BABL 060: Solocast- The Power 100 List

This Build a Bigger Life Solocast hits on the power of your network when it comes to accomplishing your vision of a bigger life.  

If you’re anything like me, and you’re listening to the podcast so I have to believe you’re somewhat like me, you have big projects happening on a regular basis. Maybe you’re working on the next big thing, or a book or video project. Maybe you’re even considering starting a business, getting involved in a charity of some kind, or just planning a major vacation.

I’m going to share with you today an idea that has helped me immensely in the pursuit of my own bigger life. It’s a concept that came to me on a plane one day while flying to a speaking engagement on the West Coast. The idea that I’m referring to hit me like a ton of bricks and I’ve been somewhat obsessed with the idea of using this method ever since. Essentially, as I sat on the airplane, waiting on the tarmac, I began tracing back through the conversations I’d had with various people that led me to the engagement I was heading to. It all funneled back to a contact of mine who has been instrumental in me getting a fairly serious amount of business. That got me wondering where a majority of my business came from and I could trace almost every gig back to a handful of people — many of them people who’d been in my “camp” for some time. In effect, they were people that I would describe as having my back. They were people who liked, loved and respected me.

At this point on the plane ride, I began scribbling in my notebook all of the names of people in my life who liked, loved and respected me. The list grew with each airline mile and I now have a list of nearly 400 people that fit that description. The list continues to grow today and I hope it always does.

For a time in my early 30’s, I was really into studying what the best internet marketers did to build their businesses. One relatively famous marketer I was studying said in an interview that if your house were on fire and you could only take one thing out of your home, it would be your list. Because the mailing list for an internet marketer was like their own gold mine that they had to mine every now and again to make massive amounts of money. It’s part of the reason you’re seeing a proliferation of squeeze pages and enter your name and email boxes on websites. Everyone, it seems, is in the game of grabbing your email for future marketing.

So, my recommendation to you, which I’ll go into greater detail on the podcast is: Begin building your list — what I call the Power 100 List. It’s a list of the 100 people in your life that like, love and respect you. To get the pump primed a bit, consider adding people from these categories to your list: College friends, coworkers, family friends, advisors, mentors, pastors, professors, parents of friends, business peers, networking buddies — literally anyone that comes to mind that you feel would have your back if needed. And keep in mind, the reverse is also true. If you would do the same for others in your network, then put their name on your list. The key to people being on your list is they want YOU to succeed.

My deep dive into my own list got me thinking about networks in general and how effective they are at the rapid transmission of data, information, contacts, and the like. I started to think about it this way — if you were going to do some research to write a paper or put together a talk on something, you’d go to google to do the searching. Whenever I put a search term in google, I will get hundreds of thousands of results in milliseconds. And if you really dug into how that happens (behind all the complicated algorithms used to find it), you’d find one of the largest networks in the world — that being the interconnected computers that are all part of the world wide webs. The more connections there are, the faster the data can be combed from all of them. Since Al Gore invented the interwebs, you have the ability to look up data on your phone in less than a minute which would’ve taken you a year or more to find 25 years ago and 10 years to find 50 years ago. In short, the more connections there are, the more data you have access to, faster.

Similarly, in your brain there are interconnected neural pathways that the neorons travel along. The more interconnected your neural pathways, the faster the neurons travel allowing you to access the information even more readily. So, if you wanted to learn Spanish and you wanted to learn guitar, you’d be better off learning them at the same time to create more neural pathways in your brain, therefore having more connections and an ability to access the information more readily. The guy who competed against IBMs Watson in Jeopardy — his name is Ken Jennings — the guy probably has more neural pathways than just about anybody. Hence his ability to pull information as quickly as he does. The more neural pathways, the faster the information can be obtained.

So, I began to assume that if the more connections on the web meant we could access stuff faster and the more neural pathways in your brain, the faster you could access stuff, I wondered if the more connections we had in our network, the faster we could accomplish what we set out to accomplish. In my talk on Networking, called Networking POWER, I do an example of this called the web of connections. Ultimately, my goal is to show every audience that there is tremendous power in a room of people to help each other get where they want to go. I connect as many people as possible in the room with a ball of yarn, each person within 1 or 2 degrees of what the other person most wants or needs. It’s most effective when someone is looking for a job, an introduction into a company, or wants information about a person or place. It’s astonishing to me how well this works.

So, if you’re asking yourself WHY would I do this? Why would I make a list of the 100 people in my life that like, love and respect me? (Other than the fact that it feels really good to make a list of people who care about you like that), the reasons are many:

Are you trying to find a job?

Wanting to market a product?

Need help getting connections?

Want to build a mastermind group?

Feel like success is just up to you?

I have a perfect example of how I used the Power 100 list to help me with something last year. In early 2014, two partners and I launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for a documentary on student loan debt. The name of which is Broke, Busted & Disgusted. You’ve no doubt heard me talk about it on the show. Having never crowdfunded anything before, the most logical thing for me to do was to reach out to my POwer 100 list and ask them for help spreading the word, and help with the crowdfunding campaign. The list responded in a BIG way.

At the end of our 45 day campaign, we had raised $67,000 and almost 90% of the funds raised came directly or indirectly as a result of my Power 100 list coming alongside. They shared the message, they donated, and they supported us in our charge towards raising enough to finish the film. It was an awesome thing to see.

The way I leveraged my Power 100 list was simple — I built the list in a google spreadsheet. And contrary to my story earlier, all 400+ people on my list weren’t listed on the airline flight. I’ve added to the list over time, mainly by having the google docs app on my phone, opening that particular spreadsheet whenever I was moved to, and added someone to the ever-expanding list.

On the spreadsheet are four columns. First name, last name, email address and phone number. Everyone on the list has all four columns filled because you never know when I’ll need to either send them an email or a text message.

As I build the list, I import the list into Mailchimp, which is an email automator and allows you to write one email and send it to your mass list as if you’re sending it to an individual person. Mailchimp is a super simple service to use and allows you to have a list of up to 2000 people for free. It’s literally dead simple.

For the crowdfunding campaign, I sent a simple email that asked them for their support in an incredibly important project I was working on that had the capacity to change lives en masse. One little secret is people will get behind a BIG vision. One of my favorite quotes is: Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logicaldiagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. — Daniel Burnham an American architect.

So whatever your ask of your group, inspire them with a big vision that wants them to jump on board.

And the bottom line of sending out the email is this – ASK. Let me say it again, 3 times: Ask, Ask. Ask.  Jack Canfield once told me if you ask, ask, ask, then you’ll get, get, get. Ask so much you begin to feel like an askhole. It’s a beautiful thing when you ask for what you want and then get it.

Once you’ve built your list to a substantial number, and you know who is going to respond positively, you’ll begin to segment your list based on business deals, outreach to the public, who are the marketers, the connectors, etc. And through segmenting, your asks become that much more powerful.

It has been said that your net worth is determined by your network. So, if you are having a hard time coming up with 100 people in your life that like, love and respect you, perhaps it’s time to do a little more networking. Consider throwing a party for the people that you most want to connect with in life and introduce them to each other. IF you don’t feel like you have the right network, the key is to build it yourself.

Reading books like Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie are a great first step. Throw a Power 100 party or a cool people party and be known as the guy or gal that makes shit happen for your network and your own Power 100 will grow stronger with more connections.

Building a bigger life is about being the architect of your life, imagining the life you most want to live and going for that in big ways. Having people in your corner that have your back is the fastest way to accomplish that.

And as a final word, if you are asking, be also giving at the same time. The law of reciprocity is as powerful as gravity and is working behind the scenes always.
Good luck in your Power 100 List creation, and have fun connecting… I sure do.

BABL 021: Danny Beyer on Networking With Style

Danny Beyer on Networking With Style

Danny Beyer is the author of The Ties That Bind, Networking With Style and a networking ninja. His core message behind the book is the importance of and the power of networking will literally change your life. Most of the books on the market were focused on high level ideas but not actionable tasks, so Danny decided he’d publish the book on the topic.

Danny’s level of branding himself is second to none when it comes to consistency. He wears a bowtie 5 days a week (though never when he’s mowing the lawn). The bowtie has become his calling card, what he’s most known for, and ultimately formed the bowtie ball, a charity event where everyone wears a bowtie in the name of raising money for great causes.

Around the 8:00 mark, Danny talks about the Bowtie Ball, how much has been raised, and how they’ve grown the event year over year.

Danny is a guy who is building his life and reputation on relationship and service freedom. Having only been networking professionally for the past 2 years, Danny has leveraged the power of social networking to see what others are posting, and uses that as a method of giving back to his network. It’s about putting in the time and finding out enough about others that you can offer value to them.

14:00 — Networking is not about passing cards, it’s about creating a real relationship with someone, and then finding out how you can help each other.

Around 15:30 Danny dives into how much you should be on social media, and how much is too much. The bottom line is some people are posting some really great stuff, and it’s up to you to either be one of them, or find them and follow them. Danny maintains there are content creators and content filterers, and even filterers can build substantial lists.

Danny shares a personal story about comments that he made about Carrie Underwood on Twitter that were completely taken out of context. (21:00). Let’s just say he’s a fan of her legs.

The recommendations Danny gives in terms of social media are:

  1. The first meeting is free, but you have to earn the second. Always agree to meet with someone that requests a meeting.
  2. Don’t be afraid of the platform. Having nothing on social media can harm you in the event of a career search if you’re up against someone who’s shared successes on social media.

As a bonus, at the 30:00 mark, Danny shares how to end a conversation effectively in the most non-abrasive way possible. It’s MONEY!!

Mentioned on the show:

How To Get More Out Of Twitter In Just 10 Minutes a Day Article

 

Books Danny recommends:

To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

The Race For Relevance

 

Find Danny Beyer on Twitter: @DannyBeyerIA

Find Danny Beyer on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dsmbowties?fref=ts

Find The Ties That Bind on Amazon

www.DannyBeyer.com

 

I hope you enjoy the show!!

 

BABL 013: Chad Carden on Success is Simple, But Not Always Easy

BABL013-ChadCardenChad Carden on Success is Simple, But Not Always Easy

Chad Carden is a name you will be hearing very often in the near future. He is a speaker, author, consultant and success strategist for some of the most well-known companies in the country — Weight Watchers, AT&T, UBS Financial — the list goes on and on.

What I love most about Chad’s message on the podcast is the fact that the choices we make every day help us achieve our visions. The choices must be conscious which at times is exceptionally hard to do.

“Experience is not necessarily the gift of life, it’s the experience of others that helps us get closer to what we want to achieve.” (8:00)

Chad got caught up in the lifestyle game and when he woke up one day with more payments than he really wanted, he made a conscious shift in his business to build his future. (12:00). He discusses paying off debt, investing for the future, and making choices to keep him involved in family, friends, and building his legacy.

Chad’s mentors were very influential in his life. His dad introduced him to Zig Ziglar, Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones, and other very well-known success minded people. He discusses what mentors did for him at 14:00. His mentors:

  • challenged him to look at everything from an abundance mindset.
  • set an amazing example (they embody what they preach).
  • were there for him when he needed them. (And it’s easier to approach them than you think).

When Chad was fourteen, the first book his parents gave him was How To Win Friends And Influence People. It became his inner-personal bible and he ultimately ended up working for the Dale Carnegie organization. The principles, in action, were amazing to Chad and he still uses the materials he learned in groups today. (19:30)

“I tried depressed, it didn’t work for me.” (21:30)

Chad’s boys are at the center of his life — he talks about what he wants for his boys at 23:40.

  • How the world works.
  • How to be grounded.

Success in life and adding significance by adding value to society were two things he really wanted for his boys.

If you’re interested in following in Chad’s footsteps:

  1. Stop looking for answers, and start asking the right questions on where it is you want to go. “I’ve never done this before, but if I did, what would I do?”
  2. Make sure that you’re always in CANI mode. (Constant and Never-ending Improvement).
  3. Find others with commonality — masterminds, communities of like-minded people.

 

Books Chad Recommends

How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino

BABL 011: Amanda Brown on Being a Leading Lady

BABL011-AmandaBrown-2Amanda Brown on Being A Leading Lady

Amanda Brown is a force to be reckoned with. She has a smile that warms a room, an interest in others that is palpable, and the desire to help women realize their calling to be the Leading Lady in the movie of their lives.

Amanda teaches The Lipstick Principles through her business The Leading Ladies Company based in the U.K., impacting women everywhere.

The Leading Ladies Company is a relatively new business venture for Amanda, someone who’d been doing coaching and consulting in the corporate world, but was seeing lifeless looks from some of the women in the audience. The Lipstick Principles were developed to help women step into their starring roles and Make Life Happen.

The Lipstick Principles are success steps and strategies we can all apply to our daily life:

L ove

I magine

P assion

S tepping In

T ruth

I nvite others in

C elebrating

K eeping It Simple

Around 11:00, Amanda and I spoke about comparing ourselves to others. The fact that when we play the “than me” game (better than me, smarter than me, etc.) there is really no good to come from this.

Amanda says everyone has the same bank account – it’s filled with 24 hours, and what you do in that time to fill it with happiness, laughter, love, etc. is the best comparison there is.

Leading Ladies TV is Amanda’s interview program (somewhat similar to BABL, but only found on YouTube and mostly women interviews!). She routinely features everyday people with unbelievably inspiring stories.

Amanda’s advice to someone who wants to be more of a leading lady in their life is:

  • Feel great about yourself — mindfulness, meditation, affirmations
  • Every day is a day of choices – the green button is yes, the red button is no. The minute you realize that everything is a decision, that’s when you can start taking control of your life.
  • Think about three things that you’d like to create memories for at this time next year.

Books recommended by Amanda

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

For more of Amanda’s goodness, check her out at: http://theleadingladiescompany.com and on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCERSfRxaCeDxpr-a_Jt–iA

I Met You, Now What? 3 Super Simple and Efficient Ways to Manage Contacts

I Met You, Now What?

Have you ever met someone at a coffee shop, job fair, party, social event, or fundraiser?   You have a great conversation, find a couple of commonalities, and then find yourself putting their business card in a drawer somewhere only to be found when you do your big annual desk cleanout?

Once you’ve met someone, what do you do to keep in contact?

If the answer is nothing, then you might as well call yourself a professional card collector.  You probably have 3 or 4 rubber banded “collections” of cards from past events, meetings, and chance meetups.  And you’re keeping these because, hey, you never know when you might need their information.  Sound familiar?

There is a better way.

First, when you meet someone and exchange business cards, jot a couple notes down on the back of the card that identify this persons’ desires, goals, kids’ names, or any other piece of information you gleaned from the conversation.  One of the things that most impresses another person is a personal detail or two that is brought back up in conversation at a later date.  Imagine the power of meeting a potential employer at a job fair and then sending a thank-you note with their daughters’ name in it.  Totally puts you in a different category than the other people they met the same day.

Second, keep all of your cards in one place and once a week enter ALL of them into a database.  You can use Excel, Numbers, ACT!, or any other CRM system (Customer Relationship Manager).

My preference is to enter all of my new contacts into Google Contacts.  This does three things for me:
I can access their information from any computer with an internet connection.
I can sync the information in Google Contacts with my phone so I have them with me almost constantly.
I can export the list as a .csv file to import into a mail system.

Now that all of your contacts are in Google Contacts, the next step is to get all of these contacts into a mail delivery program so that you can write one email and send it out to everyone on your list.  My favorite service for this is www.MailChimp.com.  MailChimp is a great tool as it’s incredibly easy to use, is FREE for under 2,000 contacts, and the deliverability of the emails is really high (meaning they won’t get caught up in spam filters).

Again, the reason you’re doing these steps is to make sure that the people you meet remember you.  So, to make sure that they remember you, 2-4 times a year send the entire list an email that does a few things:

It summarizes what you’ve been up to over the past 3-6 months
It has a couple of links to articles that you’ve read that you think are valuable
It offers assistance to them in any way you might be of service
It asks for potential contacts to someone you’d like to meet, work for, have coffee with, etc.

The email may look something like this:

Dear <First Name>,

I wanted to shoot you an email letting you know how much I value keeping in touch with you and to send along a couple of articles that I thought you might find interesting.

This is the second semester of my senior year at Kick Ass University.  I’m excited about my prospects after graduation as I just spent the past 12 weeks interning at Cool Company, and I learned that what I most enjoyed was marketing/sales/finance/accounting/grunt work. I’ve decided that the industries I’m most interested in are plastics and wind energy and will be looking for a job after graduation in one of these industries.  (If you know of anyone I should meet, I would do backflips for an introduction.)

As a means of continuously offering value to our relationship, I’m sending a couple of links to articles that I read recently.  The first link is all about time management and is by one of the leaders in the field, David Allen.  The second link is an interesting look at the Art of Smiling, something we could all do more of! :)

http://www.successmagazine.com/david-allen-productivity/PARAMS/article/973
http://thinksimplenow.com/happiness/the-art-of-smiling/

If there’s anything I can ever do for you, please feel free to contact me anytime!  Thanks so much for your time, <First Name>, I really appreciate knowing you.

Sincerely,

Studly Student
www.studlystudent.com
555-555-5555

As you can see, the email doesn’t have to be long or elaborate.  The above example is simple, direct, and to the point.  It offers value in the articles, asks for contacts, and lets people know what you’ve been up to.

Where the example lists <First Name>, this is a feature in MailChimp that allows you to customize the email to whomever you’re sending it to.  Now you can blast 200 emails in one fell swoop and have every email have the recipients name within the body of the email.

Super simple.  Super efficient.

Too much info?  Let me boil it down to the ridiculous:
Put biz card info into a spreadsheet
Import spreadsheet into MailChimp
Send an email 2-4 times a year to everyone
Laugh at your friends who can’t score a job while you have multiple offers

Easy, cheesy, lemon-squeezee.

The Power 100 List

The “strength” of your resume isn’t opening any doors.

In fact, what your resume says isn’t really even what hiring managers are considering when bringing you in for an interview.  I mean, face it, there are hundreds of people that have the same boring bullet points on their resume.

What WILL open the door for you is the strength of the relationship you have with someone that already works in the company you’re interested in.

With that in mind, I wanted to create a short guide that will show you exactly how to go about getting your foot in the door of a targeted company or companies by leveraging the contacts you already have in your network.

Let me explain…

Each one of us has at least 100 people in our lives that like, love and respect us.  They are our champions, our go-to people, friends and allies that ultimately will do what they can to assist us in getting what we want.  I call it your POWER 100 List.

Step One: Your goal is to identify who these people are and how to contact them.

The easiest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet with the following column headings:

First Name    Last Name    Email        Phone

Then, begin filling in lines with people that have your back.  These could be friends, mentors, parents, aunts, uncles, professors, former employers, teachers, guidance counselors, your dean… anyone who you believe would be willing to do something for you just because you ask.  Don’t stop until you reach 100 rows filled in.

Step Two: Use Mailchimp.com to send out a customized mass email.

Mailchimp.com is an email delivery service that allows you to write one email and customize it for every person on your spreadsheet.  It’s a whole lot easier than you might think, so please don’t stress about how you’re going to do this.  In fact, I’ll walk you through it.

First, log onto www.mailchimp.com and set up an account.  It’s free up to 2,000 email addresses as long as you’re sending less than 12,000 emails a month.   Trust me, you won’t be sending that many.

Once you’ve setup the mailchimp account, you are then going to import the list that you created into the service.  That’s as easy as clicking on the link that says Import.  Select your file and voila, the service imports that data you put in the spreadsheet.  Mailchimp will ask you to verify that the data was imported correctly.  Once you do that, you’re ready to create the mailer that will go out to your mass list — which I’m about to do for you!

Click on the link that says CREATE EMAIL and cut and paste the following text customized with the companies/industries you want to work within:

SUBJ: I’d love your help with a goal of mine

Hi <firstname>,

I know it’s been awhile since we visited, but you are someone that I look up to very much and I was hoping to get your input on a goal/dream of mine.

I’m currently a senior at University Name majoring in business management.  My experience at company name last summer gave me some incredible skills that I was hoping to parlay into a position with either Ernst & Young, ABC Consulting, or Disney.  My ultimate goal is to be doing xxxxxxxxx in the next 5 years.

As you are probably aware, in this competitive job market, most positions are awarded first through networking and business contacts.  Instead of sending my resume into the abyss, I was hoping to find a contact within one of my target companies that might be able to put in a good word for me and direct my resume to the appropriate party.

Trust me, I will value any introduction as highly as I value our relationship, you have my word.

If you don’t happen to know anyone at my dream companies, I’d welcome any suggestions or advice you may have on next steps to take in pursuing my new career.  I realize that my education is really just beginning, and I’m eager to tackle new challenges and opportunities!  If you know of something that may be a fit based on what you know about me, I’d love to hear it.

I hope this email finds you well, and that we have a chance to catch-up in the very near future!  Thanks for all you’ve done to help shape the professional I’m becoming.

With gratitude,

Your name

Step Three: FOLLOW UP!!

Assuming you get responses (which you will!), now the magic is in the follow up.  Send an email reply back to the people that sent you leads and make sure that you keep them in the loop with the contacts they provided you.

The ONLY way this doesn’t work is if you don’t.  One of the pieces of advice I give job seekers all the time is if you’re out of work, your job IS to land a job.  Spend 6 hours a day responding to emails, setting up informational interviews, and worming your way into the companies you most want to work for.

One of the coolest features of MailChimp is your ability to track who is opening the emails and reading them.  If you know that 50 people read the email and 20 of them responded, consider sending a follow up email to the 30 that didn’t respond.  Again, it’s all about your ability and drive to connect with your POWER 100 List.

I can almost hear you asking, “but what do I say to the contacts?”

Here’s an email to send to contacts you receive:

Hi firstname,

My name is YOUR NAME  and I’m a senior at UNIVERSITY graduating in May with a degree in MANAGEMENT.  Snookie Stackhouse gave me your name as someone that she admired and was working for one of the companies I’m targeting in my job search.

I realize this is a big ask, but would you be willing to allow a college student to buy you coffee and ask you some questions about working for The Vampire Network?  I only ask for 30 minutes, and I will come prepared with questions so as not to waste your time.  I’m happy to bring your favorite drink to your place of work if that’s more convenient for you.

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to consider this request and look forward to meeting you in person.  Snookie had nothing but great things to say about you!

With gratitude,

YOUR NAME

If you’d rather do this over the phone, here’s what to say:

“Hi firstname, my name is YOUR NAME and the reason I’m calling is SNOOKIE STACKHOUSE gave me your information as someone that I should contact.

Did I catch you at a good time?  (wait for answer… if yes.. continue.  If no, schedule a call with them at a later time.)

(They’ll ask something like, “what can I do for you?”)

Well, as I mentioned, SNOOKIE suggested I reach out to you because you are working in a company or capacity that I’d ultimately like to achieve in my career and I was hoping to pick your brain a bit.  I know you’re super busy, so I hesitate to even ask, but would you have 30 minutes or so in the next week to do a quick informational interview?

I’m happy to grab your favorite beverage and meet you at your office if that would be more convenient for you.

I just really really appreciate your willingness to help out a college student.  One of my goals is to be very strategic about my job search process and I think your insight would be invaluable.

If the thought of making calls or sending a blind email asking for help puts you in a cold sweat, GET OVER IT!  The easiest way to get over it is to just do it.  Remember, do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.  If you must, practice the phone conversation with your roommate, parents, or professor.

One of the greatest motivators of human beings is the desire to help one another.  While you are asking for a small favor, you are also granting them one of the greatest opportunities we have as individuals — that is, to make a mark on your life.

To your rapid success!