Want to 10x your business? Try the strategy that most people fear.
Welcome to another publication of the Finance Founder newsletter! 🚀
Where I teach you how to build your own finance business and I give you an inside look at how I’m building a world-class Finance agency of my own.
Before we get to today's newsletter, here’s some of the content I’m consuming that you might find interesting.
What I’m watching
One of my favorite ways to relax is to have some soft, instrumental music playing while I stare at a roaring fire. 🔥Because I don’t have a fireplace in my home office (life goals!) I’ve turned to playing YouTube videos of fireplaces. Right now, I’m watching a Lakeside Autumn Rainy Morning video. See what you think here.
The strategy that 10x’d my business
This summer I hired a consultant to help me with some branding work. Fernando, 👋, and I spent about a month focusing on the skills I brought to the table, the type of work I liked to do, and the type of people I liked to help.
What we realized was that I love helping founders grow their businesses and that my experience in both debt and equity finance is rare. Bankers know debt and venture capitalists know equity investing, but few understand the intricacies of both.
One of the exercises that Fernando had me do was to start rebuilding my network, digitally. After almost eight years of working from home, my local network had faded. Years ago I had a huge local, in-person network. I was such a believer in networking that my first startup, GoGrabLunch (scroll to #12)) was a business-to-business networking site.
We decided on Twitter as my home base for building out a digital network.
To do that, we agreed on two strategies.
First, I built out a Twitter list of 100 people that I wanted to build rapport with. Then, I started interacting with and commenting on their content. For those 100, I focused on people who had synergistic, but not competitive business models. Or, people whose business model I wanted to emulate.
Next, for anyone who interacted with my content, whether from my Dream 100 or not, I sent them a message thanking them for their response. If we exchanged a message or two in our private DMs, I asked if they were open to connecting on a 15-minute call.
The idea here was that I opened up my calendar to anyone who wanted to network with me.
Of course, not everyone took me up on that offer. Most did not. But, a few did and those conversations were fantastic. A particular shoutout to Jack Bennett at Disruption Capital.
The key with those calls was that I went out of my way not to make it a sales call. I spent the time getting to know the person and asking about their business and if there was anything I could do to help.
The real agenda of the call was to learn about other people’s businesses and the pain points they were struggling with. If I knew I could help with a pain point, I offered to provide them with some insight from my experience or an introduction to someone else who could help them.
I didn’t try to sell them my services. I simply tried to add value.
Now, the reality is that they were usually interested in what I did and, since I was offering to help them, they often returned the offer.
This worked so well that I was able to add $22.7M in opportunities to my pipeline. That doesn’t count the two calls I have next week with people who heard about my services through this process.
The scary part of this strategy is opening your calendar to virtually anyone. I struggled with it at first myself. I worried about my time being chewed up with calls or salespeople using the calls to try and prospect me.
But, neither of those things happened consistently.
Even if they had, the tradeoff is the $22.7M I added to my pipeline.
Let’s hop on a call
I want to make the same offer to you.
If you’d like to connect with me for 15 minutes and get to know each other, feel free to use the scheduler below to schedule a date/time that works for both of our calendars.
There are a lot of ways we can work together, and I’m happy to explore those.