Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships In A Hyper-connected World by J. Kelly HoeyBuild Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships In A Hyper-connected World by J. Kelly Hoey

Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships In A Hyper-connected World

byJ. Kelly Hoey

Hardcover | January 3, 2017

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Cut through the networking noise and start building the powerful, real relationships needed to succeed in our digital world

If you think of networking as schmoozing at boring cocktail parties or scrolling through LinkedIn for new contacts to add, think again. In the social media age, you need a modern roadmap for creating and cultivating meaningful connections to stand out from the crowd and achieve any of your goals, no matter how big or small.
 
In Build Your Dream Network, acclaimed business columnist and networking expert J. Kelly Hoey offers a fresh new approach to mastering this timeworn skill in a world where everyone is posting, liking, and friending fast and furiously, but many are failing to leverage their connections successfully. Hoey presents innovative strategies for forming strong relationships—the genuine, mutually beneficial, long-lasting kind—using all of the social tools at your disposal. She also reveals creative and surprisingly simple ways to harness the power of your network to accomplish any ambition, from landing your dream job or a coveted account or client to successfully crowdfunding a new business venture. Build Your Dream Network will help you:

- Determine the most effective ways to connect with others so you don’t clutter your calendar with dead-end coffee dates and informational interviews
- Synchronize IRL networking efforts with your digital outreach
- Turn “closed door” conversations into strong personal relationships and business opportunities
- Eliminate FOMO by keeping your networking efforts focused
 
Packed with infographics, flowcharts, and encouraging advice, Build Your Dream Network shows how small adjustments in your daily routine, generosity, and goal-focused efforts are all it takes to set you apart and ignite the powerful connections that will lead to major opportunities for success.
J. KELLY HOEY is a writer, investor, connector and networking expert, lauded everywhere from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“25 Smartest Women On Twitter”). A columnist for Inc.com, she’s appeared on CNBC’s Power Pitch, and her clients include The New Yorker, Coca-Cola, PBS, L’Oréal, ...
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Title:Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships In A Hyper-connected WorldFormat:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.56 × 5.75 × 0.84 inPublished:January 3, 2017Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143111485

ISBN - 13:9780143111481

Reviews

Read from the Book

1Build Your NetworkNetworking needs a rebranding.When I asked my friend Jonathan Beninson what he thinks when he hears the word "networking," his rapid-fire response was "Those moments when you exchange business cards with someone and figure out how you can benefit from them."Ouch! A painful but definitely not atypical reaction to hearing the word "networking"-and an honest account of what we generally think networking is.Jonathan is the chief strategy officer at House of Genius, a growing global community of entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers, so he knows a thing or two about forging strong relationships. Like Jonathan, I really do wish there was another word for the activities we undertake to connect and strengthen our relationships with other people, but this is the one we seem to be stuck with.Merriam-Webster defines "networking" as "the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business." Not a motivating definition in alignment with the new economic dynamic and hyperconnected world we live in (and the definition sounds a lot like the activity Jonathan abhors).I look to the definition of "net" for inspiration instead-"an openwork fabric made of threads or cords that are woven or knotted together at regular intervals"-because for me networking is an ongoing process of establishing and strengthening relationships. It is not confined to a single activity such as e-mail introductions or cocktail receptions in the lobby of a corporation's headquarters. And it is so much more than simply handing over a business card. It is continually connecting to build stronger connections (or to expand the strength of an existing network). It is weaving online and offline interactions into an integrated networking whole. As I see it, regular intervals of networking now include the person you choose to sit next to in a coworking space or the Twitter follower's daily insight you eagerly seek out, or perhaps it is the good old birthday greeting, be it a text, Facebook post, or emoji.Whatever we call the activity, here's why I'm so passionate about it: networking has made my every career jump possible, and it can do the same for you.My career in New York-from work assignments to opportunities to join committees or not-for-profit boards to job offers-can be traced back to my network. There's the network I brought with me from Toronto in 1998, when I arrived in New York City. My contact list was six people deep back then. It was a completely different story in 2009 when I "jumped" from the safety of a paycheck to the possibility of making a living on the basis of my community-building expertise. In 2010 I jumped again, from the comfort of a single innovative client (85 Broads) to a new, expanded client base of established blue-chip companies along with new-economy innovators, investors, and technology entrepreneurs. Pocketing that experience (and a new diverse group of business connections), in 2011 I jumped into angel investing and later that year my network bubbled up the visionary idea of cofounding a start-up accelerator.I say this because I've lived it: mentors, advisors, role models, and diverse networks provide the support for possibilities and encourage us to jump beyond our biggest hesitations.Connections Fuel a CareerI didn't set out to be a "networker" or "connector"-titles others anointed me with, people who have observed the unfolding of my career and the ways I have guided others to achieve their goals. I have come to understand the value of my approach to networking, with the benefit of experience and a whole lot of hindsight. Each career move and opportunity has come about as the result of a connection-that is, as the result of a real, human, and personal relationship, versus random acts of strangers or help-wanted ads or algorithms.Here's my career-momentum formulaThe people in my network opened doors at critical junctures in my career because I'd already established relationships with them, so they knew what I was capable of achieving. Having a network altered not only my career path but also my perspective on what I could be and, more important, the power I had to do the same for someone else.Expertise and a goal are just your starting point. Networks are crucial because gaining access changes your outcome.Goals Need a Network Plus ActionBecoming a law-firm partner had lost its allure for me by 2001. With no interest in grabbing that shiny brass ring, I sat down to focus on plan B. I assessed my work environment and interactions with colleagues. I thought about the seventy-plus-hour workweeks I regularly put in. From my back-of-the-envelope career assessment, I quickly realized that I wanted to stay in the legal profession and needed to find a role helping other attorneys succeed (mentoring junior associates had provided me with great career satisfaction).Prior to 2002, I had a business network of lawyers and investment bankers. Get the pulse of Wall Street? No problem; my network could easily provide those insights. It was when I longed to take my career beyond purchase and sale agreements that I realized the vast limitations of my network. So in the spring of 2002, my career plan B became the following:Build a brand-new network of connections with people on the management side of the legal profession whose functions primarily focused on attorney training and career development, andNetwork my butt off with these new connections and their industry peers from other cities so they would know me, understand my capabilities, and keep me top-of-mind when positions opened up.This was the plan I focused on until 2004, when I landed the dream position at White & Case LLP. I won't lie: there were a couple of near misses along the way and, yes, a few diversions caused by meetings with recruiters as a result of job postings I had read (a "don't leave any rock unturned" mentality crept into my anxious job-seeking brain at times). But in the end, someone who knew me and understood my abilities because we regularly stayed in touch called to ask me to interview for a new role at the global law firm. I was the only candidate the firm interviewed. I got the call and the job because I'd been persistent in my networking.As I set out to build a new professional network, I understood that I was doing so not only to land a new job; I was building a network to do my new dream job. What a waste it would have been to fail to continue the connections I'd made with all those professional peers simply because I'd landed the job! Having a trusted network of industry peers who had experience in the role I was just stepping into made it much easier to get over the management learning curve (not to mention the benefit of having a sounding board on which to test my ideas).Passion, talent, and hard work are not the only ingredients for success. Whether it is changing careers or changing the world, an idea without a network will probably never become reality. And the network of contacts you need in order to break through is often the network that initially fuels your career momentum. Though called upon less frequently now, my former colleagues in Toronto continue to be vital components of my network.Networks determine which ideas become breakthrough innovations-and who gets introductions, offers, and all the other career and life perks that come with knowing someone in the know. Continually engaging and expanding my network is no longer my plan B; it is a professional priority. It is plan A.Your next goal or career ambition-whether it's a promotion, landing a coveted internship, launching your own company, securing a board seat, crowdfunding a project, or appearing on CNBC's Power Pitch-needs a game plan! Look at your network. Where are the missing links and where are the overlooked or missed connections?What do you need to start doing today to create better connections?What Networking Really IsNot only do I hate walking into rooms filled with strangers, but I am deeply suspicious of anyone who says they really enjoy it. If you really, I mean really, enjoy stepping into a room where you do not know a soul, then you're likely a fine-tuned, heat-seeking sales machine and I'd rather navigate the scent-spritzing gauntlet of the perfume department at Saks than be cornered by you at a networking event.Another confession: I hate "lists" that make the activity of networking sound easy (such as "five things every successful networker does on Monday morning") because if there was a definitive list of five things that we had to do to network successfully, well, we'd all be doing them, wouldn't we? We're not fools for being confused or anxious about networking as an activity; we're just human.What I do know about networking is this:It is an essential and continual activity.You control the effort-but not the outcome.Networking is everywhere.Successful networking requires understanding the immense power of regular daily activities to connect with someone else.These are all networking activities:1. Your e-mail signature line2. The wording of your out-of-office autoresponder3. Your voicemail message4. Your profile on a website5. An update posted on your LinkedIn profile (or the headline you use on LinkedIn)6. Your headshot on a social media profile7. Your bio as a speaker or award recipient or board appointee8. Your invoice9. The music that plays when a customer is on hold10. Participating in a Twitter chatHow you present yourself in any of these "networking encounters" is as important as a VIP invitation, a solid handshake, or a slick elevator pitch.Networking Is Still WorkNetworks are my career fuel and constant work focus, because I learned how much time it takes to build a new network back in 2002. It was a tremendous eighteen-month effort to purposefully build, activate, and engage a new professional network! Don't get me wrong: there were some good networking times as I got to know my industry peers and understand the issues they faced on a daily basis in their various roles. But even as I bonded over wine and commiserated with them about how difficult attorneys can be, it was still work.My networking was focused not simply on landing a new job (and earning a regular paycheck) but on landing a particular job: a role in attorney training and development at a major global law firm. To make the career transition, I set out to become an expert in the field before I had the title or business card. I researched the issues my peers were wrestling with every day. I took courses on training, coaching, and human-resource issues at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. I attended industry conferences and wrangled my way onto bar association committees. I kept my job search targeted and my networking efforts highly focused.So here is another big insight from those eighteen months: networking is all about strategic curiosity.What does that mean? It means you need to stop googling and demanding an answer every time you make an ask. We live in a hyperconnected world of instantaneous expectations. We type search terms into our web browser and hit Enter with the expectation of an immediate answer. Immediacy of results takes precedence over curiosity, inquiry, and consideration (does anyone look beyond the first page of search results?). Having access to unlimited amounts of information at the touch or swipe of a screen means we should do something more than simply react to it!You Can't Hack RelationshipsNetworking is hard because it involves people.My three Ps of networking are: People. People. People. No, it's not about the platform (or the association, organization, group, or event)! Networking is always about the people-who they are, how they engage, how they want to be reached, how they cluster-and until you truly internalize that, your networking efforts won't be effective.If you focus on spreadsheets, formulas, and connectivity apps, you forget that you're really connecting with another person. Every transaction or connection can be justified if you only focus on tallying up columns and fail to consider the nuances of off-balance-sheet items. Dragging, flicking, and swiping may provide a better user experience in an app, but it does not establish a real human bond. When you forget the actual people behind the technology, networking becomes a transactional exercise and basic human consideration (aka generosity) flies out the window too.Before cofounding a start-up accelerator, I managed and studied numerous networking communities from corporate affinity groups to global paid-membership networks. I can promise you that every community, even within the same industry or among people with the same professional status, has a unique culture and value proposition to its members.Why? Communities are built upon the personalities and desires of their individual members. No two chambers of commerce are the same, regardless of the similarity of their bylaws and mission statements. To say the communities on LinkedIn operate a little differently from those on Twitter would be an understatement.You can't make strong connections by simply launching a slick conference app or rebranding a membership network. A tap or a swipe is not the foundation for trust. It's all about staying focused on people.Expert Insight: Give ForwardEvan Nisselson is a serial entrepreneur who now invests in visual technologies via his fund, LDV Capital. He has a people-first networking philosophy, shaped by the seven years he spent in Silicon Valley when he was in his early twenties. There, in the center of global innovation, he learned-and lived-the "give forward" mentality. Evan was well versed in New York's direct "here's what I need" networking style before he relocated to Silicon Valley, so he was absolutely stunned when influential people reached out to him with offers to help without him having first asked for it. He sums up the networking ethos of Silicon Valley at the time as "everyone can benefit from some help."This is the philosophy Evan brings to the community of more than 750 members he has built one monthly dinner at a time. The goal of the dinners is to make win-win introductions and to help people reach mutually beneficial goals. It is not networking for the sake of networking-random schmoozing is an activity Evan, even with all his global connections, does not enjoy.Q: How do you define "community"?Evan: "Community" for me means like-minded people getting together, having fun, and helping each other out so they can reach their goals.Q: What do you look for in community members?

Editorial Reviews

“Build Your Dream Network offers seriously good advice for people who want to network in a manner that's genuine and effective. I wish I had it thirty years ago.”—Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and craigconnects  “A smart, modern guide to networking etiquette for readers at any stage in their careers.” —Library Journal   “An easy-to-use guide to the art of networking in the ‘new economy’…. Kelly marvelously succeeds in instilling in her readers the attitude that whether one is attempting to secure a job, find a publisher, or finance a new business venture, tapping into the right network is the answer.” —Publishers Weekly“I wish I had a copy of this for every person who has networked into my inbox to ask for assistance in advancing their business or career the wrong way.  I'd hit them over the head with Kelly’s book...then make them read it! Build Your Dream Network will help you avoid concussions and connect with people who can help you get to where you want to be. " —Alison Levine, author of New York Times bestseller, On The Edge   “Anything worth doing requires a team of champions and supporters—and this book is the essential guide for how to cultivate that team long before you need it.” —Marci Alboher, VP, Encore.org and author, The Encore Career Handbook   “To define Kelly Hoey as a connector would be a major understatement. She’s a super-connector because people know she gets things done.”  —Tara Hunt, digital marketing executive and author of The Power of Social Networking   “Kelly has a profound ability to build strong networks, but more powerful than that, she understands when and how to activate a network, and how to leverage connections to build value.” —Elizabeth Talerman, CEO, Managing Partner, Nucleus   “You will learn that your networks are how you make your ideas mighty enough to dent the world.” —Nilofer Merchant, award-winning entrepreneur, TED speaker, and author of The Power of Onlyness  "Build Your Dream Network is a great new guide that paves the way for you to harness the power of relationships and reap the rewards of networking. An absolute must-read." —Porter Gale, keynote speaker, advisor, and author of Your Network Is Your Net Worth   “A savvy, fun and engaging bible for intelligent and authentic 21st century interaction….Rich with insights from key experts, this will fast track you towards building successful, meaningful and long lasting relationships with people that matter. Highly recommended!”—Dr. Sue Black, OBE, author of Saving Bletchley Park “How does someone without ‘connections’ become a must-know influencer? Kelly Hoey shares the new rules for transforming from outsider status to the name everyone keeps hearing about—giving passionate innovators and trailblazers the opportunity to truly change the world. Brilliant tips that are essential in the new economy!” —Ophira Edut, The AstroTwins, www.astrostyle.com