Get ready Step Up readers, because you’re in for a treat. I was lucky enough to get in touch with super busy, mega-smart Molly Beck and talk about her upcoming book, Reach Out. She gave me a sneak peek of the self-help book debuting September 28 and answered some questions for all of you, so maybe we can gain some insight into her networking brilliance. Beck not only is an author, but also the founder of a podcast creation site Messy Bun, creator of the lifestyle blog Smart, Pretty & Awkward, and a marketing consultant specializing in digital strategies. If you’ve read her piece from Forbes.com’s Mentoring Moments series in 2016 that sparked the creation of Reach Out, then you’ll understand the great idea of Reaching Out every day and be itching to read the book. While you wait with anticipation for the release, you can satiate some of that excitement by checking out www.reachoutstrategy.com and reading over the interview below.
You make a point to say that this book is not a how-to on success written by someone who's already reached the peak of their career. I love how you are still striving towards career goals. What do those goals look like?
Oh gosh….I still have so many career accomplishments I’d like to check off. Right now I’m hyper-focused on doing a great job launching, marketing, and growing Messy Bun. And also making sure Reach Out gets into the hands of as many readers as possible!
You seem to have Reaching Out down to a science, which is very well explained in the book. How long did it take you to perfect this?
The core tenant of Reach Out Strategy is sending one message (email or social media) to a person on the edge of your network every single weekday.
For a long time, I had the first part of this down: making sure I was sending Reach Out messages to people I was loosely connected to. But it took longer to realize the second part was important, too: doing that every single weekday. Sending emails every day makes it into a habit, and also helps eliminate the stress over the responses to any particular email. Who cares if that person didn't respond? There are four more emails to send this week!
I probably would have scaled up my career faster if I had been Reaching Out more, so I wish I had started Reaching Out every day earlier, for sure.
The internet age is definitely something you have mastered with your website Messy Bun and lifestyle blog Smart, Pretty, & Awkward. Do you have any extra tips for navigating the internet minefield?
I interviewed a lot of people for a section in the book called “How a Busy Person Manages Their Inbox”, and it was very interesting to see all the different ways that people attempt to navigate their inbox, and by extension, their internet productivity. I think the overarching lesson I got from everyone’s advice would be: don’t let email overwhelm you…focus on all the good it can bring to your life and ignore the stress. A tiny little device in your hand can connect you to almost anyone in the world…that’s incredible.
For me personally, I also try to occasionally ‘lose’ my phone. Even little things like leaving it in another room while I have people over can help tame the constant feeling that I need to be ‘checking’ something.
Every Reach Out aims toward improving your career. Are there any networking myths you would discourage?
I’d really love to get rid the myth that everyone needs to go to networking events. People often think the “only” way to network is by handing out business cards at stuffy parties. And it’s true: there is always value in going to events where you will meet more people – but only if you follow up via email or social media after meeting IRL.
If 10 people go to an event and 9 of them exchange business cards, usually only 1 or 2 will actually follow up to stay in touch. To be memorable, stop going to every single networking event and just do a good job of following up with people at the events you actually wanted to go to.
You've been busy working on launching Messy Bun, writing this book, and continuing to Reach Out. What was your inspiration behind all of these projects and what can we expect to see from you next?
I’d love to leave a career legacy of providing tips and tools to make life easier for people: whether that’s through my blog, or my book, or consulting, or Messy Bun. I want to leave the professional world a little easier to navigate than when I found it.
Keri Watters is a twenty-year-old junior at Concord University majoring in pre-professional Biology. Before medical school, she aspires to join the Peace Corps or further her education with a masters degree. Keri is a passionate volunteer worker and vegetarian who hopes to inspire change through a multitude of mediums. She hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spends her free time shopping, drinking coffee, and watching old movies.