Faces of #OKGNtech
Accelerate Okanagan - Jan 10, 2019 - Columnists

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A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable, and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.

Our community is strong and growing with record speed, and maintaining connections through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic. We’ve got a plan.

Introducing “The Faces of #OKGNtech,” a showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth and more excitement. Follow along on the blog and on Instagram at @OKGNtech to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.

Meet Kelly. Kelly Hoey is the author of ‘Build your Dream Network.’ When Kelly isn’t traveling the world sharing and networking, you’ll find her at home in New York City, where she loves to take meditation walks through City Park or hit the public theatres. We recently caught up with Kelly to learn more about why she chose to write her book and her passion for networking.

[Editor’s note: Kelly Hoey spoke at our OKGNtech LIVE event in October. If you missed it, here are some places you can find her Wisdom. Her WebsiteHer BookHer Podcast.Her BlogHer Speaking Reel.]

What inspired you to make the move from Victoria to New York?

“I attended law school at the University of British Columbia, and then I worked in Toronto for seven years before falling in love and moving to the States. I would like to say there was a career reason and greater ambition than that, but back in 1998 I can’t tell you there was.”

When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?

“Everything that I did in my career led me to this point (the benefit of hindsight!). But the tipping point for writing a book was being sought out for my specific expertise by other authors. I thought to myself, ‘OK, hello … why am I not writing the book on networking?’ It was like getting hit on the head and that kind of ‘If I am the expert’s expert and people are seeking my advice because they see it as unique and helpful and they want to include it in their books on this topic, why am I not writing the book?’”

[Editor’s note: Before becoming an author and speaker, Kelly practised law for 11 years. ]

Did you always know you were a writer?

“I had never considered myself a writer. Sometimes we can put our own lens on a skill set, and it might be because of a comment from a parent or teacher. You know, like, if you had a bad mark on an essay you get this impression of your skill level that may not be accurate, ya know? Things like that may prevent you from pursuing something that is actually, at the end of the day, a strength. It’s important to be able to look past these insecurities.”

You talk a lot about the importance of trusting your gut. Is this something you’ve always been good at?

“Trusting your gut comes with the accumulation of experiences. You’ve got to give yourself the chance to learn, try things out and fully live those experiences to strengthen that trust. Eventually, knowledge and information just gets embedded in us, and, at some point, there is pattern recognition, and you start to feel it in your gut before you think it.”

If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

“Who knows what you know is ultimately what matters most at the end of the day. You could have the best credentials, but if nobody likes you you’re dead in the water. On the other hand, you could have all the contacts you could ever need, but you’re an idiot, well, that’s not going to get you anywhere either. Life is all about thoughtful relationships.”

What inspired you to write a book about networking?

“Everything in my life truly is explained by networks and relationships. I didn’t think how I was building these relationships and networks was unique. I was just always thinking about ways I could be helpful to other people. I never did anything big or dramatic. It was always just these tiny incremental observations and actions that built these relationships. It’s kind of like maintaining a healthy diet—a series of small actions will just snowball.”

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were first starting out?

“Remember that you have a network and the actions you take ‘Every. Single. Day.’—from how you answer an e-mail to how you greet people at your job—have an impact on that network. That’s networking! Try and focus on being kind to the people you already know and build your network from that core.”

What is your power song?

“My power song is Gloria Gainer’s ‘I Will Survive.’ That song was actually on the B side of the 45, and it wasn’t even supposed to be released, which is part of why I love the song so much. When I think about it, the ‘other side’ is often what takes us to where we really want to go.”


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