J. Kelly Hoey

Jul 23, 2020

3 min read

Who Are You Going To Call?

The title of a Harvard Business Review piece (“Entrepreneurs, Look to Your Network to Help You Through the Pandemic”) caught my attention (in a “YES! HBR is speaking my #BYDN language way) this past week. A brief moment of enthusiasm….as in the end, I may have liked the article’s title more than some of the lessons shared. First off, I wish the authors IMHO had reinforced how the entrepreneurial networks highlighted in the piece did not simply “emerge” at the moment of a nationwide lockdown. The networks were established well before COVID19 (two years in one instance) and over that time span, the entrepreneurs had interacted, participated in formal programming and created an informal mechanism to stay connected (i.e. WhatsApp group). Second, a snappy brand identity is not exactly where I’d start thinking about network building — not saying brand isn’t important but… I’d suggest thinking about value, being of service because…if you’re seeking help, you need to have been offering up assistance, a jerk with nice branding is still a jerk (again IMHO).

The network-building lessons I’d stress again (which do not apply only to entrepreneurs):

  • Build your network before you need it!
  • Don’t just tap into your network when it is convenient for you or when you have an urgent need or crisis!
  • Expand your vision on ways you can collaborate and who you can collaborate with (the HBR piece does note this).

“Communication works in all economic cycles. It builds trust. It creates cohesion among dispersed teams.” — Inc. Magazine May/June 2020

Got a networking question you need answered? Email me! On the #BYDN podcast (“Listener Questions About Networking”), I’m answering listener questions, including:

  • What advice would you give career changers?
  • What are signs that the person you’re talking to at a networking event could actually be a valuable connection?
  • Most of my networking is through volunteering and it has become a bit stale. Any suggestions?

On the theme of this post — who are you going to call, and how to engage your network so you’re not simply showing up when you need something — check out:

  1. Are You A “G” Or A “T”?
  2. Show Your Network Some Love
  3. Relationships Are A Startup’s Bottom-Line

My #BYDN networking ask! If you enjoyed this week’s Build Your Dream Network podcast (or frankly any of the episodes of the Build Your Dream Network podcast that you’ve listened to), could you:

  1. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts or Spotify or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
  2. Rate the podcast (5 stars please!) on iTunes/Apple Podcasts (and if you really feel like going crazy, write a review too!).

Subscribing, rating and writing reviews has a big impact, in terms of podcast discoverability by new listeners as well as promotion by podcast platforms. So thank you (in advance) for taking the time to listen to my podcast and for rating/reviewing it.