Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend. Scott Dinsmore is the founder of Live Your Legend and the creator of How to Connect with Anyone – an interactive online course to surround yourself with the world-changing people necessary to build your ideal business or career. The course is open for enrollment to the first 100 students until this Friday at 11:59pm PST. Learn more about the course here.
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard
There is no bigger life hack in the history of the world than the people you choose to hang out with.
Whether you’re starting a business, leaving a soul-sucking job, trying to run a marathon or shed 45 pounds, it’s all the same.
The fastest way to fill the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be, is with the people in your corner.
Environment is everything
The question is, what are you doing about it?
I’ve spent the better part of a decade feeding an obsession for social dynamics, human interactions, rapport and simply making new friends. It’s allowed me to create relationships all over the map – from Warren Buffett helping me pick out my engagement ring, on down to finding the business partners and supporters who caused a dying project to grow by 160x inside of 18 months and turn into the movement that Live Your Legend is today.
The problem is that over 80% of the people around us don’t enjoy their work (According to Deloitte’s recent Shift Index study).
That means most people’s environment is terribly toxic. It reinforces the lives of quiet desperation so many of us so badly want to leave behind. The people around us tell us we can’t make a difference.
So we absolutely must change our environment.
Over the past few years I’ve taken over a decade of studies & experiments and built them into the framework for our How to Connect with Anyone course.
As it turns out, surrounding yourself with inspiring, passionate people is not as hard as you’d think.
Here are 16 simple things you can do the second you finish reading this, to allow you to be unforgettable instantly and surround yourself with the community that makes the impossible seem normal.
16 Simple Ways to Connect with Anyone & Be Unforgettable Instantly
- Make friends. This is the foundation. Making genuine connections is nothing more than making friends. When you’re about to approach someone, ask, “How would I treat this person if they were my close friend or someone I’d want to be a close friend?” You don’t have hidden agendas and constantly push products and talk about yourself with your friends. You put friends first. You listen to them. You hear their problems so you can help in any way you can. Act accordingly.
- Add immediate & real value. Meeting people is about making their lives better. Whether that’s by giving them a smile, a new job, your favorite book, a free logo sketch for their new business or anything in between – there is a way to help everyone. See everyone as a chance to add value. Give like crazy, embrace generosity and make others more successful.
- Know what matters to them. Do your research. The more specific your help can be, the better. This comes from learning all you can about the people you want to meet. Not to manipulate, but so you can actually do something meaningful for them. Read their blogs and books, take their courses, sign up for their newsletters, learn about their interests, family, passions and charity work. Anything is game. With today’s online tools, there is no excuse not to learn about someone before trying to interact with them. Rapport become instantaneous.
- Find common ground. Everyone has something in common. See it as a fun challenge to find what it is. The faster you can find shared ideas, beliefs and interests, the quicker you can relate. Start with a common school, restaurant, home town or favorite TV show. Continue to go deeper.
- Pay attention. The easiest way to be interesting is to be interested. Find excitement in what you can learn from others. Hear what they say. Listen and learn about what matters to them. Not so you can say something back as soon as possible, but so you can get a window into their world. People want to tell their story. Be the person excited to hear it.
- Show your passion. You must be interesting. The best way to do this (aside from listening like crazy) is by embracing your passions, working towards an idea or cause and having a set of beliefs you’re deeply excited about that you openly share with others. Passion is an entire module in How to Connect with Anyone for just this reason. No one likes talking to lemmings. Live and connect with passion. This is the surest way to be someone worth talking to, and everyone is capable of it.
- Be uniquely YOU. Don’t try to look and sound like someone else, and don’t hold back! Be vulnerable and open. Share your real story and goals. Tell others about your wife, kids and parenting struggles. Talking about the weather does not build connection. Being real does.
- Use the most important word in the world. Remember their names. Nothing feels better than hearing your own name, especially from someone you just met. And “I’m not good with names,” does not fly. No one is good with names unless they practice! Write them down the second you hear them. Repeat it out loud. Associate a fun image or idea with the person. Do whatever it takes to remember. Sadly, this alone puts you on a whole new level.
- Be the connector. Bring groups together. Host events. Introduce friends who have similar interests. Make it your job to bring the right people together. There is no more powerful service you can provide.
- Lead an interesting life. Live a life worth hearing about – most importantly for you, but for those around you as well. Do things you don’t normally do. Just being in new surroundings will cause you to interact with a new group of people without even trying. The more things you do and try, the more things you’ll have to talk about and the more fun you’ll have!
- Tell stories. People connect on energy and emotion, not facts and stats. Communicate with stories as often as possible and encourage others to tell theirs. Know the fun stories of your life and share them with others.
- Wear a conversation piece. I’m not saying you wear a pair of swim goggles on your forehead (although that would certainly get attention), but having something that’s visibly and uniquely you, can give people a fun thing to talk about. Like the guy Scott who wears a name tag every day. When people ask why he has his name written on his shirt, he replies “so people ask about it – it makes meeting people super easy.” Maybe for you it’s crazy dress shirts, a bow tie or a fun hat. I always tip with two-dollar bills – one of the easiest ways to make someone’s day. Instant smile.
- Be grateful and say thank you. Never miss an opportunity to thank people for even the smallest things, and especially if they helped you with something important. We withhold gratitude far too often. I am constantly sending short texts, emails, books, gifts and notes to people for things they’ve done for me, others or the world in general. Learn unique ways to show thanks. Everyone loves being appreciated.
- See friends, not strangers. When you walk into a room, see the new faces not as strangers but as friends you have yet to meet. You see the world in a more similar way to others than you probably realize, especially if you’re at the same event or a part of the same communities. Approach accordingly.
- Care about people. None of the above matters if you don’t actually care about the people around you. If you don’t care about the person being a part of your life, you likely won’t do any of this stuff. If we’re going to connect in a powerful way, we must reframe the way we look at people.
- Show up (ideally, in the physical world). Connections don’t happen in your house or office. You must get out there, say hello and reach out. This can start with emails and online connecting, but that’s only the very beginning. Nothing makes a more powerful impact than meeting in the flesh. Don’t hide behind technology. Get out of your office and from behind the computer, work from a coffee shop instead of your living room and be in the places where other passionate people hang out.
The people around us control our world.
They can either kill our dreams or make them possible.
That choice is 100 percent on our shoulders.
So, who’s in your corner?
Featured photo credit:a young woman shouting into a megaphone via Shutterstock