The 9 Skills Needed to Become a Super Connector

The 9 Skills Needed To Become A Super Connector

[I did this as a guest post on TechCrunch yesterday and now publishing here.]

I know why I’m not a billionaire. Other than having the consistent self-sabotaging quality of destroying money in massive bonfires every time I sell a company I also have a severe psychosocial disorder which makes me a horrible connector of people. Connecting people who can benefit each other is the most useful skill you can have on the entrepreneurial ladder of skills.

When you help others make money by connecting them together, the world forces itself into the moeubius strip of success that brings the money right back to you times ten.

Some billionaires are great at it. If I write Mark Cuban an email he responds in two seconds even though he doesn’t even know me. He’s a “Super Connector”.

I know quite a few talented super connectors and they will be very successful as they grow into it. Future Mark Cubans.[See, “How I Helped Mark Cuban Make a Billion Dollars and 5 Other Things I learned from him”.]

I’m horrible at following up. I also burn bridges. I used to play a nice social game of Wordtwist on Facebook every day with Don Graham, the publisher/owner of the Washington Post. Then I wrote a blog post, “Don Graham is a Punk”. Guess what. He doesn’t play Wordtwist with me anymore. Another time I was trying to get a job working for the hedge fund manager Stevie Cohen. He wanted me to share a few trades with him as I was doing them. We IMed back and forth a bit during the trades. One trade didn’t work out and I was ashamed of it. So I stopped IMing him. After a few days of this billionaire IMing me with, “Where’d you go?” I blocked him on my IM list and that was that.

But that said, I love meeting new people and I’ve always done a good job with the initial skills involved with meeting new people. I feel like I can meet anyone in the world that I want to. Whether I make use of that meeting is another story. In fact, it’s a fairy tale. Because I seldom do the follow up correctly.

But here are the 9 Skills you Need to Become a Super-Connector.

1. Introduce two other connectors

This is an unbelievable technique. If you can introduce two people who are themselves great connectors then you become a meta-connector. They will meet and get along (connectors get along with each other for two reasons: they are naturally friendly people (hence their ability to connect so easily with people) AND they have a lot of friends in common almost by definition.)

If you are in the middle of that connection then they will always remember you and you’ll always be on their mind for future potential connections they can make that would be useful FOR YOU. And their rolodexes are immense.

So if you need to meet Prince William of England, for instance, or Ellen Degeneres then just connect two connectors and the next thing you know you’ll be dancing right down the aisle with Ellen on her show or bowing to Kate Middleton, or whatever you want to do. Ellen? Kate? Uma?

2. Introduce two people with an idea in mind:

Marsha, meet Cindy. Cindy, meet Marsha. Marsha, you are the best book editor in the world. Cindy, your book is the best book idea I have ever heard. You both can make money together. No need to “cc” me.

In other words, if you can help two other people make money then eventually, good things will happen to you. In cases where I’ve been able to do this (rare, but it’s happened) I always tell people who say “what can I do for you” that “if they ever find me in the gutter with blood leaking from my mouth and a needle sticking out of the veins in my elbow then at the very least pull the needle out.” That’s all I ask.

The first time I ever did this I went home (1994) and told my girlfriend, “I just helped two people make money for the first time ever.” And she said, “yeah, but what did you get?” I got nothing.

But I felt something. I felt like I had done good in the world and that if I kept doing it, eventually it would return to me. And it did. With those very two people that first time but about years later.


3. Have a dinner of interesting people.

I’ve only done this twice. When the last Star Wars prequel came out I invited people from every aspect of my life (friends, hedge funds,  writers) to a dinner, I got everyone movie tickets, and it was a fun night. I solidified my relationships with some of my investors, plus some of the funds I was invested in, and I managed to connect people up who later did business together.

On another occasion I threw a party for everyone who had been fired by It got a little awkward when the guy who had done most of the firing (who had himself been fired right before then) was also there but it was all in good fun. Not sure how much goodwill it created for me. Too early to tell.

But, I much more enjoy GOING to the dinner that I’m invited to. [See, “Why a Grenade Needs to Get Thrown At Me”] I’ve met a lot of interesting people. My main problem is is that my normal bedtime is about 8pm.

So sometimes I fall asleep at the table and everyone thinks I’m on drugs. And other times I just can’t go to the dinner because I know I won’t be functional the next morning when I like to write.

But sometimes I go just because my wife gets sick of having me around all the time and pushes me out the door. So please keep inviting me.


4. Following up.

This is the hardest part for me. I have a list five years old of people who introduced me to people I actually wanted to be introduced to and then I never followed up.

For instance, a few months ago I wrote a post “Burton Silverman, are you dead yet??” Burton Silverman is one of my favorite artists. I wanted to know if he was dead to see if the value of one of his paintings had gone up.

Guess what? HE WROTE ME to tell me he wasn’t dead yet. And as I type this, his studio is only a few blocks away. I could visit him right now if I want. Except…for some reason I never returned his email. He’s on my list.

But followup is my hardest part. Then I put it off until I start to feel guilty about not following up. So then I push back the follow-up even more. At my first company I hired someone to follow up for me. But I have a hard time letting other people do things for me that I should really be doing for myselves.

For awhile, there was a dwarf from the circus that was willing to wipe me but I ultimately had to let him go. I just couldn’t go through with it.

But needless to say, if you make a connection,  it’s so easy to KEEP it by just saying, “hey, it was great meeting you. Lets do that again in a month or so.”

Why the hell can’t I ever do easy things? Instead of writing this post I could simply write an email to 400 people on my list, including Silverman.

Something is mentally wrong with me.


5. Re-establishing Contact.

The other day I was following my own advice. I’m on the 21 Day Gratitude Diet I discuss in the post “How Being Grateful Can Make You Rich“.

I wrote an email to an ex-investor of mine from 2004 saying sincerely how grateful I was he invested with me and I always enjoyed his advice and friendship.

He immediately wrote back (because, unlike me, he’s a good connector and businessman) and said, “what are you up to? Here”s what I’m doing.

Maybe we can work together again.” This is 6 years after I last spoke to him. Guess what. He’s now on the list I mentioned in #4 above. He’s #401 on the list. But I’ll get back to him. Maybe later today. After I get my driver’s license. Because I promised my wife 3 months ago that I would get it “today” although “today” means that day three months ago.


6. Show Up.

I don’t know which “rule” on this list is the most valuable. But if a good connector invites you to a dinner or a meeting, then the best thing you can do is show up.

I was invited to a party of 40 bloggers last night. The guy doing the inviting was Michael Ellsberg who recently wrote the bestseller, “The Education of Millionaires”.

More on him in a second.

I probably should’ve gone. But 9pm! That’s like 8 hours past my bedtime. Still, I should’ve gone. Next time!


7. Interview People.

Back to Michael Ellsberg. This was genius. He figured he wanted to meet a lot of successful people (sort of like how Napoleon Hill did this when he wrote the bestseller “Think and Grow Rich”).

So he got himself a book deal about how millionaires are educated and then, book deal in hand, he interviewed as many BILLIONAIRES as he could find.

The guy is now MEGA-Connector. When I met him a few weeks ago he had non-stop ideas about how one goes about meeting people. He should give conferences or do coaching on this one aspect alone.

Meanwhile, there’s me – I blew off his party last night and didn’t respond to his last email. He’s on my list of emails to return.


I’ve done this technique to some extent. Writing for the Wall St Journal or Financial Times it was always fairly easy to get people on the phone or meet them at a breakfast.

But I had a hard time following up. Anthony Scaramucci, for instance, is a well-known finance guy – running one of the biggest funds of funds and also running the annual SALT conference where guys like Bill Clinton and Vladmir Putin will speak on the same stage (Mike Tyson had to break up the fist fight).

I met Scaramucci through my writing (he has also written a book) and we had breakfast together and asked me to run a panel at his SALT conference.

Guess what? I didn’t follow up. I didn’t even return the calls of people on his staff. Bad James!

When I was at HBO I interviewed people for a living. The only problem is they were mostly transvestite prostitutes who were horribly abused as children and now are completely confused as people, sexually, morally, addicts, whatever. Needless to say, I didn’t’ go around say, “Oh, Queen X, you should meet the Tiger She-Male!” But, I did get to meet the producers and creators of one of my favorite shows, “Taxicab Confessions”.

This was back in 1996. One of them called me recently and wanted to get together. And guess what?


8. Produce Something of Value.

In order to connect two people, you have to have people to connect.  You have to meet them in the first place.

The best way to do that is to produce something of value. In this post I described about how when I was broke and about to go homeless I tried a technique of just reaching out to people.

I would write letters like, “Hey, would love to meet.” That NEVER worked. People are busy. Nobody wanted to meet some random guy like me. So instead I tried a new technique.

For each people I wanted to meet I would spend time researching their business and come up with 10 ideas that would help them that I would just completely give for free. With one guy (Jim Cramer), I came up with ten article ideas he should write.

He ultimately wrote back, “YOU should write these” and that started my financial writing career. It also developed a culture of exchanging ideas with thestreet that ultimately led to me selling to them. With another guy, I gave him several trading system ideas and he ultimately allocated money for me to trade.

This started my hedge fund trading career.

I then write my first book about trading. Which led to Fidelity inviting me to speak at conferences, a good way to meet people. My next two talks for them are in Scottsdale, AZ and Las Vegas in the next few weeks.

I’ve been giving talks for them since 2004. I haven’t raised my prices since then because I’m always too shy to talk about money except in passive-aggressive ways like writing this blog post.


9. Time.

I woke up for a few minutes at 3am this morning to write this list. Then I went back to sleep, figuring I’d write the post when I woke up. The last item on the list I wrote at 3am is “Time”. But for the life of me I have no idea why I wrote it. If anyone can help me solve this mystery I’d be grateful.

I’m going to get another coffee. Be right back….


Ok, I still don’t know what “Time” means. But I do know I’m late for my first breakfast for the day. I introduced him to this guy a few weeks ago and they had a good meeting.

Maybe I’ll finally learn to follow up my sending an email after the breakfast.

Follow me on Twitter, please.

Or, Buy the book I’m most proud of.


Ideas for a world out of balance… sent straight to your inbox!

My goal is to deliver to you a fresh perspective…

Something to help you make sense of the chaos.

Sign up below for Altucher Confidential, my tell-all FREE weekday e-letter.

By submitting your email address, you will receive a free subscription to Altucher Confidential. This daily investment newsletter delivers free independent financial forecasting and commentary along with carefully selected products and services that we think might interest you. We will not share your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Statement.

  • Gavin Griffiths

    alrigggghhht, first comment.  like walking in fresh snow.  OK, I am officially a huge fan. this is like talking to me.  and the fact that so many of the comments on your blog say the same thing makes me think that I’m not the only one that thinks practically everything I thought for the last 4 decades is a joke.  when i was a kid everyone said that i didn’t take life seriously and now i realise that i really never should have done.  great blog.  

  • Anonymous

    Here’s an idea for you James – perhaps you could create an auto-responder that says “You have successfully reached me.  I am, however, terrible at responding to emails.  Rest assured, I have read your message, and you may or may not receive a response from me in the next day to decade.  I realize that this could result in a missed opportunity for me.  If you think this is too important for me to pass up, please email my wife, and if she finds the message important, she will not sleep with me until I respond to you.”

    • I will actually use this word for word. Except for the wife part.

  • Bjornzachrisson

    Great and funny blog as usual.

    Some thoughts:
    1. Someone has to own the bricks in the wall, means do not worry about money, someone has to own it, and before you die it will be you.  
    2. Nothing to learn from success, only hardship and losses burn into the brain.
    3. Enjoying success is unfortunately hard for us materialistic people,  only 1 person in the world succeeds in that game, everyone else feels a looser most of the time.
    4. In xx years we are dead.
    5. Concerning 4, do not worry about money.
    6. Concerning 5, enjoy your good health, good humour, and hopefully pretty wife (and kids when they are in a good mood)
    7. Last comment also valid for wife…

  • You don’t really seem like someone who is anti-social, at least not 100% of the time.  So, what is it about networking and keeping up with connections that is difficult for you?  Is that you just don’t like the artifice?  The transactional nature of networking?

    It doesn’t always have to be like that, but it often does seem to devolve into something less than wonderful.  The flipside is that most people can tell when some jerk wants to meet them simply to build a network and to extract every drop of value from the connection.  I avoid those turds like the plague.

  • Guest

    Re: Time.  You can’t predict the timing of a dinner party.  Who sent you an email today, to follow up on. What it will take to come up with a valuable idea for a person.  So, having lots of open and available time is very useful for being a super-connector, because you have to follow the energies and opportunities that appear.  

    There have been times I have experimented with being super-social, and then I felt that 4 hours a day was not enough time to roll with all the social balls I had started rolling.  

  • Lori

    there’s a lot you could say about time. don’t waste it on things that don’t matter. prioritize giving it to things that do matter.

    i notice people who are always asking me “how do you do get so much done?” are huge time-wasters. they spend tons of time on stuff that isn’t giving anything back to their life or making them any money. if they cut out facebook and tv they could start a business and write a book. they just don’t do it.

  • Chris

    “Time” … (to go back to fucking sleep).

    You were free thinking … and being so tired you just started writing the statement down … of course once you began writing it you realised it didn’t need writing down, it just needed acting upon. Thus the thought remained an unfinished/unwritten and obviously redundant point on your list…!! Then you went back to sleep. :)

    An aside: I’m not sure if you’re a physical connector, James. I’m not even sure you should try to be. You appear to be a ‘philosophical’ connector. A writer. A mediator between gut and heart. You know… like yin and yang, good and bad, soy and dairy… Apple and PC..?!  

    Sure, I know that you walk a tight line between self-help and book marketing with all these posts but everything about your writing style/feminine sensibilities screams writer. And, well, writers don’t really do socialisation… we do bi-polar…isation! 

    Sadly, that trait is not something that is welcomed at meet-and-greet functions. Well, not in any good way, at least.

  • amy

    Deep, deep down, James, you’re 100% artist at heart. That’s why you can’t follow up. There’s nothing wrong with you that isn’t wrong with tons of other talented people who just want to follow their ideas, bring them to fruition and then go back into their cave. A Venn diagram of artsy types with great sales and empire-bulding skills has a very small overlap to say the least. 

  • Rrdered

    You sound like a basket case. Can’t manage to return an email, or at the very least delegate it to someone who will? WTF? Are you just failure prone? Fear of success?

    You burn bridges? Why? That article about Don Graham sounded like a back handed compliment, but why? He could have taken it well, or taken it badly. Most take it badly just by default, so why risk it? You can get your point across, on less risky terrain.

    No wonder you run companies into the ground, and at the same time can sell successful companies, but at the end of the day still have no money.

  • A thought on time. If I can save a friend or business associate time, by introducing them to a group, or entity, able to bring them a solution. It’s gratifying, and my value goes up.

  • Jvoelz

    Do things at the TIME you think of it or else it is very likely you won’t ever do it. Especially for people that have many ideas, things can just get lost in an endless list of “to dos” and never become “dones”. Also, time is a person’s most valuable resource so don’t waste it – if you contact them don’t waste their (or your) time: make it worth it.

  • Mike

    In order to follow up with people you actually have to enjoy “the process”. It also helps if you truly enjoy “people”.

  • doug

    I’ve another item you might consider including in this list James.

    Never say no.

    In improvisational comedy the only rule is: Never say no.  Meaning you must never deny your fellow actor.  Instead, you must accept the line and the character conveyed.  Then you add to the scene.

    If your partner introduces you as the drooling, pastor of the First Baptist Church of East Tuscaloosa, you pick up the thread and make ’em laugh.

    A week ago I received a call from a farmer forty miles distant.  He clearing some woods for a new fence and had come across a colony of bees which he wanted someone to collect.  Somehow he got my number.  I arranged a time to meet him and the bees.

    It’s too late in the year to collect viable swarms.  The colony doesn’t have enough time to build stores to get through the winter.  Picking up this feral colony was not going to be worth the trip, but I went anyway.

    For my trouble I met the farmer, his family and their hired hand.  We visited in their home and I’ve been invited to put bees on 100 acres of Red Clover.  That’s a big deal for my new bee operation – up to 200 colonies.

    I’ll never be a billionaire but life is richer if you don’t reject the lines you are tossed.


    • Steve Muir

      Doug, there’s no doubt about it mate … You have a grip man. I’d rather be a sponge than a rock any day … You might soak up some crap occasionally, but you get a full life out of it. Cheers from a like minded Aussie. Steve

  • Doc Hawkins

    Sometimes your mind is simply tired and your kids are more fun

    have phun

  • Fred44

    You are a basket case, no wonder your business fails.

  • Shawn

    Great post James. 

    As someone who tried, but failed to be your intern for your new book, I was still stoked that you returned my email and gave me a chance.  I definitely need to up my networking and connecting game.  I’ll be using this advice over and over again, I’m sure of it.

  • Guest

    A great post and inspired me to add 3 skills to the list I IMO work well:
    Skill # 10  – Very Unique & Rare – the ability to reply to about 320 emails in 1 blog post assuming you are a successful writer ; ) and about 80% of the 400 people (emails) you are discussing in your post read your blog daily or get shared your postsSill #11 – Also Unique & A Super Power Time(ing) – super connecting at the right time! Putting the right people together at the right time for all of their respected businesses goals or personal interests is not easy at all and usually has the highest propensity to create big net net positive results. This is a skill and combination of luck.Skill #12 – Managing Expectations  & Fairness – being fair in business and life is usually about setting expectations. IMHO  managing expectations well usually results in building really strong relationships personal & business, I think being known as a fair person is a good look…a character trait of trust. The girl or boy that says they will call but you never know when and really if, they said they would call but no call, the big company that says yes but then doesn’t follow up accordingly and you started executing already and then they just go dark (so many reasons this can happen in big companies). So many examples can go here to make the point that this is a good skill to have.

  • Years ago, when people from NYC used to go vacation “upstate” for the summer and stay at bungalow colonies, you would mlle a whole new set of friends. You saw them only in the summer. It was basically unheard of to see them at other times because even going from one end of the Bronx to the other was more than ordinary people could do back in those days.

    One year, my summer friend Kenny came to visit and I was really excited because he would get to meet my regular all year long friend, Sidney.

    Long story short, they hated each other. I tried to connect tham and it was an abysmal failure.

    The scene replayed itself 40 years later when Jim Cramer appeared on The Daily Show, with Jon Stewart. End result? Sadness, but still not the reason I Why I No Longer Watch Jim Cramer

  • while you’re at it, I think evangelizing for people you believe in could also be added to this list oe connector behaviour. It is about eliciting opportunity too

    • James Altucher

       Very good point.

  • Greatgoogler2

    Great post…”helping other people succeed” is a definite secret to success.

    Do you think the reason you dont respond is because deep down you believe that the only times people contact you is because they need something

    • James Altucher

       I don’t know. I think I put things off and then feel guilty so I put things off even more. Note: sometimes I DO respond.

      • I’d say you don’t respond because you don’t feel like it. And if you do respond then they might respond again and then you have to respond again, and on and on……it will never end. 

        My question to you is, do you send emails? if answer is yes, You do do you expect a response?

  • Kyle

    James — This is EXACTLY what I asked you to do to help me raise money for a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Clinic, but you said that you couldn’t help. Couldn’t. And yet you give advise about how everybody “can.” But you can’t. No reason, no rationale. You rattle on about making this connection, and that connection, but you can’t be stirred to make a connection or two for a worthy cause? What’s up with that?

  • Anon

    Woody Allen said “80% of success is showing up” you need to show up more

  • as for time -Time is a limited resource use it wisely or it’s wasted. 

  • Billo

    It seems as if you know exactly how hard to work, to just get by. This should be a quote for your work ethic. How do you keep shooting yourself in the foot? Maybe you have some spooky father-figure issues.

    I like reading your blog, its a laundry list of what not-to-do. Blow off dinners, ignore phone calls, never return emails; its astounding. Surrounded by intelligent, hard working people, time to see the writing on the wall. 

    The extreme irony is I found your blog by way of Doug Casey; there is a guy you need to learn a few lessons from. Doug gives you a backhanded complement, which is more than Jeff Berwick gives you.

    • Probably is a good time for me to now add that I’m not BAD at all of the above. I just have holes.

  • Rlehman

    Time… is for Disconnecting.  Disconnect to expell your own thoughts, work your craft, or polish your presentations.  However, there is something to be said about… Being At The Right Place in TIME.
    James, your 3am dripple is rather tasty, but I hate the name.  You are spot on when it comes to making connections.  I find myself making cold calls trying to sell products I really truly believe in, but after I say the words “POS” or “Digital Signage”… people’s eyes glass over and their ears shutter.  When people get a chance to understand my passion for what I do, they tend to open up and listen.  Getting there is hard part…  and it’s all about connections.
    In 1983, I came up with an idea to list cars in a Star database program, charge the dealers 25 cents per listing and advertise to the public… “Call us to shop for your next car.  Stay out of the cold”.  I bought the computer and setup the database, then set out to sell to car dealers.  Little did I know others had thought of the same concept but didn’t really use computers.  Most Car Dealers were too gun shy due to other’s epic failures.  One dealer said to me, “We paid good money to be located on this street corner, if we used your systems we could sell cars from in a basement”.  Exactly, I thought.  My dream died for I didn’t have the right connections.  It makes me sick every time I watch a Super Bowl sponsored by Auto Trader .com  I have had about a dozen such ideas that made millionaires out of people I never met.  I am an inventor with no inventions!
    James, connections are so important and at 48 I am hoping its not too late for me.  My ideas are always ahead of their time and I spend too much time trying to educate people who can’t see my vision.  Instead, I should be making connections which will help the right people find me.  Thanks James for delivering to me the message of connections.  Good darn thing you didn’t sleep through the night!Robert Lehman

  • Anthony

    Altucher –

    Enjoyed the post.

    I am no SEO expert but doesnt duplicating your techcrunch post here hurt your websites rankings.

    Something to consider.

    • I don’t really know. I see that other people do it who guest post at tech crunch so I figured it would make sense. I think my readership overlaps a little with techcrunch but not huge.

    • Q

      I don’t think duplicate content hurts rankings too much. Newspapers have tons of duplicate content.

  • @manifique

    Thanks for this, James. I have the potential to be a super-connector. I already am, but I’m young and naive-looking, so it’s only NOW (late 20s, after 6 long years of power-schmoozing) that things are starting to happen for me. as usual, you are also timely. my biggest flaw w/regards to being a super-connector is my inability to follow-up. I literally freeze up at the thought of reaching out to someone with a follow-up. Part of this, I think, is self-sabotage, and I’m working very hard to correct this. Starting today — I’m sending a script to a successful writer who’s specifically asked me to submit work to him. I froze for about 2.5 weeks, I’m on the cusp of him forgetting me completely but at least I’m sending it!

    I vow to keep improving on this.

  • Anonymous

    ah now this is what i’m good at…keeping the connections going, introducing the right people to the right people, talking at the right level to everyone i meet, it’s actually all the ‘work’ I ever really do… 

  • Anonymous

    @c9799d1d644d31fa425425065ddd35ce:disqus ………………….

    Listen to this…Brother’s neighbor makes 68 hourly on the Laptop. She has been fired from work for 11 months but last month her paycheck was 7958 USD just working on the PC for a few hours. Read about it on this web site…. ….

  • Amabiliscastillo

    Time Time Time Time… Just Don´t waste it!!!!

  • The feeling that kept leaking through this post was “fear of rejection.”

    If you don’t call/email someone, they can’t say no.
    If you don’t remember their name, then they can’t forget you first.
    If you put off doing something indefinitely, then you can’t fail at it.

    If you don’t follow through on your connections, then no one will reject you and no plans will fail because nothing was ever committed.

    As an independent iconoclastic fighter who is used to going it alone — connections sometimes feel too much like relying on people.  Dependence.  Weakness.  Failure.  I know I can do anything if I really set my mind on it; therefore, accepting help — even in the form of connections — means I’m not as good as I thought I was.  Committing to time also means committing to a relationship — and I don’t want anyone depending on me either.

    The irony is — I’m someone who is known for “liking everyone” (which I don’t) and being helpful and highly compassionate (which I am) — provided I remember to leave my spaceship and interact with the real world.  I still think I need to succeed by myself, even though I’m intellectually aware of the super-hero fantasy which fuels BS like that.

    The second irony is — I joined Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for the SEO.  I thought I’d sneak in the back door, pick up a few links for my business, and go back to the spaceship.  Imagine my surprise when old high school classmates (who completely ignored me back then) and random people on the internet actually tried to speak to me.  Oh.  Crap.  I took a deep breath and answered everyone — but still find it difficult to follow through.  Some of us are never really “people-people,” even if we’ve learned the skills to survive.

    Maybe some of this will resonate with you.

    BTW, several month ago I sent you an email (asking to play scrabble since you mentioned liking the game) and will eagerly await your reply in about 10 years.

  • Caromusa

    The problem is: what to do when you are not a “people person”? (like myself).

    • I used to be so shy I couldn’t even look at people.  Even people I knew.  I’d talk at the floor.  Then I just started reading books about how to be more outgoing, how to relate to people, etc.  Books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Keirsey’s “Please Understand Me” (a sappy title, but brilliant book if you want to be comfortable around almost anyone), and whoever wrote “Never Eat Alone”.

      I just got back from a lunch with someone I just met recently.  We didn’t even have a reason to talk, I just invited her to lunch, and we found things to talk about.  And now we’re making plans for next week.
      Saying “I’m not a people person” is like my saying “I’m not strong enough to climb a mountain. (possibly true).”  The solution, of course, is to just start doing it, little by little, and work your way up.  And talk to experts and read books on how to get better at it, just like learning anything else.

  • Merlin128

    Hi James…another great post…Thank you…BTW…here is nYT articles with interesting views on attorneys…and somewhat similar to your views…Regards….Jorge 

  • Merlin128

    Hi James…another great post…Thank you…BTW…here is nYT articles with interesting views on attorneys…and somewhat similar to your views…Regards….Jorge


  • Time. Super Connectors are masters of it. The make time bend to their will — they have reality distortion fields around them. They also probably sleep less than most humans (and die sooner, sadly). 

  • Josh Maislin

    Time. Super-Connectors are intimately aware of the implications and importance of the procession of time between interactions. They know how to play off the time between these interactions in the same way a virtuoso musician knows how to rest between the notes. They know exactly when to follow up and when their “hello” will be taken as a welcome surprise, rather than a contrived, distasteful overture. They respond to emails instantly (“I care”), but might wait a week or two to between mentioning a potential connection between two people and actually setting up that connection (build suspsense).

  • Time is the thing that needs to be invested in relationships in order to make them grow and flourish. I doubt I am the first person to suggest that might have been the meaning of your sleepy note to self but… I’m not going to take the time right this second to read through the comments to find out. 

  • I guess I value solitude too much to be good at networking:
    Or maybe I am just bored by most people? Or I can’t pretend that I want to see them again if I really don’t?

  • Dha

    James, perhaps someone can connect you with spell-check, a lack of basic spelling and grammar really detracts from the content.

  • Should have added: 
    Conduct time?  1–As railroad
    conductor.  2–As electricity
    transformer, for when a good man dies, great power is released into the field
    of time. 3–As an orchestra conductor, the score being written.

  • Should have added: 
    Conduct time?  1–As railroad
    conductor.  2–As electricity
    transformer, for when a good man dies, great power is released into the field
    of time. 3–As an orchestra conductor, the score being written.

  • Interview people sounds a bit too much for me. But what I can say is ; just listen the other person. Ask questions. Don’t comment. Just ask. Let them speak. They’re going to like you.

  • Erick

    Learned and will followup,

  • Cathy Jordan

    James, you sound like me!!! I have the greatest intentions to follow up and fail so many times…uggghhh! My heart is pure. Does that count?

  • whoiskevinjones

    Some call me a super connector. A few things I’ve learned: First, focus on how you can make the person you are meeting look like a “rock star” to their supervisor. If you can do that, the person will be very grateful and your relationship will jump start quickly. When they realize your connections are designed to help improve the way they are perceived by their superiors at work, they usually take the “connection” more seriously. Second, ask what challenge they are trying to solve or goal they are trying to achieve in next few months and make a connection directly related to that objective. Making connections is fine but I’d rather be known for making really meaningful connections that help people with tangible goals or personal/professional development. Those contacts stay friends for life. Third, when I meet people for the first time I always assume we are already close friends. I rely on this strategy when talking to gate keepers for the first time. Sometimes in public gathering I play a game and see how long I can get someone to talk about their personal life before the subject turns to me. Even then, I usually toss it right back. Some favorite questions include: What did your father do for a living? What’s the story of your name? What were you like in first grade? And you would be surprised how many professional men appreciate it when another man compliments their appearance or attire. Not sure if these are real connecting skills but they are lessons I’ve learned.

  • Justin McKenzie

    James, Just discovered your site and am greedily reading every post, I know this post is an old one, but I have a thought about what you may have meant about time.

    It’s a simple concept, if you want to be a good connector with other people, you have to give other people a little bit of time. Often the urgent is the enemy of the important. If networking is truly important to you, give it the investment of your time.

    For me Time is the key point to this article, which, unfortunately is missing. Time is the one currency which is limited, each of us have only 24 hours in a day, and only a limited number of days in this life. I don’t feel like I have time to stay connected with everyone in my contacts list. That takes time: time to formulate how to reconnect, time to actually have a conversation, time thinking about someone other than myself or my family.

    I’ve recently been making more of an effort to devote time to just connecting with others, and I think with some of the other aspects of this post this time I will be successful.

  • Ryan Munn

    James, I am a member of the Crypto Alliance. I chose to do this because I was already applying most of your ideas, appreciate the opportunity to learn more every day, and hope to connect with you. It would be an honor to talk on the phone, and I even have a special offer for you or your whole team.

    Please reach out.