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What if I told you that right now, you’re sitting on, next to or perhaps literally staring at the source of your next big opportunity?
How many times have you gone to a networking event or a friend’s cocktail party, picked up a dozen business cards or contact info and input them in your phone only to completely forget about them?
When things become stagnant in life or business, we can find ourselves reaching outward toward more — more novelty, more contacts, more sales. What if that fresh direction you needed is already stored in your phone?
Too often we think the solution lies in hitting our social media accounts with broadly applicable posts in an effort to reach as many eyes as possible. I’ll let you in on a secret: It’s not about reaching the most people; it’s about reaching the right people. The good news is that as you’ve already done the homework. Think about it: You only add people to your contacts list who hold some form of value or opportunity. Your phone is your greatest CRM.
To date, we’ve gone about our business and likely found ourselves in the company of the right people, or a few degrees from the right people, many times. Perhaps we simply need to take it one step further and actually connect with them rather than just carry their number around. You may have been waiting for the “perfect” time to call. What better time than now?
The right person could be a potential client, but they could also be the best friend of your future partner. They could be the perfect mentor for this phase of your career or a lifelong golfing buddy. You don’t need an end game; the goal is to dust off the stale tracks you’ve found yourself running in and build some momentum.
Here are two starting points that have worked for me:
1. Play contact roulette.
Open your phone’s contact list, swipe a few times and call the first contact you haven’t recently spoken to. Ask them to lunch, what’s new in their life or for feedback on your latest project or idea.
If you met them at a networking event and they offered their time or connections, take them up on it. Remember, interesting people are interested people. The overlap you find may surprise you. Think of a person whose company you’ve always admired, but haven’t spoken to within a year or two. The Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to much of our in-person “touching base” opportunities, so that’s a simple starting point for the conversation. Ask them if they’d like to catch up after being homebound all year, then meet up for coffee or a more formal sit down at the office.
Many people are looking for connection and novelty now more than ever.
2. Hold a small event.
Handpick five people from various parts of your life, preferably those who don’t know each other. Tell them you find them interesting and engaging (be specific) and invite them over for drinks or a round of golf (with any pandemic-related precautions if necessary). This is like shuffling the contact deck, and you may be surprised at the conversations and synergy that follow.
It’s easy to go around chasing financial capital, looking for the best ways to grow and invest. In order to grow in business, life or love, you need to take risks. Spending time nurturing the connections you’ve already created is bound to reap rewards, without you having to start from scratch.
Right now, you’re carrying around an enormous resource that’s ready to be tapped, and the hardest part has already been done. The names in your pocket are your greatest resource.