There’s a story of an Italian Billionaire when asked if he had to start over from scratch what he’d do (I searched Google 50 times to find the original without luck). He replied that he’d take any job to make $500, buy a nice suit, then go to parties where he’d meet successful people. The implication being that he meet someone who’d offer him a job, share an opportunity, etc.
I’m almost 40 and of the 5 career type jobs I’ve had in my life (I run my own business now), 4 came through networking. Only 1 came out of applying to a job listing.
But networking isn’t something you just go out and do. It’s immensely more effective if you have simple people skills. And when I say simple, I mean spend a couple hours reading Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Read that and try it out at a party and you’ll be blown away by how effective it is and how after meeting and talking with a few people and asking them about themselves, how they’ll want to help you, without you asking them.
When I asked my old boss who was the most remarkable sales person I’ve met, what he did to improve his sales skills, he told me that right out of college without any skills or pedigree degree, he took a job as a limo driver. He was reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and thought it would be worth trying out. He would ask his customers one simple question when they got in the limo, “So tell me about what you do.” That simple question resulted in a huge increase in tips he received. Notice he didn’t ask his customers, “What do you do?” There’s a subtle difference. If you ask the latter, many people will just tell you in a few words what they do. If you ask the former, it’s an invitation for them to tell you their story. Few people will turn that down.
At one point early in my career, I was doing research in the medical field and realized I wasn’t interested in it or where it would lead. I wanted to make more money and get into the business side of things (this was right after the tech crash in the San Francisco area), so I spent nearly 9 months relentlessly applying to jobs, writing cover letters, researching companies. With no success. I was doing it all wrong.
One night, my roommate asked if I wanted to go to a party. Sure, no problem. We went. I didn’t know a single person there. At one point, everyone did shots. I wandered back to the kitchen to get a beer. There was one other guy in the kitchen and I introduced myself. We talked for a while, I asked him what he did and he said he worked in biotech. I mentioned I was looking to get into the field, and he said his company was actually hiring. My resume got send to the hiring manager, and I was interviewing within a couple weeks. You can guess what my next job was.
There are a million paths to getting rich. And there are countless people who’ve gotten rich who are jerks, tyrants, manipulative, conniving, and all around assholes. When you’re working in different industries, you’ll start to feel that all the successful people are this way. But in reality, these are only the people who leave the most lasting impression, not because they’re the only people who succeed.
But there’s unlikely anyone out there successful who wouldn’t emphasize the value of people skills in succeeding.
If you would like to become a millionaire, keep on reading the Source
I grew up lower middle class and always thought the rich were special. I worked hard, went to university, eventually became a professional and worked my way up. During that time, most of my peers and others in my social strata had the trappings of being rich.
In addition to my day job, I built a business which I eventually sold for low 8 figures. I had much more free time and joined some organizations and clubs, and took up fun hobbies which lead to making deeper social connections with the truly rich – namely people who have $10 million+++ of net worth.
With that perspective of going through that journey, I became better able to sniff out who was truly wealthy, and who was a poseur. What surprised me the most was how many people with fancy cars, who take expensive trips and live luxury lifestyles – who by all appearances we’d call ‘rich’ – are economically hanging on by their nails. They weren’t bad people, just misguided and trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’
Looking back at my career when I was a full time professional, more than half my peers were in that category.
The truly rich, namely the self-made ‘millionaires next door’ tend not to flaunt their wealth.
What also surprised me about the truly rich is how much they donate to worthwhile charities, not only publicly but anonymously — far more generously than the poseur class.
Lastly, what surprised me was that the children of the truly wealthy (who grew up their whole life with that wealth), more often than not, tend to have serious sociopathic tendencies.
Something I need to avoid at all costs with my kids (pun intended).