In 1998 I decided I wanted to write a book.
That book was going to be a series of interviews with marketing experts about where they thought the Internet was going as a marketing vehicle.
I contacted a whole bunch of people who I thought were beyond my ability to reach, but figured I’d try it anyway.
Some of those on the list include:
Jay Conrad Levinson
And about 10 others.
I sent emails to their websites. I called to try to book appointments. I made about 3 attempts per person.
I told them I was the author of a couple of books (which was true), that I had sold online (both real estate related), and that I was writing a book about online business.
No big promises, no big hype. No grand claims of huge distribution. I told the truth about what I was doing.
Out of the 12 or so people I contacted, I got 4 to agree to do interviews (30% conversion rate). And I did actual interviews with 3.
Jay Conrad Levinson
And one other person I can’t even remember now almost 20 years later.
The funny thing is, at the time, I was living in a trailer park. I was bankrupt. I did the actual interviews by phone from the desk in my trailer that I used as my “office.”
Though the book never got written (it just wasn’t the right time for me or it), the experience gave me several things I never forgot.
- Nobody is beyond reach.
- Be honest.
- It didn’t matter that I lived in a trailer park. They didn’t care. It never came up!
- What mattered was that I was doing something that could potentially benefit the people I was interviewing.
- Though they were “big” in my eyes, they were extremely NICE, helpful and wanted to share.
In fact, it was the confidence I got from doing those interviews that enabled me to march into the office of the editor of the VA Gazette and walk out with a deal to write weekly Internet column (The Net Reporter), which I did for 10 years.
I was also able to help one of those people with a small business problem about 10 years later and he actually became my friend.
I also shared the stage with a couple of them in later years.
I’ve since gone on to bigger and better things and have interviewed some of my absolute heroes in life and business, including Les Brown and others.
But it was the experience in that trailer of interviewing people I thought were beyond me that actually turned into a life changing event.
The lesson for you: no matter what niche you’re in, there are people you can interview to learn from, to create product, and to help them get more of what they want… and get more of what you want in the process.
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