Positioning Your Career For Acceleration
We're here in San Francisco with CreativeLive, and what does that mean? We're Silicon Valley. The great tech companies, you don't build them in a garage and hope people find you. You gotta get out there in the world, and the only way you do that is with a network. So spoiler alert: you know what "build your dream network" really is about? It's about this. It's positioning yourself for where you wanna go. And that doesn't happen overnight. That happens in time. And it happens with relationships. And it also happens this way. When we started, I asked you for your struggles, your challenges. What bugs you about networking? That's this part of networking, isn't it? What do we fixate on with networking? What's my elevator pitch? What's some icebreakers? Should I have, you know, should there be, so many women, it's like, "should there be dresses with pockets, so I can have one for my business card?" Right? We fixate on this, right? We fixate on the activity, and how we're gonna work that roo...
m. And for me, that's the wrong place to start. And when I said I would give you a new networking roadmap, this is it. Before you ask me if you should have a LinkedIn profile, join a business group, or RSVP for a cocktail party, I wanna bring you right back here. And we're really gonna dive into this in the next segment. But this is the process, and this is the formula. This is what, when I step back and say, "what has really been," every time when I break down, when I think about networking, 2001, what did I wanna do? I wanted to change jobs from being a lawyer into law firm management. I didn't start down there. I said, "what am I doing?" "What do I wanna do next?" "What is it I wanna achieve?" "Who are the people who can help me get there?" Oh, shoot! Just figured out who can help me, and they're not my network, right? What's your goal, who can help you? Now figure out what you need to do. You need to send an email, send a text, join a club? Work a room of strangers? Don't worry about this. Don't worry about that activity until you've decided on this. Until you know where you're headed. Until you understand what's all involved in here. Why do you wanna do this? What is it you wanna achieve? You can't figure out who are the right people to ask, and you can't figure out what's the right way to reach them. As I said, this is what I did in 2002. 2001, 2002, gosh, I wanna be in management. What are the roles? What are the possibilities? What are the firms? What do those people do? Right, who can make an introduction? That filtering process got me down and really focusing that I wanted to do the professional development. Then I learned there was conferences, there was books, there was people, then I could really double down on boom, building that new niche network. When Veronica and Debra reached out to me to say, "Hey, let's join this, do you wanna be cofounder of this accelerator," I'm like, "Okay, this is interesting, I'm sort of dabbling in the startup field in New York, kind of 2010, 2011. Let's see if this is a possibility." I looked like, if you had looked at my social calendar back at that time period, when we were investigating whether or not we should launch an accelerator, you would've been like, "Kelly, you are full of it. You are at three and four events a night, running around New York City's startup community." But I knew what my goal was. My goal was to figure out whether or not this idea of a startup accelerator focused on women-founded ventures was a good idea or absolutely nuts. And I needed to see what was going on, and I needed to talk to people about it, so yeah. I went to three and four events a night. I needed to check it out. And then I needed to filter through that what was real, and what was, smoke and mirrors and probably a lot of words that will get bleeped out if I say them. I'm quite proud of myself. I haven't sworn yet. (laughs) Laura's looking at me, going, "Oh, no, I heard her yesterday. It's gonna come out at some point!" So I want, when you talk about anxiety, when you talk about all that icky stuff of networking, you're starting at the wrong end of the equation. If you're starting the process at the wrong end, God, yeah, it is icky. It is troublesome, 'cause you're standing there in a room, or you're creating a profile, or you're doing something, and you're saying to yourself, "Why am I doing this? I don't know why I'm here!" And what "build your dream network," and what we're doing today is to get you out of there, and over to here. And that's when I said at the beginning that I wanted to give you a new roadmap and a new process that it's not gonna smooth out everything. Every good highway's got a few potholes and detours, and all that kind of good stuff, but if you know why you're on that road, and you're in the driver's seat, and you're in control, you can have confidence, you take some pressure off yourself. Yeah, when you wake up and you have the butterflies and anxiety because this thing you wanna do is so burning big and important, you can do it, if you know why you're undertaking it. As opposed to what someone told you to do. "You should go out and network." "Oh, this is a good group." "You should do this." And you're standing there, going, "why am I here? I'm not comfortable. Why did I make this decision?" Your calendars are busy; your lives are busy. Start applying this formula, thinking about this process, and it's gonna make your calendar and your life better. It's also gonna help these people. And we're gonna dive into that in probably the next segment. Your lives are busy and complicated. You don't need more people adding that on to you, because they don't know where they're headed.