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Unleashing the Power of Networking: A Journey in Entrepreneurship

In this week's episode of The Shades of Entrepreneurship™, we had the privilege of welcoming Kyle Doran, the co-founder and CEO of The Net VR.

Kyle's mission to revolutionize virtual reality and bring the 3D space to all display devices left us intrigued and inspired. While my personal knowledge of virtual reality is limited to an unfortunate encounter with a wall during a VR experience, this conversation shed light on the power of networking and the unexpected connections that can shape our entrepreneurial journey.

My introduction to Kyle Doran was not through the virtual world, but rather at the Oregon Entrepreneurs Networking (OEN) award ceremony. OEN, a nonprofit organization with a rich history of supporting startups in Oregon, provides invaluable resources such as mentorship, funding opportunities, and training. The award ceremony showcased the vibrant entrepreneurial community, bringing together visionaries and game-changers from various industries.

As entrepreneurs, our ultimate goal is to make our presence known in the business world. We strive to establish our brand, share our mission, and promote our products or services. Networking becomes a crucial tool in achieving these objectives. Attending events like the OEN award dinner provides an ideal platform to connect with like-minded individuals and expand our professional network.

Dressed in my finest attire, I found myself mingling with the attendees and engaging in conversations that could potentially shape my entrepreneurial journey. It was during this event that I had the pleasure of meeting Eric Balentine from Moss Adams LLP, a prominent professional services firm.

Despite our different areas of expertise, Eric's enthusiasm for networking resonated with me. We exchanged introductions and discussed the opportunities that lay ahead for collaboration and mutual growth.

What transpired that evening was a true testament to the power of networking. Eric and I made a pact to refer potential connections to each other, aligning our efforts to support entrepreneurs in different stages of their journey. This collaboration showcased the spirit of unity and the genuine desire to uplift others within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The beauty of networking lies in its unpredictability. Shortly after our agreement, Eric excitedly approached me, introducing me to Kyle Doran, who had caught his attention. It was a serendipitous moment that led to the exchange of information and an invitation for Kyle to feature on The Shades of Entrepreneurship™ podcast. This unexpected encounter reinforced the significance of seizing networking opportunities and the potential they hold for personal and professional growth.

While networking events present numerous opportunities, it is important not to lose sight of personal well-being and meaningful connections outside the professional sphere. Engaging with our loved ones and taking time for ourselves should not be neglected.

The story of writing a newsletter while my wife was in labor and attending a strategy call in the hospital's mother and baby unit after the birth of our second daughter highlights the dedication and hustle that entrepreneurs often exhibit. However, it is crucial to find a balance and show kindness to both ourselves and those around us.

The journey of entrepreneurship is not a solitary one. Networking serves as a vital thread that connects us to a world of possibilities and collaborations.

The encounter with Kyle Doran and the invaluable lesson from Eric Balentine remind us of the power of building relationships, fostering connections, and staying open to unexpected opportunities.

As we navigate the vibrant Portland business networking scene, let us remember to appreciate the support systems around us and take time to nurture personal connections.

Ultimately, it is through these authentic interactions that we can truly thrive as entrepreneurs.

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