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Networking Q&A: Paying It Forward

By July 2, 2015June 6th, 2020No Comments
J. Kelly Hoey - Build Your Dream Network

Question: What are your thoughts on the networking concept of “Pay It Forward”?

My answer: This is the networking mantra which is drilled into our heads by every list of “things you need to know to be an effective networker” etc. For me, paying it forward is about consideration and responsiveness. It is realizing when to make the ask and when to say no to an ask. It is about giving thought to the other person: their communication style and preferences, as well as priorities and interests. A big “pay it forward” for me is mentoring. I got where I am professionally because of the guidance and help from others. If someone isn’t prepared to pay it forward by recognizing no-one goes it alone and reaching back to lift others up, they are not welcome in my inner network.

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee). She has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (1 of “10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). Empowering A Billion Women By 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. Not bad for a former corporate lawyer. She’s a limited partner in two emerging tech funds (Laconia Capital Group and Lattice Ventures) and can frequently be found on Twitter @jkhoey.