Are there people in your industry you’d love to meet, but just don’t know how to get their attention?
One of my friends and teachers, Eben Pagan, shared an idea with me that he has used many times to build relationships with some of the biggest players in his industry. I started applying it in my life in 2008 and have quite simply had spectacular results. I want to share it here with you so you can benefit from it too.
The principle is quite simple and goes like this:
Find a way to use your skills or resources to contribute something valuable to the person you want to befriend. Lead with your giving hand contribute freely with NO EXPECTATION of ever getting anything in return.
It a stupidly simple concept and it’s also totally counter-intuitive to most people living in a world where scarcity thinking seems to be the norm - where taking rather than giving seems like the only way to survive.
I had yet another powerful experience of this principle in action recently that I want to share with you.
When I decided to move to Cabarete (where I now live) in the Dominican Republic, I didn’t know anyone here, I had never been here before and I did not speak Spanish.
One thing I did know is that I wanted to create a great community of people to surround myself with when I arrived. I have made the mistake of not doing this in the past and it cost me dearly. So, why is community so important to me? Well…
“Your life is the sum total of the 5 people you spend the most time with…”
I truly believe that…
So, I wanted to make sure that when I arrived in Cabarete, I befriended the most awake, enlivened, successful, conscious people, who are doing something spectacular with their lives.
Laurel Flying High (click to enlarge)
I set my intention and started searching for people on Facebook that matched my requirements (above).
Quickly, I discovered an interesting woman… Her name is Laurel Eastman and she was once ranked 4th in the world for Kitesurfing. Laurel owns three Kitesurfing schools around the world and is a very well respected celebrity name in the Kitesurfing community.
Something in me told me that she was going to me one of the FIVE people I spend the most time with. Don’t ask me how, but I knew.
So, I shot Laurel an email on Facebook asking her a few questions about Cabarete wind, accommodation, food availability etc…
Laurel actually called me back and spent 30 minutes on Skype helping me answer my most pressing questions about Cabarete. I was bowled over. This amazing woman just reached out to me (a total stranger) out of the blue and contributed her time and expertise to me – with no expectation of anything in return.
A month later I arrived in Cabarete…
I immediately set out to get to know Laurel and see if she really was someone I’d like to let into my inner circle of friends.
I invited her to dinner and began looking for ways to contribute to her life. After chatting with her, I quickly saw an opening for me to share my marketing expertise, so last week I asked her if I could help her with her marketing and help her double her profit at her Kitesurfing schools.
She agreed and we spent two evenings together brainstorming marketing ideas for her businesses. It was a super-fun experience shared over Sushi and a bottle of red wine.
Something magical happened…
Laurel and I connected and bonded in a very natural and easy way.
As Laurel began to trust that I did not have an agenda other than to have fun and help her double her business profit, she allowed me into her life, her home, and opened up her circle of friends to me – so much so that she has become my closest friend on the island.
I am sure that there are many people who would LOVE to become a close friend of this extraordinary woman – not only because she is a Kitesurfing icon, but also because she is a warm, generous, compassionate human being – however, I suspect that she only allows a handful of people into her private world.
So how did we manage to grow such a strong friendship in only a few weeks?
I suspect that it had everything to do with the way we both contributed to each other with no intention or expectation of getting anything in return.
Can you do the same thing with powerful people you want to meet in your life?
Of course you can. Just begin looking at how you can contribute to them and then contribute generously, without expecting, wanting, asking, or needing ANYTHING in return other than the pleasure of being able to contribute to a fellow soul on this planet of ours. You’ll get massively more back than you give – often in a form you don’t expect.
In my experience, this is the most effective way to win best friends and influence influential people. I mean, who doesn’t want to be friends with someone who gives without needing to get something in return?
So, this morning, Laurel sends out a newsletter to her instructors and friends around the world. Here is an excerpt:
Reading this gave me so much joy! I have an awesome new friend and the first of my FIVE people I plan to spend the most time with.
In closing, I want to thank my friend and teacher Eben Pagan for sharing this idea with me and Laurel Eastman for welcoming me to Cabarete with such open arms, being such great friend, and quickly putting into action many of the ideas we came up with.
P.S. As always, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.