TSP002 | Judy Robinett – Transcription

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TSP003 | Eva Ho – Transcription
TSP008 | Scott McGregor - Transcription

John Livesay:

Hi and welcome back to the Successful Pitch podcast. Today’s guest is Judy Robinett, author of How to Be a Power Connector. Judy has a wonderful story about how she met Mark Cuban and then was able to get him to write a testimonial for her book, but she gave him something valuable first and she’s going to share that in today’s interview. Judy said, your network is your net worth and the importance of having a strong network could not be more key to getting an investor to say yes to your startup pitch. Judy said one investor told her that a startup can’t figure out a way to find me that probably means they can’t figure out a way to find their customers. One of the other things that Judy said that’s so important to find the right investors. Some angel investors, she said, can become devils and some venture capitalists can become vulture. So, let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you and listen to her interview. Thanks.

Welcome to the Successful Pitch. Today’s guest is Judy Robinett. I am thrilled to have her on the show. She is a startup funding expert and author of the book How to Be a Power Connector . She has so much expertise to share with us today. I want to welcome Judy to the show and Judy can you just tell us about the importance of connecting since that’s what your book is about.

Judy Robinett:

Sure, absolutely. So, you know, I learned early on in my career, I kind of got stalled when I hit the wall in the fortune 100 company and I thought, what am I doing wrong? I’ve kept my head down, I’m working hard, I’m not getting anywhere and somebody pointed out to be me that I really needed to increase my emotional IQ skills IE networking and that there’s always been this unwritten rule of success that is your network equals your net worth and when I became CEO of a public company and started raising money, millions of dollars, I found out, again, my network didn’t really help where I was, so I needed to build one that was deep and wide and robust so that I had access to the funds that I needed and then I was asked to vet a small unknown company in Park City named SkullCandy when Rick Alden at year three was broke and had product stuck in China and only one distribution challenge and a super angel asked me to vet that and I became very fascinated with the startup world , so now I do that.

I can tell everyone that everything you need is attached to a human being and so, humans have the deals, humans write the checks, humans get you in the door whether it’s to investors, family offices, venture capitalists or even incubators, so it’s absolutely critical that you improve your skills particularly with strategic networking and, you know, the old school networking is dead. It used to be who you knew and what you knew, now it’s who knows you and so it’s absolutely critical and it’s so easy now with LinkedIn and Twitter and the access that you have.

John:

Can you elaborate? That’s such an important point. I really want to hit it home. Old school used to be who you knew and what you knew and now it’s who knows you and, of course, how do we get people to know us? Through social media like LinkedIn. That’s the point?

Judy:

Yeah. LinkedIn is critical. It’s 300+ million professional who all want to network. There’s wonderful groups. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for VC funding, angel funding, go to private equity group, all those groups are represented and you can do a simple search. The other one I used extensively is Twitter and I’m just amazed who you can reach out to these days. So, you know, when I did my book I was all excited. (#3:54?) signed my contract and then they said, “Judy, you’ve got to build a platform” And I was so naive I said, “What’s that?” And so now I’ve jumped in to Twitter heavy and I’ve just been amazed and really impressed with the people on it and how you have access now and so the Facebook is really historical, it’s about who you know. Twitter is about now, and future is really about Pinterest, but – and the other big thing that I tell people as far as access is how important it is to join powerful groups and so, you know, every week or almost daily someone writes to me and says, you know, there’s no money out there and I point out there’s 7 billion people on the planet. 369 trillion in global private wealth.

There’s no lack of money, there’s no lack of opportunities and we as humans are like chickens, we flock and so it turns out we all have problems, we all have opportunities. Well, the millionaires, the people who are accredited investors, their problem is finding a good deal. So, what do they do? You know, they hang out at pitch events and they are friends with people at the incubators, because they’re scouting looking for a good deal because they don’t want their money stuck in a bank account, you know, earning 1.7%. So, there are people looking for money and the point is where are they hanging out. So, it’s important.

Now, a couple of other things I suggest to people when I first moved to Salt Lake City, somebody asked me if I would consider being on a finance committee for a local governor’s run and the guy didn’t win, but being on there was where I met my first two billionaires.

John:

Wow.

Judy:

And then just another short story, I met a fellow in Salt Lake and he had been recruited by a top wealth management firm and he came into this very conservative area and happens to be black and gay and within two years he built this tremendous book of business, very successful. I said to him one day, “How did you do that? You came to town, you didn’t know anybody, you didn’t have any network.” He said, “I joined the symphony.” So, he paid a little extra to go to the, you know, meet and great and grab some snacks before the show started and rub shoulders with, guess who, all of his customers and so you think about, you know, where the people hanging out that need a deal.

John:

That’s such great advice. Go where the fish are, basically, right? If you’re targeting people who live a luxury lifestyle, figure out what’s – investors, typically angel investors live a luxury lifestyle. They’re interested in art, they’re interested in music, and they’re interested in culture, join the things that they’re interested in so you have a personal connection first. Would you agree?

Judy:

Yes. So, you know, I hate robot presentations. I mean, you never walk to up to a person and say, you know, “Jeez I’ve got this great startup and blah blah blah. I just need 1.5 million and I’m going to get 2% of the market in China and we’ll be billionaires!” You know, people make connections first personally. So, it’s critical that you, even if you go into a pitch event, you be you and you be real.

John:

Being authentic really is the key to making that connection and I talk to people all the time that I have this clients about the importance of people buying emotionally and then back it up with logic and most people want to lead with the numbers as opposed to the emotional connection, right?

Judy:

Yeah, so the numbers are all suspect, as you know.

John:

Right!

Judy:

They’re usually based off of a assumptions, so it’s anybody’s guess. So, you know, there’s two reasons startup fails. Number one there’s lack of customers, number two is lack of funding, and so you think about when you’re in one of those pitch events, your customers literally, those investors, and you know, it’s nice to hear about Kool Aid and how great your Kool Aid, your product, is and what you’re going to do, but you really need to show them who you are, your character, because one of the first things they look for is, “Is this guy honest?” There’s going to be hard times, you’re going to hit the wall, they want to know if you’re coachable and certainty they will look at your go-to-market strategy, what the ROI is, they wanna know when they’re going to get their money back, but yes, you know, be you, be authentic. If you can admit to some failings, have made pivots along your way, they’re going to say that you’re educated. They’re really looking for your judgment and your ability to think well.

John:

You know, that’s such an important point. We can’t emphasize that enough to the listeners is the willingness to be a little bit vulnerable and not come across like you know it all and you don’t need any advice. That whole concept of being coachable is what allows people to say, oh, you’re not just going to take my money, you’re going to let me have some input and we’re going to share our combined resource of brain power to make this successful and I’m going to be part of building this with you as a oppose to, I just want your money and goodbye, right?

Judy:

Yeah and angels don’t do that. I mean, the main reason that angels invest honestly is they like to coach, they like to mentor, they like to involved and use the experience that they have. I would say, you know, if you’re just looking for money that would be bad money and you can find that. There’s a lot of fools out there that you can get bad money from, but you really want people to help you, because, you know, guess what, no man can know it all anymore.

John:

That’s right. Can you explain a little bit more about using to Twitter to connect and reach out? Do you have a story of how you’ve done that or someone you’ve worked with as oppose to LinkedIn?

Judy:

Sure, so when I was new, I couldn’t even figure out – I mean, my adopted son Preston said to me one day, “You need to start tweeting.” I remember saying to him, “140 characters? What do I put? I’m in the shower?”

John:

Right.

Judy:

And I started sharing quotes and information about, you know, venture capital deals and stats and other things. I’m interested in all things entrepreneurial and people started reaching out to me, but you know, one lady I was really impressed with what she was doing with social media, ended up talking with her on the phone. She now handles my social media, but I called her one day and I said, “It’s Sundance, I’m going to be meeting with Jean Davis, she needs some help with her social media outreach. Would you come out here.” And you know, she about passed out. She said, “Of course.” So, she flew out. I never even met her at that point. This was just like a Twitter meeting and I have other angel investors reach out to me, you know, you end up seeing that people are so accessible to you.

So, people contact me, you know, for interviews saying, you know, I’ve got money to invest, so certainty, you know, it’s important to do that and again, you can find the thought leaders, you can tell a whole lot about people by what they tweet about, what’s in their profile, you know, the same thing on LinkedIn. You can read between the lines.

So, it’s important in your network, so research shows that the two things you look for just almost instantaneously. Number one is warmth, because you don’t want kind of stranger danger and the second one is a level of competence, but the third characteristic I tell people to look for is generosity, because just because someone can help you, doesn’t mean they will!

John:

Ah, right. It’s that generosity of spirit. Is it in their DNA? Are they someone who is opened to sharing ideas or at least a referral without needing something back right away. The warmth and competence. Those are three great takeaways for our audience. Warmth, competence, and generosity is what you want to look for so that you get what Judy is described as good money of someone who’s going to be helping you get through the bumps in the road that will happen.

Judy:

Yeah, some angels are devils. I mean…

John:

That’s a great quote. Some angels are devils.

Judy:

You have to be careful. Some angels are devils just like some ventures are vultures.

John:

Okay.

Judy:

But, 90% of high potential startups are funded by angels and there’s roughly 700,000 in the United States. There’s 300 angel groups that are active in the US. I was the managing director of Golden Seeds, the third most active group and it’s, you know, 300 accredited women, some men, and we syndicated deals with 120 other angels in early stage VCs and all of these groups you can get online and, you know, look at the application, many of them post what the due diligence is needed.

John:

Let’s have you speak a little bit about due diligence, because that’s one of your areas of expertise. What kind of due diligence are angel investors looking for when they decide whether they’re going to pick a startup to invest in?

Judy:

You know, usually angel groups have some, I guess, guidelines. So, some of them are very early stage and they will take just an idea. Some of them want to have proof of concept, so they wanna see that you really have, you know, customers. The VCs say the dog that will eat the dog food and so they will have certain criteria before you even apply. So, if you pass that criteria then you usually come and give a 10 minute pitch and then the angels get together and say, “Jesus, person looks good. Let’s see if they’d be easy to work with, you know, what kind of evaluation they’re expecting.”

I tell people to be very, very open, you know, don’t march in and say you’ve got a 3-5 million evaluation when you don’t have a customer, you know, they’ll just say this is an amateur that doesn’t know what they’re doing. So, usually the dance is can we work with this person. Do they really have a good concept? As soon as they make the decision to go into due diligence, for instance, Golden Seeds would put together a team and they will have a legal guru, they’ll have a couple of gurus that’s out of the specific industry, so they can look at the stats. Do the competitive analysis, the marketing. A good place to go look is TacStars. If you look at some of the angel groups there’s actually a list and Tac has one that’s five pages of due diligence questions.

They’ll look at your social security, they’ll look into your background and see if you’ve had previous litigation, but you know, initially upfront they’re looking to make sure, as you know, no hair on the dill and that means it’s clean, you’ve not gotten money from friends and family and cousins that isn’t documented, you haven’t given away, you know, massive amounts of stock so that at the end of the day no body is going to make money in particularly the investor. They want to make sure that you’ve got IP protection or you’re in the process, you’ve got trademarks, so there’s sections on legal, there’s sections on the competition, sections looking at the market place. They do go into the founding team’s background, what is their expertise. That’s just some of the major ones.

John:

That’s really helpful, Judy. Thank so much. I think the real key takeaway and the consistent thing that keeps coming up over and over again is when you first pitch they’re looking at, are you easy to work with and even when they’re doing the due diligence, they’re looking to make sure that you have integrity and you are who you say you are.

Judy:

You know, if you’re a pain in the butt, next. I mean, there’s a millions of deals out there and so if you’re a know-it-all and smarty two-shoes and think your evaluation is sky high, it’s like too much trouble to educate you.

John:

What is your criteria for what a good evaluation is? A lot people say, you know, I know all the numbers are suspect and I think I want, you know, x amount of money for this percentage in equity therefore my evaluation is this, but do you have a formula that you say that’s unreasonable or this is really how to be conservative in your evaluation?

Judy:

Yeah, so the best book out there and I recommend it to people, it’s out of print now, but Howard Stevenson was considered the Godfather of the entrepreneurial world of Harvard. He’s now retired and inhale help, but he has a book that he wrote with the co-founder of Angel Investing that’s probably the best I’ve ever read and it’s really to educate angels and there’s a capture in it on evaluations and there’s a Chicago method and all these different, you know, methods and at the end of the day, he said, you know, it really is what the investors are willing to do.

I mean, they’re the ones that they’re going to call it and if you don’t want the money, then fine, but he has a really good one that he liked and many people use it and you get points for a founder that’s done it before so you have expertise, you have an advisory board which shows you are coachable and you realize you don’t know it all. You have customers and you get so many points and I think it starts at a 1.5 million evaluation and moves up to the maximum of three. Now, that book was written many years ago, so you can actually find stats of what the going evaluations are and East Coast and West Coast, those are the main two markets and you can, you know, certainty look at that.

John:

Great, thank you.

Judy:

But it’s a combination of art and science. There is no format. At the end of the day, you know, really what are you going to do?

John:

Right, art and science. Great takeaway. The other thing I want to tap into because you are on – I want to have the listeners know about you a little more. You’re on Illuminate Ventures. Tell us a little bit about that and some of the other boards you’re on and advisories so people have a real picture of what you do.

Judy:

Okay, so I’m an advisor on two venture capital early stage boards. (#17:31?) in New York and our strategic arm is Nielsen and just did the first portfolio deal. The one that I’ve been on the longest is Illuminate VC out of Menlo Park. It is in the top 10% of performers and it’s an interesting back story. Cindy Padnos, who is the founder, had five million dollars and people kind of sneered and said, you know, that’s not enough money to invest and you’re not going to do anything. Well, she has her first unicorn in the portfolio and a couple of others that are valued at a billion and so an advisor, we have Ken Elefant of Intel Capital, Claudia (Fan Munce) from IBM Capital.

You can go look it up online and the same with (#18:16?). I’m also an advisor to SpringBoard, which was founded because women had such a difficult time getting into the VC doors on the angel investing doors and today we’ve raised the companies that have been mentored and we teach them how to a pitch and they go to market strategy have – we’ve raised 6.6 billion, had 11 IPOs, and probably more than a 145 strategic sells at this point and that’s a not for profit.

That’s another one you can go online and another one, we haven’t touched this kind of kind crowd funding I’d tell the listeners if they wanna learn about due diligence, go look up CircleUp. So, CircleUp is kind of a little further up. You have to have a dill of three to five million already in sales, but they’re really quick at financing, so it’s later than early stage, but they probably have the best documents online on due diligence that I’ve seen.
John:

Oh, that’s great. Crowdfunding. Thank you for that. Well, that brings us back to, you know, the real challenge for so many people whether they are women or men and SpringBoard or whatever is what do I need to have on my pitch that’s going to convince someone like you to wanna take it to the next level. What are you looking for in a pitch deck that you could give suggestions to our listeners on?

Judy:

You know, I’ll send you some documents that you can attach on the show notes. So, I have a couple of sample pitch decks usually no more than 15 slides, you know, I certainty want to see what your product is, your value proposition, I usually tell people if they can’t tell me the value proposition in one sentence they don’t have clarity, they don’t know quite know what they’re doing. I’ll give you an example, I sat on the university of Utah tech transfer center and I’ll never forget. I hear pitch after pitch after pitch and we’d have people come in and one guy go, yes, you know, we’ve got this mechanism of action with this chemical and it’ll help blah blah blah and he goes on for 20 minutes and I afterwards I said to him, “Why don’t you just say it fixes a hole in the heart?”

You know, so if you can get sophisticated enough to get your messaging right of tell me in one sentence. Tell me in one or two sentences what this is, what it does, then you know, you’re crystal clear. So, a short slide deck and certainty has information on the product, the market size, the competition, you know a little bit on the team, but I particularly look at, you know, competition and there’s thing that instantly earmark you as a amateur. For instance, either have no competition or very little competition and another question I’ll ask people is what your customer acquisition cost and usually it’s dear and headlights.

So, you know, your number one job is sales. You know, cash covers a lot of sins in a startup and so the focus needs to be cash flow and I do look for people telling me the truth. I’m looking for people that have good judgment, but I’ll send you, I’ll send you an article angels to avoid, I’ll send you one on how to do a pitch deck. Another thing I’d like to use with people and most people have heard about it is Business Model Generation and it’s a one pager that you put, what is your value of proposition, what is your pathway to a customer, who are your different customer segments, and you can do it on one page and usually after you work through that, it really makes messaging easier. So, that’s an important one.

John:

Well, Judy, you’re certainty model for our listeners all the qualities you say you look for in a startup, warmth, competence, and your incredible generosity to share with everybody all those things that you just said that we’re definitely going to post in the show notes about angels to avoid and your pitch deck tips. What I found really fascinating that you talked about is the two reasons why a startup goes out of business you had mentioned one, they don’t have customer and two, they don’t have funding, right?

Judy:

Yeah.

John:

So, of course it makes perfect sense that one of the key areas a lot of people don’t prepare for is what is the cost of your customer acquisition so that you don’t go out of business. So, it ties it in full cycle with what you open the show with and one of your big tips that rarely get mentioned in what people are going to get asked during a pitch deck or should be in the pitch deck to begin with so you have an awareness of, you know, if we’re going to get customers through Facebook, this is what our CPM is and this is what our cost per customer is or we’re going to spend money here, this is how much it costs to generation a customer.

Judy:

Yeah, because it’s when you meet a customer it’s kind of like battle plans are really good until you go to war. So, it’s when you meet the customer that you find out, you know, some of our assumptions are wrong or faulty or you may find out you could get more money by doing XY or Z, so Clayton Christensen, again at Harvard, famous on innovation says the research shows that takes three pivots before you get to the point of a consistent revenue stream, you know, you’ll find some customers even if you have an LOY signed or you’re showing there’s customers. That’s a big deal to investors, because there’s a gazillion ideas out there and just because it’s an idea doesn’t mean anybody wants it. I mean, that’s sad. I’ve met people who’ve spent three years, mortgaged their house and spent all of their friends and family money and built something only to find that nobody wanted it.

John:

Nobody wants it. Three pivots, that’s a huge, huge takeaway for our listeners. The fact that you need such passion and perseverance to keep pivoting. Most people give up after the first pivot and then another huge percentage probably give up at the second pivot, but if it takes three pivots on average before you really nail it and have something that people want, that’s a really surprising statistic for most of our listeners to be aware that you have to show that willingness and that’s why investors love serial entrepreneurs so much, right? They have tenacity.

Judy:

Yeah, they’ve learned and you learn from the market. I mean, the market talks to you. There’s a famous quote that says, you know, there’s more danger sitting behind a desk writing a business plan. You need to get out there, get out there with your folks. Big companies do this as well. Viagra, Viagra was a heart medication pill initially and then nurses noticed this strange side effect, you know, so they did a major pivot. Now the drug is available for women, so it happens all across different industries, you know, verticals.

The same thing with the money, you know I gotta tell you, it just hurts my heart when people have a brilliant idea and can’t get funded and another story, in Salt Lake I met a woman who had just a brilliant medical device, very simple, nothing complex, it was a permanent birth control device, little tiny thing that could be done in a doctor’s office, inexpensive, came as an RFP from China, obviously there’s customers all over the world; women in Africa walk seven miles to have slid open, they use scissors to cut the fallopian tubes, no anesthesia, many of them die and this woman had looked for funding for eight years and I looked at it and I knew, I knew it could go and she could make millions and she was in the wrong room. I talk about this in my book.

So many people I meet are in the wrong room whether it’s looking for funding or the right employees and I said to her, you know, you’ve got two strikes. You’re a woman and you don’t kind of belong to the local religion and we need to get you out of dodge, so I took her to Golden Seeds in San Francisco and then to a group in Boston. We got half a million dollars in less than six months. The company sold two years later for millions and she searched for money for eight years. She even mortgaged her house so she could cover her IP and I just wanna tell people, the money is out there. You make sure you get in the right room and lots of that in my book and if people just wanna contact me I’m happy to – or we could do a second show and go into more of these.

John:

I think that’s such a – I mean, the book again for everybody is How to Be a Power Connector and it’s one thing to be in the wrong room as Judy said and then when you get into the right room, what do you say? So there’s two steps, right, get in the right room and when you’re in the right room, what do you say?

Judy:

Exactly. So, you be real, you smile, say hello, shake hands, you know drop the elevator pitch, so I was raised, I was shy, I was bullied in Junior High, I didn’t dare talk to people. I mean, even in the corporate world, they’d have these events, I’d go late and leave early and I would hang out in the corners, I mean, I hated it and it turned out I wasn’t shy. I was worried about what other people thought of me and did I add value and so you be authentic, but I’ll tell you a secret and if people just did this, I call it my two golden rules. After you share your story and you go, you know, I’ve got this startup and we’re going to do great things and I’m trying to find my seed round, then you say two things, what other ideas do you have for me? And number two, who else do you know I should talk to? Those are golden. This is how I have billionaires on my Rolodex. It’s how I got Mark Burnett to endorse my book.

John:

Wow.

Judy:

And friends with people on Shark Tank and if you ask those questions, you will go, you will build your network up and out and that’s what you need, because on average people know 632 people, so you’re literally crowd sourcing from those people. The best people in their network for you to reach your goal.

John:

That’s such an incredible information and clearly it works if you have Mark Burnett endorsing your book and know people on Shark Tank. So let’s just repeat those two questions if we could for the listeners. The first one is after you share your story is, what other ideas do you have for me?

Judy:

Yes.

John:

And the second one is, who else do you think I should know?

 

Judy:

Who else should I talk to. Who else do you know I should talk to.

John:

Who else do you know I should talk to.

Judy:

And listen, the secret is most people will help you. So, research shows that if you’ve been raised in a lower to a middle class family, we’re taught not to ask! Put our head down and to work hard. Imagine what will happen? It’s a fairy tale.

John:

Yes.

Judy:

You have to learn to ask and when you ask, ask simple. I mean, you don’t walk up and go, “Dude! Don’t you wanna invest $800,000 in my company evaluated at $15million?” You say, “These are my ideas.” And people will help you if you ask, most people are wired to help others and they like to share advice and this is really true with angels.

John:

That’s so great. Those Judy secrets. What other ideas do you have for me and who else do you know I should talk. One of the key things to notice about those question is they are open ended questions. They are not yes/no questions. So, make sure that if you don’t use her exact words, which I highly recommend you do, whatever ideas do you have for me and who else do you know that I should talk to that you make sure any kinds of questions that you ask someone are not yes/no questions. Are you interested? That’s a yes/no question.

So, now that we know Judy’s incredible secrets of how she gets not only in the right room, but when she’s in the right room how does she get the right people to help her and not being shy to ask for her is, IE being coachable, is a really key takeaway for everybody. So, Judy, in the last couple of minutes, I just wanna see if there’s any other suggestions you have for someone who maybe has an idea that doesn’t necessarily solve a problem, because so many pitch decks are here’s the problem, here’s the solution, they have a new idea, maybe it’s a game or something along those lines that’s not really solving a problem, how would you suggest someone pitch something along those lines?

Judy:

Yeah, so those are the brilliant breakthrough things like Facebook. You can’t really do a business model on something. I mean, no body asked for a light bulb. There are brilliant things out there and, again, I would surround yourself with advisers, find people who will really give you advice, you know, and when you start sharing your story, I mean, never ask for money initially and what happens is you’ll find somebody and they’ll go, “Oh my gosh! I love what you’re doing. Can I help? Can I be involved?” And then you have champions and this is really important when you do angel deals, because angels, like the rest of us, can be finicky and you can do a great pitch an there’ one person in the whole group that goes, “You know, I think that is just a stupid idea. I’m not going to do it.” Well, if you’ve made friends with an angel that’s involved in that group in taking them to lunch, then they stick up for you. They’re a champion in that group.

So, in every town, in Salt Lake I just Adam Slovik. He has built and sold a company for a billion dollars, he’s one of my favorite angels. I take people to him like you’re mentioning that have an idea just to brain storm, help flush out what would be the best way and more importantly, which angel group makes the most sense. Also in the VC world, all of those people, you know, Tim Draper invests in angel deals on the side. He has Draper university. You can go look at that.

So, you know, it’s important, I guess to get the people first. You can be honest and upfront. Usually ideas like that come out of universities, research labs and sometimes just by a regular person. You can get resources at all the universities, at the community colleges, even the SPA offices. I mean, I would just make the rounds because there’s gold, you know, something else I wanna tell people is, we all have a network already.

On average, peer research shows we know 632 people and I can tell you 99% of the time the answer that you need exists already in the network you have and just another quick story. My agent called me one day and she goes, “Judy, I think you need to talk to Mike Muhney. He built ACT software, sold it for 4 million, he’s the father of the CRM industy and he has this brilliant app called Viber that’s for contacts, keeping track of connections.” We get on the phone and talk. He flies to Salt Lake and I said “Mike! I’ve never heard of your app. What are you doing or marketing? How are you acquiring customers?”

And he talked for a few minutes and he looked really said and he said, “You know, if I could just get a story in Success Magazine.” I looked at him and I said, “Mike, when you go back to Texas. I want you to call Wendy who I’ve only known for six months who you’ve known for six years. One of her friends is Darren Hardy, the founder and owner of Success Magazine.” And he literally almost fell off his chair. I can tell you this happens to me every week. So, you need to share your story with the people you’ve already got. My basic formula is…

John:

Quality relationships.

Judy:

Quality relationships + strategy to your goal. Quality relationship + strategy. So, it’s important. You know when people talk about be persistent, be scrappy. You know, I met with a VC guy and he said if you can’t figure out how to get to me, you certainty not going to figure out how to get a customer. So, you know, besides using the network you have and getting in the right groups is the other thing I’ll tell you is talk to strangers. Everyday there’s probably millionaires walking by you.

You know, I met a guy that was a billion and he was in coveralls, you know, work clothes, and we only talk to strangers 2-3% of the time and if you think about critical important people in your life, usually your spouse, they were a stranger at some point! So, we’re taught as kids just embed in our head, strangers are danger and that works well as a kid, but not as an adult. So, start participating. Just say hello, say hi, if you start doing that, because yes, very good things happen to you because of your working hard and planning, but if you think about it, the most important things are usually luck and serendipity and that is all about positioning and you can make those things happen.

John:

I love it. That’s such great advice and what a great quote that the VC said. If you can’t figure out how to get to me, you probably can’t figure out how to get a customer. So, that’s great tips. As we’re wrapping up the show. Is there any other book beside Howard book that you mentioned? Howard Stevenson’s book on due diligence that you would recommend for startups to read, besides yours, of course.

Judy:

Certainty I do like the business model generator, but I’m going to send you the actual work sheets that are fine and it’s okay. I like Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki. There’s two or three that I like and I’ll send you some of those so that they will help people.

John:

Thank you. Judy, this has been such an informative, jammed-pack full of incredible secrets, information, and insights for our readers. I mean, the big one is what other ideas do you have, who else do you know that I should talk to, coming across authentic, being warm, it’s just been such a great interview, we can’t thank you enough for your generosity and sharing your brilliant and your knowledge. Everyone should obviously pick up the book, How to Be a Power Connector. Judy has her own website, she is a couch, she is a speaker, she’s clearly someone that you want to have in your own Rolodex so that you can network and really help her get to know so that she could make a difference in your business. Judy, thank you so much.

Judy:

Yeah, people feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter or my website and I’ve also been asked by so many people, I’m going to put together an eight week webinar on how to get funded. I’ll probably interview you on it.

John:

I would love that! That would be great.

Judy:

Thank you and listen folks, everybody out there, I mean, really, just do it. Reach out to people, they will help you, I promise.

John:

Great ending. Thanks Judy.

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