I know why I’m not a billionaire. Other than having the consistent self-sabotaging quality of destroying money in massive bonfires every time I sell a company, I also have a severe psychosocial disorder which makes me a horrible connector of people.
Connecting people who can benefit each other is the most useful skill you can have on the entrepreneurial ladder of skills. When you help others make money by connecting them together, the world forces itself into the Möbius strip of success that brings the money right back to you times ten. Some billionaires are great at it. If I write Mark Cuban an email he responds in two seconds even though he doesn’t even know me. He’s a “Super Connector”. I know quite a few talented super connectors and they will be very successful as they grow into future Mark Cubans.[See, “How I Helped Mark Cuban Make a Billion Dollars and 5 Other Things I learned from him“.]
(I wish I were him)
I’m horrible at following up. I also burn bridges. I used to play a nice social game of Wordtwist on Facebook every day with Don Graham, the publisher/owner of the Washington Post. Then I wrote a blog post, “”. Guess what. He doesn’t play Wordtwist with me anymore. Another time I was trying to get a job working for the hedge fund manager Stevie Cohen. He wanted me to share a few trades with him as I was doing them. We IMed back and forth a bit during the trades. One trade didn’t work out and I was ashamed of it. So I stopped IMing him. After a few days of this billionaire IMing me with, “Where’d you go?” I blocked him on my IM list and that was that.
But that said, I love meeting new people and I’ve always done a good job with the initial skills involved with meeting new people. I feel like I can meet anyone in the world that I want to. Whether I make use of that meeting is another story. In fact, it’s a fairy tale. Because I seldom do the follow up correctly.
But here are the 9 Skills You Need to Become a Super-Connector.
1. Introduce two other connectors – this is an unbelievable technique. If you can introduce two people who are themselves great connectors then you become a meta-connector. They will meet and get along (connectors get along with each other for two reasons: they are naturally friendly people (hence their ability to connect so easily with people) and they have a lot of friends in common almost by definition.) If you are in the middle of that connection then they will always remember you and you’ll always be on their mind for future potential connections they can make that would be useful for you. And their rolodexes are immense. So if you need to meet Prince William of England, for instance, or Ellen Degeneres then just connect two connectors and the next thing you know you’ll be dancing right down the aisle with Ellen on her show or bowing to Kate Middleton, or whatever you want to do. Ellen? Kate? Uma?