Can You Trust Your Network?
Denver Startup Week is quickly heading our way! If you haven’t heard of it, DSW is a week of free classes and discussions geared toward Entrepreneurs. It runs from September 16-20th and takes place all over downtown Denver.
One of the sessions I’m most excited about attending is called Leveraging Your Personal Network to Develop a Thriving Business. While I’ve experienced the power of this topic first hand, it’s always nice to hear a fresh take and maybe gather some additional inspiration from others who have grown their businesses this way.
Throughout my personal entrepreneurial journey, I’ve experienced both positive and negative outcomes from trusting my network. I talk about these circumstances in detail in my book The New Intrapreneur, chapter eight. In summary, I had invested in some real estate right before the crash in 2008. I trusted my real estate agent and property manager who advised me to rent out my mountain property rather than re-selling. This turned out very well for me and I was thankful that these professionals had my best interests at heart. On the other hand, I also invested in a tech company, always a safe bet right? Wrong. $30,000 later I found myself the victim of a Ponzi scheme.
The lesson I learned was that the relationships you build today will indeed affect how you do business tomorrow. Select wisely. While your business objectives must incorporate building relationships with colleagues and the community, be choosy. Some relationships may tarnish your name and can be devastating to your brand. Had I not had a good working relationship with my real estate agent, and been open to listening to her advice about renting my properties, I never would have been able to collect the extra income needed to keep them afloat during those difficult times.
In what ways have you been helped or hindered by your network? Comment below!