Making Connections

“In all this technology we get lost from the fact that life still revolves around one thing and one thing only – genuine personal connection.”

~Unknown

Editor’s Note: I first created a version of this post for the members of the A-List Blogging Club. It was well received and happens to be incredibly relevant as a follow-on of last week’s How Business School Killed the Entrepreneur post. I have repurposed it for a more general audience. No matter your goals or business, the world runs off human connection.

What do Warren Buffett, Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, Leo Babauta and Seth Godin have in common?

Other than being bad asses, the common thread is I’ve spent time and connected with all of them. Some have even become good friends. I had no special introductions or existing relationships to make this happen. It comes down to a process and philosophy, and it’s all repeatable.

I’d like to tell you how I did it.

It’s not all about the Internet

In the last 10 months I’ve grown my blog from 114 to over 3,300 subscribers. Contrary to popular web marketing jargon, the Internet was not the cause of this snowballing.

To be honest, the web was required to gather my audience, but it’s not why it happen.

Technology was simply one of my means. But the key to my traction was what happened offline.

I did all the bootcamps and took all the courses. Diligently tested all of the suggestions and worked my ass off to create the best content I could. But this doesn’t necessarily ensure the audience mushroom effect everyone hopes for. There’s plenty of blogs out there that get nowhere despite doing the above and often much more.

Why?

In two words: Personal Connection.

It’s easy to forget such an ancient art in a era where everyone can hide behind a flashy blog banner and tiny laptop. But remember that the web, a blog, cell phones, twitter and all the other trinkets that weren’t around 5, 10 or 15 years ago are nothing more than modern day tools. While you can do plenty of things with these tools, more than anything they are here to help us better connect.

Unfortunately for most of us, they’re doing the opposite.

Behind every post, every comment, every tweet and every page view is an actual set of eyeballs inside a brain that makes up a unique human being.

This is not something to be taken lightly.

I have met more rockstars in this space and others because I keep that close in mind (Tim Ferriss, Leo Babauta, Tony Robbins, Chris Guillebeau, Richard Leider, Seth Godin, Keith Ferrazzi (I credit his book, Never Eat Alone, with a lot of the connections mentioned in the post), Rolf Potts and Warren Buffett to name a few). Most importantly I care about the genuine connection more than anything.

So I propose we take a step back from social media, headline writing and keyword optimizing and look at the big picture.

9 Ways to Reclaiming Genuine Connection

1. Be genuinely interested. It all starts here. The person and connection come first. Don’t have another agenda. So many people go to networking events or send emails and notes asking for one thing or another. That’s not what it’s about. Only go for a connection if you actually care about making that person a part of your life.

2. Pay attention. Notice the things they do. What they like. What they write about. The adventures they have. Birthdays or other big life events. Only follow a few people on Twitter and subscribe to a few blogs. The ones you really want to learn from and the writers with whom you want to spend time. Take note of the important things.

3. Stand out and connect. Sadly this is easier than you’d think, because so few people on the web are doing it. Don’t ask for anything in return. Just write a short two sentence email or Tweet thanking them for their work or something specific they did. You could even specifically mention you aren’t asking anything of them. You just wanted them to know you appreciate their work.

4. Give with no intention of receiving. Most people think they have nothing to give to a famous entrepreneur, blogger or other high profile person. Wrong. If nothing else, just say thank you. And mean it. A big time writer and mentor of mine came to town recently and I spent two hours writing up a list of activities and restaurants for he and his family to check out. Why? Because I would have appreciated the same if I was new to town. In the past months he’s become one of the better like-minded barefoot running crossfitting buddies I have in town. Giver’s high is awesome. Get out and experience it.

5. Link to them. Links are the ultimate form of giving online. And they’re free. If you like something, be sure to call it out in your work and link to them. Then send them a Tweet mentioning your call out. They probably won’t respond but I assure you they’ll see it. David Garland’s recent article How to Interview and Build Relationships with Influential People is a killer resource on using your blog to make connections.

6. Create experiences. People love memories and stories. That’s what makes life real – I don’t care how famous you are. Two years ago I wrote Warren Buffett a letter asking for help in picking out an engagement ring for my girlfriend. I had paid attention over the years and knew that Warren owned a jewelry shop, loved good looking women and held marriage as the most important thing to get right. So I sent him a note and a picture of us. I did not expect a response. I just thought it’d be fun. One day later I got a letter back from Warren. Yes, the letter was postmarked one day later. He set me up with the CEO of his jewelry company and rolled out the red carpet. My engagement story just got a few notches better…

Later that year at his Annual Meeting in Omaha I found myself at the who’s who cocktail party of the weekend (I had told my engagement story to someone, which helped get me in the door). Every big time author and investor in the space appeared to be there. At least five name tags had Buffett on them. Then out of nowhere, as I walked up to a group of people to say hello, a woman gave a scream and embraced me with a huge hug. It was Debbie, Warren’s assistant of 30 years. She thanked me for making them a part of my engagement and said Warren and her were loving seeing the story unfold.

Not only had I created a rockin experience for myself, but I had created one for Warren and those close to him. How cool is that? I have since made 30+ meaningful connections as a result of that night. And it didn’t stop there. The next day Becky Quick of CNBC got wind of my story and gave me a 30-second impromptu interview. My mind was blown.

7. Take Pictures. People love this. Post them, email them, Tweet them or even better yet, snail mail them. It’s my favorite way to quickly connect and it keeps your name and face in the front of their mind. I always carry a camera and follow up on any meeting with pictures. The giving continues.

8. Get face to face. This is the holy grail. It’s difficult when across the country but if you care enough you can usually make it happen. Make a note of where your favorite people are around the world. When are they off traveling, in town for a talk or when might you be on their turf? Offer to buy coffee or even better, get out for a workout or walk. Be different and give them something fun to do.

If you will only have a minute or two to make an impression after a speech or event then have your intro ready. Take it seriously. Do it before they get on the stage if possible – much fewer people will be clamoring for their time.

It’s so easy for an email or Twitter connection to get lost in the sea of thousands of followers. You stand out as soon as your name turns into a face, a voice and a personality. Go to any length you can to make this happen. Start with Skype if you must.

9. Be vulnerable. Be open. Sharing something uncomfortable or non public with someone about yourself has an amazing way of creating a deeper connection. Rapport will appear almost out of nowhere. But don’t do it just to do it. Pick something you know that person would appreciate or could help you with. Lay yourself out there. It will likely be reciprocated. I just watched a killer TED talk on Vulnerability if you need some inspiration.

Be Patient

Relationships do not happen overnight. And if they do they are likely unnatural. Friendships and bonds build over time. If you show interest and care enough, the connection will happen at some point. Don’t rush it. Without patience you will likely stop short of most of what I’ve mentioned.

Patience in action with Tim Ferriss:

For years I had wanted to hang out with Tim Ferriss. His book, The 4-Hour Workweek, had dramatically changed my life (and that of about 22 friends and counting) and I thought we’d get along well. I had no agenda, just interest. I started to comment on his blog and Twitter as well as get to know his assistant pretty well and helped her with a few things as time went on.

Then randomly a few years ago when I was in Omaha for Warren Buffett’s annual meeting I ran into Tim and we got to chat for 5 or 10 minutes. Sweet. Afterwords I tried to keep in touch but since he doesn’t technically use email, I didn’t have much luck (other than a bit of blog and twitter chatter).

I continued doing my thing and just a few months ago a good friend was going on a workout with Tim and knew how much I respected his work so he asked me to come along. The experience was freakin’ awesome (and exhausting–kettlebells will do that to you). I’ve even seen him a bit since. My guess is that won’t be the last time as we now have a number of friends in common. That was 4 years in the making.

Patience in action with Tina Su:

Another example started about 3 years ago when I first started reading blogs. I came across Tina Su’s ThinkSimpleNow and absolutely loved it. I saw that we had read similar books and I decided to write her an email to say thanks and congrats on what she’d built (I love writing random notes of congratulations to people). I didn’t even have a blog back then so I clearly had no second agenda in mind. Over the years I sent her a short message here and there.

Then I began to build this site and realized how awesome it would be to write for her and her 18,000+ readers one day. Soon after, I noticed she hadn’t been posting very frequently anymore. So I wrote a short note asking what was going on and if I could help with an article. It turns out she had recently had a baby (which I knew from paying attention to her work) and being an overwhelmed new mom, was grateful for my offer. That guest post acceptance started 3 years before I knew a guest post even existed.

Would you rather link to a friend or a stranger?

While there’s no question that getting big guest posts on A Listers’ sites and as many high quality links to your site is the formulaic way to create a massive following, to fully execute on that requires a genuine connection. I routinely link to great sites in my work and they routinely link back to me. And while the connection may start online, the magic tends to happen in person.

Just think, would you rather link to a cool site whom you don’t know the author or a cool site where the author is a friend? Obvious. The last 15 guest posts I’ve pitched have been accepted on sites with between 12k and 250k+ followers. I had a connection with all of them first.

Did you know that Tim Ferriss had over 63 blogs and sites link to him or offer him interviews and guest posts within the same few days/weeks of the launch of his new book The 4-Hour Body?! And these were all the most highly trafficked sites on earth. That’s unreal. Do you think he “sold” all of them on it? No way. He’d been building these friendships for years.

It’s not magic. It’s not just about crafting the perfect email pitch. Sure, all that helps, but without a human connection behind the black and white text, you’ll be nowhere. I don’t care if you run a blog, the local yoga studio or a multinational. The world runs off human connection.

Surround yourself with excellence.

While it’s quite possible to create world class connections on your own, it can help tremendously to become part of a group. This is the biggest benefit I see in business school. But you don’t have to spend $150k in tuition to meet a group of cool people who will help you change the world. There are groups everywhere. Many are free and some may cost a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars to join. They’re worth every penny if you use the above and go at it with authenticity.

Our standards and expectations are a direct function of those of our peer group. There’s no question about it. Surround yourself with people who will test your limits and your limits will expand. But no one’s going to do it for you.

Here’s a very small taste of some groups to get you started (I budget about $2-4k a year on communities like these):

Connect because you love it. No other reason.

The second you attempt to connect with some other agenda, is the second you will be seen as a fraud. Humans have relatively good sensors for this, especially if they are humans with big followings.

For me there is nothing more valuable to my life than genuine connections and relationships. I love making friends. So that’s why I connect. If one of them decides to promote my business or to link their massive following to me then awesome. But that’s not the goal. For me, winning is making the friend. Any other bonus as a result is welcomed buy not expected.

The web is nothing more than a tool. Don’t forget that.

It all comes back to connection.

So who’s on your list?

Who do you commit to connecting with in the next month? Make it someone big and famous. Share your connection goal in the comments below. The results will blow your mind.

Image courtesy of Mr. Theklan


Leave a Reply

75 Responses to “From Tim Ferriss & Warren Buffett to Tony Robbins & Seth Godin: How to Create World-Class Relationships”

  1. Drew says:

    I really would like to connect with Brad Paisley. Aside from the fact that his music actually took me from ignoring country to loving it, I get so much inspiration from him in my own songwriting.

    I’d also put Chris Guillebeau on that list. His book is one of the two that have most impacted me over the last year (the other was “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Don Miller).

    On a related note, I did find an awesome community of people today that are willing to help and give advice immediately with no agenda: http://www.namesake.com.

    • Scott says:

      Namesake looks awesome Drew. I had never heard of it. Thanks for sharing! I hear you on wanting to connect with a country music star. For me there is something so inspiring about someone signing for a living, doing something they totally love, and making so many people feel awesome in the process. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I want to meet Taylor Swift. She inspires the crap out of me. Most young artist do because you know they are living in their dreams. And she still seems authentic. Don’t tell anyone, but my family and I actually saw her in concert last year… ;)

      Enough about that. Chris G is also an awesome guy. I’ve been blown away with how accessible and helpful he’s been in my rebranding process and just in general. If you’re keen, you should check out his World Domination Summit in Portland that he’s putting on. A bunch of us will be there. I would recommend you just email him directly and say a few words. I bet he’ll get back to you. I know that’s very important to him. And so it starts…

      Thanks for sharing and be sure to report back with progress!

    • Scott Hurff says:

      Drew — thanks very much for mentioning Namesake here. I’m on the founding team and would be more than happy to provide invitations to anyone who’d like to join.

      Send me a note at scotthurff gmail with the subject “RFYS Invite.”

  2. Stephanie Rogers says:

    This is an amazing post! I love all of the ideas. I agree 100% about the need for authenticity and no hidden agenda when we’re connecting with people. I would love to meet and spend time with Cheryl Richardson (professional coach). I met her once years ago at a speaking engagement and told her how much her work has meant to me over the years. However, I haven’t followed up on that initial conversation. I’ve been interested in professional coaching for over 10 years and am now finally taking the serious steps to pursue my dream to become a life coach. I went to my first professional coaches association meeting in Georgia and met so many amazing and inspiring people! Several of them followed up with me after the event and are now part of my growing network of support and encouragement. I encourage everyone to find and join groups as you suggested!

    Keep up the great work with your blog! It’s so cool to hear all of your own personal stories of connection and growth! Now, I’m also curious to see that engagement ring! :)

    • Scott says:

      Haha! Funny you ask about the engagement ring. The running joke is that Warren spent 6% of his net worth on his ring when he bought it, but that was before he had any money! He asked Bill Gates to do the same when he picked out his ring for Melinda at the same shop (Borsheim’s), but he held back a bit… I tried to stay conservative but it was pretty hard given the environment! I don’t have a photo handy of the ring but I do have a link the trailer of our weeding video if you’re interested: http://vimeo.com/18051153.

      Awesome to hear you are getting into coaching. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done and it’s always been a dream-I have to pinch myself. Seriously. It’s so awesome to be able to help people make huge things happen in their life. Congrats on being on your way. I would definitely get back in touch with Cheryl. Do you know how flattered she is going to be when she hears you are pursuing the path your are because of her inspiration. That’s a gift you have the power to give her. Get in touch and have fun with it!

      • Stephanie Rogers says:

        Scott, all I can say is WOW WOW WOW!!! Your wedding video is truly amazing! You both look so absolutely happy and honestly you look like two movie stars. :) Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. I hope more people see the link and watch it. What a dream! I wish you both a wonderful life together!

        Thanks for your encouragement about getting back in touch with Cheryl. I’ll definitely do it. I look forward to staying in touch as our awesome life journeys continue. :)

        • Hey Stephanie – I’ve been in the coaching world for almost ten years and can tell you that coaches are some of the most friendly and helpful people on the planet. You should absolutely reach out to Cheryl again with something from your heart. She will be touched you are so moved by her work.

          Scott- really awesome post!

  3. Scott, not only is this great advice for connecting with heavyweights, but also could be used for the people closest to you as well as re-connecting with old friends.
    “Give with no intention of receiving” is a big one in this aspect. I also agree with paring down blogs and twitter contacts. I read content that I will more than likely will be excited to comment on. Like this post.

    I would love to connect with Bruce Springsteen. His music has had a profound impact on my life. Will bookmark this post to get that project started.

    • Scott says:

      Good luck with Bruce, Joe. I like it! I’m glad you keep coming back too. Huge thanks.

      You are right on about this being good for anyone you care about. I put the big names in the headline and focused my stories around them because that tends to get peoples attention enough to read the whole post and get the full benefit (and the stories are true of course) but to be honest, my biggest successes to date are using these simple tools of deep genuine caring to find the wife of my dreams and friends who are there no matter what. That is where the real magic is.

  4. Ingo says:

    Hi Scott , great post. It really motivates me to try to approach all the interesting people out there. There are many people I would like to have a chat with and learn from them. One of them is your buddy Leo Babauta – I read his latest book and thought, what a interesting guy. years ago I met Don Peppers in Switzerland – very inspiring person. “Unfortunatly” I live in Germany – therefore not many of the people I would like to meet are around.
    By the way – if you happen to be near Cologne some day – lets have a jog together
    or I`ll buy you a Koelsch
    regards Ingo

    • Scott says:

      I’d love to take you up on that Koelsh and a jog (You’ll have to teach me what that actually means though ;). Thanks for the offer! I actually think Leo is heading out to Europe sometime soon so maybe you two will cross paths after all!

      Glad you stopped by and good luck with the big connections.

  5. Marvin says:

    Scott, another amazing and impressive post and I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for sharing your insights into your own experiences of World-Class relationship building. I love your engagement story, and it is a true testament to your commitment to people. It’s rare to find this quality in a person, and even rarer to find it applied so authentically as you have done. Keep up the awesome work with your blog…you’re a rockstar just like the best of ‘em!

    P.S. I’ll see you at WDS. Would love to run with you.

    • Scott says:

      Huge thanks Marvin! Can’t wait to cross paths with you guys in Portland and hear how your adventure is coming along. I’m envious! I’m also loving the Half Dome book you sent my way. Getting up there is going to be a blast.

      Until then…

  6. Christopher says:

    Very inspiring Scott.

    I went to Tim Ferriss’s book launch party for the 4HB and was very disappointed when I didn’t get to meet him. All I ended up with was a smile and upraised eyebrows as some tall, gorgeous woman dragged him away from the swarm of people and back into the VIP area.

    Fortunately, he attended a book signing 4 days later at a Brian MacKenzie Crossfit Endurance seminar. There, having already known that he listened to Pretty Hate Machine (Nine Inch Nails) back in the day, I asked him his favorite song by them as I also love them. I again got a smile from him, was able to establish a connection from the get-go, and talked to him for 10 minutes!

    I hadn’t heard from him again, but it made my week to have met someone who has changed my life.

    It appears you are doing the same. I’ll probably meet you some day too Scott.

    : )

    • Scott says:

      I bet we’ll meet indeed Christopher. So stoked that you got to spend a little time with Tim. I so badly wanted to be at that party in NY. He better do one in SF too. You nailed it with having a common thread to talk with him about and strike some rapport right from the get go. That’s huge. Tiny things make all the difference. That’s you caring enough to know the details. You’re on it!

  7. Mike Ames says:

    Outstanding piece of work Scott. Like all great things so darned obvious when somebody else lays it out for you.

    Thank you

  8. Dave McPherson says:

    Thanks for this: “Surround yourself with people who will test your limits and your limits will expand”

    Cheers,
    Dave

  9. Jonathan says:

    Hey Scott,

    Again, you delivered another piece that will have a lasting impact on multiple people!!
    Now, I have my year list of 25 down to 5 and have ALREADY landed the job I was after! First day was today…

    Cheers,
    Jonathan

  10. And there you see Scott the power of connections worked perfectly. As I clicked through on a link from Leo to find you here. I am humbled to have Chris G and Tyler T as two of my friends and am also aiming to attend the WDS in Portland.

    Loved this post and you genuinely re-engaged me to look at it again from a different point of view, not the wrong reasons for wanting to connect.

    I’ve been able to meet so many amazing people through my blog and from just reaching out and connecting and having people connect with me

    So great to find you here. Looking forward to connecting more.

    Natalie

  11. C. Clarke says:

    This is an absolutely fantastic post! I actually read it last week while idling on a plane, but wanted to revisit when I had time to re-read and soak it all in. Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration and providing constant tips and reminders on how we can all improve our lives and achieve greatness. I will have to do some thinking on who I’d like to connect with in the next month as this is an area that I’ve been gradually trying to improve upon (committing to meeting new people face to face on a regular basis).

  12. Lucy says:

    Love the quote at the top and overall concept of this post. Personal connections can never be undervalued. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  13. Hi Scott
    I really enjoyed this post – it certainly has me thinking about building better personal relationships both online and off. A lot to take in and re-assess with this great post.
    Thanks
    Thea

  14. Layne says:

    Developing relationships, genuine relationships, has been really big on my radar lately so it was interesting to see your post. I recently subscribed to your website via feedreader and appreciate your view. I ordered “Never Eat Along” about a month ago (still waiting for it from Amazon) and “Who’s Got Your Back.” My workout on the cardio machines usually consisted of music, but decided to switch it up by getting in my reading. I’m about half way through “Who’s Got Your Back.” I’m able to get through one or two chapters with each workout.

    It’s amazing how easy it can be to connect with people when just out and about doing things. Whether in a restaurant or a store or just out having coffee. I do have a question for you. How do you keep track of people, their interests, important dates, etc.? Outlook or something similar? I tend to be big on being organized and finding ways to make it easier to find information I’m looking for.

    Would love to hear your suggestion.
    Smiles,
    -Layne

  15. James Wong says:

    Hey Scott, I looooooved this article. Looking through your blog, I see YOU as a role-model just as I see Leo, Tim, & Seth. You’ve done an amazing remarkable job building this site. It’s everything I’ve dreamed of building and more. I will definitely be a “sneezer” and spread what you are out to cause in the world. Take care,

    -James

  16. Ramon says:

    Scott, Great post. I am going through your posts and choosing one to give my “Organize Your Speech” for Toastmasters. I just started a blog last month for MYSELF and it has led me in a great direction. Thank you for being one of the many who I pull energy from.

  17. Scott,

    I cannot begin to express my gratitude in finding your blog! I am a “blog newbie”! I started a blog at the request of my students after I retired from teaching. I have just recently found out about WordPress and secured my “Radicalexcellence” site. I have been getting on your site daily as I am so inspired by you, and feel as if I have a found a kindred soul! I’ve read most of your recommended reading, and am starting on the rest of them! You are my “Tim Ferris”. I hope I can meet you some day!
    Thank you having the courage to follow your heart! This was one thing I tried desperately to teach and inspire my students to do. I wish I had had these resources as a teacher, but fortunately many follow my blog! I’ll definitely be referencing yours!
    Sincerely,
    Gina

  18. Dude, this post is pure gold. I found my way here via Corbett @ThinkTraffic.

    You know when you read a post that hits you right at the proper moment? That’s what this one did for me. I realized one of the reasons why blogging is inherently difficult for me is that I connect with people… and you have to communicate that same human type of emotion in what you write.

    Damn good stuff, i’m clipping this one to my evernote man.

    Please to read it –

    Alex

    • Scott says:

      Bad ass Alex! Very glad you swung by. I was out at tea with Corbett just yesterday talking about what’s next. Cool that he sent you over. This stuff is so amazingly powerful if you put it to use. I’m actually creating an in-depth guide on How To Connect With Anyone this in the coming few months.

      Welcome to the adventure!

  19. Aaron says:

    Great website redesign!

    Would you fix the link to your letter with Warren Buffet? My buddy doesn’t believe it happened.

    Amazing story!

    ar

  20. Handy says:

    First of all,
    THANK YOU!!!

    Great article. this is probably the first time for me to comment on a web article. but i cannot agree more with what you shared. Genuine relationship is getting rarer these days, and ironically the tools aimed to help people connect better end up being the tool that separates them.

    looking forward for your next post…
    cheers

  21. Yan says:

    Hey Scott,

    Great post! Recently discovered your site as a result of going through numerous other blogs over the past few months as I discover myself.

    All of you have made a significant impact on me and how I think, analyse my life. So would like to say a big THANK YOU.

    I totally agree with your post about making genuine relationships. Ive lived my life by those rules for as long as I can remember. Problem is that I find, the majority of people out there DONT seek out genuine relationships or truly care about another person.

    Anyway love your work!

    Yan

  22. Brett Henley says:

    Scott,

    It’s obvious from just two reads (this and your guest post at Zen Habits) that you give much without expectation for return.

    A must IMO … not always the case, unfortunately.

    Just a quick note of thanks and good luck. While this is a slightly aged post, the impact remains the same, and I appreciate it a great deal.

    Looking forward to more of your thought process, as well as following the journey.

    Thanks!

  23. Nova Overman says:

    Hey, Scott! Found your site via ZenHabits — you know, Leo. This post really hit home for me, because seeking like-minded passionate people and emphasising human connection (or as much as it can be through virtual means) was how I met my main dude.

    I was going to make a tumblog years ago, and I decided to check if the domain name was taken using Google. It was. Up came “Ambition-and-adrenaline” as the second or third hit. I said to myself, “Who dares to think they know about ambition or adrenaline?” So I clicked, and gave his blog a look-over.

    Long story short, I sent him a question, we began to talk, and now we’re planning a road trip this summer! Why? Because I acted on the inkling to connect with this person who seemed unique, and somewhat like me. Instead of saying, “That’s cool. He’s like me.” I said, “Let me drop this kid a line.”

    You’re right. Way too many people — my generation especially — have/has been diluted to life by all of the internet shit that’s out there. I’ve never been like this — I’m a Life Junkie. Not only do I practice what you preach about surrounding myself with passionate world-dominators, but I also don’t allow those who spend 10 hours on chat rooms trolling to enter my social sphere.

    In any case, I love you blog/website. It’s stellar! I really hope we can chat through mail sometime. It’s nice to know you don’t buy into the “Internet matters always” bullshit that modern society tries to stuff down our throats. I’m a bit of a philosopher, so maybe we can discuss principles sometime?

    Anyway, keep up the good work! I’ve already put Live Your Legend in my already-immense bookmark folder.

    Hope we chat soon,
    – Nova

  24. Jetlir says:

    Hey mate,

    This article of yours was a great read, definitely changed the way I see some things now. I already got some nice idea’s in my mind :)

    I think I also hadn’t realized before, how lucky I am. Lucky, that I have a very experienced partner who want’s to teach me “networking” in real-life, when I move up to Berlin.

    Keep up your great articles Scott!

    kind regards,
    Jetlir

  25. brand says:

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  26. brand says:

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  27. [email protected] says:

    really enjoyed this post, i got a lot out of it!
    thank you! :)

  28. Salma Jane says:

    Thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge and enthusiasm, Scott. I really enjoyed this post. It makes so much sense that the internet is just a tool but the real magic happens in person when people meet face to face, connect and really enjoy the human interaction. As much as the internet helps me to keep in touch with my friends and associates, nothing can beat that face to face amazingness that happens when we get together or meet up somewhere. Btw, your Passionate Work Toolkit is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it. I can hardly wait to start working on filling it in and finding some answers for myself.

  29. I’ve been working on building connections with people in my industry lately: Jena LaFlamme, Sarah Jenks, Nisha Moodley, Lisa Fabrega, Alison Leipzig. One big goal is to talk to Michael Ellsberg. I just finished his book and sent him an email with a thanks and my story (although maybe I need to send him an updated version). :]

    Thanks for the inspiration and the wonderful post! This is not the first post I’ve read on building connections, and the more I read, the more it really cements into my head how important it is to just get out there and do all of this.

  30. Tim Heile says:

    Absolutely true Scott! I wanted to thank you for your blog – very inspiring and helpful. My great passion is introducing kids/parents/teachers/everyone to the amazing learning tools available online (mostly for free). Things have moved at light speed in this area and most people don’t realize that the screen in your living room (or any screen for that matter) is rapidly becoming a free (or at least affordable) university. I’ve been working a lot with the Boys & Girls Clubs, where kids hang out after school from 2-7, building individualized learning paths and a maker space for the kids to help them develop skills needed in today’s world and skills related to their individual passions. The hardest part of this mission speaks directly to your post – it’s been developing the network of real wold mentors and coaches necessary to truly make this successful. The technology/tools are there to learn almost anything online, but what is ultimately needed is a human connection – someone to show a personal interest in each kid and help motivate and inspire them to reach their individual potential. I envision a future learning environment that is quite different from our modern ‘school’, but one thing is for sure – it’s actually going to require more human capital (teachers/mentors/coaches), not less! I’m finding that people are willing and excited to give back, they just need to be invited into the opportunity. It’s a really fun mission, and it has allowed me to connect with some absolutely amazing people (like yourself). If you are on a mission to genuinely help people you have carte Blanche to connect with anyone in the world – from the people in your community to the most successful thought leaders on the planet.

  31. David Loker says:

    Amazing post. I can’t wait to share this.

    I’ve learned in just about anything I’ve done, your connections are your most valuable asset. They make everything more enjoyable about the work, and in the end they help get you further than you ever could by yourself. It only happens when the connection is real, and the real connections are what make life so much better.

    I’m going to use this advice. We’ll see what happens! ;)

  32. hepsoj says:

    Sometimes one stops by a blog for quick inspiration and spends ages reading and rereading. I believe that in every aspect of life we should have a group of inspirational people as friends. Those who challenge but also support and inspire. In fitness, in sport, professionally and in writing are just some of the pursuits where I am priviliged to have such groups.

  33. Brij Dwivedy says:

    Thanking you Scott for such a wonderful post. It helped me clearing self imposed limitation. I second that connection without expectations are genuine & everlasting.

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  35. Marus W says:

    Hey Scott

    I just have discovered your blog about one week ago! So fitst of all thank u very much for sharing your knowledge with the world very very inspirational so far =)
    What would you recommend for introverts who don’t really enjoy to speak to a lot of people just for the sake of conversation. And only speak when they really have something to say ?

    Looking forward to your response !

    Marius

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  45. Nancy C says:

    Having recently discovered your blog, I have to say reading this article came at such a good time. I’ve been struggling to engage with my local community of small biz owners, even offering to answer questions about their biz marketing for free on my blog, to no avail. I will instead turn to some of the strategies you mention here to focus on building personal connections first and foremost. Very inspiring and encouraging for a new entrepreneur to read. I contacted an author, Heather Schuck, I admire after reading her book, because it inspired me to take action and it really changed my life. To my surprise, I received a personal reply from her. I was thrilled but never considered maintaining that contact. I will now, because after all, she still remains a source of inspiration, as are you Scott. Thanks so much for not being afraid to share!

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  48. Gopinadha Reddy Y says:

    Thanx for the blog Scott. God’s gift may be. It came to me naturally to appreciate, thank, wish genuinely without any expectations in return and (Even without expecting a genuine connection) as and when I feel something good about some one or something. But only thing is I don’t follow it up. I just do what my instinct says at that moment and leave it off…

    After reading your blog I feel like extending connections for long. This change in my thinking may lead to very basic changes in my life.

    Thank you once again. :)

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  51. Jade says:

    Well, that’s a fantastic post and, perhaps more importantly, a great attitude. No wonder successful people give you their time. Your suggested approaches make complete sense and are an overdue reminder to all us bloggers to get out from behind our keyboards and venture out into the real world.

    I remember watching an interview with Tim Ferriss where he said that in his efforts to make new contacts when he was starting out, he made a point of going to seminars/events and talking to people he`admired, face to face. Of course, the problem with this approach is that it is just so damn scary – meeting our heroes and getting rejected by them. (Because that’s what we think would happen. Although realistically, at worst they would be no less than polite – that’s why we picked them as heroes!) That is why we hunker over a keyboard rather than fly to a conference where we risk real, live interaction with….people. It isn’t the money or the time – if we wanted to enough we could find both of those things – it’s just the sheer terror of marching (OK, shuffling) over to someone who has inspired you and getting a blank look.

    What I like about your suggestions is that they take the focus away from what we’re hoping to get out of the encounter (Bonding? Validation? A mentor? I guess it can’t hurt to know what you’re hoping for?) and puts us in their shoes. What would interest them? What value can we provide to someone who has provided us with so much? So, it’s great advice. As for my other hero (the powerhouse, Tony Robbins), I used this year’s holiday money to attend his Unleash the Power Within seminar, and halfway through it, have had my world shaken up – in a good way.

    I think there is no substitute for seeing and hearing wisdom face to face. Your points about giving without expectation of receiving are spot on and exactly what I’m learning about right now.

    • David Moore says:

      Awesome post Scott – this advice is as true today as it was when it was first posted! Does anyone know the best events to meet people that are in the lifestyle design / purposeful living space in the UK?

      I live in Nottingham, but am willing to travel pretty much anywhere in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland for the right conference / event.

      Cheers!

      David

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  53. Hey Scott, I looooooved this article. Looking through your blog, I see YOU as a role-model just as I see Leo, Tim, & Seth. You’ve done an amazing remarkable job building this site. It’s everything I’ve dreamed of building and more. I will definitely be a “sneezer” and spread what you are out to cause in the world. Take care,

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