I was talking to an old friend the other day and the question came up of how I’ve managed to be so successful in different aspects of my life and business.
The short answer is that I’ve always surrounded myself with really smart people and experts in different fields.
The next question asked was how did I meet all these really smart people and experts in various fields? And, that is a really good question.
There are several ways that I’ve managed to meet and in some cases partner up with some incredible people.
Networking is always #1.
I can’t tell you enough how important it is. Every aspect of my life and business that I’ve been successful with, I’ve also worked my butt off in the networking department. Sometimes those networking opportunities come at a price, like paying to go to a dinner, event, breakfast, conference, joining a rotary, etc.
There are also some lesser known roads to networking success that I’ve only really learned recently since being in Hollywood.
Actually, I was sitting in my office one day and I got to thinking about how people born into riches can just do whatever they want, whereas someone without the riches would have to work their way up and it’s a lot harder. The answer is that they are probably actually spending a LOT of money on networking, marketing, charity meet and greets, etc., with or without realizing it.
I was talking to someone that does publicity and he was explaining to me how money can really buy you into any industry you want.
This led me back to talking about consulting with a close friend who does something really interesting…
He pays consultants not only for their knowledge but for their connections.
When he wants to get deeper into a particular industry, he will literally go and find the top consultant(s) in that industry and pay them to start learning everything he can from them and then get them to start giving out connections and introductions. Some consultants have a problem with this, I personally don’t mind as long as you have a quality product/service and I’m not risking any of my contacts trust by introducing you.
It’s actually quite brilliant, if you have the coin. If you don’t have the coin, you could always look into bartering services with the consultant if you have something to offer.
Taking a step back, one suggestion I always like to give (since I’m a consultant) is that the best way to use a consultant (in most cases) is to say right from the beginning “I’m going to be brutally honest as a consultant with you the client, because nobody else in your company is probably giving it to you straight”. And in reality, 80%+ of the time it’s true. The CEO or the Director or whoever has hired me usually gets priceless information from me not only because I’m the best in the business (shameless plug) but because I’m the only one that will tell it to them how it really is without any fluff.
Start being an opportunist, check your ego at the door and hire a consultant to grow your business.