The Mutually Beneficial Results from 7 Real-Life Stories of Living Legends Connecting with Uber-Successful People

Written by Leah Hynes and Nazrin Murphie August 3, 2016

Live Your Legend: Real Life Examples of Connecting with the Uber Successful

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.”
–Rachel Naomi Remen

Recently we gave you the inside track on how to get noticed by uber-successful people, and based on your comments, clearly many of you were taking the topics to heart—awesome work, Living Legends!

And today we want to share some stories from LYLers who have used these exact tips to connect with the uber-successful in an uber-effective way! Because there is true power in learning from each other’s stories.

Plus, the truth is that the single biggest common factor in the success of almost all of the LYL transformation stories we’ve shared from people within the LYL Community has been their focus on building powerful and deeply connected relationships (and friendships!) with influencers, peers, collaborators and followers.

So how did they do it? Hear in their own words what happened when they reached out to some “big names”:

Joel Zaslofsky

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 1.11.14 PM

Who have you connected with whose work you admired?

Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist

What feelings came along with the thought of reaching out to them?

I can talk to anyone in person. But reaching out to Joshua via email—and without the nuance of verbal and non-verbal cues—made me nervous. Was he going to feel my passion come through in text? Did I position the pitch right based on our limited interaction on Twitter and in blog post comments?

How specifically did you reach out/connect? What value did you offer or specific strategy to stand out?

I had limited connection with Joshua before offering him a guest post on Becoming Minimalist. Fortunately, my impulse to help him was stronger than my urge to not pitch a guest post that I knew would resonate with his/our community. In essence, I was offering to save him a few hours of creating his own blog post at a time I knew he was deeply involved in other important matters.

What did that connection specifically result in?

In the short-term, it resulted in Joshua publishing my guest post. And although I was happy with the thousands of new folks that came from Becoming Minimalist to check out my website, I was even more thrilled at how my contribution helped Joshua see that I was someone worth knowing.

In the long-term, Joshua has become a great friend and pushed me to the limits of generosity. For instance, I give him feedback on advanced copies of his new books and shouted from the rooftops about his latest splash to change the world through the power of minimalism (e.g., his new non-profit, The Hope Effect).

And he has been one of my greatest champions. He agreed to give three days of his life to speak at the first SimpleREV event I co-organized in 2014 (without any of the compensation that someone so prominent would normally ask for) and lent his huge clout in the simple-living world to this unknown thing that I was helping to build. He volunteered to be my guinea pig for the first webinar I ever did and promoted it beyond what I could have hoped for. And he has made me aware of and connected me with so many other folks who have become good friends and co-creators on big projects.

Troy Young

TroyyoungphotoWho have you connected with whose work you admired?

Jonathan Fields, Good Life Project

What feelings came along with the thought of reaching out to them?

The feeling that I wouldn’t matter and not expecting a reply. I did it as an exercise when I was taking the Connect With Anyone course.

How specifically did you reach out/connect? What value did you offer or specific strategy to stand out?

I reached out through email. I initially offered up my editing services on the Good Life Project and Jonathan replied in less than 24 hours, thanking me for the offer but saying that they didn’t need anyone at the time. A couple months later I had an idea to create a montage from Good Life Project interviews, so I decided to do it without telling him and sent it when it was completed.

What did that connection specifically result in?

Jonathan featured the video on his blog and he also offered me free enrollment into his RevU Course.

Cathy Broadwell

Cathy BroadwellWho have you connected with whose work you admired?

Karen Salmansohn, NYT Best-Selling Author, thought leader and coach

What feelings came along with the thought of reaching out to them?

Excitement, some trepidation, fear of failure or being ignored, fear of success as in “what do I do if they write back and will I really be able to rock this?” (just another form of self-doubt), but also total excitement about “creating the possibility of awesome” and the anticipation of opening doors for myself.

How specifically did you reach out/connect? What value did you offer or specific strategy to stand out?

I read her book How to Succeed in Business without a Penis back in the early ’90s. My sister and I went to a book reading in Philadelphia (where I am originally from), met her and got our picture with her.

After re-connecting with her and her work thanks to the wonders of Facebook and social media, I started following her. I realized that I passionately believed in what she was doing, how she got herself to where she is, and that we had so much in common, that I wanted to hire her as my mentor. I filled out an online form and never heard back.

However, through the LYL network, I found out that my co-host here for LYL Local is actually one of her writers! Wow! So I asked her to put in a good word for me and see if she could find out about my application. She did, and gave me Karen’s personal email with Karen’s permission. I forwarded my application to Karen directly and attached the photo of us taken back in the ’90s for a fun story and to make the email that much more personal. We had a good laugh about our funny hairstyles and ’90s outfits in the photo. She accepted my application and I will be meeting her in several weeks time for a VIP session with her in New York City. I am so excited!

What did that connection specifically result in?

I am going to enjoy working with her one-on-one for an entire day in NYC with her focusing completely on me and my mission. She will be my mentor, and in my corner, helping me make the most out of my mission and my life!

Dorene Wharton

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 1.10.41 PMWho have you connected with whose work you admired?

Russell Ward, a writer that I greatly admire, and blogger for In Search of a Life Less Ordinary

What feelings came along with the thought of reaching out to them?

Definitely fear, I’m not good enough, will he even respond…

How specifically did you reach out/connect? What value did you offer or specific strategy to stand out?

Since I found his site, and really connected with the work, I would comment (both on Facebook and on his website) for about a year. Then I decided to reach out (via email). I mentioned I was a reader, that I would be in Australia and I’d love to connect for a coffee to share his views on expat living, life change and writing. We also shared a mutual view of travel, building a new and different career and a love of Canada (he used to live there and I am from there).

What did that connection specifically result in?

After I reached out to him, he said he’d love to meet for a coffee, and to show us parts of the Sydney area we may not have seen. We had a fantastic visit (and our spouses joined us). The four of us got along great—like we were old friends—and since that time he has encouraged me a lot with my writing (and to keep on going) and actively comments on my work.

We’ve kept in touch and become good friends. They have since moved back to Canada so we share views and opinions on what is happening there. For me, this was my first significant reach out to writers and bloggers I admire. It gave me the courage to connect with more people I can learn from.

Ben Fanning

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 1.10.28 PMWho have you connected with whose work you admired?

Pamela Slim, Escape From Cubicle Nation

What feelings came along with the thought of reaching out to them?

Uncertainty.

How specifically did you reach out/connect? What value did you offer or specific strategy to stand out?

It was pretty simple. I attended one of Pamela’s workshops at the World Domination Summit, made a point to introduce myself afterwards and shared with her what I learned.  

Then a few weeks later I followed up with how I’d applied it with success. Just taking this kind of interest and sharing specifically how you’re using something you learned goes a long way with thought leaders, who are investing so much of themselves in putting helpful ideas out in the world.

What did that connection specifically result in?

Pamela has become a terrific friend and mentor. I joined her mastermind group and she even endorsed my book, The Quit Alternative.  

Ellen Watkins

Ellen WatkinsWho have you connected with whose work you admired?

Scott Dinsmore, Live Your Legend

What feelings came along with the thought of reaching out to them?

Fear, ambiguity, excitement… “JUST DO IT-ness. Don’t over think it.”

How specifically did you reach out/connect? What value did you offer or specific strategy to stand out?

I reached out via the Connect With Anyone community first but I actually received no response, so I re-sent it in a different area and although I received a note back there was not much engagement.

Then I reached out to Scott personally and mailed him specific cards from the 52in52 project I was working on. I think this is when he connected the name with the face, because he got the cards on the same day we had the final CWA call.

I then reached out via Facebook, offering some information and help on a topic he had posted about—email marketing, because I worked in that industry at the time. I offered to help him in any way and give back to a community that had helped me so much. He needed a CWA community manager at the time, so I volunteered for one round and it then worked into a paying opportunity for the next release of the course!

What did that connection specifically result in?

Ultimately, it turned into a paid opportunity with the CWA course.  But more than that was the connections that were created during that time—that are still lasting to this day.

Mike Goncalves

Mike GoncalvesWho have you connected with whose work you admired?

Chris Brogan, Sean Ogle, John Lee Dumas

What feelings came along with the thought of reaching out to them?

Excitement!

How specifically did you reach out/connect? What value did you offer or specific strategy to stand out?

I decided to initially reach out through email and thank each of them for their work. Because I also read and commented on their blog posts regularly, they got to know who I was and I got to know more about what was going on in their lives and how I could potentially help and support them.

For example:

  • Because I followed Chris Brogan on Instagram, I knew he was into fitness and made it a goal to be able to do pull ups. I decided to make a video specifically for him and email it to him on how to improve his strength in order to be able to do pull-ups. He replied with several questions and a few weeks later we were meeting up for coffee!
  • Because I was on Sean Ogle’s newsletter list, I knew he was looking to be more consistent with his exercise routine since he mentioned it a few times in his newsletters so I sent him an in-depth email with several different exercise routines he could do that required no equipment and that could be done anywhere (which I knew was important to him because of how much he travels). He replied thanking me for what I had sent him and when I ran into him just a few weeks later at WDS, we had a drink together and great conversation. We’ve remained good friends and talk often.
  • As far as John Lee Dumas goes, by listening to his podcast I knew that we both lived in San Diego and he walked around the San Diego Bay every morning for exercise so I emailed him and mentioned I would love to meet up with him one morning for his walk and share with him a 15-minute exercise routine I do regularly that’s quick, effective, and get’s me fired up and ready for the day.  He accepted and we had a great workout and great conversation.

What did that connection specifically result in?

The #1 result for me was their friendship—that in itself was awesome—not to mention their incredible support, encouragement and guidance on running my own successful online business. However, I also did a guest post, a podcast interview and ended up providing my wellness coaching services, which I am still providing them with today.

In another instance, I had one of them with hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers tweet and mention a weight loss workshop I created and was offering, in which I interviewed him as an expert for the workshop. I also got access to one of their online courses that they offered me for free for helping them out.

——–

So from these stories you can plainly see that you don’t need to have a special talent or particular skill set to connect with others and add value. All you really need is some creative thinking, some specific ideas to share around “why” you wanted to connect in the first place and the determination to make someone’s day!

And for the full list of 9 steps to connect with uber-successful people, don’t forget to review this post for all the inside tactics.

Happy connecting!

–Leah & Naz

P.S. The ideas and topics above are what we cover in full detail in our How to Connect with Anyone course, which will be available again in September – for the first time this year. Spots are limited so be sure to sign up for our waitlist to be the first to get access!

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