Full disclosure: I met J. Kelly Hoey about a year ago when she came to Detroit, as part of the Comcast Tomorrow Tour. I had been following her on Twitter for a while, and she was always super nice and engaging. When I saw she was going to be speaking in my city, I had to go. And much to my surprise, she was the same way, in real life, as she was on social media (Rare, I know).
Later, when she announced she was releasing a book, January 2017 couldn’t come fast enough. Why? I knew “networking,” as I had experienced it, was broken and I wanted to know how to fix it. I also knew, first hand, she was a natural at the art of networking. Trust me when I say that Build Your Dream Network is the essential networking playbook. Here are a few of the main takeaways I learned from the book:
Making Genuine Connections
Build Your Dream Network makes crystal clear what networking should be about versus what a lot of us had experienced – making genuine connections. Networking isn’t about seeing how you can wrangle your way into using other people to get what you want, it’s about giving as much, if not more, than you get and continuing to nurture the connections that you make.
Look To Help
One point that Hoey makes in the book, that made total sense and completely eases the pain of networking, is the mindset of looking to help. When you approach networking from a mindset of giving versus getting, it completely erases nervousness and tension. Looking to help others shifts the focus from you and puts it on those you’re meeting, resulting in genuine engagement.
Some of the traditional networking advice that I’d heard, in the past, from “experts” is that you should always be out networking and meeting as many people as you can. Personally, following that line of advice had led me to attend many an event, with no clear objective, resulting in a lot of wasted time. Build Your Dream Network clarifies that, in order to make the most of networking, you have to do your homework ahead of time and establish clear objectives. Bottom line: If you can’t explain what you plan to accomplish by attending a networking event, you shouldn’t go. Being selective about the events you attend and setting clear objectives will save you a lot of time, energy and frustration.
In an ever connected world, it’s essential that we all learn to master the fine art of networking. Social media makes it super easy for us to access just about anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Learning to translate that access into genuine, real life connections, however, is what truly matters. Build Your Dream Network will help you do just that.