How not to Be.

December 21, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

I am working on something super top secret that I will announce in 2 weeks but I wanted to talk about something that happened related to it last week. What I am working on requires people. I am reaching out to friends, pseudo-friends and friends of friends in helping me move forward on making something magical happen. Here is the incident from last week:

Noah Kagan: Oh you are the greatest. Do you have any suggestions about companies that we can work with?
Anonymous IM: Yes, you should contact X.
Noah Kagan: You rock my world. Is there anyone there you can introduce us to?
Anonymous IM: I don’t want to leverage my contacts for your event

I honestly couldn’t believe someone would type that. I was okay if they didn’t know me well enough to help and said I am sorry I don’t have a strong enough connection or any other excuse.

The experience reminded me of a great story in Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi which talked about when a person asked a music executive friend for an introduction and the exec said “I can’t introduce you because I only get 1 favor from that person you want to meet and I need to save it for something special.” Do you know what the outcome of that executive was? Not good.

Bottomline: Helping others always helps yourself. It makes you look good if you setup a meeting that is successful. This person who can’t “leverage,” thought the pie was only 10 inches around and they wanted their slice. In reality they were going to increase the size of the entire pie and get a larger piece for themselves in the future.

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15 responses to “How not to Be.

  1. Adam Reply

    Wow dude, that’s garbage…what a dick move. I think you should take Anonymous IM off of your buddy list because they clearly are not your friend.

  2. Jason H. Reply

    My favorite quote:

    “you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed” ~ Napoleon Hill

    btw, love the book Never Eat Alone 🙂

  3. Kevin Henney Reply

    Wow. Some people just don’t understand the value of helping others. A little effort expended to help someone else succeed usually pays off for everyone. Over the long run, I think I’ve benefited more from the favors I’ve done than from anything else.

  4. Colin McDougall Reply

    Noah – It’s nice to see others who believe in a world of abundance.

    Hey, you can leverage my contacts any day!

    Let’s go create a bigger pie. I am working on some new projects and have a media mention coming in the new year.

    My slice of pie has been increased and I like to share 🙂

  5. Luke Reply

    I don’t like the word “leverage” here, basically because it communicates a drastic difference of some kind (in this case, social/business value). Also, think about what makes a lever useful: you get a big long “lever arm” on one side and a very short one on the other side and then you can make something happen. So, aside from being offended that this guy would imply that my friend Noah is of significantly less relative value than whoever his contacts are, I also want to point out that the use of this term in this context is assinine in another way: both sides of a lever (the long AND the short one) need to exist in order for the work to get done, and it’s the short side that really does all the hard “work”.

    In other words, Noah’s a huge pimp that is doing and will continue to do big things and therefore is a valuable contact for ANYONE to have. Secondly, it’s no skin off the other person’s nose to give Noah a call, and thirdly Noah is a smart and talented enough guy to make sure that he gets all the hard work done and that whoever helped him get there receives mad props and will consequently want to do so again in the future.

    If this person doesn’t think you are worth connecting with others – why does he or she waste their time being connected with you?….

  6. someone Reply

    hey dudes,

    in the spirit of giving, could you please post your rolodex in this space. no? can you put one contact you think everyone here should have? cat got your tongue? but seriously, you really don’t see the point the anonymous was making? would not a better way to get access to something be an offer to do or give something in exchange for something else? i give and i give and i give, did i get something else? NO!

  7. Jason Alba Reply

    I am late to this dialogue, came from the Never Eat Alone blog – I remember the story in chapter 2… and here’s what I think.

    Its hard to give all the time, especially when the people you give to (make introductions) don’t appreciate it. Its hard when you make an introduction and have the dialogue go south because people don’t know how to communicate.

    But I think that these people that don’t give at all are missing out on a super-huge opportunity. When you hook two people up, and those two people have a mutually beneficial relationship, its a fact that they are together because you hooked them up.

    You get more value out of your relationships by being a proactive “power connector” (see the book) than a quiet contact that is hoarding your contacts … so here’s my epiphany – if you want value out of your network, figure how to give. Giving doesn’t leave you with nothing – giving makes you more valuable!!