Note: While reading a book whenever I come across something interesting, I highlight it on my Kindle. Later I turn those highlights into a blogpost. It is not a complete summary of the book. These are my notes which I intend to go back to later. Let’s start!
- This was the Spielberg Game.
- Jump off the tour bus.
- Find an Inside Man.
- Ask for his or her help to bring you in.
- The general composition of my emails,” Ferriss said, “when I’m emailing a busy person, is:
Dear So-and-So, I know you’re really busy and that you get a lot of emails, so this will only take sixty seconds to read. [Here is where you say who you are: add one or two lines that establish your credibility.] [Here is where you ask your very specific question.] I totally understand if you’re too busy to respond, but even a one- or two-line reply would really make my day. All the best, Tim
- Alex Banayan’s mail template
From: Alex Banayan To: Elliott Bisnow Subject: Mr. Bisnow—I could really use some advice from you Hi Mr. Bisnow, My name is Alex and I’m a sophomore at USC. I know this is pretty out-of-the-blue, but I’m a big fan of yours and I could really use your advice on a project I’m working on. I know you’re really busy and that you get a lot of emails, so this will only take sixty seconds to read. My story is that I’m a nineteen-year-old who is writing a book with the hope of changing the dynamic of my generation. The book will feature some of the world’s most successful people and will focus on what they were doing early on in their careers to get to where they are today. I’m truly humbled by the people who have already jumped on board for this mission—from Microsoft president Qi Lu to author Tim Ferriss. I’m determined to combine the greats from the older generation along with the new generation, and integrate their wisdom and practical advice into one book that changes people’s lives. Like you say, “make no small plans” :) Mr. Bisnow, being nineteen years old and pursuing my vision does have some obstacles, so it would be unbelievably helpful to get some guidance from you on the topic of: How did you effectively bring all these luminaries together behind a single vision? You did it masterfully with your first ski trip in 2008, and you’ve continued to do it better and better as the years have gone on. I’m sure you’re really busy, but if there is any chance we can connect so I can soak up some guidance, that would mean the world to me. If you’d like, I could field some specific questions your way via email, we can talk via telephone for a few minutes, or if your schedule permits, I’d love to meet you either at a coffee shop, or…if the planets align…at the world-famous Summit House :) I totally understand if you’re too busy to respond, but even a one- or two-line reply would really make my day. Dreaming big, Alex
He said to buy twenty books similar to the one I wanted to write, study the acknowledgments, and make notes of whom the authors thanked as their agents. I spent weeks compiling my list, researching what other books the agents represented and determining which agents might be best.
At the tournament, he met a Goldman Sachs executive who said he might be able to get his firm to sponsor the second Summit event. Elliott told him Goldman didn’t even have to pay as long as Elliott could put the firm’s logo on the “sponsors” page of the event website. Elliott then called other companies and said, “Look, it’s almost impossible to get to be a sponsor of Summit right now. We’re working with very few companies, and our most recent client is Goldman Sachs, so if you want to be serious, let’s be serious. We’re only working with the best.” It was another example of Borrowed Credibility. That Goldman Sachs relationship enabled Elliott to lock in other sponsors, which led to a lot of the eventual success of Summit.
“This is the thing,” I told Corwin. “Although people won’t meet with you for the reason you want, that doesn’t mean they won’t meet at all. Just find another angle. Figure out what they need and use that as your way in.”
“It’s like what Elliott told me,” I said. “One path leads to a linear life, the other an exponential.”
The lesson: figure out your opponent’s fears, then use them to your advantage.
- “Don’t send Zuckerberg another email,” Elliott said. “But shouldn’t I confirm?” I asked. “No. Never oversell. He already said yes. At this point, all you have to do is show up.”