How 1 Contact Can Make All the Difference

What You Will Learn In This Episode

In this episode, Gelie Akhenblit shares her incredible story of being a political refugee from the former Soviet Union and coming to the USA. She reveals how she was able to go from that humble beginning to creating a network of over 40,000 members. Gelie reveals the biggest mistake in networking, and the key principles needed to network effectively. She uncovers the skills needed to reach that one contact that can make all the difference.

What I loved About This Interview

Gelie’s ability to share how to build strong relationships and network effectively was so incredible! I loved when she dove into the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make in networking; and I am embarrassed to admit that I have made all the mistakes!

I really appreciated Gelie’s tangible advice about how to find networking events,and how to attend the events in a way that helps us to connect with the people we most need to know. This information is so valuable for any entrepreneur wanting to extend their reach of clients and build business partnerships with centers of influence. I loved Gelie’s no-nonsense approach to reaching out to others, and truly seeking to serve the people she meets.

I think my favorite part of this interview was hearing Gelie’s incredible journey of moving to the USA, and her vision of what she could create. This story was so inspiring, and I know you are going to love it.

Who is Gelie?

Gelie is most well known for the vision and execution of her unique networking platform, NetworkingPhoenix; which she founded in 2008 and has since revolutionized the landscape of networking.

Gelie is most well known for the vision and execution of her unique networking platform, NetworkingPhoenix; which she founded in 2008 and has since revolutionized the landscape of networking.

She currently has the largest networking community of professionals in Phoenix, AZ with over 40K members.

In addition to running NetworkingPhoenix, Gelie works with clients and companies on a consulting basis in helping them grow — her specialty is relationship marketing. She is who you engage with when you understand the value of that “one connection” that can change the trajectory of everything.

Gelie frequently gets hired as a Business Development Consultant to provide warm introductions between companies and individuals. She has spent 12 years building up her professional network and is extremely familiar with the business landscape of Phoenix.

As her tagline goes, “Who do you want to meet? I’ll introduce you.”

As a seasoned presenter, Gelie has been on many stages and media platforms speaking on the importance of having a winning strategy when engaging in face-to-face networking and the power of building and maintaining strategic relationships.

In 2015, Gelie was invited to deliver a TEDx talk on the topic of freedom. In her message, she shared her story of being a political refugee from the former Soviet Union; and how her journey to freedom has evolved and led her to relentlessly chase after her dreams and happiness.

When she’s not working on conquering the world she’s spending time with her young daughter, working out, and enjoying the guilty pleasure of lounging in bed.

Gelie’s Generous Gift

Create a free networking profile on

Bonus Wisdom

These are questions that I asked Gelie outside our interview. You are going to love her answers!

What is 1 thing you believe every woman entrepreneur should know?

Nothing is more important than your health. Cancel the meeting, don’t answer that text. Don’t open your inbox. If you need a time out, take the time out.

When is a time in your life when you went through a challenge or felt like giving up?

Building a company from scratch, especially a tech company has been the most difficult thing I have ever done. When my ex-husband, who was also my tech co-founder, decided to opt out of the company, I honestly wasn’t sure if I could continue. There have been a plethora of times when I wanted to give up, but at this moment in time, I really had to come to grips with the reality that there is a strong chance I would have to shut everything down.

How did you overcome this and what did you learn from it?

I had to step away from my “baby” that was also my identity and realize that Gelie is not NetworkingPhoenix. Had to do a lot of personal work on myself and reconnect with me. The magic in all of this is that during the time that I stepped away from NetworkingPhoenix, I saw that it’s actually not going anywhere anytime soon.

What is the one area of life or business you have expertise in?

I don’t know that I’m an expert in it, but I value relationships above all else (except my health). My entire life centers around business and professional relationships. Relationships bring me joy, support me during my hard times, and are the reason I’ve achieved what I’ve achieved in life.

What is one thing you want to share about this that will make all the difference for women?

The one thing that women have to watch out for is setting healthy boundaries. We tend to get sucked into situations that are not healthy for us because we are trying to “save the other person” or because we feel some incredible bond which leads to a feeling of obligation. STOP! If it’s not a healthy situation for you, re-set boundaries.

What is one thing that you wish someone told you that you had to learn the hard way?

I had to learn to put my health first after my body completely crashed and I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. I also learned about healthy boundaries the hard way.

Please tell me about your family. What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced with balancing work, family, and taking care of yourself?

I’m a single momma with a 6-year old daughter, so my “working” time is limited b/c I take her to school in the mornings and then pick her up in the evenings. Can’t work when she’s with me and have to juggle my gym time with her after school activities. The struggle is real 🙂 But at this point in life, I’m actually pretty selfish with my time and I flow with whatever I feel that I need in the moment.

What did you learn from it?

That somehow things just work out …

What helps you balance these roles now?

Life experience and not feeling bad about telling people that I’m not available.

What is one resource that you love (a book, app, service)?

I have my Pandora station playing constantly in my house. I 100% believe that music is what keeps me sane when I go through the really rough patches.

If you have written books or have a blog, what are the titles and where can I find them?

If they want to hear more about my personal journey of unraveling and re-inventing myself, then I have a freebie resource on my blog:

How to Connect with Gelie:

Networking Community:

Consulting site:

A personal blog documenting my life pivot after divorce:

Instagram: gelie25



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