10 QUESTIONS FOR…Melissa Giovagnoli, author (and founder) of “Networlding”


1. Tell us about your latest book.MGnetworldingbook

Networlding is all about how to make Malcolm’s Gladwell’s best-selling book, The Tipping Point, work in today’s “Networked World.” It provides a seven-step, proven system (picked up by Yale University for example) for building effective networks that yield accelerated returns.

It helps companies and individuals accelerate goal achievement as it has the science of networks imbedded into the steps. The book is an evolution of another book I wrote on networking and decades of research on effective networking. Bottomline: it’s great for both people looking to grow new business opportunities or new career opportunities.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I was a writer back when I was in college, taking every writing course I could find. But it was really after I started my own company after law school and trying out a big legal career that I decided what I really wanted to do was to go back to consulting. I was around when computers were first being used and I was able to “catch the wave” of the new world of work  that time brought forth.

I loved people and I loved computers and I also realized I wanted to help people start businesses, so I reached out to my network and found a publisher in Chicago, Dearborn Publishing, who took a deep interest in my first book idea—a resource book for entrepreneurs. That started my writing with my first book, The Chicago Entrepreneurs Sourcebook. That did well becoming one of the top 10 small business books in Chicago the year it came out. From there I just kept writing and now have 11 books out.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

My day starts with calls from either author-to-be or from my alliance partners who work with me on our various projects. I am licensing out the Networlding methodology and now have five licensees this year having taken on five since January and with a goal to have ten by the end of the year. Therefore, daily, I’ll be working on some kind of support for the licensees, helping them market and develop their Networlding  practice. Our licensees come from all over the country and now are coming from outside of the country, so our conversations with them, by phone, focus on how to market effectively to people and companies in their respective communities to help these prospects understand the benefits of our methodology.

Other days I’ll be speaking at a conference as a keynoter or panelist on social media and networking. I usually don’t travel a lot any more. I try to send one of our virtual partners, first.

My day continues with  requests by email to help someone get a book written and marketed. Now we are growing out our publishing division so my days can also include identifying organizations—especially consulting firms who can really grow their market share by authoring books.


4. Describe your desk/workspace.

This is simple, I have a creative room (really!). It’s got a cool red coach and a simple dark oak desk with a Mac G5 on it, but I usually sit on my comfy red coach with my Mac Air on my lap. I just love the Mac Air. I can walk around with it and it is so light it almost floats. With it and a wireless headset, I feel like I am wired to the world.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

Great question. Since I do so much book coaching I don’t read as much by other authors on writing books but, instead, do major research on the top-selling books. I analyze what makes those books sell and then try out those strategies with my authors. But I do like Julia Cameron’s, The Right to Write .

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you.

1. Everyone thinks I am so brave, but, really, I am as scared to death of doing brave things like calling up CEO’s for new business as anyone else. I just call myself “stupidly courageous.” 2. I know you won’t think this is crazy but in a world where everyone is out for themselves, I really mean it when I say that my greatest goal in life if to win the Nobel Peace Prize for teaching companies how to “do well by doing good.” I would then give my prize money to the foundation I am forming to help disadvantaged kids get better starts in life after college (and right now there are a lot of disadvantaged kids out there). 3. I want to open up an innovation store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago in the current Borders Store that will be going out of business by the end of the year. It’s a crazy dream but for more than a decade I have had a dream to do that and now that retail is dying I believe we should “redefine retail.”

This would look like a store with thirty kiosks leased by innovative companies and inter-connected by what I call “business concierge” who help customers connect with these companies to innovate and buy cutting edge products and services. I don’t know how I will do it but I know I will . . . someday, but it is crazy! At least people tell me it is! Others want to be a part of it!

7. Favorite quote –

“As the world starts to move from a primarily vertical — command and control — system for creation value to a more horizontal — connect and collaborate — value creation model, and as we blow away more walls, ceilings and floors at the same time, societies are going to find themselves facing a lot of very profound changes all at once. “    – Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat

8. Best and worst part of being a writer.

The best part is that you can really create something that makes a difference for many and it can impact people year after year. The worst part for me is that writing can be lonely.

9. Advice for other writers.  

Ask for help, but also ask, “How can I help you? I think the worst thing an author can do is not to ask for help.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

Having been able to get almost a dozen books published but the most exciting time was when my publisher came to me and asked, “Melissa, what would you like to write next?”

I was able to pitch a couple of ideas and my publisher then asked me which one I would like to do more and I chose the one for which I had a stronger passion. The lesson for me was to turn your relationship with your publisher (when you get one) into a more personal relationship—a collaborative one that enables you to have creative conversations like the one I just referenced. What it took for me to create that was staying in touch with my publisher and learning, also, what types of books he was interested in seeing published.

Where can people buy your book? 

www.networlding.com or Amazon.  Note: If you do purchase a book, I always offer that if you forward me the receipt, electronically to info@networlding.com I will send you a copy of the 100-plus page guidebook that you can use with it to help build a much more successful network. 

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