Interview with J. Kelly Hoey on Building Your Dream Network

Louise Graham
5 min readJul 17, 2020

“A modern roadmap for creating and cultivating meaningful connections to stand out from the crowd and achieve any of your goals, no matter how big or small” J. Kelly Hoey

Everything I didn’t know about building dream networks as key lessons and top tips from time spent reading, J. Kelly Hoey’s book, “Build Your Dream Network — Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World” and interviewing her in person to uncover even more networking and relationship building gold.

Every idea, project, product and social mission needs a network behind it to grow, influence and impact and yet many social entrepreneurs and changemakers are not prioritising time for growing their dream networks or worse, they are committing “Random Acts of Networking”. These top 10 wisdom nuggets are important life-philosophies to help guide you in building a network that makes you feel happy and that amplifies your mission.

📚 You can buy the ‘Build Your Dream Network’ book at Amazon via my affiliate link. I get pennies for your purchase, which I use to buy more books and to share even more great wisdom with you.

Kelly’s top 10 wisdom nuggets for the art of networking in the ‘new economy’

1. Build a wish-list network that makes you feel really great to be a part of

Understand what you’re seeking to pursue and do and harness the power of relationships to move you closer to communities and people that feel good.

2. Goals need a network + action

Ideas without a network don’t launch, scale or sell. The human-capital in your network is valuable — trusted relationships, mentors, advisors, sponsors, boards of directors — people who can and will use their resources (including money, reputation and experience to spread word of mouth, make recommendations and open doors for you, send work your way, make introductions, cheer you on, ignite a campaign, create opportunities and so much more…

“Great opportunities, have networks behind them. Active networks of champions, fans, enthusiasts, early adopters, influencers — people invested in the success of the ideas’ creators. New ideas don’t come to life at arm’s distance; they emerge from an embrace” J. Kelly Hoey

3. Today’s digital revolution holds a huge opportunity to build relationships with a greater variety of people

Some opportunities aren’t going to come your way when you have a narrowly defined network e.g unexpected discoveries, learnings etc. The positive side of the world we live in today is that we can find all kinds of communities easily online.

4. You fail at networking when you don’t take steps to communicate your dreams — networking is a process with a purpose

Pick a career, life or new business target — it’s time to focus your networking on the connections and activities that will help move you closer to that goal. Follow a process to connect with the right networks and, chances are, by making connections in the right way, you’ll achieve your desired result.

5. Networking is an ongoing process of establishing and strengthening relationships

Networking is more than just simply handing over a business card or making a quick introduction. It involves continually connecting to build a stronger connection.

6. Stop committing random acts of networking

Well-thought-out and deliberate action will move you far closer to where you want to be. Before you go out there and tap for advice, know what you’re seeking from the other person and make sure you’re seeking advice from the right person (nobody likes their time wasted). Get hyper-specific on what you want — be very specific — and don’t be afraid of going for the bullseye. Once you know what you want, start thinking about the type of people or groups that can help you hit the bullseye.

“Just as hope is not a strategy, random outreach is not an effective approach to problem solving and at its core networking really is about seeking a solution to a problem or challenge you’re facing” J. Kelly Hoey

7. You have to tap into the self-interests and motivations of the other person

Networking goes wrong when the person thinks, “This person would be perfect for me” rather than asking, “Am I the perfect solution, community, cause, business for that other person?”

8. There’s a difference between a business contact and a support network

We do business with people we know and like. Find opportunities for people to get to know you and trust you, who will then want to learn more about you and your work.

9. Introverts are great networkers — connect like an introvert

Networking doesn’t have to be about schmoozing and lots of people. It’s about being deliberate and taking control of your networking actions. Helping and investing in others.

10. Find the “Give, Give, Get” People

These are the people who use their network to solve someone else’s problem. Anticipate needs and asks, “What can I do to help you?”, follows up on the introduction, tip or lead, keeps tabs on you and what’s important to you — even if it’s simply a like or favourite or share on a social networking site.

Questions to ponder…

  • Does your current network support your ambitions?
  • How can you be more generous in your networking?
  • How can you use dream networks to amplify your social mission and make more impact?

About Louise Graham:

Vision & Mission Mentor for social entrepreneurs and conscious changemakers at and Founding Director at The Glasgow Basket Brigade CIC.

I am here to support your biggest changemaker dreams and ambitions — helping you to clarify your vision, align your mission & make change happen.

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Louise Graham

Vision & Mission Mentor — Helping social entrepreneurs and conscious changemakers clarify their vision, align their mission and make change happen