Whenever I travel somewhere, I always ask myself: who can I meet? Friends, former clients and new potential collaborators are obviously on the list, but I also like to dream a little bigger, because you never know who might say yes.
On my trip to Miami, the stars aligned and I got to meet with one of the biggest names in the personal development and entrepreneurial industry. Grant Cardone is a leading business coach, real estate investor and entrepreneur with a net worth of 350 million (plus, his own private jet #transportationgoals).
I had enjoyed Grant’s bestseller (one of several), The 10X Rule, and was curiously following him on social media. We also happened to share a mutual professional contact, so one day while scrolling through Instagram I thought,“I’m going to be in Miami! I’d like to meet Grant…”
Admittedly, I was a little nervous at the thought of reaching out and not sure what the response would be. Thankfully I got over the drama (which is always boring) quickly and decided to just go ahead and send the email.
More so than men, I think women are conditioned to wait for invitations when, if we would just ask, we’d easily get ourselves invited to the party. So I wrote my contact, “I’m going to be in Miami, I’d love an intro to Grant”—without any unworthiness or apology in the energy of it.
He replied swiftly, “I know him well. He won’t meet you for a drink, but maybe you can swing by his office and meet him there.” Ten minutes later, there was an email connecting me with Grant’s COO and the following week, I found myself sitting in his office. Simple as that.
I am so glad I did move past my fears and send that email because first of all, it was so valuable just to see how someone at Grant’s level operates. I checked-in at the front desk on a sign-in sheet. There were multiple studios in the office and as I arrived, I could see he was wrapping a shoot for one of his many shows through the studio glass.
As soon as Grant was done, the meeting began: “Walk with me…” We went to his office and sat down for an effective twenty minutes—which inspired me. I’ve since made thirty minutes max the new normal meeting time at Divine Living, and it’s having a major impact on how efficient and focused we are as a team.
Though the meeting was short, it was meaningful and productive. Grant could not have been more generous or down-to-earth. With genuine interest, he asked me what I could contribute to his business. He posed thoughtful questions drawing on my expertise in the women’s market, wondering how he might reach them better.
I was also able to meet Grant’s lovely wife Elena, the rising co-star of his empire. The three of us had a fascinating conversation on the dynamics of men and women in business and at the end, I walked away uplifted, motivated and inspired. There was nothing else that could have happened from our first meeting, but it seemed we all felt a sense of possibility.
Regardless of the outcome, there’s something powerful about putting yourself in the same room with someone at a higher level of success. They say you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and if you’re like me, then the people you interact with most are probably your team, your clients and your significant other.
This is why it’s so important to seek out people who are further ahead if you want to get to your next level. Being in Grant Cardone’s office, my mind was more active. I felt more curious than comfortable, so my antenna was up. The whole experience was unfamiliar and I wasn’t sure which direction it would go. But that gave it a challenging excitement that I’m craving more of moving into 2017.
In all of the conversations I find myself having with women lately, I’m picking up on a feeling that 2017 is going to be our year. So many bright, talented women entrepreneurs have been diligently planting seeds and are ready to make it happen. I believe we all will, and so I want to empower you to reach beyond your fears and expectations.
It’s time to make yourself visible, live your purpose and get yourself noticed. No one is coming to save you, rescue you, produce you or discover you. If you aren’t putting yourself out there, then you’re going to be stuck sitting back and watching those who went and made it happen for themselves.
Remember that it takes intention and action to make your dreams your reality, so let’s play big and enter the realm of what’s possible. Ahead, I’m sharing my top three tips to help you send those emails with confidence and poise.
I learned this lesson when I was twenty-one, working in the First Lady’s office at the White House, and I’ve found that you do not need to be calling from the First Lady’s office for it to be true. The First Lady herself is someone you’d think was “not reachable,” but believe me she took meetings and interacted with people daily—she was reachable. Powerful people have their lives set up in such a way to bring others in because they know the value of connectivity. No one is one hundred percent unreachable or unavailable, and most people are willing to help each other out along the way.
Admittedly, it was easier for me to get in touch with Grant Cardone because we shared a contact. If I had emailed customer service who knows if he would have taken my call. However, I do believe that anybody can get noticed if they are determined to do so, though you’ll have to work harder than emailing in to customer service. So ask the people you DO know. Leverage social media. Tap into your broader network. Put your intentions out there. You may just be a few degrees away from the person you’re looking for, or the person the Universe most needs you to meet.
At the end of the day, success doesn’t make you super-human. My mentality is that if there’s a reason for you to get in touch with someone, if it’s on-purpose and not just fan-gawking, then the sky’s the limit. The age of the celebrity has shifted and today, entrepreneurs are stepping up to become the new celebrities, media houses and influencers. In an era when everyone has a platform and an audience, you always have something to offer. Consider how the uniqueness of what you’ve tapped into might benefit the person you’re reaching out to—like exposing their new book to your list, or contributing an insightful story to their podcast.
Gina’s attitude when it comes to reaching out to people has always inspired me. I remember she once said, “Sam, why don’t you contact Eva Longoria and see if she wants to contribute to this issue.” Laughingly, I asked her, “Why do you think Eva Longoria’s going to want to contribute?” Gina’s response amazed me: “Give it a shot. I don’t see why she wouldn’t want to contribute.”
Pushing us to shoot for the stars has been great for the editorial team because even when people say no, new doors will open when we try. We might be pointed toward someone else, or be introduced to someone who will be a good fit down the line. You never know who’s going to say yes and you’ll usually receive some great bit of information that you didn’t even know you needed.
So why not follow Gina’s lead, roll the dice and give it a try? There is nothing to be lost by putting yourself in the game in this way. As you set your intentions for 2017, why not choose five people you admire and respect that you would love to do business with. Consider how you might collaborate this year and make a point to reach out to them when the moment’s right.