It happened. I’m not exactly sure when and I’m not exactly sure how, but I’ll try to explain. Three years ago, Jared and I were sitting in his grandparents basement, imagining one day that with Under30CEO we’d be able point to a spot in the globe, show up and have an amazing network of like minded people to hang out with. Yesterday, I did just that.
A few months ago, we sent out an email that said we wanted to hit the road come speak at some awesome universities and meet with some super ambitious young people on the Under30CEO College Tour. Fast forward to December and I’m getting off a plane at Arizona State University, home of the Sun Devils, an awesome entrepreneurship scene, tons of outdoor activities and yes, beautiful women. While I love speaking in small town America and have really enjoyed my trips to both South Dakota and South Dakota State two consecutive February’s, you might imagine I’d be particularly excited about this speaking engagement. I emailed one of the student coordinators and asked if anyone would be interested in going hiking. BOOM. 24 hours later I’m on the top of Camelback Mountain thinking, “damn I worked hard for this.”
The World Is Small
If you hustle to help people and you have a mission that others believe in, people are going to gravitate towards you. It’s why my Twitter bio says, “Looking to Help Every Young Entrepreneur on the Planet.” We set out in 2008 to create an amazing network of young people and we’ve surrounded ourselves by exactly that. The most driven, ambitious people float to the top and eventually you get to know what seems like everyone.
There is no better way to grow your relationship with others than to connect them with other really awesome people. After a quick look at my LinkedIn connections, I sent out one email and one tweet straight out of Keith Ferrazzi’s book “Never Eat Alone”. Whenever Keith finds himself in a city, he keeps a list of people he knows and organizes them for dinner. My email looked like this:
Hey Phoenix metro-area friends, I’m in the area and wanted to organize a last minute get together. I’d love to introduce you all and catch up, some of you I haven’t seen in ages…
If you can make it tonight at 7:30PM to Old Town Scottsdale at RnR, I’ll be at the bar with some great people. It’s located at 3737 N Scottsdale Rd, so feel free to shoot me a text at xxx-xxx-xxxx and come have a drink.
Would be fun. Hope to see everyone tonight.
I sent that out to 17 people that I knew out here and amazingly, with less than 10 hours notice, 15 people showed up to the bar….and I haven’t been to Arizona since 3rd grade! I’m incredibly humbled.
And These Weren’t Randos
I know what you’re thinking, that’s kinda weird, showing up to a bar and meeting random people you probably met online. It wasn’t. On that list were people I’d done business with, our accountant, attorney and web developer, two of my favorite authors, a PR guy who coordinated a speaker for us, my two new hiking buddies, two Under30CEO fans who were there at our first ever uStream happy hour and a guy who’s blog I started reading in 2006. I hugged it out with almost everyone. The level of conversation was high quality and all my friends connected… and best of all they actually live here so will get to see more of each other.
It’s really amazing what you can do when you surround yourself with good people. That’s the business that I’m in and I couldn’t be happier to have this type of energy going into my talk today. Keep building that network and remember to focus on the basics….
- Reach out.
- Be helpful.
- Take a stand on something.
- Surround yourself with good people.
Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO and is looking to help every entrepreneur on the planet. Connect with him on Twitter @MattWilsontv.