Forming Connections Digitally

I was recently at a symposium for teaching entrepreneurship at Babson College and one of the sessions was on the idea of networking and how to get people to actually do it. The need for networking is fairly intuitive – humans are social animals and having a good social network can make things easier. However, many people (not just students) find it difficult and anxiety-provoking to even think about the idea of having to network. What really stuck out to me was the contradiction of everyone knowing how important networking is, but that not many people are actually networking. I wonder if being more active (i.e., more of a resident) in the digital world can help with this problem. It’s much easier (and maybe less anxiety-provoking) to reach out to people digitally than IRL. It is for me, at least. What do you all think?

One takeaway from Babson was that entrepreneurs basically just have to go out and ask people for help, and the most successful people are the ones who ask the right question to the right people at the right time. After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen? They could say no? Oh well! So I want to end this post with a challenge for you all – reach out to someone who might be able to help accomplish some goal (any goal!) but you normally wouldn’t reach out to for one reason or another. I’m going to email a former classmate from grad school to see if he wants to work on a paper together. I’ll let you all know how it goes!

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