Q: How should young, inventive entrepreneurs get connected?
A: The most valuable resource an entrepreneur has is time, so everything on your schedule should leverage those precious hours. In fact, asking how to connect with other entrepreneurs, clients, mentors or investors is not the question you should be asking. Rather, you should be focusing on why you want to connect with them in the first place.
The end goal of networking isn’t to be as connected to as many people as possible; it’s to connect with the people who can help you overcome obstacles to building your business. In fact, many entrepreneurs go awry playing a volume game, collecting junior board nominations, grabbing multiple coffees a week and attending social events at night. The biggest chunk of your waking hours should be dedicated to building an exceptional product or service, articulating that vision to the marketplace, ensuring operational excellence in all aspects of your business and raising the cash to bring it all to life.
Getting connected is then a strategic treasure hunt, a quest to find ways to plug holes in any of these four areas, and here are some guidelines I swear by.