Dig the Well Before You Get Thirsty
Dig the well before you're thirsty, man. This is a, this is the title of a book that I assume says some of the similar things that we're going to talk about in this little mini unit here. This is important. When is best time to put a spare tire in the trunk of your car? Before or after you get a flat tire, right? On the side of the highway. It's a really obvious answer, yet when it comes to our networking and our relationships, often we're like Hmm, I need to get my website up. I need to finish this product prototype. I need to work here for a few years. And then, you know, I'll start networking or something. Or maybe when I'm a partner, I'll start networking, cause I'll need that. No! You got to dig the well before you're thirsty! If you don't, then you become- you can get desperate. Right? We've all gotten this email, like Oh crap, I got laid off, are you guys hiring? Do you know if anyone is hiring? And you're like, I haven't talked to you for like, three years man. I don't even kno...
w if I like you anymore. I don't want you sitting next to me. You're going to get your friend a job before you get some schmoe who cold emails you out of the blue, right? You're going to get somebody who cared to remember your birthday, maybe. Even if that person just sent you like a BS Facebook message on your birthday, right? That they probably send to everybody, but they still get more bonus points than the person who didn't even bother with that. You're going to want to dig that well before you're thirsty. Obviously that's not how you engage your network, I just want to be clear. But you want to dig that well. Create those relationships before you need them. You cannot leverage them when you are making them right away when you are desperate for them. It is too late at that point. And also to be clear, this is not a game that you play because you love the spoils. This is not a zero sum game. Right? Remember, the values for other people. In fact, the value for you either never comes, or usually comes much later. This isn't about what you need, when you need it. It's actually kind of the opposite. And this is important to me, because at the art of charm, and at the art of charm podcast, we love helping people. We love giving people success, and bringing people success. So if someone doesn't have integrity, don't build your network around them. It's not worth it. Oh, this super big Internet, YouTube person is paying attention to me, but he's kind of a scumbag. Just stay clear. Those people often get theirs, and you do not want to be in the fall out area of being one of those people's associates. Because they're going to ditch you just like they wronged everyone else, and now you're associated with them when they're on the way down. Not a good look. It's also, this is important because unless you've been very intentional about all this, especially with the people that you surround yourself with, you're probably looking at a social circle that is full of people just satisfied with mediocrity. Their entire personal development plan includes getting better at Halo 3 or whatever for the Xbox. And that's all they do. And if you surround yourself with high achievers in your business and in your personal life, you're gonna crush. If all your friends are fit, there's a pretty good chance you're doing some physical activity. If all your friends are doing well in business, they're going to talk you in and out of bad decisions. Hopefully into good decisions and out of bad decisions. Although you never know, this is Silicon Valley and anything can happen. You'll absoluetly crush if you surround yourself with the right people. It's almost like osmosis, right? And oh, suddenly I'm smarter for having hung out with Jordan. Or maybe that's not what would happen. But it's what I like to think would happen. So ABG. Always be giving, you will get. This is reciprocity. And it is something that top performers rely on all the time. Dig your well before you're thirsty. Top performers do this all the time. Creating connections when there's no expectation of return? Top performers do this all the time. The myth of being able to create a network when you need it is just that, by the way. So how many of you have had that thought? And this is a simple hand raise, no need for the talk box. Yeah, you know, once I get this product off the ground, or once, I gotta print my business cards before I start networking. Or, and I don't have a design finalized, so I'm not going to go to the event. Or I don't have my keynote ready, so I'm not going to write the book, so I'm not going to create the relationship with the literary editor. How many of you have procrastinated through some BS excuse process like that? So almost literally everyone who is not too lazy to raise their hand. Thank you two. (audience laughing) Alright, lay off life lines. Bang. This is the next worksheet in there. Lay off life lines. Think about, okay you got laid off. Right now. Crap, what am I going to do? You're going to call these ten people. Who are they? Who are the ten people you're going to call when you get laid off? Call, email, Facebook, I don't care. I don't split hairs. Make a list. And you can just write the first few down. Cause I want to make darn sure that we do this. Write down the first few names. Now, reach out to those people now. Not right now, but after this. Before you need anything. You've got these lifelines, these are the people you're going to call when you're free falling. Your career is screwed, you have no place to live, how am I going to pay rent? You're going to call these people. You're going to be like, man, it's been a long time since I talked to Tim. It's been a long time since we got together, Jordan and I. Maybe I should say hello now. That's digging the well before you're thirsty. Ten people, don't hamstring it. Like, oh, I don't even know who I'd... I'd just call these two people. No. Ten. Imagine the first nine are in Barbados and you can't reach them. They're never going to come back. You have to call that tenth person. And every at Art of Charm, by the way- everyone who works here, got the job through networking and a connection. In fact, the statistics bare this out. 80% of jobs and careers are found through warm or pseudo-warm introductions. Something like 3% are found through handing your resume in to somebody. And I think websites fall somewhere in between there. Of course, if you see those on website, the statistics are reversed, right? They're like, everybody finds jobs through... dot com. So it's actually not true. It's found through networks. Maybe entry level jobs are found that way. But when you're looking for high performers, it's recruiters, and it's people that have been referred by somebody already inside the company. Because you're looking for a cultural fit. Right? So who better than somebody who says "Look, I want to sit next to this person for 12 hours. That's how much I like them". A day. Eight hours. Depending on where you work. If you work around here, 20 hours a day. In a kitchen. With cheerios on the floor. Building your platform. Now this is something that a lot of people go "Well I can't do this, I don't have a podcast!" So this is an excuse that a lot of folks have. This is the next one on the worksheet here. And these are worksheets you can do later, I'm going to briefly go over them now. These are dinner parties, I think. I love this one because it's so easy, everybody eats dinner. You're going to write four invitations in here, and that's a small dinner party. But each person is going to bring one other person that you don't know already. So you're going to have four people you do know, and four people you do not know. And of course one person is going to flake, so you're going to end up with a smaller than eight person dinner party, and that's fine. If one of your invites flakes, you got six people. If one of their invites flakes, you got seven. So either way, you end up with a manageable number. I would say keep it at four that you invite. You don't want a 16 person dinner party, you're just not going to meet everybody, it's going to be a waste of an opportunity. Cause you can do this every two weeks, every month if you want to. After that, we have what we call the mini mixer. This is more industry specific. This is like, oh I'm in the HR industry, but mostly for fashion. So you're going to get the other HR professionals from the other fashion houses. They're going to come maybe to your business if you can swing a room like this. You're going to get somebody who can come in and teach a subject, ideally. Or just a mixer that those people can meet. Cause often times you don't know each other, and they can bring their assistants, and then all those people can work together more closely. And this brings in a lot of value. This brings in a lot of value for the organization, which is why businesses will often sponsor it. It puts you in a position of authority, and I guess you would say puts the spotlight on you, inside your organization. Like "Oh, alright, you're just going to have this mixer? That's a great idea. We should totally do that. And you're taking charge, here's a check, right, from the events budget". This is really really great. And I would keep it capped, again, at 10 to 12, or you just won't meet everyone. You don't have to have a massive mixer, that's why it's called a mini-mixer. And it's industry specific. So keep it capped. And then beyond that, we have learning events. And this is one I really like as well. It is similar to the mini mixer, very similar in fact. But you pick a topic, and you have a guest teacher who is also an attendee. So you might have web designers in the Bay Area. So instead of a bunch of people sitting around eating chips and salsa and being like "so this is a web designer meeting, cool bro, not coming to this again". You might have somebody teaching some sort of industry specific skill set. "Hey look, here's how I program on the Ethereum Block Chain, what the possibilities are". And people are like, "Oh, sweet, I want to learn how to do that. That guy is going to teach that? I'll show up to that". And you end up with some sort of evite thing, and you can again cap it at 10 to 12, the idea is to meet the people, not just to learn about the Ethereum Block Chain or whatever. You want to cap it. And then the next time, you can teach something. I recommend getting a guest teacher that's a little bit higher profile for the first one, because if you're like "I'll teach you this!" A lot of people are like, "I don't want to learn Lucille, I can learn from that guy, I can learn from him anytime". You might want to go, I'm bringing in this person that you can't just learn from anytime you want, because they're not around all the time. Or I called in a favor, so the CEO of this company is going to come in and show us this thing, this product that's not out yet. And then it's a value added. It gets people to show up instead of going "Oh, it's seven and things right now, I'm just not going to go". That's what we want to avoid. You know that happens, because you know you do that too. Alright. Networking is a muscle. It is not a pie. And that's important, because a lot of people think "well I don't want to use this connection right now, because if I use it now, then I can't use it later" No. You can use it now, and you can use it later. You want to introduce me to five authors? I love that. You want to introduce me to 15? Even better. You're not using it up. It's not a pie that gets eaten. It's a muscle that grows when you use it. That's what social capital does, it grows and it multiplies like a, well, I'm not going to go there with the analogy. I'm on a bad downfall with the analogies today, so we're not going to go there. But if you hoard your network, it will atrophy. So if you don't use it at all, it just stops working, stops delivering value, and then you've reached- cause you come up with this "Well I'm not going to reach out to him now, I'm not going to reach out to her now, cause I don't want to waste it". Then before you know it four years have gone by and you haven't reached out or talked with any of these people, because you didn't want to use them up. And now they're like "Who the Hell are you again? Spam." Right? You didn't water the garden. The plants are dead. It all comes back to ABG, and doing so in a systemized way. We're going to go over systems and things like that later on today as well. If you're not as comfortable asking for help as you are giving it, you're in trouble. Because you're only using half of the equation. You want to use both sides. A lot of people go ABG, awesome! And then they're just like rotting away, can't pay their rent because all they're doing is helping other people. You have to be just as comfortable asking for help as you are delivering it. And that is extremely, extremely underrated, might be the best way to say it. It's also underutilized. Because we don't want to seem like takers. But it's okay. And I'm going to go over exactly how to do this later on today. I'm going to give you some templates on how to ask for things later, as well, so you don't have to fill in the blanks with your wild fears of rejection, MJK style, over there. I got into law school because I asked for help. You saw how I got that job before. But I got into law school, I got rejected from the University of Michigan law school. Surprise, right? I got rejected from Best Buy, of course I got rejected from the University of Michigan law school. So, I was just sitting up at this cottage that the girlfriend I had at the time owned, and I was bummed, and I got waitlisted, and then I got unwaitlisted, as in like, "Hey, probably shouldn't wait for us anymore cause you're 100% not getting in! Best of luck in your future endeavors". That's how they end those letters. And I just was like, "Okay, well I guess I won't go back to Best Buy where I can't get a job, and now I'm not going to law school, so I wonder if I can mow lawns with my college degree". Depressing. So I started to reach out to all of my friends who had gotten into Michigan, and they had already gone there for a year. They had just gotten in for this year. And I said "Hey, what would you guys do if you were in my shoes?" And they said "well what about your other schools?" And I said well I can go, I actually, I'm not even kidding you, I got a scholarship, if I'm allowed to say this... From Dominoes Pizza to go to another law school. A full ride, from Dominoes Pizza. And I was like, I guess I'll go to Dominoes Pizza law school. Or whatever. I mean, it wasn't their law school, but it was, that was what it was in my head. And I thought like, oh, well it's not the end of the world. But I'm going to do a last ditch effort, reach out to all of my friends who got into this school, and they're not going to be able to go to the Dean and be like "You let this guy in!" I mean, they're students. They have no power. One of them, my old roommate, actually, different old roommate- roommates for win, when it comes to law careers, I guess. He said "Well you know, I read this story on this forum" Cause they're the guys who read all the forums and all the online postings and everything and did all this thourough research, which is why they're still lawyers and I'm not. They did all this research and they heard about some kid who got into another school by writing this really compelling legal brief style letter to the admissions committee. And I'm like, "That's such a waste of time, I'm not doing that". And he goes "well okay, I guess you can go to Dominoes Pizza law school". Click. And so I sat down and go, "I've got three hours before dinner. I'm just going to write this". So I looked up how to write a legal brief. I wrote the letter, I told them "Look, you don't have to let me in this year, but if you let me in next year, I'll go kill a year. I will not apply anywhere else, and you have to guarantee me a place in the class." And I got an email back that was like, "Never seen this before, not sure how this is going to look. We're going to have a meeting next week, I'll bring it up." That was more like the, I'm not going to just ignore you because I know you're hurting right now email, and I thought, better than nothing. Two days later, the Dean called me and said "Actually we had the meeting today, and everybody was just blown away by this. We've never seen this. We're going to offer you a place in next year's class, if you want to come and join us" And I said, "Where do I send my check, that, with the money I don't have to join your law school." (audience laughing) And so I immediately called my friend back and I said You're never going to guess what happened. I got into the second best, or one of the best at the time, law schools in the United States by asking again in a different way, and asking friends of mine what they suggested. What the Hell? How is that even possible? How do you gte things that are that valuable by asking other people for their ideas? That never happened to me in my entire life, and that was a life changing decision that came as a result of this. It changed my entire life. I get a reminder every single month that I went to Michigan law school in the form of an invoice for that month's tuition. But it was a great experience, right? I mean, it led me in part to where I am right now, for sure. And otherwise I literally might still be figuring out how to sell CDs at Best Buy. I probably would have moved up to computer repair by now. I would like to think. So you have to be able to ask for help. You have to be able to ask for help, and for your side of the equation.