Listen to the podcast here:
Never Eat Alone, Here’s Why
I typically start out the show saying, “This is the podcast in which my wife and I live our lives. If we hear something profound or we see something profound, we write it down and make sure we podcast about it.” As the backdrop of that, we own and operate Income Store, a 150-plus employee company. The most notable feature of the company is I’m staring at five 2×3 plaques saying, “Inc. 5000 Winner-Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.” All that means is out of eighteen million US companies, we were outgrowing them over a four-year stretch, outgrowing all but 5,000. Usually we come in around 1,000, 1,100, something like that. With that said, when I’m sitting on a pretty fast-growing company but I hear something profound enough where I see it’s impacting at least one person, I want to make a note of it because if it impacts one person, it could probably impact many.
If it impacts one person, it could probably impact many. Click To Tweet
This particular event I want to talk about impacted me. It impacted our company. It’s all because of a book. Ten, fifteen years ago, Keith Ferrazzi wrote a book called Never Eat Alone. Here’s how this story goes. This is a story that every person reading can make a mental note, make a slight change in how you go about walking around events and talking to people at events when you go to conferences, meet-ups, doing different things. You might look at these events differently after the story. I get invited a while back to Capitalism.com‘s conference called Capitalism. It was held in Dallas. It’s most of the time in Austin, Texas. I’m invited to an investment panel. We’re going to be asked 90 minutes of questions from the audience about different things regarding online and offline opportunities. That said, the day before, I’m sitting there prepping our booth. We’re setting up. We were a sponsor at the event. I saw who I thought to be was Tom Wheelwright. For those of you that don’t know Tom, Tom is a tax advisor and tax planner. He has a pretty large practice where he can help anybody from somebody that sold a large business to somebody that has a small operating company that wants some legitimate cutting-edge tax advice.
When I mean cutting edge, Tom was asked to review the December 2018 new tax law from the White House. I believe it’s 1,600 pages. Tom is an expert. I saw Tom maybe about 100 yards away. What flashed in front of me was the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, which my wife read a while back. I never read it, but I practice the principle of it. I told Billy, my brother, “Billy, do me a favor while I’m setting this up. Would you go invite Tom to dinner?” We all went out for some Mexican. We were there for a good couple hours. We had a great time. Honestly, no business was talked, just a lot of family get to know. He’s got two grandkids and he couldn’t wait to get home. It was an awesome evening. I do the investment panel the next day. Right after that, about an hour or two, I had lunch. All of a sudden, our booth was mobbed. There were so many people standing for our booth. Finally, we looked up at the people at the booth and they’re like, “What just happened?” The first guy up there said, “Tom Wheelwright went on a rant about how great your company is. You’re one of the few products that could be both a pig and a pal.” Everybody’s like, “I don’t even know what a pig and a pal is.” He tried to explain it.
I quickly said, “A pig is a passive investment generator, passive income generator. A pal is a passive asset loss. Ours could be both, depending if the websites are growing fast or declining.” He went on to say from the stage that you could write these things off over fifteen years, three years. You can even write off the whole contract for a moneymaking website if you know what you’re doing. It was an amazing plug. Again, the night before, there was no business discussed. I knew Tom knew a little bit about what we’re doing. I didn’t know he knew what we did to the depth. Here’s the point. The next time you’re out at a conference, the next time you’re at an event, is it possible that you could maybe seek out a new friend?
Maybe somebody that you know has a mutually-liked subscriber base. Maybe their clients are the same genetic code as your clients. Maybe they’re an insurance broker, but you’re a mortgage broker. It’s the same customer. Maybe you’re in roofing and somebody at your trade show is in landscaping. It’s the same customer. You get the idea. You’re a doctor. They are dentists. It’s the same customer. Why don’t the next time you’re at an event, whether you’re sponsoring, speaking at it, signing books at it, why don’t you maybe think about Keith Ferrazzi’s book, Never Eat Alone? Why don’t you invite people to lunch or dinner until somebody accepts and then get to know them and you never know? They just might plug your company. Quite frankly, forget the plug from Tom. We already realized after our booth got mobbed, we got to figure out more of what he does. That was just the tip of the iceberg. We intimately know what each other’s company does. We can send some qualified people in each other’s direction. What a great dinner that was with Tom Wheelwright. This is Ken Courtright signing off. I’m telling you right now, please never eat alone. Take care.