Business Development Consultant Holly Gottlieb talks importance of building relationships

As an industry leading Business Development Consultant known for her work with La Fosse, MUD\WTR and Quibi, Holly Gottlieb says the biggest aspect of her role is to connect with people. It isn’t just about finding talent for major corporations; it’s about building long-lasting relationships that help foster a sense of community and help individuals achieve their professional goals

“I have a deep fascination with people, meeting interesting folks, and I think my superpower is in bringing people together. It’s what I love doing, and I do so very naturally. I’m always looking for opportunities to connect with interesting people,” she says. 

This outlook is evident in all of the prestigious work that decorates her resume. She is known all over the world for her ability to network and help others do the same. She hosted an immensely popular event called ‘Garden Sounds in Venice’ and will soon be hosting more events for like minded individuals under the name Whole Collective. On top of this, she has formed the ‘Friends of Friends Happy Hour’ a monthly business networking event she hosts to bring together people working in Silicon beach. The co-hosts are Jim Winnet (business advisor, DPAA group) and Courtney Guthridge (Workthere). 

“The forming of what is now called ‘Friends of Friends’, seemed like a natural step in building something in collaboration with close friends, combining things I personally enjoy with a solid business idea,” she says.

The idea for ‘Friends of Friends’ was born in 2016 when Winnet, Guthridge, and Gottlieb were working together in the same co-working space. They realized that having a regular fixed date – the last Tuesday of every month – for professionals to get together for a drink would not only be a relaxing way to meet new people but also a reliable way to network. They encourage people to bring friends, which is where the name comes from, and it has been building over the last 4 years into something truly extraordinary. Even when they had to switch to virtual meetings during the pandemic, they saw a great turn out. Now, they have resumed in-person events at the Penmar in Venice, and ‘Friends of Friends’ is growing at a rapid rate. It has become a staple in the LA startup community.

“The biggest drive we’ve seen in the post pandemic months is the desire to reconnect with people, more specifically in person. I’m proud of the fact that we have facilitated a gathering where people are really benefiting. One of my biggest interests is in human connection, how we connect to ourselves, and to each other. Added to this epidemic of loneliness that we’re seeing in today’s digital age, connecting in person is more important than ever. It’s a skillset that I believe is beneficial to everyone, no matter the industry. You never know which connections might be able to open a door in some way, and you might be in a position to help another in their career,” Gottlieb describes.

The trio of Winnet, Guthridge, and Gottlieb is extremely successful as they all have varying skill sets that complement each other. Gottlieb excels with communication and is therefore responsible for ensuring every event is promoted effectively, to the right audience, and with the right intention. She is an efficient organizer, so pulling together the various components, and continuing to invite people that are relevant comes very naturally to her. 

‘Friends of Friends’ is not just a success in regards to turnout. The event has been the driving force in multiple business deals, including one branding deal for a major sports brand. The regular turnout ensures greater connections, and for Gottlieb, nothing is more rewarding than that.

“The foundation of successful business in anything, is in relationships. The fact that sometimes people show up to a happy hour for the first time only knowing one person is scary stuff at times, but we make people feel at home, and getting people out of their comfort zones is a good thing! This is one of the areas that I feel very proud of in my community in LA. We’re still going strong after 4 years, and no sign of dampening in spirit. I feel like I’ve found my own sense of community with my co-founders, and with the regulars who join us,” she concludes. “We’ve also had romantic relationships come out of ‘Friends of Friends’ and what could possibly be more successful than meeting the love of your life at our happy hour?”

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