• Laine Hoke

A Lesson in Learnin'

And for dessert we'll have a big ole slice of humble pie. 🥧

Let us first say that this is not a pity piece; rather this is an exercise in humility + honesty.

First up: Introductions - I'm Laine, founder of Network Millennial and professional crow eater. (that's actually french fries + a salad bc #balance... but you get it)

Second: Background - Network Millennial was founded in 2018 with the goal of bringing young(ish) professionals together in cool spaces.

That was it.

I wanted to make new friends + support my current pals with small businesses. Plain + simple.

Since our first event in October 2018 at the OG Cherry Street Brewery, we have grown in number + expanded from South Forsyth County to the entire North Metro Atlanta area with plans on expanding to Nashville.

But here's the deal.

Lesson #1: Nothing replaces hard work.

Believe it or not, putting on Network Millennial events is HARD.WORK. And I love it! I mean... let's be honest, it's planning a freaking party.

This last event was an example of reaping what you didn't sow. As in if you don't put in the hard work you're gonna be realllll hungry, honey.

Creating + nurturing a community takes blood, sweat, + tears/wine. The August 2019 event received little effort and we had the numbers to prove it.

I bet you know what I'm talking about. Whether it was a project at work, school, or a friendship... Not putting a lot of effort into something usually results in that thing suffering.

Lesson #2: Sit down, be humble.

In other words- baby, you ain't no Instagram model.

Sometimes you get a liiiittle too big for you britches and it's nice (lol, no it's not) to have a reminder that you are not as hot of a commodity as you *think* you are.

Are Net Mill events fun? HELL YEAH!

Do that have a super crazy social following? nope.

Case + point. Expecting people to inherently give you stuff, love your company, post about you, hire you for that job- that's not real life. You gotta show up, shut up, + be humble.

Lesson #3: Life's better together.

It's the original Net Mill motto and tbh I have strayed from it.

We usually have a nice little cohort of community influencers that support us. They offer their platforms for *free* to promote our events, but guess what- you gotta ask for it and that's exactly what I didn't do.

In the words of a digital marketer (which I am until the day I D I E): Impressions aren't free.

It takes a whole community to make this community; a fact I took for granted. Did I think I could do this solo... yeah. kinda! And we see now that is a false assumption.. and chances are you've had a similar realization.

Lesson #4: Piss poor planning... something something... you'll have to cancel your party.

File under: Leave shooting from the hip to the professionals.

I've already said it- but it's worth repeating: nothing replaces hard work- and planning is part of that hard work.

Beyoncé gave up carbs + sugar + cocktails + happiness for her HOMECOMING tour... That's called planning + dedication. And she has the Beyhive to show for it.

Did I plan for this event... Yes. But it wasn't enough. And guess what... There isn't a NetMill-hive (please, I tried) to show for it.

You know what I'm talking about. You have been on a vacation or had a presentation that you didn't plan for like you should have and you kind of regretted it later, haven't you?


Learning lessons in front of a lot of folks is not exactly fun- BUT! hey, we all make mistakes and tbh in this Insta-perfect culture sometimes it's nice to see a human be.... human.

So I'd like to offer a formal apology to the Network Millennial community. I created this sucker for all of YOU and I'll do better next time. Because, frankly Millennials, you freaking deserve it.

There you have it.

I messed up.

I'll do better next time.

And I'd really appreciate if you gave me the chance to make it up to you.

Contact me directly + suggest a local Millennial for a spotlight blog. Let's get back our roots and start rooting for each other again instead of worrying how many Instagram followers we have.

p.s. events TBD.


© 2019 by Network Millennial.

Nashville, TN + Atlanta, GA

lainehoke@gmail.com if you must.

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