Working with My Wife

I’m going to share two pictures with you that are very exciting to me but may require a bit of explanation to understand.

Exciting? Amiright?

OK, a little explanation…

The first picture is now the view from my desk. Previously, there had been no whiteboards there and the nook on the left was a jumbled mess. (My capacity for success is limited only by how many whiteboards I have to map out ideas on, so now it is increased.)

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Thanks to Good Advice a Dead Battery is No Big Deal

I had a rare outside-the-house networking event this morning at 8 AM. My wife had taken our daughter to work with her, and I was leaving at 9 to go pick her up.

I got into my car as I usually do before I drive.

Put on my seatbelt, put my foot on the brake, pushed the start button, and.

*click* *click* *click*

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EntrepreNERD in the Big Picture

You’ve heard me talk about EntrepreNERD.

Maybe you attended EntrepreNERD, Episode IV: A New Summit.

Maybe you’re planning to attend EntrepreNERD, Episode V: The Summit Strikes Back, on September 19th.

Maybe you’re going to apply to be a speaker at EntrepreNERD before the deadline next Monday.

You may be wondering if this event fits into a larger plan or if it is this summit another of the ADHD squirrels I chase around in my business?

The answer is yes. Definitely.

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I Failed at Everything for 21 Years Until…

“Do you realize that I have failed at everything I have ever tried?” I asked my wife.

It was 2019, and we were once again trying to figure out how we were going to pay the bills. While she was working her butt off in property management bringing in 2/3 of our income, my work as a magazine publisher was continuing to fall short of expectations.

In 1998, I joined Vector Marketing selling Cutco, and failed to make money. Failed to make my game store profitable. Car sales. Financial advising. Insurance sales. Print sales. More car sales. Startup marketing manager. And finally magazine publishing. Fail. Fail. Fail.

All failed to make anywhere near what I should have been able to make.

I did pretty well selling Volkswagens in 2013 until I got fired (a story for another day).

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Business Advice From the Pulpit

Most days I send out a letter by email with some tips and resources. This is the one from July 19th, 2022.

This past Sunday, I went to church as I often do on Sundays, and I was surprised to find that the lectionary reading echoed something that I’ve been saying on my Morning Motivation podcast for a while now.

I talk a lot about how everyone has been given particular talents and passions. By pursuing those gifts, one will find purpose, joy, meaning, and, quite likely, financial success.

Check this out:

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How I Guard My Time Without Saying No

Last year, I reached out to an author of some note to ask to have a call to see what collaboration opportunities might exist.

The reply was not unexpected or unreasonable. The author replied that they didn’t have the capacity in their schedule for those kinds of speculative “let’s see what we can do for each other calls.”

I can completely understand it. Many of those calls are not terribly valuable. (My Networking Concierge clients hire me to filter the people they meet so that they only have the valuable calls.)

At that point, I was seeing that my schedule was rapidly heading in that direction as well. The thing is that for me I wanted another option besides saying no. While a majority of the random reachouts might not be valuable opportunities, a goodly portion of them might be quite valuable, and there is no way to know from that initial contact who will be a nice chat and who will be a connection into an entirely new community that could be worth millions.

I needed a way to say yes to everyone who wanted to meet with me without working 90 hours a week.

A similar problem was developing with my podcast. So many great people wanted to come on the show that I was backed up with interviews. And with the podcast, every interview then required more time for post production (and if you have been interviewed and not seen your episode yet, it’s somewhere in that post production queue.)

The solution to the podcast, you may have seen. It’s call the Power Lunch Live Show.
(You can apply to be on the show here)

I created a show where I would bring on four guests on a variety of topics. I get all kinds of compliments on how unique and engaging the show is.

You’d never know that the initial intentions on creating the show were to create something that would make great conversations with the least amount of work. I wanted a show where I’d almost never have to reject a guest, where almost no effort went into pre- or post-production, and where I could just show up, host, and go.

What would have been 6 hours of recording and post production is now 60 minutes of show (plus about 12 minutes of prep per week).

For one to ones, I created the Open Virtual Coffee every Friday at 10 AM Eastern. Anyone can drop in with this link.

Sometimes there’s no one there. Sometimes one person. Sometimes three or four.

With the Open Virtual Coffee, I never have to say “no, I don’t have time to meet” or even “why should we meet?” Anyone who approaches me or who is introduced, I can invite to the Open Virtual Coffee, get to know them and explore if we need to talk more without swamping the schedule.

The latest innovation, developed in early July when I looked at my calendar and saw that, once again, I didn’t have an opening until mid August, is the Connection Bonanza.

Many people who want to talk to me really just want to tap my network. I’m totally cool with that. My clients hire me to make connections, and I never know who might be a perfect fit for them.

A Connection Bonanza is a one hour call when I welcome up to 9 people. Each one will share a bit about themselves and what connections they are seeking. I’ll make between 0 and 3 introductions for them (plus they might make some connections with other people in the room). It’s like speed networking with The Guy Who Knows a Guy.

The next one, by the way, is today at 3 PM Eastern. You can access the Open Virtual Coffees and Connections Bonanza’s at this handy Meet the Guy Who Knows a Guy Page.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, first, it’s because I’d be happy for you to take advantage of any of these ways to connect with me.

But mainly, I’m sharing because I talk to a lot of people who are running into the time crunch, and when I share these ideas, people tell me that they are very interesting and creative.

I’d love to hear what some of the creative solutions that you have come up with for the bottlenecks in your business and life as you grow. Comment below and let me know.

Don’t Talk Past the Close

Most days I send out a letter by email with some tips and resources. This is the one from July 18th, 2022.

Don’t talk past the close.

I learned it when I did sales, and I saw the other side of it the other day as a networker.

I was at a networking event, and there was a woman there who was a graphic designer. She collaborates with various people around the marketing space. How many people do you think I know in the marketing space? A lot. The answer is a lot.

So, I’m thinking that I can make a lot of connections for her, but she only has her first name on the Zoom screen and hasn’t given me her contact info.

I mention that I know quite a few people I can connect her to. I just need her last name and email.

What would you do at this moment? A professional connector who people pay to make introductions just said, “I have connections for you. What’s your last name and email?”

Would you…
A) Stop talking and put your full name and email in the chat
B) Keep talking
C) Keep talking, emphasize that you mostly want people who will refer to you because you have plenty of people to refer to already

If you wanted more introductions, the right answer is A.
If you wanted less, go for B or C.

Whether it’s sales or networking or anything else, when you are offered the thing you are looking for, stop talking and say yes.

Don’t talk yourself out of introductions.

Want more business tips? I talk about this kind of stuff many times a week on the Power5 Podcast.

-Michael Whitehouse
The Guy Who Knows a Guy

I’d Rather Be 42 Than 22

I’ve been 42, and I’ve been 22.

I like 42 better.

I don’t believe in that “age is just a number” junk. Age is a very real thing. The 40s is a particular phase of life. Different people with different experiences may come into different phases at different times, but this mid-life time is definitely a thing.

When I was 22 I launched Phoenix Games, and I didn’t have the vaugest idea what I was doing. Over the next 6 years, I would turn over $100,000 into vapor, and I would ruin countless relationships because I was young and dumb.

I had a lot in my 20s, and I didn’t appreciate most of it.

I was living a pretty good life, but I spent most of my time worrying about losing it.

I was worried that this phase, the game store and other enterprises, would be the only vehicle for success I would have. If it failed I’d be washed up.

Young. And. Dumb.

Today, at 42, my life is like nothing I could have imagined 20 years ago. Owning a house. Married to an amazing woman and raising a daughter. Planning speaking gigs in three countries, clients in four countries, and contacts on six continents.

But all that is not why I would chose my 40s over my 20s. The biggest difference between 20 year old Michael and 40 year old Michael is perspective.

I don’t fear what will come next. I could lose it all in any number of ways. Accident, illness, business failure, legal issues, who knows?

But I don’t worry about it. I have come to learn that the Universe will unfold as it should, and that the best moment of your life is the one you are living now.

32 was better than 22. 42 is better than 32. I can only assume that 52 will be amazing.

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