The two entrepreneurs interviewed were both active in the medical sector, but had a very diverse history and business background. The female that was interviewed, Lisa, has her own haptonomy practice and previously owned her own physical therapy practice. Her networking style is mainly focused on sharing knowledge. She says that haptonomy is a practice that is still greatly in development and that sharing knowledge with other haptonomists is very valuable to the business because she has to stay up-to-date. Although she is not a ‘big networker’ Lisa is content with the way she uses her network. For her purpose she feels she does what is necessary, and she does not feel the need to invest large amounts of time in networking. She does however feel she can improve on the directed organizing side of networking. For instance she mentioned that she’d love to organize an event that will bring haptonomists from the Netherlands, and even the Benelux, together to discuss novel topics and techniques in her practice. In fact, I believe this interview inspired her think about doing that in the future!
The male entrepreneur (Pieter) was engaged in a completely different business and was clearly a more conscious networker that Lisa. Pieter has been engaged in several successful and less successful start-ups in the medical technology industry. His networking style is pro-active and intelligent. For instance, he does not hesitate to contact people he’s never been in touch with before through the Internet to obtain company or technology related information. When necessary he usually seeks the advice of trusted friends and family, rather than pure business relationships. When asked about his challenges in networking and where he thought improvement was necessary no immediate response followed. The charismatic and experienced entrepreneur seemed to have his method of networking figured out to the bone. When pressed on the question however he (almost reluctantly) mentioned he could do a little bit more to analyze the relationship (in the case of a young relationship) more closely, and in some cases do a little more research on the background of the relationship. He mentioned that in a few cases he had wrongfully trusted people that he shouldn’t have.
The quantitative results of the interview are shown below:
Since I only interviewed one male and one female entrepreneur I cannot be in a position to analyze gender related differences, especially since the two entrepreneurs were engaged in completely different businesses, and had completely different career goals set.