Posts Tagged ‘contacts’

All IN

January 8, 2014

Tuesday January 7th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

All in – or not in at all. That’s my attitude for turning my business around this year, and I’m on a mission to get it done – or at least lay the solid foundation. I don’t think it’s ever ‘done’, at least as long as there’s breath left in one’s lungs. When the list of things to do runs out, life has ended.

What I’m preparing myself to do is finally START living. I have mostly just existed until now, with a few highlights sprinkled in to keep a bullet out of my mouth. I’ve plugged into a far better vibe now, and feel a whole new me getting ready to emerge. It’s the me that I always imagined.

It’s all showing up much later in life than I thought, but that’s not the point. It’s happening, and that’s all that matters. Now it becomes a race against the clock to squeeze as much as I can out of all my experiences and use my knowledge to help as many as humanly possible. It’s my purpose.

I’m throwing everything I have right now into establishing a monthly newsletter. I put an entire day’s work into it today, and I’m sure there will be many more. It’s something I’ve needed to get to for several years, but the timing is finally right and I feel it. This will be a major step forward.

I did have a monthly newsletter for several years in the early 2000s. It was well received, and it was put out by my former business partner who ended up embezzling money which stopped it on a moment’s notice. That was a really unpleasant situation, but I have to say I’m glad it happened.

It’s taken literally years to get back to a point of relaunch, and they were shaky ones at that. I’d not recommend anyone else go through their educational process quite that way, but I know I am by far not the only one who has been stolen from. That was a bad situation, but it didn’t kill me.

I was more than a little bitter about it at the time, and looking back I think I had the right to be. That’s not a good reason though, and it only hurt me and put me farther behind. Whatever he did he did, and it won’t ever change. He lost more than I did, and I don’t wish him anything hurtful.

There are too many other good things to focus on, and that’s what I’m choosing to do. Getting this together is going to be a major outlay of time and effort, and it will cost at least some money too. That’s an investment, and one I’m prepared to make because it will pay off and then some.

Quality contacts are the most important part of anyone’s life, and I intend to be in the very top .0001 percentile on the planet of maintaining my list. I was looking over my list today, and there are some outstanding people on it I haven’t had interaction with in years. There’s no excuse for it and starting immediately I won’t let it continue. I am going to keep working at this until I croak.

And when that happens, if there indeed is a next life hopefully I’ll have a solid foundation laid to be already connected when I get there. This is truly the path to wealth, and I finally realize that after all these years. I’m going to treat my contact list like gold, and I know it will do it in return.

I sorted every one of my email list into people I want to keep in contact with, and those I don’t. I’m going to weed out a few weenies, because they’re energy suckers and I don’t want to have to endure that anymore. Hopefully they won’t even realize they’ve been trimmed, but if so too bad.

Again, life is a giant numbers game. We all have a limited amount of time to do as much as we can with it. Life’s clock is constantly ticking for everyone. I for one vehemently refuse to tolerate idiots gaining unlimited access to my inner circle thereby robbing myself and others of our time.

I looked up the exact estimated population of the Earth and as of this writing it’s 7,139,249,500 and rising by the second. Even if the seven BILLION number were taken away, there would still be more people than any one person could handle in a lifetime. We need to choose contacts well.

After compiling my personal master list of email addresses and business cards of people I like and respect, my grand total is around 1000. That’s an inaccurate number right now, as some have multiple entries and I’m not sure what their current contact info is. That’s all part of the process.

I’m sure it will take a few months to work the bugs out of even sending something out in larger quantity. My pit crew Eric is working on getting the process going, and I’m terrible at that sort of thing so I know I need help. I’m sure my web guy Mark Filwett of Lake County Geeks will help as well. Mark is fantastic, and if you need web help he’s reasonable.

Between the three of us, we’ll fart around with it until we find a system that works. Then, I plan on making this as much a part of every month as paying bills and/or changing underwear. That’s obviously a joke. I don’t pay bills every month. But I’m not joking about polishing my contacts.

EVERY business needs to be on top of this, but I’m sure most aren’t. Who has time to do all of this petty little sorting of emails and writing content and deciding on templates, blah blah blah? It isn’t the most exciting project I’ve ever taken on – at least not yet. But I fully realize what I’ll get by doing it correctly so that keeps me going. I’m willing to suffer through it now for the payoff.

This is all time well spent, but it’s still time that needs to be spent. I have been pounding away at my computer for hours at a time until my back and neck hurts, but that’s how to get it done. If I’d been smart enough to pick right back up after my ex partner pulled his little stunt, I wouldn’t have to jump start it from absolute zero. I didn’t do that, so here I sit. I’m behind, and I know it.

The good thing is, I can feel the positive energy flow as I get this going. I look at the list of all the good people I’ve been out of touch with, and I know most if not all will be delighted to hear from me. Hopefully they’ll be in as good a mental space as I am now, and we’ll be able to either continue where we left off or better yet build something better. I’m looking forward to reconnect.

I’m also looking forward to building lots of new contacts and keeping them for life. There’s an outstanding book by Harvey Mackay I once read called “The Harvey Mackay Rolodex Network Builder” that really had some helpful ideas. I think I still have it, and if not I’ll go find it again.

I also plan on modeling myself after the best networkers I have encountered. Without a doubt, I have to say Tom Dreesen is the best networker in the standup comedy game. He knows everyone who is anyone, and I can’t think of anyone that doesn’t like and respect him. He’s so on top of it.

If I can be half as connected as what Tom Dreesen and Harvey Mackay are, I will do more than alright. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m not backing down. I said I was all in, and I am.

Harvey Mackay wrote a great book about networking. I read it years ago, but it's time to read it again.

Harvey Mackay wrote a great book about networking. I read it years ago, but it’s time to read it again.

If there's anyone better at networking in the standup comedy world than Tom Dreesen, I have yet to meet that person. Plus, he's a super nice person.

If there’s anyone better at networking in the standup comedy world than Tom Dreesen, I have yet to meet that person. Plus, he’s a super nice person.

Eric Feinendegen is an accomplished speaker in his own right, and my 'pit crew' in relaunching my monthly newsletter. He knows if he embezzles from me he might not have all those nice teeth of his, so we're on the same page.

Eric Feinendegen is an accomplished speaker in his own right, and my ‘pit crew’ in relaunching my monthly newsletter. He knows if he embezzles from me he might not have all those nice teeth of his, so we’re on the same page.

Mark Filwett does amazing work if you happen to need anything web related. He's my go to geek. If you need one, look him up and tell him I sent you!

Mark Filwett does amazing work if you happen to need anything web related. He’s my go to geek. If you need one, look him up and tell him I sent you! He’s reasonable, reliable and I get no referral fee.

I'm making plenty of room for her in my network. I hope she's aware of it.

I’m making plenty of room for her on my monthly contact list. In fact, I may have to clear two spaces. That’s ok. I’ll handle it.

A Slap In The Facebook

September 12, 2013

Tuesday September 10th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

Success in life not only is about who a person knows, but how one develops each relationship. It requires constant maintenance, and there are always those checking in and out like the players in a basketball game. Everyone’s time is limited, so there needs to be a plan in place to succeed.

I’ve been going over my extensive list of contacts lately, and that’s another area of my life that can use a total overhaul. I haven’t had much of a plan, and it shows. With just a little solid effort, I feel ultra confident I can improve my life significantly in a relatively short time and I plan on it.

Today was a perfect example. I got on Facebook and checked the list of who else was on at the time and instant messaged about twenty people I hadn’t talked to in a long time. I popped in for a quick second to say hello, and every one of them answered back within a few minutes and said it was good to hear from me. It wasn’t invasive, and in fact quite a pleasant experience all around.

Most of them were other comedians, and a few others I’d worked with in radio. There wasn’t a reason to contact them other than to say hello, but the point is I made the effort. Who couldn’t do the exact same thing with a more targeted list of people on a consistent basis to build a network?

I thought I’d been pretty good at staying in contact with people through the years, but I can get a whole lot better. Facebook is an amazing tool, or at least it has the potential to be amazing. It’s always a matter of what one does with a tool that determines results, and I see a need to improve.

I’ve managed to acquire close to the 5000 friend limit on Facebook, but I can’t really say how I did it. I didn’t actively set out to do that, it just kind of happened. People would send me requests and I would say yes. I requested people to be my friends, and they said yes. There was no plan in place, but eventually I got up to 5000. Stragglers come and go, but it’s always right around there.

I was looking through my contact list today, trying to categorize where everyone came from so I can figure out the best way to stay in contact without being a pest. I like the idea of newsletters, but I don’t want to invade people’s privacy. There’s a delicate balance, and I never want to cross the line from friend or acquaintance to cyber psycho. Once that line is crossed, the game is over.

I see all kinds of wackadoos on Facebook who over post in my opinion, and I never want to be one of those. I don’t care about your melon headed kid’s first tee ball game, and care even less to see a picture of the guacamole you had for lunch or with whom you ate it. Does anybody care?

There are more than seven BILLION people these days, and America has only the third highest population. If I made a dozen contacts a day – a pretty high number – it wouldn’t make a dent if I did it seven days a week for fifty years. I have to carefully choose who I spend my time with, but the good news is I can make that choice. It’s time to make a list of my most prioritized contacts.

I do need to weed out a few time vampires, but everyone has those. Let them bother somebody else. I’m going to go around them, and focus on those I need to be in contact with and start from there. Doing what I did today gave me hope, and I could tell right away it was the right decision. The Facebooks and LinkedIns of the world have their downsides, but they’re still valuable tools.