Power your way through school, network & stay curious

We chatted with the Beyoncé of Entrepreneurship and VC, Kelly Hoey. 

Kelly was named Top 25 Smartest Women on Twitter (FastCompany) and known as      1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship (Forbes). 

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Profiled by The Legacy Conference
Legacy is a "just do it" conference where some of the most notable entrepreneurs (aka hustlers) teach you how they got started and give you tactical advice on growing a business or project.

meet kelly hoey

Her motto:  “Invest in the change you want to see in the world”

Her nine-to-five: Speaker, strategist, angel investor, and writer (she's finishing her first book as we speak).  

 

Let’s start off with this, Kelly... 
Just how often do you hear - especially from aspiring entrepreneurs - the good ol’

I’m not learning anything in university!”?

The most accurate representation we could find of someone's feelings towards school

The most accurate representation we could find of someone's feelings towards school

Kelly tells us why education is not just for learning stuff you already know, but is also a place to grow, meet new people and gain new insights.

Mark Zuckerberg was a a student at Harvard when he came up with Facebook - it originally started as a 'Hot-or-Not' site for college students.

We asked Kelly for her thoughts about entrepreneurs thinking they don’t need school.

“All of us need to know how to interact with the world and how to think,
which is exactly what happens when you’re in university.
You have exposure to a great number of new people and new ideas.
There is incredible value in that.”
Zuckerbeg circa 2004 coding up the storm that would become 'The Facebook'.

Zuckerbeg circa 2004 coding up the storm that would become 'The Facebook'.

So where you are, right here and now, might just be the inspiration for your business or project.

Funny to think what Facebook would be if Zuckerberg never went to university and never met the Winklevoss twins in the first place...

Also, that class you find really difficult - don’t drop it. Kelly advises you to challenge yourself.

“The classes I remember most from my university days were the ones that challenged me to think and exposed me to new ideas. Skills can be learned on the job and the only skill sets which are going to not be obsolete in 5 years, are curiosity and inquiry. My advice: take the courses which peak your curiosity!"

Kelly hoey: one of the top 5 smartest women on twitter (fast company)

Top 5 on Twitter, #1 in our hearts <3

Top 5 on Twitter, #1 in our hearts <3

"Keep your friends close and your network closer."

Kelly’s also quite the expert when it comes to networking and leveraging networks. She highlights the importance of networking OFTEN & EARLY.

“It’s never too late to start being network-minded. So if you haven’t already - do it NOW.
Don’t wait until you need “something” [e.g., a job or a reference].”

Got friends, classmates, peers, co-workers, former colleagues, family, mentors, teachers? Good, that's your network. 

Next step? Find ways to stay in touch.

A holiday card list, Linkedin, Facebook, Snapchat, whatever it takes -  stay in touch with your network. You'll have your network not only when you need help, but also when you have success stories to share.

Thanks to the internet, everyone is constantly ‘plugged in’. It's literally never been easier to build and stay in touch with your network.

"Stop committing random acts of networking"

Kelly is writing a whole book on this subject, so stay tuned for that. But "stop committing random acts of networking" is one of Kelly's favourite pieces of advice.

“Be purposeful and intentional about the networking events you attend
and the introductions you ask others to make on your behalf...
Time and personal resources are two of the most valuable assets you have. ”

So spend them wisely.

Women, entrepreneurship and scaling

Oprah could have stayed just as a talk show host. Instead, she decided to create her own media company.

Oprah could have stayed just as a talk show host. Instead, she decided to create her own media company.

Other than being an investor, entrepreneur, speaker, writer and overall bad*ss, Kelly is a huge advocate for female entrepreneurship. Below is an excerpt from a profile of Kelly done by Forbes Magazine:

"For women, another issue is that they are not scaling. Women are choosing to become entrepreneurs so they can be responsible for their own livelihood. But they are not taking it further.

They may have a successful store on Etsy, but they are not building the next Etsy. They don’t build successful businesses that have a lot of employees, in which they become responsible for other people’s paychecks, too."

We have to look at how we can get more women to become the next Etsy or Estée Lauder. That also means getting away from the tech piece. Mary Kay could have had one store, but she went on to create a massive company.

Oprah could have stayed as a talk show host and gotten paid by a media company. Instead, she decided to create her own media company."

   "AND YOU NEED TO SCALE BETTER, and YOU need to scale better, and YOU need to scale better!"

   "AND YOU NEED TO SCALE BETTER, and YOU need to scale better, and YOU need to scale better!"


Kelly left us with one last golden nugget of advice:

“Stick to what you’re doing - there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

Gracias, Kelly.