With the popularity of Reality TV shows about Flipping Houses and business startup focused favorites like Shark Tank and The Profit, it might seem the entrepreneur’s scorecard for success is all about the money. More specifically making a lot of money and making it fast.
Entrepreneur, investor, author and award-winning speaker Cole Hatter sees making money as just the first step. It’s what you do with the money what really matters, and that’s why he created Thrive: Make Money Matter; the annual conference for entrepreneurs and business professionals who want to discover practical income-growing business strategies to create a positive impact in the world and leave a lasting legacy.
The very first Thrive event attracted over 400 attendees and had Cole sharing the spotlight with NY Times Best Selling Author Gary Vaynerchuk and Shark Tank TV Star Robert Herjavec. Speakers scheduled to hit the stage at this year’s conference include Jack Canfield, James Altucher, Grant Cardone, and dozens more.
Thrive is unique because it’s the result rather than the source of Cole’s business success. In fact, he doesn’t pay himself a dollar from the events. Thrive teaches people to make money matter, so Cole makes the money generated by the conference matter by giving 100% of proceeds away to a nonprofit.
Pulling off an event of this magnitude is no easy feat. So how did a virtual unknown like Cole Hatter get some of the smartest business minds in the world to say “YES” to speak at his events?
Motivational speaker and self-help guru Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This, of course, means that the people with whom you spend the most time will have the most influence on your life. Therefore, if your goal as an entrepreneur is to grow as an influencer, you need to build relationships with others who have successfully walked that path. You might wonder how to go about this, though. After all, it isn’t easy to connect with people who are hugely successful. Thankfully, there are some methods you can follow that have worked for Cole Hatter, an influencer, successful businessman and the creator of the Thrive conference.
Although hugely successful in the real world, Cole was under the radar of the online world who were getting more and more of their information from sites like Facebook. While attending a conference about online business, a speaker named Lewis Howes caught Cole’s attention when he shared his huge success with all things social media. Howes’ information made Cole examine his own social media impact or lack thereof, and he realized how few people actually knew who Cole Hatter was. He certainly wasn’t making money from his online presence, but more importantly, he saw social media as a way to build influence and teach others.
As a successful businessman, Cole knew he needed help in this area, so after the conference approached Howes and invested in a 90-day mentoring process consisting of 20-minute phone conversations once a week.
How Networking Leads to More Connections:
Through his mentoring relationship with Lewis Howes, Cole became connected to yet another major influencer, John Lee Dumas, who used social media to build a huge following for his highly successful podcast Entrepreneur on Fire. Following up and learning from these influencers continued to develop connections with thought leaders like Tucker Max, who worked with Cole to write his first book. Eventually, not only did Cole know many of the most influential people in the country but he had personal relationships with them as well.
What if Money Isn’t An Option:
Perhaps, after reading Cole’s story you can’t help but say…well, what if you don’t have the money to pay influencers to mentor you, is that the only way? The answer is not necessarily. At least not directly. The foundation of a network is relationships. Building relationships won’t happen overnight. It might take years. Just as you develop friendships over the course of several years, business relationships have to be built slowly on a foundation of mutual respect and trust. You don’t want to come on too strong or make an influencer feel used. You want to communicate your intention of learning from them.
How to You Do it?
So, if you’re not financially able to work with an influencer one on one, how to do you get them to talk to you? Try the following methods:
Before you can reach out to someone to help you expand your influence, you need to have mastered your own business. You should be successful already in what you do and know what you are talking about.
Be Selective About Who You Choose to Learn From:
You need to be strategic when choosing your mentors. Make sure you agree with their business methods and verify they are actually successful within their field. You also need to choose people who will help you in your areas of weakness.
Start a Podcast:
Another way to grab an influencer’s attention is inviting them to be a guest on your podcast. If you approach influencers and say you want to feature them in an interview, they are more likely to be open to that idea than you if you simply called them up and asked to come to their office. In an interview setting where you are highlighting their career, you are giving them another platform to teach and influence. This is a positive for you both. You learn from them, and they gain even more followers.
Attend a Conference:
As you begin to meet more and more influencers, it’s a great idea to attend a conference, like Thrive. This will provide you the opportunity to expand your network even more and will help you continue to build up your reputation as an influencer in your field. But have a clear plan in advance of how you’re going to do that. Don’t just get a picture with a celebrity entrepreneur to post online when you can go so much further.