Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Guest Blogger - Aruni Gunasegaram

Today's Guest Blogger is Aruni Gunasegaram. She is a seasoned entrepreneur (Founder and CEO of BabbleSoft), blogger, and a friend. She is another example of Austin, Texas having the coolest people on earth! If you have never been by her blog, entrepreMusings, I suggest you check it out. She always has something interesting to say about business, babies and parenthood.

Building Your e-Network

by Aruni Gunasegaram

Thom asked me to write a guest post back in December on passion and I was one of those ‘lame’ folks who he mentioned were too busy. Instead of getting too upset with me, he wrote a great post where he referenced me and mentioned some of my email comments about passion. When I said “No, I can’t do it right now, I’m too busy” I offered to write something for him in January if he didn’t mind, and he graciously accepted!

Since Thom writes about networking on his blog and in his books, I thought it might be a good thing to share my thoughts on networking for Thom’s fabulous readers. I believe networking is just a fancy word for making friends and helping each other out.

The definition of friends has changed drastically since most of us were born. In addition to the friends that we’ve grown to know over the years through work, play, kids, school, we now also have what I call i-friends or e-friends. E-friends are the people we meet and build a rapport with over the big puffy cloud known as the Internet. We may have met them, we may have spoken to them, or we may have only emailed them. Yet we often feel comfortable referring to some of them as friends…I mean just look at facebook! I’ve been making e-friends on Twitter (@aruni) left and right and having fun doing it.

So here’s what I have observed about building a network of e-friends:

Do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. Of course unexpected things sometimes come up that make it impossible to follow through but you should always let the person know. I, personally, am much more forgiving and have more respect for someone who tells me they can’t meet their commitment for whatever reason than for someone who I have to constantly follow up with. Even if someone else flakes out on you, don’t follow suit.

When someone reaches out to you for help, answer them. Even if the answer is “I can’t help you right now,” just say it. Don’t ignore a request for help because when you inevitably need help, guess what? Your request is bound to go ignored as well. What goes around comes around. Even if someone does not ask you specifically for help if you see someone on the Internet who could benefit from your sage advice or connections take a few minutes and send them an email or leave a comment on their blog.

Build and foster trust by being consistent. Trust, in my opinion, is earned and earned faster if you are consistent. If someone knows they can count on you, they are more likely to let you count on them.

Now I’m sure Thom has said this all before and much more eloquently than I have but since he’s coming out with a new book called Some Assembly Required for Women, and I happen to be a woman just consider this a feminine reminder. J

Aruni blogs at entrepreMusings. She has two kids, some plants, and a patient husband. She is President/Founder of Babble Soft and writes articles on the topic of Success. Previously, she taught Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and was the founding CEO of Isochron.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Yes, yes, yes! Great suggestions on building our online networks. Wonderful post Aruni!