How To Ask For A Meeting (With Actual Examples)

Lean in a little closer… I have a secret to tell you.

The biggest mistake you can make when going to ask for a meeting is to make it about you.

The biggest mistake you can make when going to ask for a meeting is to make it about you. Click To Tweet

Most amateur networkers ask for a meeting like this, “Hey ____, my name is ___. I just started ____ and I’d really like to network with you to see how we can be mutually beneficial.”

There are a few issues with that…

Firstly, you have no credibility… so what you want is irrelevant (sorry).

Secondly, if you’re brand new, the exchange of value isn’t going to be equal…  So what you’re really asking for is their time to get something out of them but probably won’t be able to contribute anything.

Thirdly, you haven’t given any context to HOW you can help each other.

Instead, I want you to focus on connecting, relating, offering value and going for an assumptive close.

 

Asking for a meeting after someone introduced you

Here’s an example of the introduction email that I got from someone…

Alexa, meet Maria.  Maria, meet Alexa. 
Alexa is easily the most entrepreneurial and enterprising leader of her generation.  In addition to her work as a realtor with Keller Williams she has founded Millennium Empire Builders, a leadership cultivation organization dedicated to helping Millenials achieve their full potential in their private and work lives.  She’s done amazing work in the Broward area and is now moving into Miami-Dade with her work.
Maria is a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley.  I met her through the New Leaders Task Force for the Beacon Council and can attest to her energy and drive.  She’s already made some inroads in our firm and has impressed a number of our associates with her skills and presentations. 
Maria lives in Miami-Dade but she works in North Dade/South Broward so it occurred to me that there would be significant synergies between the work you are both doing.  That and suspect you will simply enjoying developing a relationship with each other.  You’re both conquering the world in your own spheres. 
Go forth and be successful.
Best,
Jaret

[In this scenario, someone has made the introduction for you and probably already given you some context about each other. In this case, lean on the credibility of the person making the introduction and being that you don’t have a whole lot of context yet, you don’t need to try to sell the person since the introducer has already recommended that you guys meet and has given you a framework to build off of]

Here was my response:

Hi Jaret!
Thank you so much for the intro and the kind words! Always love meeting other Empire builders 🙂
Hi Maria!
Sounds like we have some chatting to do 🙂 I’d love to grab lunch or coffee to learn more about what you do and how I can be of service. Afternoons and evenings are usually best for me so shoot me over a few dates that work for you and we’ll coordinate from there!

To which Maria responded…

Good evening Jaret,
Thank you for that wonderful introduction. I really appreciate it!
Alexa, I would love to hear more about your accomplishments and get to know more of what you do. It all sounds very interesting! I’m free to do either lunch or drinks/coffee later in the afternoon on March 13th or March 15th. If those don’t work, I’m also available for dinner on March 21st or lunch April 4th. Let me know where your office is located. I work right on Las Olas but I’m flexible and we could pick a spot that is in between us. Look forward to hearing back from you and setting a meeting to meet in person.

It’s that simple… Don’t overcomplicate it.

Don't overcomplicate it. Click To Tweet

There are a couple of reasons why this was so easy…

  • The person who introduced us is well respected by both of us. If he makes a quality intro, I’m definitely reaching out ASAP.
  • He gave us context and a reason to connect.
  • I responded right away to acknowledge the connection and to go for an assumptive close (I mentioned that I’d like to have lunch and then assumed it was mutual, so I asked for specific dates and times)
  • She responded back with specific dates and times
  • Boom, done.
Asking for a meeting with someone after an introduction is the easiest way to connect with someone because you can rely on the other person's credibility. Click To Tweet

… but what if you want to meet with someone that you just met, but haven’t been introduced to?

Drum roll pleaseeeeee….

 

Asking for a meeting after you’ve made a new connection (that wasn’t an introduction)

In this scenario, you have a little less credibility because you haven’t had someone else vouch for you.

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world…

You just have to be a little more strategic with how you ask for a meeting.

We’re going to assume that you’re asking for a meeting with someone that you’ve recently connected with.

Now let’s get down to business.

The biggest key here is to follow-up with them while they’re still hot.

Do.

Not.

Wait.

A.

Century.

To.

Follow.

Up.

With.

Them.

… and when I say “while they’re still hot”, I mean ASAP, like within 12 hours.

If you meet them at an evening event, follow-up that night or the morning after.

If you meet them in the morning, reach out by the end of the day.

I hate to break it to you but you’re not as memorable as you think… So if you don’t follow-up right away, their interest in reconnecting with you starts to wane.

You're not as memorable as you think... So if you don't follow-up right away, their interest in reconnecting with you starts to wane. Click To Tweet

The faster you follow-up, the more likely you are to get the response you’re looking for.

The faster you follow-up, the more likely you are to get the response you're looking for. Click To Tweet

Oh, and I know I mention this in like every post, but you have to earn the right to ask…

That means if you just tossed your card at them and collected theirs but didn’t have any meaningful conversation when you met them, you haven’t earned the right to reconnect with them yet.

By the time you took their information, you should’ve had a meaningful conversation where you know at least 3 things about them.

In fact, I wrote a wholeeee post about how to exchange business cards to make following-up wayyyy easier.

So, now that you’re ready to go for the ask, how do you actually do it?

Very carefully.

Just kidding… Sort of.

 

Your follow-up should include a few elements…

  1. Thank them for their time.
  2. Give them context about why you should follow-up the conversation
  3. What you’d like to come out of the meeting
  4. A general timeframe

Here’s a few different examples of me asking for a meeting…

(ps. Don’t stress over the subject line of the email… “Following up” is literally one of the most opened email subjects in the history of ever)

'Following up' is literally one of the most opened email subjects in the history of ever Click To Tweet

 

Example 1. Asking A Potential Mentor and Sponsor For A Meeting

Luis came to speak at one of our workshops before and now that we just launched our Miami chapter, I wanted to reconnect with him but since I don’t have a whole bunch to offer him, I offered to make an introduction before I asked for the meeting. Here’s the email chain for you (prepare for a bunch of “he said” and then “I said” lol):

Hi Luis!
Hope all is well 🙂
Not sure if you remember me but you came to speak for my young professionals last year about how local politics works.
I met a gentleman who’s heavily involved in the Government Contractor’s Association recently and instantly thought of you!… His organization teaches small businesses how to secure government contracts and being that you work in the lobbying field, I figured you might be interested in speaking for them and could possibly get a few clients out of it since that’s right up your alley.
Let me know if you’d like me to make the connection 🙂

I never want to come across as a taker, so I always like to open a cold follow-up with some sort of value first… and 9 times out of 10, that’s an introduction (more on that in another post). Literally five minutes later, I got this response…

Alexa, 
So good to hear from you.
Thank you for thinking of me.  Please make the connection.

Which lead to…

Hi Again!
Awesome… Will do right now!
Also, would love to grab a quick lunch or coffee with you… We also just started our Miami chapter and would love to pick your brain about connecting with the Miami community since it’s a wholeeee different beast than Broward!
I’m sure you have a TON going on so just let me know what your schedule is like for the next week or so and I’d be happy to accommodate… If Wednesday works, I’ll already be in the area. Otherwise, I’ll work around your schedule 🙂

And thennnn…

Hello back!  I’m unavailable next Wednesday.
How about Monday or Tuesday next week?  I’m available from 1:30-2:30pm on both days.
Cheers.

Easy as that.

A few key takeaways here…

  • If it’s a cold person, offer value first. That value can come in the form of an introduction, book recommendation, article, check-in, whatever. I don’t usually just go for the cold close because even if they agree, they’ll question your motives.
  • Once you’ve offered value, don’t be afraid to go for the ask. In Luis’ case, I know that he knows his shit and he likes to do workshops. He’s a lobbyist so I knew that the connection would be valuable for both Tony (the guy from GCA) and Luis. I also know that he likes to mentor, so “picking his brain” is a hugeee compliment to him.
  • Give them an option to say no while still going for an assumptive close. Yup, that sounds counter productive but I promise it works. By acknowledging that he’s super busy and that I would work around him, I’m showing how much I respect his time and that I’m not going to waste it. At the same time, I’m already assuming he’ll say yes so I gave him a few options.

 

Example 2. Following Up With A Potential MEB Member

Oscar came to one of our social events…

Hi Oscar!
Just wanted to reach out and thank you for coming to our mixer at the Wilder! It was so much fun meeting you and I’m curious to hear more about what your working on and how I might be able to help so I’d love to grab lunch or coffee sometime next week!
Afternoons and evenings generally work best for me, so let me know what works for you!

In talking to tonssss of young professionals, I know that they are alwayssss open to a great, intellectually stimulating conversation. Seriously, ask a group of young professionals if they’d like to hang around more “like-minded” people and almost every one of them will raise their hands. With that in mind, I always focus on THEIR goals and how I can help THEM. I don’t even mention MEB or trying to get them to join.
His response:

Hi Alexa, 
Thank you for following up. 
I can do lunch on Tuesday if you are available. I will be in the Cooper City area in the morning and can possible meet you Broward Mall area after. 
Let me know! 

There you go.

Asking for a meeting isn’t difficult… Focus on how you can help and get out of the mindset that you’re “bothering” them.

Focus on how you can help and get out of the mindset that you're 'bothering' them. Click To Tweet

If you REALLY are coming from a place of helping and contributing value, your request to meet will be totally welcome.

If you REALLY are coming from a place of helping and contributing value, your request to meet will be totally welcome. Click To Tweet

After you meet with them, your work isn’t done… You’ve got to stay in touch.

I put my eight-week email follow-up plan together just for you and you can download it right here:
Email followup template
When you're new to networking, figuring out how to turn new contacts into actual relationships starts with the one on one networking meeting... and getting there isn't rocket science. With a few quick tips, you'll be connecting with people in no time!
Asking for a networking meeting doesn't have to be complicated. In this post, you'll learn exactly how to ask for a meeting without feeling salesy or pitchy and what to say in your emails.

The Best Way To Find Your Purpose In Life + Create Your Vision

As I’m sitting here, I’m drinking my Chai tea (because I’m obsessed) and literally stretching my fingers before I start typing because I know this is going to be a beast of a post.

I could talk about this topic for DAYS ON END… In fact, I’ve taught it now at least a dozen times and put together a webinar about it because I love it so much.

My ultimate goal is to walk onto the TED stage to talk about this exact subject because EVERYONE needs to hear it. That’s how damn obsessed and passionate I am about this.

Before you get overwhelmed, you can sit back and get comfy because there’s a free workbook that goes along with it to help you take all of this and put it into action so we can make it happen.

 

The Pathetic Statistics

Let’s look at some CRAZY stats about people, their careers and how fulfilled they are.

  • Only 3 in 10 people are engaged in their careers (Gallup)
  • 88% of employees don’t have passion for their work (Deloitte)
  • 79% of businesses believe they have a significant engagement and retention problem (Psychometrics)
  • 86% of businesses and HR leaders believe they don’t have a good leadership development path

That goes across every industry and level of employement…

LESS THAN ONE IN TEN PEOPLE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT THEY DO.

How INSANE is that?!

90% of people spend 1/3 of their lives doing a job that they don’t even like. If you could die a million times, I imagine this is how it would happen.

The formula for fulfillment is this…

 

Growth + Contribution = Fulfillment

Do you realize how freaking simple that is?!

In order to be more fulfilled, you need to spend more time growing… That means *ahem* spending more time on blogs like mine and attending our workshops *shameless plug*, watching documentaries, reading, attending events and surrounding yourself with people who push you to grow… and you need to make a conscious effort to go out of your way to give more.

It’s simple, but it’s not easy… I get it.

Here’s the thing… Most of us set our goals COMPLETELY backwards.

We lead through our days rushing about to get everything on our to do list done and it feels like we never finish anything so we’re just aimlessly wandering through life.

Let me ask you a question…

Would you get in the car and start driving aimlessly with absolutely no destination for days on end?

NO!

SO WHY THE HELL DO WE DO THAT WITH LIFE?!

We do it the other way around when we’re in the car…

We pick a destination, decide on how to get there and then we get in the car and drive. Leading with vision and effective goal setting works the EXACT same way.

We should set the destination (vision) FIRST, then develop our stretch goals out of our vision, then make our manageable goals from our stretch goals and decide on our activities based on our manageable goals.

When we set goals this way, we have a higher sense of completion because we know that what we’re doing is getting us one step closer to our ultimate goal, it helps us have more clarity in our lives and in our decisions, we are going to grow faster and it makes it easier to accept or reject opportunities that don’t align with our vision.

Here’s a quick visual to show you what I mean.
Goal Setting Ladder
Most people start from the bottom and climb to the top of the ladder and it goes like this…

  • I’m going to go to school today… (activities)
  • I have decent grades so I guess I’ll apply to college… (manageable goal)
  • I’m in college so I guess I better pick a degree and then change the degree a few times (stretch goal)
  • Oh look, I’m in my field, I think what I do matters (vision).

They go about their day leading with their daily activities until something happens that requires them to start thinking about their manageable goals.

Maybe they’re planning a vacation or a project at work, but they don’t generally have their own manageable goals. They’ll talk about their stretch goals when they’re feeling inspired and will generally distance themselves so they don’t have to take any ownership. They’ll say things like “it would be cool if…” or “somebody should…”.

Most people RARELY talk about their visions or even realize that they have one until someone comes into their lives and forces them to think bigger.

We’re going to do it the opposite way…

We’ll start with your vision and work down to your activities.

… and speaking of making things concrete, we’re going to start HUGE and abstract with a crazy vision and work our way all the way down to the super concrete with our daily activities.

Don’t start checking out on me because you’re overwhelmed. If you know me at all, you know that I always have for you to put all of this into action.

Go ahead and get that right here so you can fill it out while you’re reading through this.

We don’t learn for the sake of learning around here… We learn for the sake of doing, so go get the workbook!

Ready?

Let’s dive right in.

 

Developing Your Vision

First things first, let’s talk about your vision.

No, I don’t mean if you have like 20/20 vision… We’re talking about your idea of the perfect world.

I want you to close your eyes and answer this question…

Seriously, close your eyes…

Are your eyes closed? (They’re definitely not if you’re reading this, just sayin’).

If you had unlimited resources and could have the world any way that you want, what would it look like?

Paint a picture in your mind of what that perfect world would look like.

That my friend, is your vision.

Whatever that looks like to you, that’s what I want you to keep in mind.

Now, I want you to put your vision to the test…

A great vision has a few things going for it (I wish I could take credit for this part but I learned it from a training I did in college called LeaderShape and have yet to find anything that can beat it). This test is flawless:

  • Compelling: When you talk about your vision, does it get people to want to take action? Your vision should be so moving that when you talk about it, they literally can’t help but get involved.
  • Service-Directed: Making a lot of money is not a vision. Making a lot of money is a result of achieving your vision but it is NOT the actual vision. Your vision should benefit others first.
  • Challenging: If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing 😉
  • Vivid: When you talk about it, you should paint a picture in someone’s mind about what the world would look like if your vision became a reality.
  • Expandable: A vision shouldn’t be a finite destination… It’s sort of like when you’re driving on a flat road and you can only see so far but as you get further down the road, you continue to see the road in front of you. That’s how a vision is. Even when you hit your original goals, you’ll continue to think bigger.

In the workshops that I’ve done of this topic, I find that this is the step that people struggle with the most… and it’s completely understandable.

Firstly, we don’t think about stuff like this until you’re feeling inspired or there’s a reason to think about it (like reading this article). Secondly, The idea of having a vision allows for a ton of possibility and makes it seem super abstract.

Our job as empire builders is to pave the road for others to walk down and so we have to start somewhere.

Our job as leaders is to build a vision and make it concrete for those that we lead.

It all starts with vision.*

Even if your vision isn’t perfectly worded yet, that’s ok.

Oh, and if it sounds insane, good! That means you’re doing it right.

Your vision SHOULD be abstract and have millions of ways to approach it.

I always like to start my vision with, “I envision a world where…” because that statement gets you to really think big.

My perfect world looks like this…

I envision a world where people were passionate about helping each other reach their full potential. People would take the time to mentor each other and uplifted and inspired people. Rather than feeling like someone else’s success was to their detriment, we saw each other’s success as our wins too. I believe in abundance and I believe that we can all achieve our craziest, wildest dreams when we choose to work together. The world will be better off when we are all pursuing our dreams. I believe that when we all pursue our dreams, the world will be a better place to live. 

By using words that evoke emotion, it helps you to connect to your own vision and it inspires action in others. There’s a couple of other ways to inspire other people with your vision which are all outlined in this article.

When you lead with vision first, it almost guarantees that you’re going to be fulfilled because you have to grow as a person to make progress on your vision and if your vision meets all five criteria, it’s service-based by it’s very nature.

 

What’s your legacy going to be?

Oh, and before we move onto stretch goals, let’s talk about legacy.

If you ask most people what legacy they want to leave behind, most of them will say something along the lines of “I just want to make sure my family is comfortable and taken care of.”

While you’re reading this, I want you to imagine me grabbing you by the shoulders to shake you and yell all of this at you to make sure that you’re hearing me. If you take just one thing away from this article, let it be this…

That’s an awesome goal and you should definitely do that, except it’s a COMPLETE. WASTE. OF. YOUR. POTENTIAL.

Leaving money behind is not leaving a legacy.

I want to challenge you to leave a PURPOSE and a way to do it (*ahem* your vision).

When you lead with vision, you are setting an incredible example for your family, you’ll be a better family member because you’ll be truly fulfilled and when you leave this earth, you will have something that carries on long after you.

Money will be spent and forgotten but PURPOSE becomes who we are and the culture of our family.

Not to mention, shooting for comfortable is irresponsible.

If you think about all of the people who were living large in the early 2000’s, their comfort became nonexistant when the market crashed in 2008.

All it takes to steal your comfort is a medical emergency, something to happen to you, some crazy natural disaster or a market crash and your comfort becomes struggle in precisely 0.0074 seconds flat (that’s a super scientific number, I swear).

You can argue that insurance will take care of stuff like that and the reality is that way too many people end up in situations where they’re (for lack of a better word) FUCKED… So insurance is not the answer. It’s plan C or D, not plan A or B.

… Andddd to top it off, shooting for comfortable is selfish and lazy. You have a duty, a calling and a responsibility to reach your full potential. The world needs YOU. Not someone else, the world needs YOU.

Imagine how different the world would be different if the lightbulb was never discovered, if Elon didn’t invest $180M back into Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City.

What if Steve Jobs or Mark Zuck didn’t feel like challenging the rules and changing the way we know of everything?

If they can do it, there’s no reason that you can’t either… You just have to have a vision and be willing to take massive, ridiculous action to make it happen. You can be the one to change the world and you have a responsibility to do so.

I know this is a lot… Let’s get to work. Go get your workbook!

Once you’ve worked out your vision, it’s time to figure out HOW you want to make that happen by deciding on your stretch goals.

 

Get Some Direction With Stretch Goals

Your stretch goals are the things that you would like to do at some point but don’t have a clue how.

They should seem impossible to achieve, out of your comfort zone and other people might see them as crazy (and what’s interesting about that is that the more that you talk about them, the more realistic that they become).

Most people struggle with their stretch goals because they’re using a stretch goal as their vision. Think of the vision as the why and the stretch goals to be the how.

 

Stretch Goal #1.

As I think about my own stretch goals, the one that’s at the top of my mind every. single. day. is that I want to build the largest young professionals organization in the world.

Young professionals are the future and the next generation and so I truly believe that it is my responsibility to educate, inspire and empower them to reach their full potential. Once I get closer to this stretch goal, I’ll start working on my second stretch goal.

 

Stretch Goal #2.

My second stretch goal is to completely change the entire education system. I don’t just mean change the way students are tested, I want to change the way that they learn.

First of all, why are we still making kids regurgitate stuff that they can google?! THAT IS WHERE LACK OF FULFILLMENT STARTS.

Where is the growth in that?!?!?!?!?!?

I would love to people go back for a year or two to each what they do as an actual career, for kids to learn through hands on experience (like simulations, virtual reality, etc).

Seriously, who likes learning from a textbook? What if we could teach kids like the Magic School Bus? They would go on a field trip by putting on their VR glasses and get to visit the dinosaurs or go back to the signing of the declaration of independence.

The engagement of kids would be insane and they would learn so much more from it.

Instead of teaching kids to be great test takers, we need to teach them how to have better critical thinking and communication skills so their curriculum would include a bunch of socratic seminars where they learn how to have an opinion, listen and have a healthy debate.

I hope that my stretch goals will help you with your own.

Your stretch goals are the things that you want to be remembered for after you leave this earth and will help you determine which opportunities you’ll take so you don’t overcommit.

 

Make It Happen With Manageable Goals

Your manageable goals are your typical SMART goals.

What I find interesting is that every time the conversation about goal planning comes up, there’s almost inevitably a debate about whether you should set the bar high and have big dreams or you should have realistic goals.

Here’s the answer: you need both!

The realistic goals are the bricks that build the stretch goals.

Your manageable goals should be realistic and achievable that lead to predictable success. These goals bring clarity, focus, keep people engaged and keep everyone on track for the bigger goal.

I like to set manageable goals of 3-6 months. That timeframe keeps you on your toes and is still enough time to make great leaps within that timeframe. Your will help you break all of this down so that you can put all of this into action.

 

Get to Work With Activities

Lastly, you have your activities. Your activities are the day to day activities that help you reach your manageable goals. When you build your goals backwards, you’ll feel like you’re always reaching towards bigger things and will have a MUCH greater sense of achievement.

When those activities start to get redundant or you find yourself struggling to complete them, you need to get some accountability around those actions. Accountability steps in where willpower fails.

The key here is to work backwards so that you continue to feel fulfilled, know that your life is on the right track and you are leading with passion.

I know this is a lot to break down and you’ll forget 90% of this if you don’t put it into action, so go ahead and download the workbook.

How To Execute On Your Ideas When You Feel Overwhelmed

So you know when you have an idea that you’re like “this is going to make me a bajillion dollars”?… and then you go to start putting pen to paper to start brainstorming your idea… but nothing comes out? You’re literally staring at a blank page and all those amazing ideas that were just in your head seemed to die when you picked up that pen.

The problem is the idea is super abstract when you first start thinking about it so your brain doesn’t know how to process and organize the thoughts. In order to accommodate that, you need to give yourself some structure and help your brain put the puzzle pieces in order so that you can see the whole picture.

For each of these steps, give yourself a set amount of time to do them. If you drag it out, you’ll end up in “analysis paralysis” — you know what I’m talking about! When you’re stuck in “research mode” and you never actually pull the trigger.

 

1. Get to Googling (and YouTubing and Pinteresting)

Recommended Timeframe: 3-7 days

YouTube and Google are the two biggest search engines in the world… and Pinterest is right behind them. Contrary to what you might think, Pinterest is a search engine not a social site (when’s the last time you were actually social on Pinterest?)

Google will help you get some basic info on the topic and you’ll learn a lot from blogs. Next, head on over to Pinterest. I freaking LOVE Pinterest…. There’s a ton of info there and you will get even more details on the topic you’re looking for (and no, it’s not just recipes and crafts). There’s content on Pinterest for absolutely everything.

Lastly, head on over to YouTube. You’ll find webinar replays, instructional videos and walkthroughs to help you with your topic. You’ll learn so much by just spending a few hours researching your topic and learning about other people who’ve done it before you.

When there’s a new project that I want to work on, I will literally spend a whole week researching everything that I can about the topic… It’s sort of obsessive to the point that I won’t sleep because I want to know everything I can about it. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. If I had to guess, I probably read and listen to at least 50-100 pieces of content about that one topic before I decide how I want to implement it. If that sounds overwhelming, it’s easier to do than to sit in your brain and try to figure out how to organize your thoughts.

As a side note, just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean you can’t do it, too… and just because it HASN’T been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I love to find things that people have used in different industries and repurpose it into something that I can use to give to you.

Make sure that you bookmark all of the stuff that you like — you may not realize it now, but that one little idea that you didn’t think was that big of a deal will be the one thing that reshapes your whole idea.

 

2. Read Five Books On The Topic

Recommended Timeframe: 30-45 Days

Next, pick out the one major topic that you need to learn to start executing on the idea. Go on Amazon and search for that topic. Find the top rated books and read at least five on the subject. This is my absolute favorite way to learn about a new subject quickly… and if you think you’re not a reader, it’s probably because you’ve been doing it wrong.

You probably haven’t been reading with purpose of applying the information that you’ve learned and you haven’t built the habit of it. It’s sort of like eating healthy or going to the gym… It’s hard at first and then it just becomes who you are.

Related: Reading Is The Cheat Code To Life

Reading just one book isn’t enough… You have to get a few different perspectives and opinions. This will also help you understand common practice, the language and you’ll start developing your own opinions about it.

I suggest you read 10 pages or 1-2 chapters at a time and every time you put the book down, write down the one thing you’re going to implement as a result of what you just read. Doing it this way will help you keep track of your idea and start putting some order in place for it.

 

3. Take An eCourse (or two or three)

Recommended Timeframe: 30-45 Days

This is something I just started doing recently and it’s been awesome. I truly believe in the saying “people have lived before you”. The people who’ve done it before you have been through all of the trial and error that you have yet to go through. During an ecourse, you’ll learn how to apply the information — not just learn the information. You’ll cut your learning curve by 100% because you don’t have to learn the hard way.

Before you hop into an ecourse, make sure that you verify the success of the person teaching it, go through their free content (they’ll usually have a blog or podcast so you can get a feel for their style and you’ll learn a lot there too) and look for reviews and testimonials of the course.

 

4. Structure Your Idea.

Recommended Timeframe: 1-3 days

By now, you’ve learned enough about the topic that you can start structuring your own ideas for how you want to do it. At this point, you’ll start noticing how much easier it is to brainstorm and get the ideas out of your head with some structure to it.

You may even find that your idea has evolved and changed since before you start this journey… That’s a good thing! That means that you’ve learned a ton and you’ll probably skip a bunch of the trial and error that you would’ve gone through without going through this process.

 

5. Start Talking To People.

Recommended Timeframe: 1-2 Weeks

If this is something that you want people to buy, before you go developing the product or service, take the time to talk to your potential clients. Talk to your friends, family and other potential clients.

Share your ideas with them and don’t get defensive if they don’t like it. It’s better to know that they don’t like it NOW than waiting until you’ve already built it to tell you they don’t like it. When you master your audience, you’ll know that you’ll be successful at whatever it is that you’re putting together.

If they disagree with you or don’t like certain elements, ask them why they feel that way. Get them to go deep!

Once you’ve talked to them, go back and tweak your idea again. Your idea should be a living, breathing idea — it’s not carved in stone.

 

6. Ask Yourself The Focusing Question.

By now, you’ve built out your idea and it’s time to start putting it into action.

I find that the absolute best way to go about doing this is to ask yourself the focusing question from The One Thing, “what is the one thing that I can do right now that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?”

Hint: The honest answer probably won’t be the one that you want to do… but it’ll be necessary.

 

7. Do That Action.

Surprise, surprise! Now that you know what the most important thing is… Go do it. We didn’t go through this whole process just for the sake of the idea. We went through all of this for the sake of taking action.

If you find yourself getting stuck here, it almost always has to do with fear…

Fear of success, fear of failure or fear of rejection. This is when you keep doing the “busy work” because you’re afraid to actually start.

Fear of Success: Massive success would require us to change and we don’t like change. This fear can also come from having succeeded in the past and then losing it all — you’re afraid that success leads to inevitable failure. To fix this, start focusing on why you’re doing what you’re doing rather than focusing on the result of the activity that you’re avoiding. (Related: Why Everything Goes Wrong At The Same Time + How To Fix It)

Fear of Failure: This one goes without saying. The biggest piece of advice I have for you here is to treat everything like an experiment. If you’re doing an experiment and something doesn’t work, what do you do? You find a different way. Again, focus on WHY you’re doing what you’re doing and let go of the focus on the result of the activity.

Fear of Rejection: This was always my biggest thing…. When I was a kid, I never wanted to tell anyone about my goals because I was TERRIFIED that people wouldn’t support me or judge me if I failed. To handle this, I went ahead and surrounded myself with different people. It wasn’t that the people I was around weren’t supportive, they just weren’t visioaires and couldn’t think as big as I liked to.

Related: How To Share Your Goals So That People Support You

Related: Stop Feeling Guilty For Outgrowing Your Friends

 

8. Prepare to Fail… A lot.

This is the one that most of us struggle with the most and as a result, we stop at number six because we’re afraid we’ll fail at number seven.

You’re going to fail… A LOT. That’s ok!

That’s where the growth happens and this is where you earn your brownie points.

The best advice that I can give you is not to be attached to the result. If you know that what you’re doing is the right thing to do, don’t worry so much about what the outcome is going to be. Allow yourself to commit 100% without fear of failure.

Treat it like it’s an experiment.

Related: If You Feel Like You’re Not Good Enough, Read This.

 

9. Repeat steps 7-9 until the project is complete.

Lastly, do 6-8 over and over and over and over again until your idea or project is complete.

When you break down your ideas into smaller steps, they become less overwhelming and easier to put into action. Stop letting your awesome ideas run away from you.

I’ve also created this workbook to take everything you just learned here and put it into action. It will walk you through the entire process of researching your ideas and then starting to execute on them. Here’s to much success!


Execute on your ideas

Stop Feeling Guilty For Outgrowing Your Friends

Outgrowing your friends doesn’t make you a bad person and don’t let anyone make you feel differently.

In every stage of our lives, we make friends because of similar interests or circumstance.

When we were in middle school, we made friends with people who were in our classes, lived in our neighborhoods or were on our buses…

In high school we made friends with people who played the same sports as us, went to the same gym as us and were around us regularly…

In college, we made friends with people who went to the same parties, participated in the same organizations, stayed in our dorms and had the same classes or majors as us.

At each turn, you might find a friend or two that sticks around through each stage of your life but most won’t… and that’s perfectly ok.

As your lives change, you lose the commonalities that brought you together in the first place.

That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you or wrong with them, you just started to grow apart.

I had a group of girlfriends in college that I was super close with… and we started to grow apart because we really didn’t have anything in common anymore.

When we would hang out, I wanted to talk about Millennial Empire Builders (which was called South Florida Young Professionals at the time) and real estate.

Both of those topics were genuinely of no interest to them and because I wasn’t around that much anymore, I started to feel like an outsider when we would all get together.

Some of them even tried to make me feel guilty for not being around as much which stuck a wedge into our relationship even further.

It sucks but it happens.

Outgrowing your friends isn’t a bad thing.

 

Changing Your Circle Is A Good Thing

If you’re constantly around the same people, your world, opportunities and perspective get really small.

You start to dress alike, talk alike, think alike and care about the same things… Life becomes routine and you become content.

The group comes to a consensus on what “success” is, what “failure” is, what behavior is acceptable and even your values start to align with each other…

It’s sort of like how women’s cycles synchronize when they hang around each other too much (sorry guys, I know how much you love when we talk about that time of the month).

This synchronizing happens in teeny tiny interactions that you don’t even realize have an impact on your own mindset.

Those interactions go something like this…

Let’s say you workout every day at 5am.

You start hanging out with people who go out more often so they’re like “oh come on, you can come out with us and still get up early to go to the gym… Come out with us!”

You all have a great time so you start to do it more often… and eventually, your body starts to fight back and you remember that sleep is actually a mandatory thing your body needs.

You don’t want to ruin your new friendships so you miss a gym day here or there…

Which breaks your routine and you start to go less and less. Before you know it, you’ve gained weight and you’re wondering what happened when you used to be so good about it. You try getting back into it but it’s wayyyy harder than you thought.

After all, breaking a habit takes like 0.02 seconds and building a habit takes about 66 days (as evidenced by the book ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller).

You don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late.

Changing your circle of friends allows this to happen in reverse, too.

Your new friends can push you to build new, good habits too…

Let’s say you’re a salesperson who does well enough to get by comfortably….

When you start hanging around mega’s who are doing millions of dollars in sales, your level of action and mindset will change and grow, too.

It’s inevitable.

The people that you hang around are the single most important decision that you’ll ever make in your life.

 

As you continue down your growth journey, your friends will change.

Here’s what you have to remember… There’s only a small percentage of people who are committed to being their best selves (and don’t debate me on this… everyone wants to be their best self, but if you take one look at their habits and the conversations around them, you’ll see if they’re actually committed or simply interested… For most people, it’s the latter).

As you start to talk more about habits, reading, mindset, growth and taking action on your goals, the people around you are going to either join you or they’re going to fight it.

That doesn’t mean they’re fighting you… Some people are comfortable with their situation and changing is SUPER uncomfortable. In this scenario, outgrowing your friends is almost inevitable.

That doesn’t make them bad people.

You cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped…

You cannot force someone to grow who doesn’t want to grow…

… and it’s not your job to force them to grow.

The best thing you can do for them is to achieve your definition of success and then inspire them to pursue their own.

People grow into the conversations around them, so inspiring them with your own success and encouraging them to pursue theirs is all you can do for them… So lead by example.

Your priority needs to be to surround yourself with other people who are committed to being their best selves too.

It’s your duty to yourself… or you’ll end up one of those middle-aged men or women who go through a mid-life crisis because you don’t understand how you ended up in the boring, mundane life that you settled for when you were so ambitious in your 20’s and 30’s.

Your duty, responsibility and obligation is to commit to being your absolute best self with as much integrity, compassion and love as you possibly can.

No one believed Everest could be climbed until it was.

No one believed that a mile could be ran in one minute until someone did it.

If you love your friends as much as you say, you’ll be the change maker.

Blaze the path and show them what’s possible.

Stop trying to bring people who don’t want to be brought with you to the top…. Once you’re there, you can always go back and get them once they’re willing to grow too.

You’ll be a better leader, motivator, helper, inspirer (is that even a word?!) and friend when you’ve shown the people around you that reaching your goals is absolutely possible and encouraged.

This article will walk you through the process of sharing your goals with other people (because it truly IS an art) and I also created a whole network audit workbook to help you go through your closest friends and really evaluate your friendships.

The workbook, this article and the article that I just mentioned are all designed to work together. Let’s get your relationships on track with your goals:


How To Get People To Buy Into Your Goals (And Why They Doubt You)

When we were kids, our parents and teachers would tell us we can be anything we want to be when we grow up.

By the time we get to middle school, we start to get a glimpse of how the real world works.

Instead of being president, we settle for being a CEO of a huge company and making millions of dollars every year.

… And then in high school, we have to start getting ‘realistic’ because we’re getting ready for college.

… College comes around and we’re told to go with something ‘secure’ that pays well and to forget passion.

Little by little, our ambitions are cut down by those around who want to protect us so we become quiet dreamers and are too afraid to speak those dreams for fear that someone is going to tell you that you can’t do it because when we do share, we get frustrated and maybe even wonder if they’re right about us being too ambitious.

Now I’m not justifying their case but since we’re taking focused on taking complete ownership, we have to look at it from their side, understand them and then address how we’re going to pursue our dreams without their negative influence.

Here’s the deal…

Our family and friends try to get us to be realistic because they love us, want the best for us and they don’t want us to be disappointed when we don’t reach our goals. At least that’s what they say, right?

Here’s what it comes down to…

 

FEAR

Every fear that humans have comes from one of two places — the fear that we’re not good enough or the fear that we won’t be loved.

To make it worse, remember, we have 60,000-90,000 thoughts in a day and 95% of them are the same thoughts that we’ve had every single day so far. Now I’m not justifying their thought process, I just want you to understand their perspective.

They’re afraid that…

  • When you’re successful, you’re going to be different (and we don’t like change — it’s human nature).
  • When you’re successful, you won’t love them anymore.
  • When you’re successful, they won’t be good enough for you.

They say they’re doing it for us (and they probably genuinely believe that they’re doing it for you) but they’re actually doing it because they’re afraid that your relationship will be different.

Their limiting beliefs have absolutely nothing to do with you.

It is their own fear that holds them back from thinking big and they’re doing the best that they can to hold onto what they love — you — just the way that you are.

Does that mean that you should cut them off?

No.

If they’re someone in your life that you can’t get rid of (and I mean that in the most loving way possible), pay attention to how you’re communicating with them.

 

Start by watching your word choice…

If you’re using exclusive phrasing (words and phrases that don’t include them) like “my success”, “my future” or “when I’m successful”, you’re telling them that they won’t get to be part of your success.

You can’t expect them to be happy for you if they don’t get to be part your success.

Don’t just assume that they know that they will be part of it… You have to reassure them that you want them to be there with you and that you love them unconditionally. Make sure you’re including them in your plans and making it clear that they are part of it.

On the opposite side of that, the fastest way to lose their support and get them to resent your ambition is to the weight of it all on them. If and when you’re using phrasing like, “I do this for you”, you’re putting the blame on them for your hard work.

Even if you mean it as a compliment, you are giving them the responsibility of your exhaustion, your struggle and you are telling them that they are the reason that you aren’t present for them right now.

Before you get defensive… Remember, we’re focused on taking complete ownership. We can’t control how they feel or react. We can, however, try to understand where they’re coming from and we can control ourselves.

All of this applies if you can’t get rid of this someone in your life. If this is someone who doesn’t deserve to be in your life, the most graceful way to allow them to dismiss themselves from your life is to have a conversation that goes like this, “over the next 10 weeks, I’m really looking to make some drastic changes in my life like [be specific about the changes in your diet, prospecting, whatever]. Would you be wiling to join me?”

If they’re willing to join you, make sure that they don’t distract you if and when they slack off. If they aren’t willing to join you, then ask for their support with the approach of, “I completely understand… I just thought I would ask. Even still, it would mean the world to me if you’d support me through this journey. Here’s what you can expect… [tell them how it’s going to affect your time, mood, etc.]”

Even still, it would mean the world to me if you’d support me through this journey. Here’s what you can expect… [tell them how it’s going to affect your time, mood, etc.]”

If they can stay supportive throughout the process, you probably don’t need to get rid of them. If they can’t, remind them how important it is to you and that you’re not giving up. If they still don’t support you, they will likely exit your life and that’s perfectly ok.

Before you let them dismiss themselves, remember…

 

Remember that it’s your vision, not theirs.

Ready to start putting this into action? I have a whole workbook to help you learn how to communicate more effectively with the people in your life. It’s totally free and you can download it here 😉

We have 60,000-90,000 thoughts in a day.

Just because you mention your goals once or twice, doesn’t mean they’re going to be jumping over joy with your level of passion. Some people just don’t have vision or they are simply skeptics by nature.

They will only get on board when they see results. All of that is fine, you just need to remember that you’re not going to get these people’s support without results.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in you, they just can’t see the vision without hard, tangible evidence that they can see.

Just because you mention your goals once or twice, doesn’t mean they’re going to be jumping over joy with your level of passion.

Some people just don’t have vision or they are simply skeptics by nature. They will only get on board when they see results.

All of that is fine, you just need to remember that you’re not going to get these people’s support without results.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in you, they just can’t see the vision without hard, tangible evidence that they can see.

You can’t be mad at them for the inability to think big, you just have to communicate at their level… which brings us to the communication ladder (cue Law and Order Style *don-don*)

 

The Communication Ladder

A few weeks ago, I posted something on Instagram asking for people’s goals. Almost every single person commented with something super vague and general. Vague, airy-fairy definitions of success might sound pretty but they’re immeasurable.

If you can’t measure your success, how will you ever know that you’re successful?

There were two specific people who I asked to clarify and both of the people I was interacting with were hesitant to tell me what their goals are (even in private).

Firstly, if you can’t share your goals with other people (especially those that are supportive), that is the ultimate form of self-doubt.

You don’t need to share all of your goals with everyone but you do need to share them with people.

By sharing your goals, you create automatic accountability around your goals and you give them the opportunity to help you achieve them… and the worst thing you could possibly do is to belittle them by telling them they don’t get it or that they just don’t think big enough to understand.

That’s not going to get you the understanding and passion for your goals that you’re looking for.

No matter how much of a superhero that you think you are, you cannot and will not succeed at the level that you’re looking to succeed at if you can’t include people in your vision.

Here’s the caveat — you don’t need to tell everyone your entire vision.

The goal is to communicate with them at their level. When you do that, you’ll find that when you share your goals, they are more supportive of your goals and you will leave the conversation without being frustrated that they’re not “getting it” or they’re trying to break you down.

Here’s the thing… Everyone’s capacity for thinking big is different. None of them are wrong, they’re just different.

Treat your conversations and relationships like rungs on a ladder. Start from the bottom and work your way to the top, just like you would climb a ladder.

 

Activities

Some people can only handle the monotonous day-to-day activities.

These people can handle (or are only interested in) your weekly plans, low level goals (like finishing a project) and specific activities.

These are simple tasks that can be achieved within a designated calendar time frame (a few hours or even a few days).

They don’t deserve to know (or care to know) anything beyond ‘right now’.

 

Manageable Goals

Next, you’ll have some people who can handle goals that take a few weeks or months to accomplish.

These are people who can handle your projects that can take up to 6 months to accomplish.

These are low-risk projects that lead to predictable success.

These are people like your significant other, coworkers and other people in your life that you’re likely in frequent communication with.

 

Stretch Goals

These are goals that you probably don’t know how you’ll achieve but they’re big enough that you’re passionate about them and they can make a massive impact.

You can achieve these within your lifetime and they might even make you a little comfortable to talk about (quick tip: the more you talk about them, the easier they become to talk about and the more you’ll believe in them).

You know those random conversations that you have that fill your soul and make you excited about all of the possibilities the world has to offer?

You’re probably talking about your stretch goals.

These are giant goals like building the largest young professionals organization in the world (which is mine), reforming the education system or creating equality for the homeless.

 

Vision

Lastly, there are the few conversations that we have where we peel back the layers of our soul, allow ourselves to be open, vulnerable and intimate with the inner most parts of ourselves and we talk about our vision.
If our stretch goals are the what, our vision is the why.

These are the inner most thoughts that we generally don’t think about unless we’re prompted to.

Our vision is what we want to be remembered for and the things that we want people to say that we stood for at our funeral and long after we’re gone.

Most people have absolutely no clue what their vision is, so you can’t expect to talk about your vision with any ol’ Joe Shmoe and expect them to get excited about it with you.

While a vision doesn’t have to be complicated, the level of thinking required to think of the impact that you will make overwhelms most people.

Related: Develop Your Vision

 

The Responsibility of Leadership

As a leader, your responsibility is to push the people that you’re communicating with to the next level on their ladder and you can do that very simply by asking great questions that force them to think big.

A simple formula to follow is the FROG, which I’ve outlined for you in this post.

Instead of word-vomitting and throwing your goals on other people, be genuinely interested in their goals.

Learn what’s important to them and why it’s important.

When you focus on learning about their ladder, you can see where they currently stand. Meet them there!

Don’t talk to them from the top rung if they’re on the bottom. Talk to them on the bottom and help them get to the next rung where you can share that new journey together.

 

Not to be confused…

While you should communicate your goals from the bottom up, you should be setting goals from top down.

When you set them from the top down, you will lead your life with a whole lot more purpose.

I’ve also prepared a workbook to help you learn about where you stand on the ladder and how to communicate it with those around you.


Share Your Goals