Mentor So That It Means Something

Posted March 28, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Networking Buzz

Dave Balter and Jennifer Lum over at Inc. recently published an article hailing the excitement of the start-up network that is growing steadily in the Boston are called “Mentor So That It Means Something.” Boston has successfully created an ecosystem in which tech start-ups, specifically, are working together and creating collective successes for the betterment of the community of entrepreneurs surrounding them. And while this, in itself, is a wonderfully interesting trend in Massachusetts, what I want to give you from this Inc. article are two very interesting new pieces of vernacular.

  • Spiderweb mentorship: Balter and Lum define this as, “Successful entrepreneurs and executives actively pushing people up and into the ecosystem.” I’ll take it a step further and outside entrepreneurship. Being a spiderweb mentor means actively reaching out to new prospects in your field, bringing them into your large and already strong web, and pushing them up and into that web. I think it also implies a smart way for young professionals to view networking. Look for the person with the largest, strongest web and search for the person who you believe will incorporate you into their network with pleasure.
  • Horizontal entrepreneurism: Balter and Lum define this as, “Collaboration across companies, with entrepreneurs enthusiastically supporting each other.” The same definition can be given to horizontal networking. Too often, we spend our time attempting to network “up” to executives who can get us to the next level or “down” to individuals we believe we can support directly. We don’t spend nearly enough time networking horizontally, to friends and colleagues who are at similar levels with similar challenges. But this is just as important as networking with different levels. You see, these will be the people who are standing beside us when we rise, and the teams who will help us become increasingly successful. Surround yourself with them.

Balter and Lum further delve into the steps you’ll need to take to become effective in spiderweb mentoring and horizontal networking. Their step by step process is absolutely worth a read. Click here now to read more about “Mentoring So It Means Something” from Inc.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."