Last week I shared how the two most important assets we have are our relationships and our skills, and that if we can find a way to combine these, we win.
But as I was thinking about that strategy a little more, I realized that it may be a little vague as to how to actually do so.
So today, I wanted to take you back a couple years to demonstrate exactly how I put this into practice myself.
In fact, the time was not long after that pivotal conversation with my mentor which I spoke about previously.
After deciding to build something rather than purely having an experience by turning down my English teaching opportunity in Korea, I began thinking about what to do next, now that my “only two options” were not really options at all.
At the time, I knew that I needed to build an audience and a network, and so I decided to start putting together a week-long online summit. However, not long into doing so, things would end up going in a very different direction.
Some quick back story…
At this stage, I was already hosting my podcast every week and had started building some key relationships by doing so.
One of those was with another early mentor of mine (and someone I now regard as a dear friend) Jacob Sokol. I still remember the feeling of exhilaration the moment he agreed to come on my show.
Before that point, I had been following Jacob’s work since my days stuck in an unhappy 9-5 and even applied to attend one of his Bali retreats (which I ended up not attending), so I’d spoken to him briefly.
But a full hour together 1:1 for my own podcast? That was wild!
Off mic, Jacob asked me who had built my website and I told him I’d done it myself. He was clearly impressed, but I thought nothing of the question at the time.
Anyway, as I do with most of my guests, I kept in touch after our interview and continued to do what I could to remain on his radar: commenting on blog posts and social media, liking his posts, sharing content, etc.
At the same time, I kept working on my craft by putting out new interviews and making sure my personal brand and website looked good.
Here’s where things get interesting…
Fast forward a couple months, I reached out to Jacob to ask if he was still doing 1:1 coaching. It was a Saturday, so I didn’t expect a response for a while (especially considering he was 6 hours behind me in New York). However, his response came less than 5 minutes later (I get goosebumps every time I think of this):
“The universe must be playing games on us. I was just emailing YOU to ask if you’d be interested in launching a project together.”
Shut the front door.
Here I was, wondering how I was going to make a sustainable income, and my mentor is emailing me to ask if I wanted to help him launch a project?!
Sign me up!
We had a phone call to talk about what the role looked like, what skills I currently had and what my responsibilities would be, and after speaking to a couple other candidates, Jacob let me know that the position was mine.
And, what was supposed to be a single 3-month project launch together turned into 2 of the most fun, educational and life-changing years of my life.
Looking back, there were a few things I did which were instrumental in making this all happen.
How to Combine Your Relationships and Skills to Change Your Life
1. Find a way to share your ideas with the world. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t care how, but you have to find a way to put yourself out there. My podcast was instrumental in doing so. But you could write on Medium, post on social, start a YouTube channel, whatever. You will be amazed by how people gravitate towards you when they know what you’re into.
2. Reach out to people who inspire you. In addition to the people who start engaging with your content, don’t be afraid to connect with the big players in your field of interest. Social media makes people seem high and mighty, but in fact, it’s the opposite. It is now easier than ever to reach out to your role models. Do it.
3. Stay on their radar. Once you’ve connected with someone (or even if you haven’t yet), you have to stay visible to them. You can do this by commenting on and liking their content, sharing it publicly, mentioning them in your stories or content, buying their programs, becoming one of their best students, writing them a testimonial, reading their books, etc.
4. Continue to master your craft. In other words, build up your skillset with things people need! For me, it was building websites and landing pages, being super visible on social media, creating a consistent brand, publishing my own podcast, honing my interviewing and coaching skills, etc.
5. Make it a no brainer. After landing the role with Jacob, my game plan was simply to add so much value that it became a no-brainer for him to continue working with me. It worked. Just one month in, he told me he didn’t want me to leave. And I didn’t 🙂 Side note: Astonishing the people you work with or for is ALWAYS a solid strategy.
I will be forever grateful to Jacob for taking a chance on me back then. Because of that opportunity, I was able to stabilize my financial situation, travel around the world, build more amazing relationships (some of which have become paid partnerships), learn a ton from someone whom I respected immensely, and most importantly, turn a mentor into a dear friend.
And, none of this was pure luck.
You can replicate this same experience. It just comes down to building your relationships and skills, releasing attachment to when or how things happen by having the patience to allow them to unfold organically, and deciding to go for it when the opportunity emerges.
You got this.
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