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NOTABLE! Developing Relationships With Top Players - Master Thread

MTF

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You've probably heard it at least a few times before: you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Personally, I can't stand hearing it in every single article about being successful, but there's some truth in it.

Social influence is real - we tend to behave in a similar way to people close to us. We copy their vocabulary, gestures, share at least some of their opinions, and often, even expectations and ambitions.

I've always been a loner and it never really bothered me that I didn't fit in. At least I wasn't imitating the masses and blazed my own path.

But recently I realized that if you want to grow, sooner or later you should spend more time and energy developing relationships with people who will inspire you to get to the next level.

It doesn't mean not hanging out with your current friends anymore, cutting people from your life just because they aren't entrepreneurs or looking down on anyone who doesn't share your views. It simply means upgrading your social environment so you can expose yourself to new ways of thinking, new perspectives, new standards, and ultimately, accelerate your personal growth.

Hence, this thread. I'd like to use it as a sort of a depository of the best lessons, strategies, articles, videos, and other resources specifically about developing relationships with top players as I know that if I have issues with that, other probably have them, too.

I need to emphasize that this isn't merely about making new friends - I'm talking specifically about connecting with people who think big, whether they're successful businessmen, investors, athletes, musicians, authors, public speakers, doctors, lawyers, filmmakers, etc. - including people who aren't A players yet, but are on track to become them.

And just so it's clear: this is about connecting with them because you know that you can be of value to them (and obviously, they can be of value to you), not because you just want to get something out of them.

Now that we're done with all the disclaimers, let's start (continued in the next post for readability)...
 

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In Jesse Itzler's books (Living with a SEAL and Living with the Monks) he shared two cool strategies he uses to connect with top players:

1. Just ask them to be your friends. Direct quote from "Living with a SEAL": "This is a habit I have. When I see or read about someone interesting, I call them up and basically ask them to be my friend." Jesse is a well-known businessman and investor, so it's probably much easier for him to make it work.

However, I think that it can work, to some extent, for those who aren't as influential, too. For example, you could cold email a person you admire and sell yourself as a valuable potential contact by offering some feedback about their recent project, website, or whatever.

Also, you don't necessarily have to reach out to the most famous guy. The current top bestselling business author is probably much harder to connect with than a guy whose books were bestsellers in the 90s or 00s (and he can be more insightful, too).

2. Writing thank-you letters. Jesse writes: "When I was in my twenties I wrote ten handwritten letters every day to thank people." He also mentions this strategy in this interview.

Jordan Harbinger writes about a similar strategy in his Level One free networking course (you can sign up for free here: Level One: High Caliber Networking Intensive). He essentially recommends reaching out cold to someone you admire and with whom you want to connect by leaving a comment on the article they wrote, reviewing their book or reaching out to them on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and telling them that you're a fan.

It's very easy to do and I started doing it more often recently. Even if it doesn't lead to anything other than a quick reply, at least you're spreading some gratitude.

I like Jesse's approach more, though, because it takes a lot more work to send a handwritten letter so it's much more uncommon. It's also a bit harder because you won't always be able to find a physical address of the person you'd like to reach.
 
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I've never used it, but www.Clarity.fm looks like a really cool opportunity to connect with top players.

Yes, you're paying them for their time and you probably won't befriend them just by booking a call with them, but you can pay for 10 minutes of their time and get some really good insights to help you grow your business.

It's almost like mentorship on demand, and it's not really that expensive if you focus on asking only the most essential questions (and thus, limiting the length of your call).
 
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@Kak's response to my question about networking:

5 grand a month for a mastermind group? Really? That’s absurd.

Give 5 grand a month to 1 or 2 charities and you’ll probably do better. In order to meet people by giving you need to be considered a major donor. Then you get invited to events where they ask you for more money. Lol.

I owe a lot of my network to lobbying. Lobbyists all know each other and all lobbyists do all day is meet with CEOs and influential politicians. Hell you could hire decent lobbyist for 5k per month.

Philanthropy, church, golf, and running my businesses for the rest of it. It just happened. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you, I never set out to do it. Networking events specifically to network early on in my career were a JOKE.

Have you heard of the Rotary Club? That might be worth a look for you. I have heard good things.
 

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Thanks for sharing.
 
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TinyOldLady

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1. Just ask them to be your friends.
sooo, @MTF , do you want to be my friend? :smile:

Yesterday I had the pleasure to talk to two nobel prize laureates. Even if they were not physicists, it was a bit like a dream :happy:, because I always wanted to be one of them. Now how did I do that? I went to an event where they meet. This is my strategy, just find an event where you can find the person you want to meet, like conferences, concerts, ...
 
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sooo, @MTF , do you want to be my friend? :smile:
Haha sure.

This is my strategy, just find an event where you can find the person you want to meet, like conferences, concerts, ...
I like it. I came up with something similar today - figure out what drives the person you want to meet, find something that you both share, do something in this sphere, and chances are you'll naturally meet them somewhere along the journey.

For example, if a person you like to meet is passionate about saving rainforests and you happen to care about the environment, too, you can become an advocate of an organization working in this field, and thus, put yourself on the radar of the person you'd like to connect with. Or if you want to meet an ultramarathoner, then run an ultra and you'll either meet them or at least meet people who know them (and who can possibly introduce you).
 

Dylan Hobrecht

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This sounds like a really great idea. I could only imagine the people I could meet!

Jordan Harbinger is a really great guy too. Wouldn’t mind taking his course. I’ve heard of finding [like interest] in Dale Carnegie’s book “how to win and influence friends!”

I’ve been doing ten calls a day. Each and everyday, but I ran out of people. I should have innovated out of my facebook friends before I stopped. I really didn’t see it coming. I should expect that when there is only soo many people.

Thanks for the good info!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Jordan Harbinger is a really great guy too. Wouldn’t mind taking his course.
Level One is for free (I'm doing it now). The paid one - not sure what to think of it, I'll think about it once I complete the free course.
 

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Writing thank-you letters. Jesse writes: "When I was in my twenties I wrote ten handwritten letters every day to thank people."
And HAND write them, no computer, no printer. And anyone who hasn't learned cursive, please do so, it's an important skill that isn't being taught anymore in most schools.
 

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Great job @MTF - your posts have been super high value lately (and in the past too ha!).
+Rep
 

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Nice tips on thank you letters. I’m going to try that.

Courses on how to meet top notch people? I definitely wouldn’t.

You honestly just need to have something interesting going on and the people follow. That is my number 1 way I have met key players in my business life.

Next... Be one of these people. Spend time doing the same things that these people because you are one. Example... Get good at golf, and genuinely enjoy it. Tennis too. Give money to charity. Sign up for charity golf tournaments. Go to charity galas and auctions.

Finally lead these people. They respect you, in some ways above themselves. Not because you bragged about how bad a$$ you are, because you actually are bad a$$ to them. They ask your advice. To them, you are more interesting than they are. What you have going on is a huge game changer there will be no shortage of help, advice and networking available to you. Be the trend setter.
 
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Kak

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I've never used it, but www.Clarity.fm looks like a really cool opportunity to connect with top players.

Yes, you're paying them for their time and you probably won't befriend them just by booking a call with them, but you can pay for 10 minutes of their time and get some really good insights to help you grow your business.

It's almost like mentorship on demand, and it's not really that expensive if you focus on asking only the most essential questions (and thus, limiting the length of your call).
Unfortunately, I highly doubt the “top players” are there trading their time for money.
 

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Unfortunately, I highly doubt the “top players” are there trading their time for money.
I checked out that site once a few years ago and saw Mark Cuban on there. He was charging $500 a minute. I don't know if he's still around on there (or why he would be) but it definitely was a surprise ($500 a minute is a STEAL for Mark).
 

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Great topic @MTF +Rep

It's really funny that you bring this up. It must be the hundredth monkey effect or something because I've been posting about this on other groups quite a bit. Like you, I tend to be to myself more than hanging out with lots of people, but that does have its consequences, so I've decided recently to 'pay to play' by buying in a program where I have access to people with good business cred. In my 49 years I've never done anything like this as I've always been afraid to be scammed, but before I'm dead, I'd like to personally know what it's like to do something like this. It's an experiment and if I lose my money, it's okay, I'll survive. And either way I'll be one experience richer.

I do believe that reading books and participating on forums and watching youtube videos can impart some of the 'mindset' of successful people that can help you to absorb some of that goodness, but I think being in the room, in real time, is even more special, and can have a greater impact. I imagine going to the summit in February would be amazing. You have to pay to go to that, even if it's just travel, food, and accommodations.

So in short, I'm with you on this one. I'm planning to step up my networking, but only networking with high-quality folks. And, I have to be willing to pay for those opportunities. Am I wrong?
 

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I checked out that site once a few years ago and saw Mark Cuban on there. He was charging $500 a minute. I don't know if he's still around on there (or why he would be) but it definitely was a surprise ($500 a minute is a STEAL for Mark).
I stand corrected.
 

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The two main things which have really expanded my network:

1. When you get advice, implement it. And after you implement it, let the person know what you did and how it went. I have had people I meet with actually thank me and offer to "mentor" me because finally, someone actually took action on what they suggested. It makes them feel valuable and helpful.

2. Thank them for their time and politely ask if they know anyone else who might be good to meet. If you do this at the end of every meeting, you will always have a followup meeting. And guess what, this gives you a bulletproof way to implement what I wrote above.

Also, check out anything and everything by Keith Ferrazzi. He delivers high quality content and his books 'Never Eat Alone' & 'Whos Got Your Back' are excellent.
 
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And HAND write them, no computer, no printer. And anyone who hasn't learned cursive, please do so, it's an important skill that isn't being taught anymore in most schools.
Yes, that's what Jesse Itzler emphasized, too. I just remembered that Richard Branson and Stephen Colbert are doing it, too.

Great job @MTF - your posts have been super high value lately (and in the past too ha!).
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Thanks, man. I wanted to contribute more since I get so much out of this place.

Nice tips on thank you letters. I’m going to try that.
I'm glad to hear that. I'm going to try that, too (my handwriting is horrible, though, so I'll have to work on it).

You honestly just need to have something interesting going on and the people follow. That is my number 1 way I have met key players in my business life.

Next... Be one of these people. Spend time doing the same things that these people because you are one. Example... Get good at golf, and genuinely enjoy it. Tennis too. Give money to charity. Sign up for charity golf tournaments. Go to charity galas and auctions.

Finally lead these people. They respect you, in some ways above themselves. Not because you bragged about how bad a$$ you are, because you actually are bad a$$ to them. They ask your advice. To them, you are more interesting than they are. What you have going on is a huge game changer there will be no shortage of help, advice and networking available to you. Be the trend setter.
Great tips, thank you. I spent about a year learning tennis with a coach and ultimately stopped playing because I sucked at it a lot. But well, at least I know the basics. Perhaps I should try golf.

Unfortunately, I highly doubt the “top players” are there trading their time for money.
I remember reading an interview with a successful guy (don't remember who) in which he said he makes himself available on Clarity because he sends all the money earned on Clarity to charities. With a rate of $50-100+ per minute you won't get many questions anyway, and people who will ask you are probably potential valuable contacts.

Perhaps you won't find the absolute top performers there, but you can find a lot of people very experienced in what they do. Some examples: Tucker Max and Ryan Holiday (book publishing, marketing, PR), Ariel Poler (angel investing, startups), Dan Martell (creator of Clarity.fm, experience in venture capital), Joel Comm (internet marketing) or Hal Elrod (public speaking, he gets $10,000+ per speech).

Then there are also people connected with top players like Darya Rose (Kevin Rose's wife) or Claudia Azula Altucher (James Altucher's wife) or people who've been in the same industry for years and can probably give you tips how to network within it.

I checked out that site once a few years ago and saw Mark Cuban on there. He was charging $500 a minute. I don't know if he's still around on there (or why he would be) but it definitely was a surprise ($500 a minute is a STEAL for Mark).
He indeed was there, but isn't available now: Mark Cuban - Expert - Clarity His last rate was $166.67 per minute. He actually became one of the investors after signing up on the site.

Great topic @MTF +Rep

I've decided recently to 'pay to play' by buying in a program where I have access to people with good business cred. In my 49 years I've never done anything like this as I've always been afraid to be scammed, but before I'm dead, I'd like to personally know what it's like to do something like this. It's an experiment and if I lose my money, it's okay, I'll survive. And either way I'll be one experience richer.
How did you find it and how do you know whether it's legitimate? I considered something similar but decided against it when I learned that one of the guys who created it is behind a shady MLM.

By the way, thank you for rep transfer!

I do believe that reading books and participating on forums and watching youtube videos can impart some of the 'mindset' of successful people that can help you to absorb some of that goodness, but I think being in the room, in real time, is even more special, and can have a greater impact.
I think that at some point forums, videos and stuff like that is no longer that helpful and you want more (and that's when you create a thread on the forum asking for tips on how to network lol).

I'm planning to step up my networking, but only networking with high-quality folks. And, I have to be willing to pay for those opportunities. Am I wrong?
Obviously I'm not an expert at all, but I guess that it depends on the offer. If you're paying to join a group with several hundred people who all want access to the guys who created the group, then you probably won't get much value out of it. If it's a very expensive, limited to, say, 10-20 people, group, then I believe it might be effective. I think that something like Tony Robbins' Platinum Partnership might be valuable.
 
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According to Dan Kennedy, author of "No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent", affluent (defined as millionaires or multimillionaires) are spending money primarily on experiences and exclusivity. Some examples cited in the book:
  • home furnishings,
  • women's evening apparel,
  • fine jewelry,
  • artwork, collectibles.
If you're in one of these industries, you'll probably have easier access to them.

To better understand the affluent, he suggests reading the following magazines (I excluded the ones that no longer exist):
  • Elite Traveler,
  • Forbes,
  • Fortune,
  • Robb Report,
  • Town & Country,
  • Upscale,
  • Worth.
And here are some places he recommends to go to:
  • classic car shows, such as Barrett-Jackson,
  • boat shows,
  • Boca Raton, Florida,
  • Scottsdale, Arizona (lol, many Fastlaners already there),
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut,
  • Jackson Hole, Wyoming
According to a report from Wealth-X, a market research firm that focuses on ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals ($30 million or more in assets), here are the top interests of rich people (starting from the most popular one):
  1. Philanthropy — 56.3%
  2. Travel — 31%
  3. Art — 28.7%
  4. Fashion and style — 25.2%
  5. Politics — 22.2%
  6. Wine and spirits — 15.9%
  7. Boating — 14.9%
  8. Health and exercise — 14.8%
  9. Automobiles — 14.5%
  10. Collectibles — 14.1%
  11. Football/soccer — 13.1%
  12. Reading — 12.3%
  13. Cultural events — 12.1%
  14. Golf — 11%
  15. Dining — 10.9%
  16. Hunting — 8.8%
  17. Jewelry — 8.1%
  18. Fishing — 7.8%
  19. Watches — 7.7%
  20. Skiing — 7.2%
Obviously, not every affluent person cares about luxury living and there are plenty of successful people who shop exclusively at Walmart and don't have any expensive hobbies. Still, there's a higher chance to meet top players engaging in the aforementioned hobbies and visiting the aforementioned places.
 
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The two main things which have really expanded my network:

1. When you get advice, implement it. And after you implement it, let the person know what you did and how it went. I have had people I meet with actually thank me and offer to "mentor" me because finally, someone actually took action on what they suggested. It makes them feel valuable and helpful.
Definitely. 99% of people never take any action, so you can immediately stand out if you act and then follow up with your results.

2. Thank them for their time and politely ask if they know anyone else who might be good to meet. If you do this at the end of every meeting, you will always have a followup meeting. And guess what, this gives you a bulletproof way to implement what I wrote above.
Great advice! I guess you can also use it when reaching out to someone by email. And the best part is that they will probably introduce you to the other person which makes it much easier to connect.

Also, check out anything and everything by Keith Ferrazzi. He delivers high quality content and his books 'Never Eat Alone' & 'Whos Got Your Back' are excellent.
Thank you for the recommendations. I read "Never Eat Alone" and I remember that it wasn't very introvert-friendly (he recommended regularly organizing big parties or something like that).
 

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Definitely. 99% of people never take any action, so you can immediately stand out if you act and then follow up with your results.



Great advice! I guess you can also use it when reaching out to someone by email. And the best part is that they will probably introduce you to the other person which makes it much easier to connect.



Thank you for the recommendations. I read "Never Eat Alone" and I remember that it wasn't very introvert-friendly (he recommended regularly organizing big parties or something like that).

Cool thing is that if you don't want to host parties there are so many other ways to build a powerful network that Keith digs into. The one I really like as an introverted guy is to build valuable relationships with people who already have their own big networks (a.k.a. influencers). Then, even though I don't personally know a ton of people I still have a wide network by association.
 
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Here are some groups that, by design, should attract high-quality people:
  • Toastmasters - a public speaking and leadership organization. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, I don't think there's a better option than Toastmasters. They have chapters all around the world so no matter where you live, there's probably one nearby (and if not, they can help you start it). I recently attended a meeting and it was really cool and very action-oriented (a lot of speaking and feedback, virtually no theory).
  • Rotary International (recommended by @Kak) - bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. Like Toastmasters, there are clubs all around the world.
  • Entrepreneurs' Organization - the only global network exclusively for entrepreneurs. EO helps leading entrepreneurs learn and grow through peer-to-peer learning, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and connections to experts.
  • Young Entrepreneur Council - the world’s most exclusive group of young entrepreneurs. Their requirements are pretty restrictive (at least $1 million in annual revenue,) so it's 100% top player kind of a group.
  • FoundersCard - a community comprised of the world's most successful and influential entrepreneurs, innovators, and business owners. They seem to be more focused on the benefits (travel, hotel, etc.) their card offers.
  • Social Enterprise Alliance - supports its members, chapters and the national social enterprise movement by convening the field, providing necessary social entrepreneurship tools and resources and raising awareness around the country. U.S. only.
  • Startup Grind - a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.
  • Edward Lowe Foundation - the foundation’s entrepreneurship initiatives are focused on second-stage companies — growth-oriented firms that have moved beyond startup but haven’t yet reached maturity. Our peer learning, leadership education and strategic information programs are geared to help these companies continue growing. U.S. only.
  • Vistage - an executive coaching organization that aims to help high-integrity leaders make great decisions that benefit their companies, families, and communities.
  • Young Presidents' Organization - global platform for chief executives to engage, learn and grow. YPO members harness the knowledge, influence and trust of the world’s most influential and innovative business leaders to inspire business, personal, family and community impact.
  • Ashoka - identifies and supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community to embrace these new frameworks and build an “everyone a changemaker” world.
  • Dynamite Circle - connect with fellow entrepreneurs in all kinds of industries; from physical products and SaaS, to productized services and online courses. Mostly targeting digital nomads.
There are many other service clubs similar to Rotary (examples include: Kiwanis, Lions, Civitan International), but they don't seem to be targeting businessmen as much as Rotary.

If you have experience with any of these clubs or can recommend a different club, please share your experience!
 

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I've never used it, but www.Clarity.fm looks like a really cool opportunity to connect with top players.

Yes, you're paying them for their time and you probably won't befriend them just by booking a call with them, but you can pay for 10 minutes of their time and get some really good insights to help you grow your business.

It's almost like mentorship on demand, and it's not really that expensive if you focus on asking only the most essential questions (and thus, limiting the length of your call).
I've used clarity.fm and it worked well. It's like an extra pair of eyes before making a big change (in my case, pricing). I recommend it.
 

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One trick that seems unstoppable to me (but to be frank, I haven't tried it; no empirical evidence from me here!) is the '10 meetings' technique from 'The lessons school forgot' by Steve Sammartino. It goes like this:

You want to understand a market. In his book, it's all about getting a job there, but for us Fastlaners it'd be about creating a product.

- Pick a person in that market you could meet. Send a nice email asking for 20 min of their time for coffee (plenty of ways to do this wrong, but I know people here don't need a how-to)
- Have an informal converation. Show that you are an outsider, but passionate about, their industry. Let them talk and just listen. You will learn a lot.
- When time is over, ask if they could recommend you someone else to talk to to understand the industry. They may even do an intro for you.
- On the second conversation, you are no longer an outsider and can do slightly better questions. Repeat
- By conversation #5 you sound like you know what you are talking about
- By conversation #10 you are an insider, and you have spent quality time with some captains of the industry.
 

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One trick that seems unstoppable to me (but to be frank, I haven't tried it; no empirical evidence from me here!) is the '10 meetings' technique from 'The lessons school forgot' by Steve Sammartino. It goes like this:

You want to understand a market. In his book, it's all about getting a job there, but for us Fastlaners it'd be about creating a product.

- Pick a person in that market you could meet. Send a nice email asking for 20 min of their time for coffee (plenty of ways to do this wrong, but I know people here don't need a how-to)
- Have an informal converation. Show that you are an outsider, but passionate about, their industry. Let them talk and just listen. You will learn a lot.
- When time is over, ask if they could recommend you someone else to talk to to understand the industry. They may even do an intro for you.
- On the second conversation, you are no longer an outsider and can do slightly better questions. Repeat
- By conversation #5 you sound like you know what you are talking about
- By conversation #10 you are an insider, and you have spent quality time with some captains of the industry.
This reminds me of this awesome thread: GOLD! - No network? No money? No idea? No education? NO PROBLEM!
 

waveman

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In my experience attending general business events/seminars can make it a lot easier for you to get access to elite entrepreneurs but your mileage may vary (as in, some events are going to have people just starting out or people just seeing if running a business is something they'd be interested in). But I do believe you can learn something from everyone. This might only be something that happens in my country but the best ones to attend were free. I usually check allevents.in to find events around me. Sometimes things pop up on short notice though so checking once a day is a good habit to build.

I think a major thing to remember is that these elite people are all focused on value and support- and they'll be drawn to talk to people who show a positive attitude, drive, or a great spirit. In my case I met great people who immediately liked me off the bat because they saw me working the room earlier and speaking to a ton of different people without being self centered or pitching myself.

This leads into a question I've got: I made it into a private whatsapp group of high level business people in a really restrictive group (under 35, over 1 million ZAR turnover per year). But I don't know where to start or what to do with this. How do I spark a conversation with them (telephonically) or how do I show value to get them to talk to me and/or get mentorship?
 

SteveO

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Great thread. I don't really have any inputs here. It is my opinion that we look to others too frequently while trying to get started. It is all inside of us though. I like the people that I hang out with to be people that I LIKE to hang out with.

In the real estate world, experience has told me that I don't care for the other players very much. It seems like most would rather take a kick to the stomach over an obligation to talk business with a "lesser value" person. That is not always the case though. I had an acquaintance on my softball team that shared his expertise in a friendly fashion. It felt like arrogance rather than friendly banter though.

Most people in this business are assholes. Not that I'm judging. :)

I invested and worked with a high net worth individual that was the author of a book. He referred to me as his star pupil a number of years ago. Then we went up against each other for an apartment deal. He was quick to tell me how aggressive his attorneys were. I took the challenge. It cost me 50k but I got the deal and made much more. But, we were no longer cordial to each other.
 

ProblemOd

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I invested and worked with a high net worth individual that was the author of a book. He referred to me as his star pupil a number of years ago. Then we went up against each other for an apartment deal. He was quick to tell me how aggressive his attorneys were. I took the challenge. It cost me 50k but I got the deal and made much more. But, we were no longer cordial to each other.
He should've been proud. That's the ultimate goal of a mentor, for his pupils to surpass him.
 

SteveO

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He should've been proud. That's the ultimate goal of a mentor, for his pupils to surpass him.
The ultimate goal for most is money. I really doubt that he cared at all about me other than to advance his agenda. I would not really expect that he would have any concern about me otherwise.
 

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