It’s Still Who You Know

I have been writing a series of posts on Handshake 2.0 on the visit of former Governor Mark Warner and Google CEO Eric Schmidt to Blacksburg, Virginia.

Although I’m from here, was gone, and am back, at that visit I was shown newly an ancient truth.

It’s still who you know.

Jim Flowers, director of business acceleration centerVT KnowledgeWorks, author of the blog So you want to launch a business…, and guest blog post writer for Handshake 2.0, kindly mentioned me in his post on the same theme, It’s still who you know.

His post has a laugh-out-loud joke which I won’t spoil, and if you know Jim, it’s even more slyly funny, but he writes in the post, “…you can know someone who knows the person who knows the person who knows the person you need to know.   And your Mentors can be the foundation of your business network.”

At The Entrepreneurial Summit yesterday–mentorship extraordinaire–animated presenter John Signorello, CEO of IceWeb, turned to my father and said, “No offense, sir,” then turned back to his significantly younger audience.  “Pick a mentor with gray hair.  They have more wisdom and experience than you.”

Often true, no doubt. 

In the world of Web 2.0, I have found my mentors older than I, yes, but also younger than I, and often with names representing their beings rather than their age, sex, or nationality.  I am an avid fan of Zalary of blogging software provider TypePad with whom I correspond via help ticket.  Zalary instructs me supportively and always includes a value add, a link that moves me forward.  Zalary’s links are the equivalent of who Zalary knows and, as Jim Flowers puts it, part of the foundation of my business network.

I consider Zalary a cherished mentor and I have no idea, nor do I need to have an idea, about Zalary’s personally identifying characteristics. 

I was able to post news as it developed from the Warner-Schmdit visit and from The Entrepreneurial Summit instantaneously and directly onto the Handshake 2.0 site using my cell phone via tweet via Twitter.

Jeremy Hart pretty much directed me to do that.  If we go with the hair color criterion, Jeremy is probably younger than I.

Jeremy Hart, NRVLiving Team, Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS®

Is it the easiest process for me, with 61 days left to be 49 years old–but who’s counting–to take direction from someone probably half my age?

As an accelerated entrepreneur at VT KnowledgeWorks who is passionate about her business and her clients, it’s becoming easier and easier.  I want the absolute best for my clients, my partners, my advisory professionals, and my colleagues.  I gratefully accept great mentoring.  My life is enriched by the diverse sources from which it comes.

Jim Flowers writes, “If you impress your Mentors, they will connect you to their networks, including nice recommendations, thank you.”

Jeremy Hart, who taught me about Twitter, must have found this post on InsideVTKW, How to Tell There’s an Entrepreneur in the House, to have merit.

He posted it on Twitter.

He connected me to his network.  Because he posts with quality, a recommendation from him has weight.

That post is on its way to having more traffic than any post in the almost one-year history of Inside VT  KnowledgeWorks.

That’s the awing power of a mentor connected to a network.

With your wisdom, experience, and, yes, direction, you honor me John Signorello, mentor, Zalary, mentor, Jeremy Hart, mentor, and Jim Flowers, mentor.


  1. Thank you so much for kind words. I love my job and I am so glad to hear that I've helped!

  2. Zalary! Even here you help me!

    You're a TypePad star and I am such a fan!

    Again, thank you so much for your kind, careful help. I can always do more and I always know more after working with you.

  3. Tally at least a bit of mentoring for yourself. You're a "Cooperative Extension" force for blogging, twitter, various blog-related media, and the Corporate Research Center.

  4. That's right, Anne, you're a mentor unto yourself, as well. We're all learning from each other, so keep on going!

  5. Hi Anne,

    Thank you so much for your kind words! We are definitely big fans of Zalary, and consider her to be a valuable part of our team here at TypePad Support. It is especially nice to read something that one of our valued bloggers has to say about us. We really appreciate your sharing this, and I've passed this on to the rest of the Support team.

    Take care,

  6. Thanks, Robert (Dad!) and Jeremy. I have been thinking recently that sometimes my own inner wisdom, my own gut instinct, is a pretty good mentor to me, sometimes to others. Thanks for your support.

    And look at the nice comment from Melanie! See why I'm a TypePad fan?!

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