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How to build a stronger professional network

Intro

David J.P. Fisher (D. Fish) is a speaker, coach, and author of 9 books, including the best-selling Hyper-Connected Selling and Networking in the 21st Century: Why Your Network Sucks and What to Do About It. Building on 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and sales professional. David’s goal is to help professionals understand the new business landscape, where social media, networking, and old-school sales and communication skills are the key to providing value and staying relevant. He lives in Evanston, IL – next to a huge cemetery that helps him appreciate the value of every day.

Episode Summary

  • The power of networking
  • The biggest mistake most people do when networking
  • Don’t use the excuse of being an “introvert” for having a bad network
  • Networking is a lot like dating, so put the appropriate amount of effort in
  • Leverage technology to enhance your networking
  • Time is an asset when it comes to networking

Quotes

“Stop your networking from sucking”

“Networking is a process, not just an event”

“Plant those seeds now and you’ve got a lot of time to cultivate them”

Resources

All of David Fisher’s books – https://davidjpfisher.com/bookstore/

Shapr networking app – https://shapr.co/

David Fisher’s podcast https://beerbeatsandbusiness.com/

Guest Information

Website: https://davidjpfisher.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dfishrockstar

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iamdfish/

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Chris Ippolito 00:31 

Hi, David. 

 

David Fisher 00:32 

Hey. How are you today, Chris? 

 

Chris Ippolito 00:34 

I’m doing great. How about you? 

 

David Fisher 00:36 

Living the dream. 

 

Chris Ippolito 00:38 

Awesome. When we first sat down and did our initial conversation, I realized that you maybe didn’t write the book on networking, but you’ve definitely written a lot of books on networking. And one of the things I saw on your website that I loved was Stop Your Network from Sucking, that’s basically what we’re going to talk about today. 

 

David Fisher 01:05 

Love it. Let’s unsuck some networks. 

 

Chris Ippolito 01:07 

Yeah. Let’s just dive into that. Give me some of the background on why you decided to start writing books on networking. 

 

David Fisher 01:19 

That really came about because that’s how I built my business. They say you should write what you know. And I had started my own consulting and coaching practice, now almost 15 years ago. And when I first got started, I didn’t really know a lot about how to market or how to build a business, but I knew I felt comfortable talking to people and going out. I just started showing up at events and meeting people and grabbing cups of coffee, and built from there. 

 

When I started to really look at how I could help other professionals, I realized that networking was something that was very natural for me, but not so much for other people. That was the genesis of diving into the networking, or diving down the networking, rabbit hole. 

 

Chris Ippolito 02:10 

Right. And you’ve written, is it, nine books on networking specifically, or just nine books in total? 

 

David Fisher 02:17 

I think nine books in total, I think right now we’re at six or seven books on networking. 

 

Chris Ippolito 02:23 

Yeah. And you’ve got networking for millennials, networking on LinkedIn. You’ve been writing a networking series and trying to niche each book to something in particular, right? That’s been the premise of it? 

 

David Fisher 02:37 

Exactly. The first one was called Networking in the 21st Century: Why Your Network Sucks and What to Do About It, and that’s still the big “textbook.” But I did realize that different groups need to approach networking, not completely differently, but they all have a little bit of a different flavor, right? And I wanted to make it as easy as possible for somebody who was a millennial or for someone who was a solopreneur or a freelancer or a salesperson to just pick up a book and go, “Okay, this is how I can get better at building my network and leverage opportunities from it.” Yeah, that was where that all came from. 

 

Chris Ippolito 03:14 

Yeah, that’s a great approach because then there’s going to be more relevant and tangible tactics and advice and tips for that specific reader. Whereas if somebody wants to learn in a more broad sense, it sounds like the book the 21st Century is the one that you would maybe suggest people taking a look at. 

 

David Fisher 03:33 

Yeah, exactly, exactly. 

 

Chris Ippolito 03:35 

Okay. Obviously you’ve been writing books for a while, and you built a business and have been successful doing and leveraging networking, but what would be some of the bad advice that you commonly hear when it comes to networking? 

 

David Fisher 03:52 

How much time do we have, right? There are a couple things that I think people really get wrong about networking and it really sours them to the whole process. I think the biggest mistake that we teach, especially younger professionals, is they hear networking is important, and then there’s nothing else, right? There’s no actual definition of how this works. There’s this assumption that everybody just knows how to build a network, “If you build it, they will come.” 

 

And I think some of the biggest mistakes come in where there’s really no guidance. But then even above that, I think that there’s still this focus on very transactional networking. There’s this idea, “Hey, go to a bunch of big networking events, go to conferences, walk in a room full of 100 people and some bad appetizers. That’s networking.” And what I’m really trying to do and what I teach is this idea that networking is relational. Right? Networking takes time, it takes really being able to build a relationship with another person. Now that doesn’t mean you have to be best friends. I say networking is a process, not just an event. And I think that the more we can help professionals understand that this is a long-term process, the more effective they can be. 

 

Chris Ippolito 05:20 

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I would say I was one of those people who thought networking was just going to large events and drinking the bad coffee and eating the bad appetizers and handing out business cards. Which was why I hated going to them so much, especially as somebody who is a little bit more leaning on the introverted side. And I believe that’s one of your books, is it not, is networking for introverts? I can’t remember now. 

 

David Fisher 05:51 

No, its actually a chapter in one of them. 

 

Chris Ippolito 05:53 

Okay, chapter. 

 

David Fisher 05:54 

I definitely address it. 

 

Chris Ippolito 05:56 

There’s a lot of people out there who would self-identify as introverts, or maybe sometimes it’s falsely identified and there’s just more of a fear of going out there and reaching out to people. But for that type of person who has either that fear, the reluctance, or is self-identified as an introvert, what’s maybe a little tip that you would share with them to help them get that process started of networking? 

 

David Fisher 06:25 

You touched on something, I think, really important, which is most introverts self-identify as introverts. And it’s become this cool thing to say, “Well, I’m just an introvert,” and use that as an excuse to not reach out, to not start relationships. Yeah, there’s a chapter in the first book where I actually call into question the whole definition of “introvert.” 

 

What I think is actually important though is that it’s not an introvert or extrovert thing, most people don’t like going into a room full of strangers. It’s like the first day of school, nobody likes that. “Is anybody going to like me? Am I going to have any friends?” And it is stressful and we don’t like doing stressful things. I think one of the biggest challenges with networking is that it’s gotten a bad reputation. Right? Because you thought it was going into that room of strangers. And if you’re naturally a little more quiet or shy, or really just if you’re a normal human being, it’s tough for us to put ourselves just out there in a room full of strangers. We start going, “Oh, no, I don’t want to do that,” and I’m going to stop doing. 

 

The biggest thing I could suggest if you do feel that you’re a little more quiet or you don’t like those big events, don’t go to them. That’s not networking. It’s helpful, I’m not saying not to go to networking events, I think they’re a really great way. They’re like a singles bar, or a party if you’re single. It makes sense to go where all the other single people are, right? But you’re not looking for a person to propose to, you’re actually looking for somebody that you might want to go on a date with. 

 

Same thing with networking. Go to a big event, it’s really you’re there to meet some people who you’re like, “Oh, I think there’s something here. I think we might be able to follow up.” If you think you’re a little more quiet, a little more shy, that’s why I love the one-on-one conversation. Just someone you think there’s something there, reach out, say, “Hey, would you like to grab a cup of coffee?” It’s 45 minutes, it’s painless. With technology I do “cups of coffee” with people around the country and the world, virtual coffees. But take yourself out of that big group event. You might go, “Well, I don’t like big groups.” Great. Can you have a conversation? My guess is you’ve done that once in your life. Right? Probably more than once. And really focus on that and that can be a very powerful way of building a lot of great networking relationships. 

 

Chris Ippolito 08:43 

Yeah, I think that’s a great idea and allows me to segue fantastically into leveraging tools, like technology tools, like LinkedIn. As well as, maybe not as commonly known, but an app called Shapr. Which the best way I can explain it to anybody who’s not familiar with it, think of it as the Tinder for networking. You have your single profile cards and you swipe left or right depending on whether you want to potentially get matched up with that person. Then it opens up a chat, and then you go back and forth and ultimately decide on either a coffee, if you’re local, or a virtual coffee, like you said, which I’ve done both. 

 

And to be honest, using Shapr is actually what really helped me get out of my shell a little bit because it allowed me the security of being behind a screen, one on one as well, and I just felt way more comfortable just being able to text. Because that’s really what it was, messaging back and forth until we identified, “Yeah, there is actually a good match here. Maybe we should go for coffee.” And then it also helped me get over that reluctance of actually asking. That’s the weirdest thing, I think, right? I like correlating networking to dating, like you said there. There’s sometimes that reluctance of asking the girl out to go on date. Do you know what I mean? 

 

David Fisher 10:16 

Yeah, for sure. 100%. 

 

Chris Ippolito 10:17 

Because you’re like, “Oh, fear of rejection.” But for some reason we take that over with us when it comes to networking. Like, “Hey, what if I ask this person to go for a coffee or a Zoom call and they actually say ‘no’?” Like, “Who cares?” Do you know what I mean? It really helped me out with that. I was wondering if you could share a little bit about some of the, maybe, techniques or approaches or just some surface-level guidance for people who are in that shell, really haven’t started networking, but how to use things like LinkedIn and Shapr to get them going and build the habit and build the process, and then ultimately maybe shift it more to a face to face. 

 

David Fisher 11:02 

Yeah, I love that. And the dating analogy between networking, I think, is so powerful because it really is just about starting relationships. Right? Reaching out to another person. I think I was very fortunate that in my career I got started in the sales world so I had that comfort with asking and, hey, if they say “no,” it’s okay. But I love what you just said there, this idea of warming up and getting used to reaching out in a comfortable way. And I think that that’s actually one of the most powerful things about technology, is it gives us more tools to do just that. 

 

One of the biggest things I could suggest to somebody is that today we have more tools than ever to start relationships, whether it’s Shapr or LinkedIn, to cultivate those relationships, and then to leverage them. You have to not use all of the tools available, because that would be crazy. But you have to realize that you need to use both the online and offline tools, they are not exclusionary. I think a really bad question is, “What’s better, online or offline networking?” Because there’s just networking, and then there’s different ways that you can engage and communicate. 

 

I think a very simple way for most people to get started, and this is really unsexy advice but I have keep giving it because nobody is listening to it, or maybe it’s just me, go work on your presence first before you ever reach out to anybody. And for example, with LinkedIn, go look at your LinkedIn profile and ask yourself, “If I didn’t know me, would I want to accept a virtual call with this person?” It’s so simple, but it’s amazing how little effort and thought people put into the way they present themselves. 

 

I mean just like an online dating app, right? If you didn’t have anything on that online dating app, nobody’s going to want to engage with you, no one will opt in. You have to do the same thing. If that’s LinkedIn, if that’s Shapr, if that’s your Twitter profile, if that’s a website you have. Especially if you’re an independent professional, for example. Man, you’ve got to have that online presence so that when I google you, I mean whatever comes up I’m going to make some judgments on that right away. I think that’s the first step, is just make sure you took a virtual shower and put on a nice outfit before you went to the event. 

 

Chris Ippolito 13:29 

Yeah, comb your hair. 

 

David Fisher 13:31 

Yeah, right? 

 

Chris Ippolito 13:32 

If you still have hair. 

 

David Fisher 13:35 

That’s exactly right, shine the dome. But we would never go to an offline event without taking some basic hygiene steps first, you’ve got to do the same thing online. 

 

And then I think the other thing is just getting involved in conversations. This is, for example, a place where I really do love LinkedIn, is you don’t have to do one-on-one conversations right away. Right? You can find people who are posting content and there are some comments going on, you can throw your ideas in there, you can just say, “Hey, here’s my perspective.” Same thing with sharing content and letting other people comment. That’s actually one of the ways that I’ve met some really cool people in my network who I enjoy both personally and have actually brought professional opportunities to me. Where it’s literally I saw stuff they were doing, I was like, “Hey, I really like what you’re doing. That’s very cool.” And then we started a conversation, and then things go from there. 

 

I think those are a couple things that you can do with the online world right away. Make sure you look good, make sure that you’re engaging in conversations, and then build it from there and make sure that it’s just part of your overall networking. 

 

Chris Ippolito 14:50 

Yeah, I think that’s great advice. I don’t even know what the default picture is for LinkedIn, I think it’s just a blue face or something like that. But yeah, any time I get a connection request, and then I look at their profile and there’s no person, there’s no background image, or the quality of the picture is terrible and I’m just like, “To me this just makes it look like you’re not putting effort in.” And it would be the same idea that as guys, which we’re usually the ones courting, if you were to just show up in scraggly hair and a wrinkly shirt and you haven’t bathed in a few days, your odds are not very good that you’re going to get that girl to accept your offer to go on a date. 

 

That’s why the examples, that works so well. Because it is a relationship, like you said, and you’ve got to put effort in and you’ve got to be willing to put skin in the game, right? And I think putting effort in and time into your profile is, in a sense, putting skin in the game as far as you self-putting out there, right? Because that’s how we connected. I reached out to you on LinkedIn, I was looking specifically for business coaches and sent a message and we went back and forth and did a call and now we’re doing a podcast together. Which that’s networking, right? 

 

David Fisher 16:23 

100%. I mean that’s actually what I love about technology and podcasts. I actually run my own podcast, it’s called ‎Beer, Beats, and Business. And you’ll notice that “business” is only one-third of the two-thirds of the things we talk about. It’s networking, it really is just an excuse for me to be like, “Hey.” And a lot of the people on it are already friends of mine, or sometimes they’re new people. But it’s an excuse, a reason to have that conversation and to keep continuing on. Because we’ve used this word “relationship” a number of times, but if you think about what a relationship really is, it’s shared time, it’s shared interest, and it’s shared conversation. Right? Any time you can figure out a way using technology or, again, in the offline world to move one of those things forward, you’re going to get benefit from your networking. 

 

Chris Ippolito 17:18 

Yeah. And to go to the flip side, because we’ve mentioned technology as far as a tool that can help with this, what’s some of the advice that you would give to probably the younger generations who have grown up and really rely almost too much on online presence? That’s really how they interact with the world, is through a screen of some sort, whether it’s a mobile device or a computer, and they’ve got this crippling anxiety or fear around going out there and meeting people face to face. What would be the advice for them to ease themselves into that world and doing more face-to-face networking? 

 

David Fisher 18:00 

That’s a really good question. And I think we’re in the midst of an evolution in how we engage because of technology. And we’re in the midst of it, we don’t really know what’s going to happen, right? But I do think if you are a younger professional, one of the biggest things you can do is actually get practice. There is no shortcut to developing some of these empathetic skills. Now human beings, well, most of us, have empathetic responses hardwired into the way we engage, right? Human beings are social creatures, we have empathy, we know how to connect with other people. But, and this is a big “but,” it does require practice. It’s actually one of those skills that is innate, but also gets better with improvement. It’s like we can all run, but if we run a lot we’re going to get better at it. 

 

One of the biggest things that I suggest to younger professionals is find opportunities to put yourself in places where you can practice. That might be going to an event, that might be getting involved. And I think this is a great thing, I was involved with something called the Young Professionals of Evanston when I was a younger professional. Find groups that cater towards younger professionals and practice there, it might feel a little safer. 

 

The one-on-one networking coffee, I think, is a great place to get that engagement. Even if you’re not trying to “get something” from networking, just getting that practice can be huge. Because the online world will only get you so far, and I think that’s what we’re finding. 10 years ago people would be like, “Oh, we’re all going to be pod people just sitting in little cubicles and Zoom calling everybody.” But that’s just not happening. And I think, in fact, there’s becoming a bit of a pushback now where people want that high touch, they want that human engagement, because they realize that there’s something really powerful to that that can’t be replicated online. 

 

Chris Ippolito 20:07 

Yeah, I 100% agree. Especially if your business involves a clientele that’s outside of that generation, let’s talk about the baby boomers who still currently hold the majority of the wealth in North America and maybe even the world. If your clientele is an older demographic, they’re not going to want to just interact with you through digital. In fact, their preferred is eventually face to face. And from my experience, and maybe you would have the same thing, even the younger professionals who have had a lot of success, they actually prefer face to face because there’s a certain ability that those people have developed which is in reading somebody. Right? And you can’t read somebody, as easily anyways, even on a Zoom call where you can see that person. There’s something different once you’re in person with them face to face that they’re going to get a better sense of who you area and whether they want to do business with you. 

 

It’s like you said, it is a necessary skill to develop that takes time and practice. But if you ease yourself into it and, like you said, find a safe group or whatever it is, then you’re going to eventually develop that to the point where you’re just going to feel more and more confident and comfortable with it. 

 

David Fisher 21:34 

That’s exactly right. And I do think that it’s important to be careful that you actually don’t get trapped going, “Oh, the older generation still wants to have these face-to-face or in-person interactions, I’ve got to at least be okay for them. But then eventually they’ll retire from the workforce, and then I don’t need them.” What I see a lot happening, this is in networking, I do a lot of work with sales organizations, I’m going in to coach and consult and speak to them, and it’s really fascinating to me to watch some of the younger sales professionals struggle not necessarily just with selling, but with engaging and interacting in the organization. 

 

And one thing that’s an internal saying I have is, “That should have been a conversation, not an email.” Right? Because I don’t care what age you are, human beings are human beings, right? It’s a lot of evolution that got us to here. When you can harness that, like you mentioned, the really successful people get how to harness those conversations, you influence better, you build more trust, more likeability, all these things are really good. But it takes a little focus because it is very easy to not do it, right? It is easy to hide behind our smartphones and our computers. You do have to make an effort, for sure. 

 

Chris Ippolito 22:56 

Yeah. And the problem with it is it feels like you’re networking, because you are. 

 

David Fisher 23:02 

It feels great. 

 

Chris Ippolito 23:03 

But it feels like you’re like, “Well, yeah, I’m networking, I’m doing great.” But if you completely ignore the face to face, it’s going to stall out eventually and it’s never really going to take you to the level that you want it to get to. And I’m really speaking from experience because I was that person who relied exclusively on my mobile device and my computer, all I was doing was Shapr conversations and video calls. And I was like, “I’m networking.” And for a certain group of people I’ll never be able to see them physically because of just geographical locations. But when I connected with somebody locally, I forced myself to go for coffees because I knew I needed to keep developing and working that skill set. 

 

And it was super fascinating for me because the video calls were great, the chats were great, and then all of a sudden we sat face to face and I was like, “There’s something about this person that’s just now all of a sudden not sitting well with me.” And I couldn’t put my finger on it. Not that they were a bad person, but it was like, “I don’t think I want to do business with this person.” And there was still a friendship in a sense, like acquaintance, and we stayed in contact. And then as that relationship developed over time, I started seeing what it actually was. I was like, “Ah, they’re just so unreliable, they don’t follow through.” My gut was telling me something from the get-go. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but over time it revealed itself. That’s why the face to face is so important. 

 

David Fisher 24:45 

Yeah, there are so many ways that human beings engage and interact. And we know some of them, some of them we don’t, some of them are below the conscious level. Yeah, there’s that person you meet and you’re like, “I don’t know why, but I don’t trust them.” Or conversely you’re like, “I don’t know why, but this person I trust, I want to work with this person. I like their energy, their enthusiasm, their excitement,” whatever it is. And I think that it does take some effort because it is so easy to just say, “Hey, I did some e-mails, I sent a text to somebody, I’ve done some networking.” What I will also suggest though is it’s really interesting if you do start to put this effort in. 

 

And here’s the trick. I think that, especially if you’re a younger professional, the advantage you have is time. Right? You can start a lot of relationships now and let them build over time, where someone who’s maybe more of a veteran professional doesn’t have that same luxury. But you also have to go in with an open expectation where you’re not looking to get a direct benefit right away. Even just in that story you’re like, “We still kept in touch, we still had contact after that.” 

 

And you have to go, “I’m going to go have that cup of coffee. Maybe something will come from it, but maybe something will come from it in six months or two weeks, or in two years or five years.” I mean the example if you went to college, and I’m dating myself a little bit, but I’ve known my college friends for over 20 years now. Yes, we had the strength of that relationship then, but then over the last 20 years we’ve just known each other. I know I can call people and say, “I need this,” and they’re like, “Yeah, sure, no problem.” And same thing professionally, there’s people I’ve known 10, 15, 20 years. If I want an introduction, they’re not like, “I don’t know,” they’re like, “Yeah, no problem.” You can plant those seeds now and you’ve got a lot of time to cultivate them. 

 

Chris Ippolito 26:45 

Yeah, that’s super important, is the planting of the seeds. Because you just don’t know what seed is really going to take root and blossom into something spectacular and amazing, right? Not that that’s not the intention going in, you just never know. And that’s also why you go in with the attitude of, “You know what? Let me see how I can add value to this person.” 

 

David Fisher 27:12 

100% 

 

Chris Ippolito 27:13 

I love analogies, but that’s like the fertilizer to that relationship. You’re planting seeds, but then you’ve got to help it grow a little bit. And you do that by offering something. Right? And again, this is all just from experience. I’m sure it’s been the same with you, David. But yeah, there’s so much to do about it. And I like how you said it’s a process because the thing about networking is it’s not going to be like, “Oh, I’m going to start networking,” and then see results next week. It’s, “I’m going to build relationships and over time the value of those relationships will come back to me tenfold,” kind of idea. 

 

David Fisher 27:56 

That’s exactly right. I had a client, I had said this and I didn’t even remember saying it, and then he mirrored it back to me a while later. He goes, “D, you once told me that good networking is solving a problem that you’re having in five years. You don’t know what the problem is, but you’re solving a problem in five years.” And I think that’s exactly right, you plant those seeds. I love the fertilizer analogy. That’s also, I think, where social media and technology are really valuable, because it allows us to stay in touch in a way that you can scale it more easily, it doesn’t take as much time and effort, I love being able to post content that my network can see and vice versa. And the thing is you don’t have to be best friends with everybody in your network for your network to be successful. I know that you and I have shared some stories from our past. There’s actually a lot of science behind this, it’s just a lot nerdier and not as exciting. 

 

Chris Ippolito 28:53 

I like this though. 

 

David Fisher 28:55 

Feel free to read the books, it’s in there. But for example, Mark Granovetter wrote “The Strength of Weak Ties,” which is the most cited paper ever in sociology. And this is some research that showed that most of the time we get work, get jobs, through people that we know. Which may sound like common sense, but what his research showed was that most of the introductions were not from people that were strong ties, but what he classified as a weak tie, somebody that you saw between once a week and once a year. Right? It wasn’t the strength of the relationship that dictated whether it was useful, but rather did the person know about other information that you didn’t. Right? 

 

Even as you’re building these relationships and cultivating these relationships, it’s not about trying to get 150 or 200 or 500 best friends, it’s having those acquaintanceships and staying in touch. I often talk about light touches on social media, like LinkedIn. It’s just a light touch, it’s like, “Hey, how are you?,” you’re just waving your hand every once in a while. And then when it makes sense, when, for example, somebody posts something and you’re like, “Hey, I can help you with that, I can get you an introduction there.” Or considering maybe what you do for a living and you’re like, “Oh, wow, that’s what I help my customers do.” Then you reach out. And instead of starting from scratch, you’re starting that relationship much farther along. 

 

Chris Ippolito 30:19 

Exactly. Yeah. I don’t want to belabor the point, but it’s just so important to start as early as possible with the intention of it’s a long long-term plan and strategy. You’re building these relationships for life, not just for the weekend. 

 

David Fisher 30:41 

Yeah. People who talk about networking for a job, they’re like, “Oh, I just lost my job, I need to start networking.” I’m like, “Oh, no, no, you’re way too late.” That first week at the new job, that’s when you start networking for the next one. 

 

Chris Ippolito 30:56 

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it’s one of those things. You’ve got to start it before you actually need it. Right? There’s a lot of things in life like that, but networking is a big one. 

 

David Fisher 31:07 

The best time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining. 

 

Chris Ippolito 31:10 

Exactly. I like that one. To wrap things up, because we’ve talked a lot about networking and I loved it, there was a lot of great content there. The goal is always to try and have that one actionable takeaway item for the audience. What’s that one thing that they should start such that it’s going to improve their network and their networking abilities? Coming out of the conversation that we just had, what would you say is that one thing that they should focus on to really get themselves heading down the right path when it comes to networking? 

 

David Fisher 31:48 

Yeah, based on what we were talking about, I think the biggest thing I would suggest is focus on having one conversation a week. If that’s an in-person cup of coffee, that’s ideal. But it could be a Zoom call, it could be with somebody you’ve just met at a networking event, it could be with a colleague that you know but maybe not that well. Or, hey, it could be with one of your good friends if you’re still just getting comfortable with it. But if you have one cup of coffee, one lunch, one conversation a week, that’s 50 conversations a year, good things are going to come. 

 

Chris Ippolito 32:23 

I like that. And just to make sure that we’re setting the bar really, really low so that people can be successful, keep that conversation to 15 minutes or less. 

 

David Fisher 32:33 

Oh, love it. Yeah. 

 

Chris Ippolito 32:35 

Right? Because if you ask somebody for 15 minutes of their time, they’re way more likely to say “yes” than if you start asking for 30-plus. Even 30 minutes or less I think you’ll still have some success, but more so to get you out of your comfort zone. 15 minutes is nothing. Right? Once you get a conversation going, you’ll actually probably blow past that 15. But have the discipline to actually keep it to 15 and just say, “Hey, I’ve got to go. This was a great chat, let’s stay in touch. Let’s connect on LinkedIn,” if you haven’t already. Because that’s what my process was. 

 

And I would say use a tool like Shapr, I think that’s a great one to get those connections to find more people to do this with if you’re like, “Well, where do I find 50 people in a year to have conversations?” Use something like Shapr. When you have that 15-minute coffee meeting or a 15-minute Zoom call and it goes well, then say, “Why don’t we stay in touch through LinkedIn?” And then that’s how you can follow them, make comments, and blah, blah, blah, and all that other stuff that we were talking about. 

 

But yeah, I like that. Aim for a conversation, one conversation, 15 minutes or less per week, and you’re setting yourself on the path to building a strong network.  

 

David Fisher 33:58 

Perfect. 

 

Chris Ippolito 33:58 

Sounds super counterintuitive, doesn’t it? It’s like somebody saying, “Just do 10 push-ups a day and you’ll get ripped.” And you’re like, “No, that doesn’t make any sense.” But it’s more forming the habit of doing it on a regular basis. And then all of a sudden you’re like, “Hey, this is easy,” and then you’re going to just do it more often. 

 

David Fisher 34:16 

That’s exactly right. 

 

Chris Ippolito 34:18 

Yeah. Awesome. Well, that was a great conversation. Thanks, David, I really appreciate that. Where can people find you if they want to learn more about you, the books, and just all that kind of stuff? 

 

David Fisher 34:28 

Yeah, our online home is davidjpfisher.com, that’s an easy place. And also I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, linkedin.com/iamdfish, I-A-M-D-F-I-S-H. And after you’re done listening to this podcast, go check ours out at ‎Beer, Beats, and Business, we’d love to have you. 

 

Chris Ippolito 34:47 

That’s awesome. I’ll include all of that in the show notes and description of the video so people can just easily find you and connect. 

 

David Fisher 34:55 

Perfect, perfect. 

 

Chris Ippolito 34:57 

Awesome. Thanks, David. 

 

David Fisher 34:58 

Thank you. 

 

Chris Ippolito 34:59 

Take care. 

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