Networking…really?!?!?!?

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Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Entrepreneurs of Knoxville | Posted on 24-04-2014

Networking People

Lots of people networking

I learned something today and would like to share with you.

I’ve always been eminently opposed to the idea of “networking”.  I’ve always associated networking with “fake” or a “false sense of value”.  You’re forcing a relationship…just doesn’t feel right.

BUT…members of EOK keep saying this is the best “networking” organization they’ve ever experienced.  So, I say…hmmmm…maybe networking isn’t a bad thing.  Maybe there is a right way to network.  For EOK, it happens VERY organically and over a long period of time.  You meet someone, you see them again at a pub night, you see them at a crowdsourcing event and hear some of their ideas, then you see them at a member spotlight.  All of the sudden, they become a real person with great ideas and an interesting story.  And you think…this is someone I’d like to spend more time with and perhaps do business with.  The RIGHT way to network.

So, as you might guess, I’ve always been opposed to referring to EOK as a networking organization.  It just makes my skin crawl when I hear “EOK” and “Networking Organization” in the same sentence.  Mainly, due the to the fact that I’ve attended many “Networking Organization” meetings over the years.  Chamber events, BNI, REO, etc. and have always thought it just felt forced and a little useless.  I launched my first company back in 1995…I have worked my whole life but launched a real business in 1995.  None of these meetings, events, or other “networking” did me any good…or…did it.  Everyone who meets me comments about how outgoing I am and how I seem to know everyone.  It seems that through my opposition to “networking” for the sake of networking, I’ve been doing something right.  I’ve spent time getting to know a lot of people.  I’ve also learned to listen a little more.  I’ve been networking my entire life…I just didn’t know it.  I network at my kid’s sports, my Church, my Rotary club, and even EOK meetings and events.

I’ve learned a few things over the years and want to share them with you.

  1. Listen more than you talk (you’ll learn a lot more about the other person)
  2. Care about what the other person is saying (Seriously, this helps)
  3. Be the conduit (Connect the people you just met to people you know)

So, LISTEN, LEARN, CONNECT…that’s my advice for events, parties, church, civic clubs, etc.

Another aspect of speaking to new or existing contacts; Speak in terms of benefits to them and their clients.  You know…bring value to the conversation.  So, when you’re not listening…and the other person has just asked your opinion on something or for your input, share something valuable with them.  Give away as much as you can in those next few moments.  Something they can walk away with and be better for having met you.  A tip, tool, referral, quote, etc.  I always have some software tool I’ve been experimenting with to share…just ask.  Believe me, they will remember you and seek you out at the next event.

Anyway, I started into this latest rambling in an effort to tell you I learned something today.  One of my recent startups is Neighborhood Nerds.  Yes, they’re a sponsor of EOK…that’s just how we roll.  Anyway, one of my contacts I’ve made through EOK, Dan Rawls, reached out to me about a week ago.  Dan, if you didn’t know, is the Executive Director of BNI TN.  I have always respected Dan but have never seriously considered joining a BNI chapter…until now.

Dan had never strong armed me or given me much of a sales pitch for BNI.  He sings its praises if you ask but NEVER pushes it.  Dan said BNI was starting a new chapter in Bearden and thought Neighborhood Nerds would be a great fit.  He quickly explained BNI at a high level.  Since I do respect Dan, I agreed to attend this first meeting.  To my surprise, I very much enjoyed the meeting and learned a great deal about how BNI isn’t “fake” or “forced”.  Their vetting process is serious.  You don’t get in unless you’re good and you’re going to play by the rules.  Also, they are intent on you getting to know your fellow BNI members.  They do this through “One-to-One” meetings.

So, Neighborhood Nerds is completely onboard with joining BNI and we’re VERY excited about this new chapter!  If you’ve looked at these organizations in a negative light like me but want to try again, let me know…maybe this new chapter is just what you’re looking for?

You know…I may even go to a Chamber event sometime…maybe I have them all wrong.

Social Media Subdomains

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Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Neighborhood Nerds | Posted on 19-02-2014

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SocialMediaIconsI have my own vanity domain…of course, you already know that or you wouldn’t be reading this post right now.  One of the cool things about having your own domain, you can create a bunch of subdomains.  You know, those domains like blog.leonardknight.com and point it to somewhere cool.  So, I was thinking…instead of sharing the long, tedious URL associated with my media links.  Why not create subdomains to point to those big long ugly domains?!?!?!  Since I’m a member of Neighborhood Nerds, I enlisted the help of the nerds by sending a quick email to help@nnerd.com and voila I have a bunch of cool new subdomains I can easily remember and share.

  • li.leonardknight.com
  • tw.leonardknight.com
  • fb.leonardknight.com
  • gp.leonardknight.com

The list could go on and on…so could I…but…I’ll cut it off here for now.  So, if you have a domain and want to create some cool little subdomains for your social media links and other stuff, tell your IT guy or if you don’t have an IT guy, talk to the Nerds 865-622-2422

EOK’s new look…

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Posted by Leonard Knight | Posted in Entrepreneurs of Knoxville | Posted on 14-02-2014

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eokhq.com

Entrepreneurs of Knoxville – Home Page

As most of you know, the EOK website is built on Ning.com’s platform.  We are still on the older version of Ning but have updated the colors and layout a little.  Soon, we will be migrating to Ning 3.0 with all sorts of new bells and whistles…plus…it should be more aesthetically pleasing.  If you want to know more about Entrepreneurs of Knoxville or Ning, feel free to send me an email, text, tweet, etc.

My latest venture…

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Posted by . | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2013

As you may know, my company, Bright Software helps entrepreneurs bring their software application ideas to fruition.  Not too long ago, a young entrepreneur brought us an incredible product idea.  He needed a little help on the revenue model and market research but the results were well worth our time!  Jay and I discussed the project for a few weeks then decided to engage Augustine in the creation of Fair Mechanics.

A few months and a $100,000 later, we are on the cusp of launching the Fair Mechanics system!  We go live with a Web-based application, iPhone App, and Android App later this month.  We are in the works now loading the system with mechanics and users.

Keep an eye out for our launch…it’s gonna be AWESOME!

FairMechanics.com

FairMechanics.com Application allows “Shoppers” to post their car repair needs and Local Mechanics bid on those jobs!

My latest venture (Neighborhood Nerds)

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Posted by . | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2013

nnerd.com

Residential and Small Business technical support for a small monthly fee!

I first had a vision of Neighborhood Nerds in 2009 while helping friends with their technical issues.  I quickly noticed a common dissatisfaction with service providers. The common complaint, high cost of service and the low level of delivery (the client wanted more for less).  Many also complained about the ineffeciency of the technicians (the client had to spend time explaining the issues). Another complaint was poor service (the tech just couldn’t fix the issue or they caused additional issues).  Being an entrepreneur, I saw an opportunity for a new business.

My love with technology started in High School where I was first introduced to a TRS-80 computer..and was immediately hooked.  From there, I worked on various machines programming in BASIC, Pascal, Fortran, Assembly, C, and a few others.  I entered UT Knoxville in 1987.  While at UT, I had the opportunity to work with the first IBM personal computers, VAX systems, Iris Workstations, SPARC Workstations, and the first Macintosh computers.

After graduating from UT Knoxville with a degree in Electrical Engineering, I went to work for Allen-Bradley where I engineered, programmed, and installed industrial control systems.  This allowed me to work with the latest technology in computers, communications, business systems, and gadgets of all sorts!

Later I diversified my portfolio while exercising my entrepreneurial spirit.  I launched Russell Knight Properties in 1995 as the family’s real-estate investing company. In 2000 I launched DBR Systems, an Industrial Automation company. In 2006 I launched Bright Software a business incubator specializing in Software solutions.  In 2008 I launched Entrepreneurs of Knoxville to help others with their business startups.  In 2011 I launched Taking IT Home in Sequoyah Hills, a neighborhood in Knoxville, TN.

Neighborhood Nerds (NNerds) is a residential tech support company with a huge focus on the customer relationship. The nerds have a real empathy for their clients and their issues with Technology.  NNerds operates on a membership model where its competitors operate on a break-fix model. By setting up a shop in the middle of a neighborhood, using a membership model, and investing on the front-end, NNerds is able to bring a VERY affordable service to its members

Rainbow over West Knoxville

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Posted by . | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2013

Really cool rainbow over West Knoxville seen from Panera

Daddy fixing dinner!

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Posted by . | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2013

Making fresh/home made chicken tenders & steamed veggies for dinner using my little fryer I got for Christmas! Good stuff!

Vietnamese Bistro Decor

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Posted by . | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2013

Nice tables & chairs. Polished concrete floor.

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Lunch at Vietnamese Bistro

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Posted by . | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2013

Wow! My first time eating Vietnamese & I’m hooked!

Bun Tom Nuong, Bahn Mi, Summer Rolls…all are awesome!  The Bahn Mi (French Bread Sandwich) is AWESOME!

The Company Lab – Chattanooga

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Posted by . | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2013

Look what’s happening in Chattanooga! We’ve loved these guys since we first met them in 2008 during an interview with the “Create Here” founders. Check it out and let us know if E.O.K. should be doing similar stuff here in K’town.