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A Look Inside 'Your Network is Your Net Worth' with Porter Gale

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30th May 2013

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Porter Gale is an accomplished marketing expert, the brains behind Virgin America s successful brand launch, and author of the new book Your Network is Your Net Worth which examines how a strong network is crucial for success in the digital age.
Connected networks are at the heart of Hub Culture Knowledge Brokerage services, which develops deals to create value for our members. With this in mind we connected with Porter to learn about her experience writing the book and to share some tips:
Your Network Is Your Net Worth is already making waves as a tool for helping people expand and improve their networks. What are the core principles?
P: I m thrilled that people are already chatting about Your Network Is Your Net Worth. One of the main ideas is that networking has evolved from a transactional game to a transformation process. It s more about who you re becoming as a person than who you know.
Therefore, the first several chapters look at identifying barriers that may be holding you back and include tools and stories to help you define your passions and purpose. There is also a strong theme about helping others, which I call Give Give Get or giving more than you get. And, I encourage people to be producers or to bring ideas and value to their relationships and connections. Producing could be creating content, hosting potlucks or finding new ways to promote good.
Lastly, I encourage people to really consider what brings them happiness. Is it head, heart or wallet? My belief is that if you focus on building authentic, quality relationships; productivity, happiness and success will follow.
Writing books can be difficult. In what ways did you tap your own network to make it happen?
P: I can honestly say that this book would have been impossible to write without the support of my network. I tapped my network to learn from published authors, find an agent and secure all of the interviews. I also leaned on my network for morale support, had a friend in my network design my book cover and asked numerous friends to provide feedback during the writing process.
I also looked to my network for marketing and public relations support and asked pretty much everyone I know to buy the book. I m incredibly grateful for the support, guidance and direction I ve received over the last eighteen months. Your Network Is Your Net Work is a collaborative effort on many levels.
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Porter on the interview circuit
How did you juggle getting the book done with all of your other projects and board commitments - how long have you been working on the project?
P: It was a juggle, but I loved doing it. Writing this book was an honor not a task. I would call my approach process-oriented but creative. I worked on the book for eighteen months from start to finish and wrote for about six months solid. I started with a solid outline, a due date set by a publisher and a requested word count. From there, I backed out and calculated that I needed to write at least two pages a day to make my set deadlines.
Often I d interview people in the morning, would work on client or advisor tasks during the day and would focus on solid writing after putting my daughter to bed. I also indulged and rented a small cottage in a town called Bolinas for several months and locked myself near the beach and wrote, than hiked, wrote, than hiked and wrote than hiked.
Fingers crossed that the book will be a success as I enjoyed living a writer s life. I m also grateful to Peter Sims, the author of Little Bets. His support and mentoring during the writing process was invaluable.
Are you doing anything different to promote the book and get it out there?
P: I have turned to experts to help with digital promotion, book cover design, video production and more. Jesse McMillin, the current Design Director at Virgin America designed by book cover. His neighbor was photographed the needed art.
Ryan Holiday, a brilliant marketer and the author of Trust Me I m Lying, Confessions of a Media Manipulator has been advising me on digital promotions. SimpliFilm created my video trailer and Merchant Guru designed my website.
As far as tactics that are different, I ve tried to utilize every channel; I ve bartered speaking engagements for advertisements and book sales, I m doing a promotion with one of the companies I advise called Here On Biz and numerous friends have supported the launch with blog posts, emails and more. I m also grateful to MSL Group. They sponsored two launch parties for me - one in San Francisco and one in New York City. I m blessed to have such a supportive and smart group of contacts.
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The Funnel Test helps ID passion
What did you learn while writing the book, and how is it affecting your approach to work and life?
P: Well, not surprisingly, I had to live the principals of the book to write the book. I learned and reconfirmed that My Network Is My Net Worth. The other thing I m learning how to do better is multi-task. At Virgin America, I was laser focused on one brand and one core mission to create an airline people love. Now I m focused on inspiring and helping many.
What's your view on the relationship between jobs and work - of which the former we seem to have a shortage and the latter a surplus. Can technology help us better match the two?
P: If you re on the right path, my belief is that your work should not feel like a job. Your work should bring enjoyment and inspire you. I know that s an idealistic mindset, but I believe technology has opened a global playfield and opportunities that never existed surround us at every turn. It s an exciting time for people that are creators, thinkers and makers.
Where do you see technology taking the concepts in your book over the near future?
P: Well, I m already in the process of turning the book into an online course with creativeLIVE.com. We re working on show content now. The show will air in late June 2013.
I m also doing several webinars that feature the content and have offered to do Google + Hangouts with a college class that is reading Your Network Is Your Net Worth as a text book. In the future, I d love to see the content inspiring people around the globe.
Do you see diversification coming in the way we work, where many people may hold many simultaneous jobs?
P: I do think we re becoming more diversified in our approach to work and careers. Much of this shift is due to technology but I also think people are creating their own paths and experiences and recognizing it s not a one size fits all world. I ve heard that the average person will have as many as six careers in their lifetime.
I also encourage people not only to think about simultaneous jobs but also simultaneous passive income streams. That is were the true benefits and rewards can be found: in a place where creativity and productivity co-exist. I m also a fan of collaboration and believe we will see more and more co-creation in the future.
What are your views on digital reputation systems and currencies? Do you see connections and interplay between them?
P: I was just reading The New Digital Age by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen and it talked quite a bit about our growing online identities and reputation. In the book, they predicted that we will someday have virtual visas like we have passports in the real world.
As online and offline merge together, it makes sense that we d have a global currency that is web-based. We certainly are moving to a cashless society with companies and products like Square, Google Wallet and more.
What most scares you about the future? What most excites you?
P: I m not a person that lives in fear but I do worry about our environment. My future thinking is focused on the health and well being of my daughter and her future not typically around mine. I want her to live a happy and fulfilling life and I want to make sure I m not a burden on her when I enter into my later years. Because of that wish, I m pretty fiscally focused and think about retirement planning often.
What excites me about the future are all the unknown experiences I ve yet to have. I ve been a filmmaker, climbed Kilimanjaro, ridden my bike across the country, become a mom and now written a book. I ve had a life rich with experiences and I can t wait to have more.
Is there anything not in the book you wish you had in it now that it is published? If so, share!
P: Well, I made a conscious effort to make the content evergreen. As a result, it s not packed full of app recommendations or How-Tos on how to use today s social sites. I didn t want the content to be out of date in five years.
That said, it would be nice to have a resource guide to ship with the book of all the tools and tips that people could use today to better enhance their networking and productivity. I continue to meet people with fascinating stories; perhaps I ll have to write another book in the future.
Thanks Porter! Your Network is Your Net Worth is out June 4 on Amazon.