In today’s episode, Kevin is talking about an organization he joined back in 2005 that also led to him starting his business. At the time it was called the Hampton Roads Technology Council. He joined mostly out of curiosity and started going to the meetings just as a bystander. He got onto the board and became super involved. It worked well for him: he got to get out of the office and meet people at grand companies and the heads of big corporations. At the age of 22, hanging out with these senior execs and company owners was a big deal and it started to rub off on him.
Ultimately, this led to getting leads for website development and design that allowed him to start his own business. He is still part of this group to this day which is now called Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative (HRIC). He feels almost indebted to the group because of the network and relationships he’s been able to build over the years.
If you’re looking to start a business or have already done so, it’s in your best interest to be part of networks or groups in your industry that allow you to get out there, meet people, and go to cool events. Your network is something you will rely heavily upon. Look for groups around you that you can get involved in. You don’t have to be a board member but doing so will help you get more leads and job opportunities than if you’re sitting on the sidelines not getting as involved.
It’s easy to get into the wrong group too, one that just takes up your time but doesn’t offer any other value and doesn’t feel like a fit. But you’ll never know unless you try it.