If you’ve been a regular listener of this podcast, you know I’m constantly reminding of the importance of your outreach habit.
I’m not asking you to “network,” but when you are interested in someone or something they had to say, talk to them! It’s one of the most important habits for building your business that most people don’t focus on nearly enough!
Karen Wickre wants to inspire you to make connections that count. She’s going to give you permission to build your network in a way that works for you, so you are excited about making new connections again!
Karen has worked in high-level communications executive roles in Silicon Valley for years, working for both Google and Twitter.
She recently published a book, Taking The Work Out of Networking, about key lessons on how she has maintained her network throughout the course of her career.
Lot of great lessons in our conversation including:
- Redefine networking for yourself so you no longer dread it.
- Karen’s practical advice for following up with people and how to keep in touch over long periods of time with your loose connections.
- Why thinking like a consultant will help you develop more valuable connections.
- How networking is more like farming than hunting.
- Why she usually defaults to saying “yes” when the offer to meet someone new comes up.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Build your community
- Align your habits
- Manage your energy
How Karen Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: 6:30 am
- Core work activities + habits: 1) Outreach to better serve the people she works with. 2) Taking quiet time to run down her mental to-do list. 3) Focusing on her calendar to make sure things work and moving things around if needed.
- Ideal work environment: At home, but mixed in with working in places like a cafe, where she has white noise of people in the background.
- Definition of success: When people she connects click and something comes from the connection.
- Regains focus by: Walking around the house or the block.
“Pay attention to the quality of the connection you’re making, as opposed to either, the quantity – we know that’s bad – or doing it for its own sake without thinking through, ‘is this useful information, is this a helpful person?”
“It’s going to be reciprocal over time and that’s how it should be: people helping each other when they need it.”
Do you have a backup plan if you lost your job tomorrow? Karen offers this advice to get you prepared:
1) Be open to meeting people who are friends of friends or are connected to companies or industries you’re interested in.
2) Don’t let your network go just because you find a job you think you’ll be in for a long time.
3) Focus on cultivating relationships with people who are interesting and know things that you want to learn more about.