Import Knowledge

The focus on a local business environment allows small businesses, startup communities and entrepreneurial ecosystems to support the people they are closest to. This concentration allows available resources to be optimized, but overextending “local first” can devolve into close mindedness and groupthink if it is not accompanied by imported knowledge, global connectivity and inclusive collaboration.

Thanks to the efficiency of our connected era, increased proficiency is just a click away. Regularly inviting outside perspectives into local conversation normalizes fresh feedback and bolsters intellectual awareness. The sense of abundance paired with this shared experience adds confidence within a community. This emerging confidence can illuminate purpose and attract more of what an ecosystem needs, by leaning into what it already has. Over time, this adds cultural elasticity and opens fresh conduits for collaboration.

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Be quick to invite outsiders into the insider’s conversation.

As a local entrepreneurial ecosystem invites more outside perspectives, it also manifests itself to visitors from all over the world. This can grow the community, diversify the ecosystem, and boost the local economy.

These intellectual branches and societal bridges also give more people a chance to export knowledge as they interact beyond the local environment. This extension broadens our range of understanding and overall potential.

Can we stay committed to those we love and take pride in the place we live, while also reducing the limitations of our own location? I believe the answer is almost always yes. With a positive-sum approach to importing and exporting knowledge, we can lean on each other to all accomplish more with less.

Connectors Become Connected

In the connected era, building an engaged network is everything. This doesn’t mean you exchange a bunch of business cards at random networking events. An engaged network is activated when your connections care about you and you care about them. This mutual respect leads to improved collaboration through a genuine interest in one another. As we go beyond our immediate self-interest, it becomes clear that the only way forward is together.

One of the best ways to unlock your engaged network is by introducing people to each other. This triangulates you into more relationships. The more people you connect, the more connected you become.

Connectors eventually become the people who know everyone. When you know everyone, people start introducing themselves to you more often. This creates a cycle that inherently feeds itself. The social currency that comes with being a connector earns you the ability to keep connecting others. Over time, this cultural connectedness translates into an invitation to lead.

Connectors who decide to lead should continue to help others succeed while allowing new leaders to surface. Being an active leader and the go-to connector won’t last forever and that’s a good thing. It can be hard to let go of a leadership role, but your work will not be forgotten and proactive succession is healthy for the community. Let others lead knowing you’re not losing control, power or influence. You’re gaining the freedom to pursue new ways that make an impact as the entrepreneurial ecosystem is refreshed and given the latitude to grow.

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My new book debuts April 1st!