; idealemon.com

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