It’s about who….

Even though I have only been in my position for five years, I have learned a ton in those five years. Part of my position is to help coordinate events, and most of the time, these events have little to no budget. Even though that is a well-known fact, most of the time, my bosses look at me and tell me to make it happen. The first time this happens, I freaked a little. How do I put something together that costs money with little to none? While reading Winning Angels, I got to section 16 in sourcing, and it hit home. The section is titled “Build a network in one industry,” The first quote talked about how it is who you know sometimes, not what you know. I have learned that this is a very true statement.

In addition to coordinating events, my department also handles community affairs and public relations (AKA networking land mine). This aspect has helped me more than anything else on my resume. I have a book of contacts that I use in particular times and events. Now, do not get me wrong; this is not a one-way street. I help my contacts when I can, and they often help in return. I work for a non-profit community organization; they know the help they give goes to a good place. I know this is not precisely what the book was speaking on, but this is how I use this idea in my world.

My boss has stressed over the years the importance of picking and choosing when to go to one particular person asking for funding. You can not ask the same two sources over and over again. They tend to get tapped out if you do, and you do not want that to happen. Learning to balance everyone has been a long learning process but extremely helpful in the end.

(2011). Angel Investors’ and Entrepreneurs’ Intentions to Exit Their Ventures: A Conflict Perspective. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice36(4),.

3 thoughts on “It’s about who….

  1. Hi Jae,

    I totally agree that our contacts and network can make or break organizations like ours. Even at a university like WCU social capital is always on our mind. When dealing with quick turnaround times on projects or grant applications you often need to be able to call someone to help push things through on a Friday afternoon. Being able to stretch a budget is all about who you know that owes you a favor. I don’t think reading this book will yield a lot of 1 to 1 comparison as we aren’t angel investors, but I think being able to pull out those small takeaways will yield great results.

    Brian G.


  2. Hi Jae,

    You made some really great points in this discussion. Having the ability to broaden the scope of your business to attract investors from multiple arenas is important– otherwise, you risk exhausting those in your immediate surroundings. I think having those opportunities is great, but it also forces us to step outside of our comfort zones in more dynamic and enterprising ways. Although I have a limited history of working in academia, I imagine it is challenging at times when trying to fund or gain support for projects. I worked in the service-learning department at UT for several years and it was often difficult or competitive to secure funding or gain footing for grants and projects. Great observations!




  3. Hi Jae, Great points made on sourcing. Social capital and networking are so important and valuable. I love the adage of it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. For me, that has been mostly true, although having good knowledge, helps you with your network. Best, Ed


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