Tom Lianez is no stranger to the power of networking.
Once upon a time, he was the executive director for the Hispanic Chamber of Columbus and seeking out groups for his members to network within. Having met GETDOT founders Chip Ramsey and Scott Boles, Lianez quickly learned about these events happening once a month on Thursdays…
“Of course, our members came to a number of those, and I just continued coming after I left that position,” he said. “It’s just such a connected group and everybody’s so open.”
Networking in Columbus is, in his words, “everything.”
“If you don’t network in Columbus, you’re just at a complete standstill,” he said. “This has always been just such a strong networking group and everyone knows you.”
“You can’t walk into one of these things, tell someone what you’re looking for, and not find it,” he added. “They’ll take you right over to the person you need to talk to.”
Event after event, Lianez followed the group throughout Central Ohio as the calendar marched forward.
It’s paid off.
“You look at doing this for a couple years, and doing one of these a month … it’s been a huge success for me,” he said.
When Lianez was with the Chamber, GETDOT members helped him find individuals looking to break into the Spanish language market. Through networking, he was able to connect a lot of those folks with businesses in the Chamber.
Today, the need to reach out has come up once again.
“Lately, I’ve been conducting a job search,” he said. “I want to make a little bit of a career change and just last month, I came to a meeting and found some people who have been very beneficial. I have some things that are looking pretty good … and it all started here at GETDOT.”
Lianez lives in Zanesville, but feels at home in Columbus.
“I probably know more people here than I do in Zanesville,” he said. “It’s just a great town. If you make the right connections, if you are open to coming to things like GETDOT, you just meet so many terrific people, and that’s really the best part about this.”
It’s all about interacting with others, he said.
“Business is great, job searches are great, but these things are just a lot of fun,” he added. “A lot of the people I started meeting when I came to these have been friends for years now.”
The networking veteran offered some words of advice to the uninitiated.
“Just let your guard down a little bit and start talking to the person next to you,” he said. “Even if they’re a first-timer, you’ve already met one person you didn’t know before.”
“Also, start taking a look for the GETDOT board members,” he added. “They’re all very connected, they all want to hear your story and they’ll hook you up with the right people or get you to the right people. And just keep coming back. Once people start seeing you and get to know you, it’s a great experience.”
We couldn’t agree more.