Super Secret turns into Project of Doom

So that Super Secret Business that I did want to name? It’s live!

Golden Fleece Press

We signed the first author today and I am utterly thrilled. She’s going to be doing an illustrated children’s series, so we need to get it into the stream pretty quickly.

We’ve got most of our ducks in a row. I’m going to finish up some banking details tomorrow morning, but for the most part, we’re ready to get going and it’s not a moment too soon.

JM is in charge of the organizational schedule and the day to day operations. I’m in charge of the money. It’s a good split that plays to our strengths. Of course, that means all hands on deck for marketing and social media and all of the other little details, like sourcing authors and illustrators.

Strangely, it’s taken this project to remind me just how far the net of my acquaintances runs. There’s artists, writers, computer programmers, and media photographers. I don’t think about what people “do” in their lives. To me they’re just people. That’s a good thing, but it can really hamper you when you’re talking about getting things done.

I’ve always run as far away from networking as I could, even though intellectually I know how it’s done properly. “Networking” is a scary word that elicits ideas of smug salesmen and multi-level marketing schemes.

But that’s not what it is. (What it can be, true enough.) Networks are community. And when you are building a community, or a family, you don’t think in terms of what can you do for me. A good networker shouldn’t think about what they want, but rather what they have in common with the person they’re reaching out to. Isn’t that the squishiest definition of networking you’ve ever heard?

Networking theory says that if I build friendships with people, when I need someone, they’ll be there for me in the future. Well, yeah, that’s what friendship means.

I have always separated building friendships and professional relationships as unrelated to networking and that is one of my stupid moments. This particular enterprise has reminded me that friendships, professional relationships, and networks are all interconnected.

But I’ve been burned by a “professional networker”. She stopped being a friend and started being all about what she could get from me. Don’t be that person, okay?

I promise I won’t be. I’m just a little taciturn.

How did you build a community? How do you navigate between relationships and networking? Where is the line?

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