Leveraging Your Community and Networking OnlineMorgan Gertler
Rodney Sampson and Cate Luzio spoke at the Survive and Thrive Summit, hosted and produced by Ramon Ray of Smart Hustle Media. The first two Summits were held earlier in 2020 and the next one will be in the spring of 2021. Registration is free. If you don’t want to miss when the event date is announced and when registration opens up, sign up for our newsletter. This conversation focused on community building, networking and how to do it virtually.
A Shift to Stay Connected
Rodney started Opportunity Hub (OHUB) with his wife seven years ago. It’s become the leading technology, startup entrepreneurship, and venture ecosystem building platform. It ensures that everyone everywhere has an equitable opportunity in the future of work as a path to multi-generational wealth. And with no reliance on pre-existing multi-generational wealth. Many of their larger events were canceled due to COVID-19. So they’ve had to shift to staying connected and keeping their mission alive virtually.
A New Path for Women
Cate Luzio started Luminary after working in corporate financing for 20 years. During her career, she felt she didn’t see enough women getting opportunities for new roles and better pay, even though they were raising their hands to step up. She decided she wanted to do more for women in the workforce. So she wrote a business plan and launched Luminary about none months later.
She self-funded the business because it was important to invest her money in something meaningful. They have a physical space in the NoMad neighborhood of NYC and now a thriving virtual space.
Luminary helps advance women in the workforce through community no matter their job, industry, schooling or background. It’s an ecosystem that helps women “upskill” themselves. It happens through community building. This means connecting with others and coming up with new ideas, new businesses and new opportunities.
While there has always been an online community board and jobs board, so much was in person and COVID-19 meant a serious shift in the business. More than 60 programs have been moved online in the last few weeks and have continued to help women on their journey’s of career advancement or change.
Building Community the New Way
Cate and Rodney can both empathize with other businesses right now. They too have had to re-invent their businesses.
Right now it’s especially important to build a team that has transparency and communication. You want to hear ideas and concerns from what you’ve invested in — your people.
Right now, if you’re living, no matter what, you’re a winner. Having your team healthy is a win, as Rodney says. Wins come in new ways right now, and being grateful for your team and community and should be high up on the list.
Community is natural because people want to connect, especially now when life feels more unstable. Whether you’re in the physical space or online, you can create a community. If you’re a small business, lean into your community by asking what they need, and asking for support. This might be introductions, help with PPP, etc. It’s a two-way street, so offer your support and receive support in return.
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