Hang with Your Heroes

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I want to spend some time thinking about the heroes in our lives.  Do you have dreams of meeting your hero(ine) some day?  Do you geek-out when you see someone famous?  Are you sometimes starstruck by people you admire?  Do you also feel like they are untouchable, and you can’t get near them?  Are you afraid to reach out for fear of rejection?  Eliminate those feelings of inadequacy.  Acknowledge that you might be their hero(ine), too!  Get after it!

I recently met a great connector, Michael Roderick, out of the Big Apple – via another great connector (thanks, Monica McAtee) – and learned about his **FREE** paper, “The Hang with Your Heroes Handbook.”  Michael bills it as his approach to meeting anyone, asking for anything, and building a platinum community of connectors, influencers, and friends.  Summarized below are Michael’s five principles of hanging with your heroes:

  1. Everyone is a Celebrity to Somebody.  Who is someone you’ve always wanted to meet?  Google that person right now.  You will likely find that he or she has a web presence.  You can probably connect with them via their website, Twitter handle, Facebook company page, LinkedIn profile, Amazon Author page, or another social site.  Even though to you they seem larger than life, in truth, he/she is a person – just like you – trying to connect with others in this world.  By reaching out one way or another, you might just find that connecting with him/her is easier than you expected.  Remember, celebrity is relative.  You’re probably a celebrity to someone out there right now… when they reach out to you, be sure to respond favorably!

  2. Do More Than Five Seconds of Research.  Back to that person you’ve always wanted to meet… take some time now to look at what information is available and him/her and their business.  You might look into podcast and magazine interviews, blogs and books they have written, TV and radio appearances, panels they have participated in, and/or talks they’ve given (like a TED Talk or similar).  Be sure to dig into a few of them.  Notice patterns… do they have a favorite subject?  Perhaps a charity they support?  What do they love or hate?  Do you have common points of interest – however obscure they might be?  All of this is fodder for conversation, means to connect.  Spend about 10-15 minutes on this process… we’re not looking for a dissertation on this individual (that could feel a little creepy!), but a little research goes a long way to generating a great discussion.

  3. You’ll Connect with People Faster if You Understand Their Circle.  Every human being has a circle of people with whom they have surrounded him/herself.  It is comprised of a) teachers and mentors, b) students, c) friends and family.  Understanding who is in that circle for the person you want to meet will give you a better understanding of who that person is – now you know what is important to them (see Principle #2) and WHO is important to them to better inform your outreach and connection.

  4. Associative Leverage.  This concept is based on identifying and communicating commonality.  For example, if a mutual contact makes an introduction between you and the person you wish to meet, it is more likely that person will respond to your outreach favorably.  If you both (genuinely) support a charity, his/her response to you will likely be warmer.  Essentially, if you have done your research, if you know more about the individual you wish to meet, he/she will feel more familiar to you, you will be able to more quickly establish a bond, you get the idea.  Once you convey your interest in that person, by highlighting your mutual interests and/or people, you will realize his/her interest in you in return.

  5. D.I.M.E.  Before asking for something (e.g. an introduction, advice, a meeting, et al), there are four mindsets around the asking that are helpful to be aware of:  a) D = Direct (Direct asking is the least effective method as it puts people on the offensive and is most likely to be ignored); I = Indirect (Indirect asking is more effective as it lowers others’ defenses and feels more like being asked for ideas); M = Mutually Beneficial (even more effective in terms of asking as it is good for you and good for me); and E = Extraordinary (this is the most effective and powerful approach to asking – essentially, it employs either Indirect or Mutually Beneficial asking for something BIG.  People want to help and when asked to make a major difference in an indirect or mutually beneficial manner, people often step up!).

Ready to hang with your heroes?  Want more from Michael Roderick?  I recommend it!  You can get more detailed explanations of each of the aforementioned five principles along with his outstanding daily blog and more.  Check ‘em out at http://www.smallpondenterprises.com.

To all of our active duty and retired military men and women and their families, THANK YOU for your service to our country.  You are our heroes.  Wishing you a meaningful Veteran’s Day.

Happy Networking!

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