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The Introvert’s Edge: The Secret Titans Who Can Outsell Almost Anyone With Matthew Pollard

REW Matthew Pollard | The Introvert's Edge


Are you interested in sales but afraid to fail as an introvert? Is your belief system holding you back from doing what you’re interested in? Tune in to this episode as Moneeka Sawyer welcomes Matthew Pollard, the author of The Introvert’s Edge, to share how you can get past the belief that you can’t sell as an introvert. Matthew highlights that you are what you are, and although you can’t change your personality, being an introvert is not a disadvantage. Matthew also shares how he prepares his mental space and energy before he enters the stage.

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The Introvert’s Edge: The Secret Titans Who Can Outsell Almost Anyone With Matthew Pollard

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am so excited to welcome Matthew Pollard to the show. Matthew is responsible for five multimillion-dollar business success stories all before the age of 30. His humble beginnings, the adversities he faced, and his epic rise to success show that anyone with the right motivation and right strategies can achieve anything they set their minds to.

Forbes calls him the real deal. Global Gurus list him as a Top 30 Sales Professional. Top Sales World Magazine names him a Top 50 Speaker and BigSpeak lists him as an International Top 10 Sales Trainer. He’s also the bestselling author of The Introvert’s Edge book series, which is sold over 75,000 copies and has been translated into 16 languages. That is so impressive. Matthew, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much. I’m ecstatic to be here. I love your energy. Thank you for bringing us all up.

Thank you. Matthew, I’m going to let you in on a little.

I’m ready.

I’m not super interested in a sales conversation. I’m more interested in a conversation about introverts. Does that sound okay to you?

That’s perfectly fine. As a matter of fact, a lot of the interviews I do are much more centered around the topic of introversion. People always are getting me in and saying, “I’ve got this boss or I’m trying to manage this team,” and there are just so many misconceptions in the world of introversion and extroversion. I believe the topic’s constantly evolving about what we believe is possible for us, so go for your life.

Perfect. Let’s start by you telling us your story. You teased us with that intro. Tell us a little bit, a high-level, two-minute version.

Funnily enough, we were talking about before how quite frequently people will hear somebody articulate, somebody that can get a message across and project extroversion upon them and one of the things that I’m always pushing more introverts to do, which I’m so glad you were excited to share your own fact that you’re introverted as well on this episode.

My focus is trying to get others, what I call titan introverts, to share their introverted story. They are people that are successful but also happen to be introverted. One of the biggest focuses for me is helping people realize that while I hopefully come across as articulate now, I started off with a reading speed of a sixth grader. I was super introverted in late high school and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

I was, by far, the least likely person to be here teaching people how to do it, which is perhaps why people now believe in the fact that I say that it’s possible. When I was in late high school, I had a reading speed of a sixth grader. I got diagnosed with this thing called Irlen Syndrome, which for the people that are watching via video means I put on this funny pair of colored lenses and miraculously I can learn to read.

I couldn’t learn to read like everybody else but I could start the process of learning. Day after day, I hustled to get into the top 20% of my state, which is how I graduated but my family could see I was exhausted. I was at a loss for what I wanted to do and they could see that I wouldn’t have stuck out college if I didn’t know what it was I wanted. We agreed that I was going to take a year off to find myself. I’m sure a lot of people reading have got kids like that.

It wasn’t allowed to sit on the couch and watch Oprah. By the way, Oprah is an introvert as well, for those people that think they can’t do small talk. My family wasn’t rich. I couldn’t travel to Europe and have a great gap year. We all agreed I was going to get a job and I took a job in a real estate agency but I wasn’t the person out selling. I was the guy in the back office doing day-day entry with a look on my face, “Don’t speak to me. I’m here to find myself for the year.”

Anyway, three weeks into that job, I get told that the person that managed that office had a phone call with his boss and they had decided to shut down their premise. I’m out of work and this is Australia at Christmas time. For those people that don’t know Australia, it’s summer and Christmas at the same time. We go on holiday on the 20th of December and we don’t come back until the 15th or 20th of January.

No one’s hiring except for these things called commission-only sales roles. For someone that struggled to talk to his own friend, let alone anyone else, it was super uncomfortable but they were the only jobs I could get. There were three jobs in the paper. I applied for all three. I got three interviews. I then got three job offers and I started at the field. Maybe they saw something in me I didn’t see myself.

I accepted a job doing business-to-business telecommunications door-to-door and my manager quickly put that to rest. He’s like, “Matt, we just hire everyone.” We had this saying, “We throw mud up against the wall and we see what sticks,” which is a great saying until you realize you are the mud. After five days of product training and not a single second of sales training, I get thrown on this road called Sydney Road in Melbourne, Australia. There are 1,000 stores on each side and I get told to go sell.

I didn’t even know what to say. I took a deep breath and walked into my first door. Luckily, I was politely told to leave because shortly after that, I was sworn at and always got told to get a real job, which was always my favorite because this was the only job I could get. Door after door, this kept happening until I got to my 93rd door where I made my first sale. I remember I made about $70 and I was ecstatic for about 45 seconds until I realized I got to do this again tomorrow, the next day, and the next day.

For me, this was a defining moment because a lot of people either quit, which is what 18 of the 20 people in my training group did, or they agreed that this is the way it’s going to be and they grind it out. I’m all for grinding it out but not without a great strategy. I decided that sales had to be a system. I went to look for what that system could be. Remember, I had a reading speed of a sixth grader, so I wasn’t picking up a book, which is why my book being on audiobook was so important to me.

What I did find was YouTube and I typed in sales system and all these videos came up. Long story short, I’d spent sixteen hours a day either applying what I learned out in the field or practicing to go out the next day on the next piece of the system or improving what I didn’t know. On weekends, I’d still spend sixteen hours practicing and day after day, I’d do this but soon, it was like 48 doors before my next sale, then 31, then 28, then 26, and then 19.

Eventually, I got it down to making a sale every three doors. About six weeks in, my manager pulls me aside. I thought I was in trouble because no one even knew who I was. They barely knew my name. I was the quiet guy that handed my paperwork in downstairs and he said, “Matt, we’re blown away by this. We got our national sales report and it turns out you are the number one salesperson in the company.”

This was six weeks later and this was the largest sales and marketing company in the Southern hemisphere. Shortly after that, they promoted me. I don’t why people think that just because you can sell, you can manage. I had no idea how to manage. I was given twenty people. They all quit within 24 hours but I went back to YouTube, learned how to manage, and got promoted seven times. Fast forward shy of a decade, I’d started my own business about twelve months later and I’d been responsible for five multimillion-dollar success stories.

One of the things that I always share with people is, it doesn’t matter how introverted you feel that you are or how much you think the cards are stacked against you. I think that introverts have an edge. I know that you don’t want to focus on sales but I don’t think we have an edge in sales. We have an edge in networking, public speaking, podcast and hosting. The amount of detail you went into before we got onto this show, all of that is very much introverted behavior.

Your story makes me want to cry because it’s my story. I have a learning disability. Trying to get into school, when I was trying to learn to read, it’s the same thing. I couldn’t learn to read, even now. I went to UC Berkeley and got a degree there and I’m a very slow reader. My success has been weird. It doesn’t make any sense. They were scared that I had this disability. I’ve always had a hard time even reaching out on the phone to my friends.

The people that love me understand that Moneeka will not reach out. They have to reach out to me. I graduated during a recession. The only job I could get was a sales position and I was terrible. Within three months, I was the number one salesperson in the state of California. It was a California bank, so that was the entire company. It was the same thing. I was studying sixteen hours a day to figure out how to make this work because it was hard but I had to survive. I wasn’t going to go back and live at home. I love that story.

What’s interesting about what you said though, whenever I share my journey, there are so many introverts that have had similar journeys. Whether they’ve had a reading disability or not, they fell into sales or something horrific happened that pushed them to test the boundaries of their introversion and they discovered it wasn’t a boundary at all. It was an advantage because a planned presentation always outworks somebody that’s winging things eventually.

Introverts are more likely to hold onto that for our dear life because, without it, we’re terrible. If you think back about your sixteen-hour days, I know this for me. My sixteen-hour days felt terrible and I probably wouldn’t wish them on anybody. However, after six weeks, I was the best in the business. After three months, you were the best in the business. You got to benefit from that just like I did for the rest of my life.

For a lot of people, they’re like, “I don’t have the ability to dedicate eight hours practicing. Sure, I can do the eight hours in the office applying what I learned.” You got to remember that we’ve both shared that we went from terrified to sell to the best in the business. A lot of the people that are reading don’t need to be the best in the business. All they need to be is good at sales or good at networking. To do that, it doesn’t take anywhere near as much effort but even if you broke that amount of effort that we did to get to the best in the business over 6 months or 12 months, you’d go from terrible to average to good within weeks to amazing to the best in the business within a year.

People don't need to be the best in the business. All they need to be is good at sales or good at networking. Share on X

Think about how much time you spent learning your functional skills. Think about how much time you spent dedicated to perfecting the art of what you do and how hard it is to constantly be rejected and be told by people that they’re going with someone else or how much time you spend doing proposals because you don’t have time to do this. I promise you, the time you’ll save far outweighs the time you’ll spend within months.

What’s also interesting is, Matthew, I felt like being an introvert was a disease. Even when you say it, that you shared about you being an introvert too, my whole insides cringe. I feel like it’s something we have to pretend that we’re not or hide like, “I’ve got cancer. It’s something that’s going to be with me my entire life and I can’t get around it.” Part of that is just understanding I’m not good at sometimes at being there for my friends because it’s so hard for me to reach out. It hurts my heart and yet, I can’t pull myself out.

There are things about the way that I am and the way that I live that make me feel broken. A lot of that has to do with being an introvert. I know that my readers are going to be like, “You are not an introvert. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” If I’m on a stage or whatever, people will never believe that I’m an introvert. As a matter of fact, I was at Christmas with my family and I said in passing to my mother-in-law, “I’m an introvert.” She looked at me and says, “You are not an introvert. You are lying.”

I’ve been in this family for years and they don’t understand how difficult it is for me socially not to connect. As introverts, we connect well but to connect with lots of different people. Before we even get moving forward on this conversation, why don’t you define introvert and the evolution that word has been through as far as our understanding?

I would highlight that and I think that the word introversion and its definition have got way too complicated. Maybe there’s been too much grant money involved and because of that, we have to make it more complicated to get the next grant. I want to bring it back to bear terms. There are things that are highly sensitive. There are things where somebody can be shy and those aren’t necessarily somebody that’s introverted.

You can be introverted and be highly sensitive and shy but that doesn’t mean that you are. There are extroverts and this must be terrible for somebody to be extroverted and shy but there are people that are extroverted and shy. What I try to do is say, “There is more complexity to this but unless you want to spend the next six months researching it, let’s bring it back to its simplest frame.” That is where you draw your energy from.

For instance, I love speaking from the stage. It terrifies me. It feels like skydiving. I’m so relieved that I did it and it went well. I need to do what I saw you do before a show interview. I need to stop for a second and center myself. I can’t talk to anyone before I go on stage, but I love doing it. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t draw my energy.

I’m very good at networking. It’s why I’ve written a book on it. I love doing it but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take energy from me. It also takes less energy from me than it used to because I’m not anxious anymore. I’m not worried and I also don’t beat myself up about it as much afterward. There are things you can do to take less energy but this is the thing that I want to highlight if you can frame it this way. If I’m hanging out with a group of people at a networking event, if I’m speaking from a stage, regardless of how much energy it takes from me, I’m an introvert if it takes energy from me.

I’m an extrovert if I get off those activities filled and charged. I am excited after I finished a keynote and I’ve got a whole bunch of energy but I’m like a five-year-old that’s over that has stayed up too late. I’ve got all of this energy and then eventually, I’m coming up to a crash. As an introvert, I need to understand that. If you draw energy from being by yourself or being with a small group of friends or close family, you’re an introvert.

If you charge up by being with people all the time and you need people, you are an extrovert. That doesn’t mean that you don’t still want quiet time. You don’t still crave it. In life, we need balance in everything that we do but that is the easiest way to define it. The biggest thing that I struggle with and this is why I founded National Introverts Week, which is the third week of March, is to highlight that introversion is not a disadvantage.

In fact, I believe that introverts are the secret titans that tend to be succeeding everywhere. The problem is we project extroversion upon them. As soon as somebody becomes successful, we, introverts, say, “They are clearly able to succeed because they’ve got that gift of gab. They’ve got that natural ability.” I want you to understand that as I said, Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman are both introverted. If you think that you can’t do small talk, you’re wrong.

REW Matthew Pollard | The Introvert's Edge

The Introvert’s Edge: Introversion is not a disadvantage. In fact, introverts are actually the secret titans that tend to be succeeding everywhere.


Zig Ziglar the most well-known sales trainer of all time is also an introvert. Ivan Misner, the person that founded BNI, the world’s largest networking group is an introvert. Pick your discipline if you think you can’t be a great entrepreneur. I interviewed Brian Smith, the guy that founded the billion-dollar brand, Ugg Boots, on my show, The Introvert’s Edge and he talked about his introverted journey to success.

If you think you can’t be emotive, Bill Murray, that guy that did Groundhog Date, whether you love it or hate it, he’s dynamic and unpredictable but also an introvert. We can do all of those things. The thing that I struggle with though, is sometimes when I ask the question and this hurts me to my soul, is when I ask somebody. I spoke at a leadership conference for AA-ISP, which is the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals.

If you can imagine, if you’re a tech company or a major organization, your senior leadership go to this conference. I did a survey of all of them about whether they were introverted or extroverted. I got some introverts and some extroverts but I got some, “I was introverted but don’t worry, I’m extroverted now,” like it was a bad thing that they were introverted.

It drives me nuts because the truth is that you can’t change your personality type. You are what you are and it’s not a disadvantage to be introverted. As a matter of fact, I love telling people I’m an introvert because first thing is when I go to an event and I mention that I’m an introvert, when I talk, everybody gets quiet to hear what I have to say. Extroverts will often look after me. When I go to conferences, I will say things.

I have spoken in Dubai and there were two MCs for that event. They were standing around talking to me and I said, “I apologize, guys. We’re getting to about fifteen minutes before I get on stage. I need to go and have my own time now. As an introvert, I need to bring my energy levels far down and I need to rehearse my script over and over again.” I say script because I script out what I’m going to say before I get into a story because stories are the reticular activating system of our brain.

I love getting into stories because then I find our brains are synchronized and it’s a study out of Princeton. I feel at ease and I see the audience warm to me as well. Stories are great at creating that artificial rapport that we, introverts, are amazing at turning into deeper rapport. By suggesting that I’m an introvert and that I need that fifteen-minute period, what happens is everybody that heard that protects me. I get to go away into my own space and rehearse what I’m going to say, which every speaker should do as opposed to people being upset with me that I’m not communicating with them.

If somebody walks up to talk to me, somebody that heard me will go up and say, “Matt’s happy to speak to you afterward but he is getting ready at the moment. He’s getting his mental space right to get up on stage,” and nobody says, “Matt, we’d prefer you to talk to us. We paid you a ton of money to come and speak but we’d love you to be horrible on stage so we can have a little bit of chit-chat now.”

Understanding that you’re introverted is powerful because quite frequently, some of the most senior people you’ll meet are also introverted. It creates a kinship with those people. With extroverts, they want to give you a bit of an extra go, so there’s no downside to mentioning it. I interviewed the Founder of WP Engine, Jason Cohen, and he said, “I’m in board meetings. I founded the company but all these extroverts will be yelling.”

“The moment I start to speak, everybody goes quiet to hear what the introvert has to say because I struggle to even keep eye contact and they know that. They know how much effort it takes for me. My friends know that I’m introverted, so they’ll reach out to me and they’ll leave me a voicemail message with the information they want me to know about the engagement that they’re hoping that I come to because they understand it.”

I did an article for the Chicago Tribune, where I talked about how to survive Christmas and the number one rule is to let your family know that you’re introverted so that when you disappear for an hour, they don’t think something’s wrong. They know that you’re recharging. Being honest about who you are is by far the most essential rule. If you lie to yourself and say, “I’m extroverted now or I’m supposed to behave more extroverted,” that’s a recipe for disaster. It won’t allow you to get more successful at anything. It also means that you are moving away from what is congruently you, which will lead you to kill your energy.

That is so true. That was so amazing. I find all of those same things. Being in crowds, it’s so interesting. I went through a book tour for my book, Choose Bliss. I was going all the way around the country talking on television and stuff like that. That took a huge amount of energy. It’s an unbelievably fun experience but it does take a huge amount of energy. I’m sure you’ve been through this. You’re on TV for 7 minutes and then you got to sleep for 4 hours to recover type of thing. I remember my PR agent saying, “Moneeka, you’re so good. Don’t memorize your answers. We write down the questions that they’re going to ask you. Just wing it.”

I was like, “You don’t understand. I need to memorize my answer so that I can wing it when I need to. I need to have a foundation right there, ready to catch me, then I can wing it if I need to,” but people just don’t get this whole talking about getting on stage and needing some time. I’m totally going to do that, Matthew. The next time I’m on stage, I’ll say, “I need a few minutes,” because I won’t admit that I’m an introvert and that takes me off my game. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s just the way that I’m built and I want to be on my game when I speak. I’ll do a better job for you.

You can have fun with it too. Sometimes, I’ll say, “I’m going to walk away for fifteen minutes because I need to charge up now. I know I told you I’m an introvert, so I don’t want you to think that I’ve run away and I’m not coming back. I will be back a couple of minutes before but I’m going to go and walk away and have my own space.” They’ll laugh it off. No need to be ashamed of your introversion.

The fact is people always want you to operate at your best. The problem is that if you don’t educate them on what it takes to operate at your best, is that their fault? I don’t think it is. When it comes to being scripted, I wouldn’t suggest that being scripted is a bad thing. I would suggest though that you think about the concept of scripting because I talk about scripting a sale or a networking conversation.

REW Matthew Pollard | The Introvert's Edge

The Introvert’s Edge: You don’t need to be ashamed of your introversion. People always want you to operate at your best. If you don’t educate them on what it takes to operate at your best, it’s not their fault.


I wrote out what I was going to say from the stage. The difference is when you think about scripting, we all hear that telemarketer that calls us at 7:30 at night who sound robotic and we feel that they’re reading. I speak at a bunch of conferences, especially around sales kickoff time and I’ve seen a lot of speakers who are tech kickoffs or medical finance.

I have spoken at a few real estate ones and funnily enough, there are a ton of introverts in real estate as well. What I find is they get up on stage and they’ve got their screen prompters. They’ve got their little paragraphs that they’re going to read and that’s lack of practice. I get people who say, “I don’t want to sound scripted.” I’m like, “I get it. We don’t want to be that tally marketer at 7:30 but let me ask you, what’s your favorite movie?”

I had a client that said it was Leonardo DiCaprio in Gangs of New York. He loved Leonardo DiCaprio. By the way, Leonardo DiCaprio was also an introvert. He said, “I just love Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie. Doesn’t he embody the part? He’s so authentic. He’s amazing in that.” I’m like, “That’s great. Now, remember that he’s reading from a script too. You tell me what’s the difference between that and telemarketing.” He said, “I’m assuming that Leonardo DiCaprio reads it over and over again and eventually, he practices it without the script and he just embodies the part. He becomes the character. He has to be a character actor, so he fits into that part.”

I said, “Great. What’s the difference between that and you speaking from stage?” The difference is this, you haven’t had enough practice, so you haven’t worked out what you’re going to say and then rehearsed it. Secondly, it’s easier for you. He’s pretending to be someone that he’s not. The goal of scripting is not for you to be someone that you’re not. It’s to work out what you want to say to present the best version of yourself.

The goal of scripting is not for you to be someone you're not. It's to work out what you want to say to present the best version of yourself. Share on X

As soon as you realize that, you can lean into it. For me, everything that I said on the concept of introversion, as I was saying it, there would be some people that were reading this and going, “There is no way that this person is introverted because he covered off on twenty facts and pieced them all together, made all those facts stick, and did it in such a comfortable way.” I would never have been able to do that if I didn’t write it out first to memorize it.

Now I did that years ago and I’ve benefited from that forever, since. The whole concept of scripting is to your point now. I have done nearly 200 interviews and when I first started, I would look at these are questions and I’d want people to stick to them. I was always worried they’d ask me a question outside the scope of what I was prepared for.

I tell people, “I’ve done 150 interviews. You better ask me something outside the box or your audience won’t get something new,” so because of that, I’m uncomfortable. It becomes from the synthesis of all of the different answers that I’ve now rehearsed. It’s very hard to take me off script because I have so many of them and I can deliver them all in a natural and authentic.

Let’s get back to what’s more relevant for our ladies around real estate. You talk about networking. In the real estate world, we’re looking for deals, looking to sell deals, looking for vendors and partners, so there’s networking, negotiation, and all of those pieces. I know that you contend that we have an edge as introverts in those situations, so let’s talk a little bit about your approach.

For instance, in networking. I know you talk about this unified message and I loved that by the way. I want to make sure that we get there so we can help the ladies understand how they can lean into their introversion around networking and negotiation rather than backing away from it in fear that they can’t hold up to what’s required.

One thing that I think, especially ladies like to do is be much more authentic and they don’t like pitching. It’s interesting. A lot of men, even if they don’t feel comfortable pitching, they will push themselves through it even if it makes them feel inauthentic. I have a lot of female clients and what I find is, unless they feel like it’s super congruent, they won’t feel comfortable doing it.

They always feel that networking is the epitome of used car sales. They go in and somebody asks them what they do. If they’re advanced, they’ll know how to do an elevator pitch, which is, “I do this for this group of people, even if they have this common objection,” which feels slimy and salesy. An example of that is I’m a sales and marketing coach that works with introverted professionals, even if they think that they can’t sell.

That sounds salesy. It’s, “Great to meet you. I’m trying to get a deal. This is what I do. I’d love to work with you because I’m trying to buy a new car. If you worked with me, I think that I would be able to afford the deposit for that.” It doesn’t come across well. It’s a horrible tacky way of doing it. People move away from that and they’re like, “I won’t say that. What I’ll say instead, ‘I work in real estate or I specialize with helping people find distressed properties,’ or whatever the statement is.”

That’s the same as me. I’m a sales and marketing trainer and I’ve helped 2,500 or 3,500 small business owners. It’s still salesy. By the way, networking should always be about being interested before you try to be interesting. This strategy works on the basis that you don’t start talking about yourself straight away. Truthfully, if you do that, you’re missing out because the more you know about them, the better off you will be because you’ll have more ammunition to speak to them.

REW Matthew Pollard | The Introvert's Edge

The Introvert’s Edge: Networking should always be about being interested before you try to be interesting.


When somebody comes to me, I’ll ask them questions and I’ll be interested. People love talking about themselves. The best thing for an introvert is we’re empathetic and great at active listening, so all we need to do is work out what questions to ask.

I always tell people, “If you don’t know who’s going to be in the room, you’ve let yourself down.” When I go to a networking event, the very first thing I do is look at the meetup page or the LinkedIn page event. I’ll always find myself to the people that are going. Even if I look at the event’s Facebook page and see who went last time by who’s tagged, I’ll look at them on LinkedIn and do profile shopping. I’ll look at all the profiles of all the people that are going.

This sounds like it takes a bunch of time. It’s nowhere near as painful though as walking into the room to the first person you speak, finding out they sell insurance, and now, you’re going to be sold insurance for the next twenty minutes. What I like to do is go through and look at all their profiles, then I’ll find 5 or 6 people that interest me. I’ll send them a LinkedIn connection saying, “I saw you went to this event last year or last month or I saw you going to this event,” depending on where you find them. “I’m interested in coming because I’m passionate about X. Do you feel that this is a group that I should come along to?”

If they respond yes, then great. When you get there, they’re going to recognize your face. You are going to recognize theirs. If you’re clever, they’ve told you yes. You can look at their profile, what they’ve posted, what they’re sharing, and what they’re commenting on. It’s pretty easy to come up with conversational topics.

I remember when I was looking for Dell to sponsor an event that I did. I connected with somebody and asked them that very similar statement. I asked if they were going to the event and connected with them and it was one of the senior executives for Dell. I went and quickly checked out to see if he had an Instagram profile. He did and he was ridiculously into Peloton. When I got to the event, he asked me how I was doing. I said, “I’m doing great. I’m annoyed with the weather because I’m a runner. When it’s raining, I can’t go and do my run. I find it so much better for my mental health when I’m out running every day,” then he spoke about Peloton for the next 30 minutes.

By the time he was done, he was like, “Matt, I spent the last 30 minutes talking about Peloton. I haven’t even asked you what you do.” From that moment on, I had the floor. You can do your research before asking great questions but sometimes it’s not as hard as you think. You can find something about them that gets them chatting for twenty minutes and they so appreciate the fact they’re able to talk about themselves. When they get to what it is that I do, I will respond with this, “I’m the Rapid Growth® Guy.”

I say it like I said I’m an accountant or I’m a bookkeeper. Here’s the difference, the Rapid Growth® Guy doesn’t mean anything and what happens is people then lean into that. They’re like, “Hang on a second. What exactly is that?” Now, the reason why that works is because of a few factors. One is called a hook statement. We’re creating interest in intrigue, so you can’t call yourself the Real Estate Lady because that automatically is going to get people to trigger, “They’re obviously in real estate.”

I had somebody call themselves the Data Wizard. They’re like, “What do you think?” I’m like, “You’re in data analytics. I’m pretty sure they’re going to get to that point. They’re not going to lean in and go, “What is that?” When I call myself the Rapid Growth® Guy, I say, “Thanks for asking. I’m the Rapid Growth® Guy.” They lean forward and they’re like, “What is that?” They’re interested but they’ve also talked about themselves for twenty minutes.

I now have complete license to tell them more because they’re going to ask. They’re going to ask because they’re interested and because they feel like they should give value back to me. They say, “What is that?” I respond with, “Thanks for asking. One of the things that I’d love to see more than anything in the world is an amazing introverted service provider with enough talent, skill, and belief in themselves to go and start a business their own.”

“One of the things I hate to see and I find it happens so often, is they end up stuck in this endless hamster wheeler, struggling to find interested people, trying to set themselves apart, trying to make the sale all while feeling like people only care about one thing, price. Do you know anyone like that?” They’ll respond with, “I’m like that.” Of course, they are because I’ve gone to the right networking event. I’ve researched who they are and I’ll respond with, “I’m on a mission to help people like yourself realize that you’re not a second-class citizen. Your path to success is different to that of an extrovert.”

Instead of focusing on your functional skill, which you might find most introverts are usually amazing at, all it takes is focusing on three things outside the scope of your functional skill to create a rapid-growth business that revolves around you, your family, and your life, not the other way around. I’ll say, “Let me give you an example,” and then I’ll tell them a story. The story short circuit the logical mind which means you’re speaking directly to the emotional mind.

REW Matthew Pollard | The Introvert's Edge

The Introvert’s Edge: As an introvert, your path to success is different from an extrovert. Most introverts are usually amazing when focusing on three things outside the scope of their functional skill to create a rapid growth business that revolves around you, your family, and your life.


The logical mind, by the way, is going, “This will work for me. That won’t. I don’t have time for this. I’m going to cut him off.” The emotional mind screams out, “Storytime,” and it listens. We’ve had people on cold calls use stories with C-level executives that logically, when somebody gives an objection using logical reasoning, they get eight seconds before the C-level executive hangs up. We get two and a half minutes before they hang up on average because of the short-circuiting of the logical mind.

When you use it in networking, you can tell a 3 or 4-minute story and people are still engaged. That’ll feel like ten minutes for you but I promise you, people will listen and you show them how you help people in the story. Notice, in the networking spiel, I didn’t even say what I do. I talked about what I love to see and what I hate to see in the mission that I’m on. It’s not about me. I talk about the change I want to see in the world and what I’m passionate about. People love to get behind that. It’s changing the flow of what you do to make it not about yourself.

This is the thing. Introverts should love this because for the first time, you’re going to hear a rule about sales, networking, and public speaking that’s going to feel totally great for you, which is this. In sales, networking, and public speaking, the number one rule in all of these version arenas is it’s not about you. The moment you make it about you, you fail.

The number one rule in all these so-called extroverted arenas is it's not about you. The moment you make it about you, you fail. Share on X

I call myself the Rapid Growth® Guy to create that intrigue that leads into me talking about what I love to see and what I hate to see in the world and the mission that I’m on, the change that I want to make, and then I’ll tell a story about someone else like them who had the problems that they have or that they should have. I should know my niche by now and how I got them to a positive outcome.

They see it as me explaining because they asked, which is why they give me permission to explain. They’re still intrigued because until we get to the story, they don’t get to understand how I can help. Now for a lot of people, they feel like they have to convince and control customers to talk to them or they’re educating clients and they didn’t ask to be educated. This is a totally different model that gets people to lean in and it comes across as you’re not trying to sell. You’re trying to motivate and inspire them to take action on their own.

When you get to the end of telling the story, what I love to do is deliver a moral of the story and then say, “Does that make sense?” As soon as I say, “Does that make sense?” the person always, “That makes total sense. I’m exactly like Wendy. How did you work with Wendy?” You’re like, “It’s not the time to go into that,” and you set a separate meeting because the one thing you should never do in a networking event is sell.

As soon as you sell, everything goes totally wrong because you’ll say, “Thanks for asking.” You’ll start to talk, and next thing you know, somebody will walk up and go, “John, I was dying to see you,” and now you’ve been interrupted, so it’s broken. Plus, they came to networking events not to be sold to but to have people buy their stuff usually.

The moment you start selling at that event, even if they do say, “I want to move forward,” they will resent you for taking up their time and selling them something. By pushing back and saying, “Now’s not a great time for that. We’re all here to network but I’m happy to set up a separate meeting.” All of a sudden, they appreciate you and they’re like, “This person comes from an abundant place.” I have never known anyone to be seen as abundant and not get somebody’s respect.

I love that. That’s amazing, by the way, as you well know. Let’s say for instance, I’m going on a cruise in March where I will be speaking about my book, Choose Bliss. There are going to be 2,500 people there. I cannot research all the people. We do have a Facebook group. A lot of people are not going to log on. There will be people, hopefully, that I run into that I can do research on.

There are going to be an awful lot of networking opportunities where I have no idea who I’m talking to or anything. Let’s talk about that impromptu networking opportunity as an introvert. I’ll tell you, I’m scared to death because people come at me. They’re like, “I love your book,” and all this stuff. That’s great but then, what do I say? I feel like an idiot. I’m not that interesting.

You’re still lucky because a lot of people reading don’t have a book and people aren’t chasing up to them and because of that, you have a natural advantage. I’ll answer your question from your point but I’ll also answer it for those people that are going on a cruise or some event, where perhaps they haven’t done the research at all.

I would prefer, the other one, for my ladies is much more important.

It’s easy to cover both because firstly, I can tell you that usually, when you have 2,500 people at an event, usually, they create an app so that you can know all the different events that are going on and have an attendee list. When you say, “There are 2,500 people, I don’t have the time to do that,” we don’t have to research all 2,500.

I met one of the senior people at IBM who endorsed my book at a conference where I was speaking at the conference but there were like 3,000 people at that event. I got somebody from my team to run through and quickly profile scan all the people that were there and handpick maybe 50 profiles to do a deep dive into and then send a message saying, “I saw you were going to this conference. I’m heading to that conference too. I hope we can squeeze in a time to connect.”

By the time I went to that three-day conference, half of my day was booked out with 30-minute meetings. I went to a conference that was more like a bunch of scheduled meetings. For those people that feel uncomfortable with, the people that are constantly sending in messages saying, “We should catch up for 30 minutes to do a sales call,” that’s not the same as doing what you are doing.

You’re reaching out to them saying, “I’m coming to the same conference you are,” and that highlights that you’re interested in a similar topic. You would just like to meet them for a specific reason and it doesn’t need to be salesy. It’s that you want to get a chance to meet them because their profile looked interesting and network. People go to conferences, by the way, for a chance to network.

You’re not telling somebody, “I didn’t have plans. Stop working and meet with me instead.” You’re saying, “You want a network, so let’s network.” By the way, half the people you reach out to statistically are going to be introverted. They’re going to go a pre-planned meeting as opposed to walking in and not knowing everyone. That’s, by the way, what the person at IBM did. He reached out and said, “We’ll catch up for 30 minutes.”

We caught up for 30 minutes. I find out something that wasn’t on his profile. He was about to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for ISP and because of that, the next thing I knew, he and I are best of friends. He is endorsing my book and he’s also an introvert, by the way. He’s impassioned to drive my books in front of everybody at the organization. Again, just because there are lots of people doesn’t mean you could spend the entire week running into people that were the wrong people.

While it doesn’t feel as time intensive as going through 2,500 profiles, it’s easy to go through a whole bunch of profiles and quickly go, “Yes. No. I’m fully stacked.” You may not be all the right people but you’ll get a few of them. Now, when you go to events and you have done no research whatsoever, my suggestion is to stay true to who are. What do I mean by that? I’ll give you an example.

We’ve picked on insurance salespeople before, so let’s use an insurance example. I worked with a guy who sold insurance. He said, “Matt, networking’s the worst for me. I’m an introverted guy. I do the whole being interested thing but the moment I say that I sell insurance, it’s like I watch their eyes explode and they’re like, “How do I get away from this person I’m about to get a sales pitch?” I said, “What we’ve got to do is stop using the word insurance because if you use the word insurance, people put you in a box. They’re like, ‘I know what that is and that’s one step above-used car sales.'”

By the way, when I used to say I was a sales trainer, people had the same reaction. Especially introverts who I wanted to serve would always give me these reasons for why they couldn’t sell as an introvert. Now I was on the defensive explaining why they could, as opposed to getting them to lean in. I said, “Help me understand though because I’m big on leading with passions. Who are you most passionate about serving?” His response was, “I just like helping everybody.”

I said, “Really, everybody? Help me understand a person that earns $50,000 versus a person that earns $150,000. Which one of those groups would you prefer to serve?” He said “The people that would make $150,000.” I said, “Why?” He said, “They can buy more insurance products.” I’m like, “That’s not passion. That’s more I want to sell you stuff so I can buy a new car.”

Let’s get a little bit deeper for a second. Let’s imagine for a second, there were two choices. One was a person that had grown up poor, studied hard, got a scholarship to Harvard, went to Harvard, worked hard, won dux of the class, won all these awards, and got employed by a large organization. Now he earns $250,000 a year as a C-level executive in a big organization with a big team. As opposed to somebody that dropped out of school, saved up a ton of money, and now they’ve started a business. They’ve got a ton of staff working for them and make about $250,000 a year.

They’re earning the same. Their life trajectories were different. He said, “The small business owner.” I said, “What do you mean obviously? This person studied hard and got into Harvard. What do you mean?” He said, “For me, I feel like they deserve it more.” I’m like, “Talk to me about that for a second.” He said, “I had this grandfather,” and he started telling me this story about his grandfather and how his grandfather saved up and bought a farm.

He looked after all of his staff but then his grandfather got sick. He had to sell the farm to pay for medical treatment and also because he couldn’t work. He said, “I watched my grandfather fade away and die in this tiny little apartment in front of the TV for the last decades of his life.” He said, “I wouldn’t wish that on anyone and I’d love to stop that from happening.” I’m like, “I’m confused. You sell life insurance. How could this possibly have helped like he didn’t die?” I was blown away at how much he knew.

He said, “I’ve discovered these policies that allowed me to put cash into an insurance policy. When you’re high cashflow businesses like farms have to be, you can get a high yield return in these life insurance policies. You then can flip that into actual real investments in the future. If he hadn’t done that from an early year with his high cashflow business, he would’ve had a whole bunch of assets, which would’ve meant he would’ve got a golden retirement.”

I was like, “Why wouldn’t you spend your life articulating how passionate you are about helping these people that create something out of nothing, the hustlers of the world not end up in second-class retirements?” He said, “I would love to do that but I don’t know that I’m always going to go to networking events and find somebody that was interested in that.”

We created this unified message. Now, firstly, he came up with this concept. He wanted to call himself the Financial Cowboy. I was like, “Finance firstly is a commoditized word. We know you are in finance or financial planning, insurance, or something like that. We put you in a commodity. Even if it’s not the commodity you’re selling, it’s the wrong opportunity. The word cowboy attached to it makes me feel like you’re going to grab my money, go away, and spend it on cocaine. It’s not the right fit for me.”

I said, “What if we call you the Hustle Lifeguard instead?” The reason we called him that is the people that start these businesses that have got high cashflow businesses are the hustlers of the world but they prioritize their staff. They’re always looking after their staff and making sure their staff retirement needs are under control but they don’t think about themselves.

A lot of them will say, “My business is my asset,” but most of these businesses never sell. They don’t prioritize their investment needs. I know it was part of your last questions, “What are my property investment strategies and things like that?” The reason I know is because I don’t not prioritize my later life because I’m excited about my business. No matter how excited I am, which I hope people can tell, I love doing what I do.

However, for him, what I said is he should go to networking events and when somebody asks what it is that he does. He should say, “I’m the Hustle Lifeguard,” and when they say, “What is that?” One of the things I love to see more than anything in the world is to talk with these people that start things out of nothing. What he finds more often than not and he hates seeing is they don’t prioritize their retirement even though they had high cashflow businesses and that leads them in second class retirements. He’s explaining that he’s on a mission to help these people and go on and then tell a story.

As soon as he did that, his entire business transformed. His question then was, “Matt, I’m a little bit uncomfortable with that though because when I’m going to networking events, how do I know that the person I’m speaking to is somebody that has a high cashflow business?” I said, “Here’s the thing. If you own who it is you are and who it is that you serve, even if the person you’re speaking to doesn’t do that, they likely will know somebody that does and because of that, they will introduce you.”

In my book, I talk about the benefit of having momentum partners. I say that when you go to networking events, most people in their head say, “What I’m looking for is a prospect.” Prospects are like staying in the hamster wheel. We get a deal, we make our money, and then we have to go hustle for another deal.

That’s not the way out. When you are going networking, I reluctantly will accept a deal when all there is an opportunity for getting a deal in a networking event. When I’m out networking, I’m looking to make sure I never have to go networking again. I do that by recruiting momentum partners and champions. Momentum partners are people that believe in the work that I do and are willing to share it with the world.

For instance, you invited me being on this show because I was on somebody else’s show who recommended my work. That person is a momentum partner of mine because he believes in what I do and he shared it with you and you’re like, “I want to get Matthew on my show.” That meant I got to share my message with his audience and now your audience, then likely, many more audiences because he believes in what I do and he shares it.

Now, while you don’t have an official agreement signed, a good momentum partner, you should also do the same for them because you believe in what they do. Judy Robinett wrote the foreword for my sales book. When she and I met, she called me because she was looking for advice. She read an article I wrote on Entrepreneur. She was looking for some advice on how to close higher speaking fee deals because she found that when she mentioned the price, she didn’t get them. She was charging too little.

I gave her a script to use to get a much higher price. She was so appreciative that I didn’t try and sell her anything. She introduced me to three shows. I then introduced her to three shows and we did that off the cuff for over a year. We both made hundreds of thousands of dollars off clients that came from those podcasts purely because we believed in what each other did.

That is what a momentum partner is. When you go to a networking event, look for those groups of people. When you find them, it doesn’t matter if they’re buying your stuff. They are hugely powerful. Champions are the group of people that have high credibility in your industry or people that allow you to break into other industries. For instance, Ivan Misner came through a momentum partner of mine. I was introduced through a momentum partner to his work.

Many people, when they get introduced to someone like Ivan Misner, try to sell him something. For me, I wouldn’t care if he asked me to pick up his laundry. I would’ve done it. When we got and had a dialog, he became a champion for me. He started recommending and endorsing my work and because of that, it gave my work credibility. The best way to make more money is to have high levels of credibility. You need champions for that and to expand your network. You need momentum partners for that.

The best way to make more money is to have high levels of credibility. You need champions for that. To expand your network, you need momentum partners for that. Share on X

For those people to champion your work, they need to be inspired by your passion and mission and that’s what the networking script does. When I go to an event and I think that the person I’m speaking to may not be the person that I need to sell to or that may not be my best customer, I still stay true to who I am. I stay authentic. I share my passion and mission in the exact same way and 1 of 2 things happens.

One is, they go, “That’s exceptional. Here’s somebody I think you need to meet.” The second thing that happens is more often than not, I’m the first person that they’ve ever met that energizes them when they’re hearing about what somebody does. They’re hearing about passion and mission and don’t feel sold to and because of that, they try and borrow my passion for what they do. Even if I articulate, they’re not my ideal customer. I use the words, “I specialize,” not, “I work exclusively with.”

Specializing is wonderful. People expect somebody that specializes to have better general knowledge than everybody else. They say, “I’m not your niche but I feel that what you said could work for me. I’m an extrovert but I could gravitate to systems and process. I have a product-based company. However, I feel that I need to be utilizing a more solid strategy that leverages my face as the brand anyway because that’s where all brands are going.”

I could choose to disagree. I could choose to say, ” I don’t want to have you as a client or I could feel that they’re the perfect fit for me.” That’s my choice. What I find is by staying true to who I am, it opens up more doors. The moment I start bending myself to every audience or being careful to not tell them what I do until I find out more about whether or not I consult to them, firstly, it’s dishonest and it’s going to make you feel uncomfortable.

Secondly, it always leads to a less successful outcome because the moment you start hedging, then all of a sudden, it’s like coming down to punish you. If I sell two different businesses, I’m going to mention this business to ideal customer for this one and vice versa. Stick to what you are born to do and you will always find you get a better outcome.

Stick to what you are born to do, and you will always get a better outcome. Share on X

You covered so much information there. Thank you so much. I want to be respectful and we need to do EXTRA too. That was amazing, Matthew. Thank you so much for that. You are fantastic. I want more information. I’m sure my ladies do too. Could you tell us how they could reach you, please?

The easiest way to get in touch with me is to go to LinkedIn. Check me out there. There’s a ton of free content I put out there. I find a lot of people buy programs before looking at all the free content. I learned on YouTube. I put a ton of free content out on YouTube as well. Check that out. If you’re interested in creating your own version of the Rapid Growth® Guy or the Hustle Lifeguard, go to MatthewPollard.com/growth. There, you’ll get a template that you can download that shows you the five steps to do that in a more specific way and it’ll only take you about an hour.

It’s surprising that nobody does this stuff and that’s the problem. We tune in to all these shows and read all these books but we don’t take action on it and that’s a great template for you. My publisher hates me when I say this but if you are interested in checking out The Introvert’s Edge, you don’t need to buy my book. Just download the first chapter.

REW Matthew Pollard | The Introvert's Edge

The Introvert’s Edge: How The Quite and Shy Can Outsell Anyone

I’ll help you get past the belief that you can sell or network as an introvert but depending on whether you go to TheIntrovertsEdge.com or TheIntrovertsEdgeToNetworking.com, which book do you want. Download the first chapter. Get over the belief that you can’t sell or network. In both books, I give you the exact steps to follow in the first chapter.

In the sales book, if you do nothing more than grab what you say, fit it into the steps that I give you. The first thing you realize some things don’t fit, throw that out. You shouldn’t be saying it to customers or prospects. You’ll then realize there are some gaping holes usually around questions. Maybe we’ll do as a special part of your segment as well for your premium clients but you’ll learn that you probably don’t tell great stories.

You don’t ask the right questions, then you’ll realize that there are some things out of order, which is why you end up finding sales so difficult. If you do nothing more than that, you’ll double your sales in the next 60 days. You can access those free chapters TheIntrovertsEdge.com and TheIntrovertsEdgeToNetworking.com.

I got shivers. Thank you for that. That was amazing. We don’t have time for our three rapid-fire questions but we do have time to do EXTRA, which we’re going to be talking about how to create that unified message. He’s got a template you can download but we’re going to do a quick run-through on exactly how to make that happen. I want some personal advice. You folks will get to see this on mine, which is I am the Blissful Millionaire. I’m excited to have that conversation and use that to break it down. Does that sound fun, Matthew?

That sounds great.

Matthew, thank you so much for all you’ve offered in this portion of the show.

It was my pleasure. I look forward to seeing you in the next one.

Ladies, thank you for joining Matthew and me for this portion of this show. We do have more, so stay tuned. We’re going to be talking about how to create that unified message. That’s going to be on EXTRA. If you’re subscribed, stay tuned. If not, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com and you can tune in to the next conversation.

For those of you that are leaving Matthew and I now, thank you so much for joining us. You know how much I appreciate you and I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action, and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon.


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Social Tightening While Social Distancing With Thom Singer

REW 3 | Social Tightening


We think of social distancing as a necessary health protocol now that we are facing a pandemic, but the term can be misleading when it comes to human relationships. As we are all forced to physically distance from each other, the need for social connection – for “social tightening”– becomes all the more acute. Author, podcast host, content creator and growth leadership speaker, Thom Singer coined this term to remind people that we need to have to connect with the people in our lives, now more than ever. In this conversation with Moneeka Sawyer, Thom explains the epidemic of loneliness that has been going on ever since before the pandemic, how physical distancing has been exacerbating it, and how we can take action and make the effort to have real interactions beyond social media likes and blanket emails.

Listen to the podcast here


Social Tightening While Social Distancing With Thom Singer

I am excited to welcome to the show my friend, Thom Singer. He is an advisor to executives, a speaker, and a content creator. After a successful career in sales and marketing, he became a growth leadership speaker in 2009. A decade later, he has brought his high energy presentations and action-oriented content to over 950 audiences. He is the author of twelve books and is the host of two podcasts, The Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do, which I have been on and the Digital Enterprise Society Podcast. On these shows, he has interviewed over 550 business leaders and others with a focus on discovering how the most successful people get farther across the gap between potential and results. He and his wife make their home in Austin, Texas, and are the parents of two highly spirited daughters. Thom, how are you?

I am great because I’m here on your show.

We had so much fun on your show. I can’t wait to see what happens here. Ladies, one of the things I wanted to tell you about Thom is he is a very compassionate person. He’s very business-focused, but he brings compassion in his heart to the business. He’s got this blog that he writes and it’s on ThomSinger.com. He writes these amazing articles about how to stay connected, how to bring your heart to business as well as a lot of different topics. One of the articles that he wrote one day, and I loved it, was about a term he’s coined called Social Tightening. With what everybody is going through with the Coronavirus, I wanted to talk specifically about that and how we can help our relationships to thrive and fill our hearts back up if we’re feeling lonely. Thom, talked to me a little bit about social tightening. Let’s start by defining it.

This term, social distancing started coming up on all the newscasts and all the articles that you read because this was going to be the way that we were going to flatten the curve and be able to stop this virus. Some people were stepping up going, “Social distancing doesn’t right. It’s physical distancing. People need to keep socially connected.” I started calling it social tightening as you social distance or as you physically distance. Long before this started, going back many years, there’s been an epidemic of loneliness that has been under the radar in our society.

A gentleman by the name of Dr. Vivek Murthy, who was the nineteenth surgeon general under President Barack Obama, when he was doing research and going out and talking to people about this big opioid crisis that we face in the country, an underlying thing he discovered was this whole epidemic of loneliness. He wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review. It spoke to me because I go out and teach people how to connect, but there are always people at conferences who don’t feel connected to that conference, to their coworkers, etc. Long before we had to stay at home, there were already 20% of our population felt lonely. I got concerned that this is going to get worse however long we have to do this.

We were at the airport down in San Diego after the New Media Summit. When you’re at a conference, one of the things that you talk about is this whole idea of social media versus networking. Could you tell me a little bit about what you told me then? That is so impacted me.

I think that we have forgotten over the last decade that a link, a share, or follow does not equal a human relationship. Just because you’re connected to someone on Twitter, doesn’t mean they ever log on and look at anything you say, it used to be. I talked to a person who worked in technology years ago and he said, “Email is a best-effort communication tool. Just because I send you an email, I don’t know if it got there. I don’t know if you ever read it. Even if you open it, I don’t know if you read it.” As much as we rely on email, it’s always stuck on me that it’s only a best-effort communication tool. Social media then came in, and everybody’s broadcasting everything. Everything is on Twitter. They’re going live to all their friends and they’re putting up fancy pictures of them making Kardashian faces or whatever.

The problem is that once I put something on Facebook or whatever medium, I assume that everyone who knows me has seen it, but there are two problems. That person may have paid no attention or the algorithm of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter decides who sees what we post. It’s only 10% of the people who follow you. A couple of years ago, before the algorithms had even taken over, I was talking to a friend of mine from high school and I said to her, “How’s Lisa,” who is her best friend from high school. She went, “Thanks for asking. She goes into this whole thing.” I was like, “What are you talking about?” “Lisa’s dead. She had been killed in a hiking accident three weeks earlier.” I was like, “I had no idea.” She went, “It was all over social media.”

I had been on a European vacation and didn’t check Facebook for two weeks. When I had logged on, it had all died down amongst all of our friends. I never knew. Nobody ever thought to call, to email, or text because it was put on Facebook. That was years ago. I learned right away that that is worse than a best-effort communication. That’s a crap communication. We think that social media is networking, but we have no idea if it’s landing with anybody as opposed to if you’re face-to-face and we have a conversation in the bar. I’m pretty sure you heard me if we’re standing there. We can’t treat them as the same thing. We have to get back to this whole idea of personal interaction with people, whether it’s digital or live. My motto through this whole Corona crisis has been, “More personal/less broadcast.”

Let’s talk specifically about social tightening. What that means and what are some strategies we can use to get closer?

While we’re living in this era, it’s going to be with us for a while. Now, we’re all on lockdown, but soon it might be partial lockdown. We’re working from home. Let’s look at coworkers. There’s office culture. There are things that happen. Billy always takes the big coffee mug. They aren’t happening, but that also means that we’re not having real interactions. We need to make an effort. We have to be intentional of where we are putting our intention and attention when it comes to the people in our lives. With coworkers, there’s probably a team meeting where everybody’s on Zoom and they might be a Slack channel or a group email, but that doesn’t mean that Mary Lou and I are having a conversation. We need to take a little bit of time to reach out one-to-one to our coworkers.

The same thing is true with our friends, with our extended family. The same thing is true with our clients. How many newsletters have you gotten in your email inbox since the Coronavirus started? Mine has gone up unscientifically by five times. I get 100 newsletters a day, where people are telling me to check the CDC website and wash my hands. That’s great, but my local pet store didn’t need to be the one to tell me that. We’re having all of this broadcast and everybody thinks, “What’s important to people COVID, so that is the title.”

Maybe if my doctor or if the White House sent me something, but I don’t need that from my accounting firm. We need to broadcast less, especially about things we’re not experts about and have one-to-one communication, which means you’re going to have to take the time to send an individual email, an individual text, make a phone call, reach people, and leave a message. Whatever that says, “Moneeka, I was thinking about you and your show is such a delight for everybody as we’re going through these rough times. It brings bliss to people. Thanks for doing that.” That’s personal. If I send an email to every podcaster I know and go, “Keep up the good work. Podcast like crazy,” you probably won’t even open it much less understand that I was saying, “You’re an important part of this solution.”

As you said those two things, one of them made my eyes well up with tears and gratitude and the other one was, “Yes, I heard that.” It is an emotional reaction. I don’t know if you felt what that difference was like, but it’s true. My email box has ballooned from 1,000 emails a day to 3,000 emails a day.

During this crisis, we need to make an effort at having real interactions with the people in our lives. Share on X

It is 3 to 5 times more is what’s happening.

I can’t keep up with it all. It is so much more as falling through the cracks. I feel like I’m working harder, feeling less satisfied. There’s this weird thing. Instead of being part of the problem, which it is now, it becomes part of the solution. Make someone’s email box, inbox their friend again. Whether you do email or not, and I’m not encouraging that, I love the idea of doing texting, personal phone calls, even to leave a message. On Facebook, you can do Messenger. You can still direct message all of them on Facebook, on Instagram, LinkedIn, whatever you’re using. You can do personal stuff. I am getting personal stuff there.

I did get a message on Instagram as to what you said, Thom. They’re like, “Thank goodness that you’ve pivoted and done a little bit more about Bliss. We need that.” It was good feedback for me and it keeps me going and it keeps juiced. What can we do for each other? You’re taking a look at the whole balance of it because you’re business-focused. In our families, with our friends and in business, how can we pivot with all of those people? You gave us all an exercise while we were at the New Media Summit. Can you tell us about that? I’ve been doing it. You told us to send five personal messages a day.

I’ve narrowed it down since then to three because five freaks people out. I’ve been telling everybody to reach out every single day to three people because there’s a thing called the Dunbar curve. Some of your readers may have learned of it. It was a series of research done many years ago and people have tried to dispute it. I don’t care if somebody thinks, “That’s been disproven.” The concept of it is awesome and that is we can only have about 150 people who were friendly with. You have your inner circle of about five. You then have maybe your friends that are about fifteen, but your community can only be about 150 people. Where if I were to say their name, you would be able to tell me who their children are and where their children went to school, etc.

The argument has been made over the last years and that’s been expanded. Social media allows it to be bigger. I had somebody say, “My extended community is 30,000.” That’s crap. If it is, then you’re the outlier. Using 150 people who can be in your circle of friends and associates, and they took this back to ancient times. Villages used to be about 150 people. When the village would get larger, it would split in half. Some people would move away because it gets too big to handle. Your personal brain is wired for about 150 people. I don’t care if you’re in sales, if you have online courses, or if you have a podcast, you might have a mailing list with 5,000 or 50,000 or more people on it, but you don’t know who those people are.

During this crisis, blanket mailing people you don’t know isn’t what those people need. I don’t care how brilliant you think you are. They don’t need another newsletter from you. However, the 150 people who know you, know your kids’ names, not because they’ve heard you say it on a show. Because they’ve had dinner at your home or your paying clients or past clients, you’re a coach, the people you used to coach who you were part of their life for a year on that monthly call. Those people probably need to hear from you. If you narrow it down to, “Who are my 150?” You could follow up with all of them every month by doing 3 to 5 a day.

In 30 days, that could be 150.

Some people might say, “My list is smaller.” Some people list is bigger, then put a little thing, who are my 150 favorite people? Those are the people who need to hear from you and to get that email saying, “I was thinking about you and I care.” Those are the people who are going to say, “Wow.” A lot of people scrape emails from the National Speakers Association and they think they’re so smart because they’ll email like, “I have this product I sell to speakers.” We all go into back-channel talk going. “Does anybody hear from this?” “I never heard from him before.” “I got the same email now.” We know when it’s a random thing trying to sound personal. You scraped my email off a website, I get it.

However, if I know you or you’re one of my college fraternity brothers and you reach out and say, “I realized that the speaking and meetings business has been hit harder. I was thinking about that. You’re my only friend as a professional speaker. My heart goes out to you. I hope your family’s okay.” Am I going to stop and feel as a human? Yes and that happened. The fraternity brother I haven’t talked to in years said I was reading something about what’s happened to the meetings industry. “You make your living speaking. I had never thought about that. You’re the only person I know who makes their living that way. I want you to know I care.” That’s what we need more of.

It’s because there is a way in the old world. When we didn’t have so much contact with each other, through social media, email, and all of that stuff, we used to write letters. We used to send each other notes. When the phone came along, we used to make phone calls. A lot of that has gone away for a lot of reasons. Part of it is we’re overwhelmed with all the things that we’re supposed to be doing and that’s expected of us socially. The other piece is we’ve also got comfortable not having to do those things. Some of the things that I’m loving it. I’m getting personal cards from people with pretty pictures that make me feel good, the phone calls, and the texts. These sorts of things, “Moneeka, I was thinking about you.”

The handwritten note is valuable. Imagine if a client’s got a handwritten note that said, “I want you to know that I’m here for you when the world returns to normal.” It is not trying to sell anything, just helping and checking in. Helping and checking in is the new selling. If you want to be remembered when the economy comes back, don’t be cramming down by my coaching program. I have been doing that, but I want to go back to something you said because it’s a perfect analogy. Let’s go back 15, 20 years before we had email and before everything was a broadcast. We used to have broadcast companies like CBS and NBC and the radio stations. Humans had to be personal because we couldn’t broadcast to everybody, but there was one-way people did use to broadcast and that was The Christmas Letter.

You will get a Christmas card and somebody had typed out a letter, “Dear blank,” and they would handwrite your name into it. They then would photocopy both sides, maybe with some clip art of a Santa Claus and a tree. They would go through and they would broadcast their year. “We were so fortunate. We went to the Grand Canyon. My husband won the trip to Hawaii and we got to go there. Our room had a view of the diamond bed.” Who loved getting Christmas letters? Not very many people because they weren’t personal. They never talked about your true life. It would say like, “This year, my son Johnny found a way to get free lodging.” That translated to Johnny’s in prison, but nobody ever wrote that Johnny was in prison and they flowered it up. Johnny’s got free lodging for 3 to 5.

I still do get Christmas letters. It is rare. I get three a year. What’s comical about that is, in the old days, I used to be like, “I felt like I was reading a report.” I had to read everybody’s stories so that I could keep up with everybody. It felt like an obligation.

It is a form of novelty, that handwritten note that says, “Hey.” Even if it’s a typed email that says something personal, I can tell if something is cut and paste. I was at a conference one time and while on the plane, I was sitting with a bunch of people from the conference and all of us got emails at once that said, “Dear insert name,” The mail merge didn’t work. They sent a 1,000 people a note addressed to dear insert name. In the middle of it, it said, “As you know, insert a name.” They had too many mail merges to make it sound personal and all it did was prove that it wasn’t personal at all because the mail merge failed. Let’s go back to the real thing, “Dear Moneeka, it was so much fun to be with you in San Diego, sharing the cab to the airport and having dinner together before our flights. I laughed so hard. I hope we can stay in touch.” It means so much more than some mass-produced broadcast.

REW 3 | Social Tightening

Social Tightening: Long before COVID-19 forced us to stay at home, 20% of our population was already feeling lonely.


It is like, “It is nice to meet you at the New Media Summit. You were light in the room. I look forward to keeping in touch.”

I got to paste that to everybody.

I got about 50 of them.

You were the light in the room, maybe all of those were personal. I got them too. I thought I was the light in the room.

I am jealous. I have to share the stage with you. That’s such good tips. Let’s talk a little bit about some connecting inside our homes. This is what’s happening. We’re all stuck together. We look at each other and initially, we’re like, “I get all this time with you. This is amazing.” By now, we’re like, “Could you go to another room?”

There is a woman who posted a meme that says, “This man is the love of my life. I now want to kill him.”

It doesn’t mean that we all love each other. It’s just we’re wanting to get back to our more normal rhythm, but because we’re in the same space, that does not mean we’re connecting. Let’s talk about how to connect and how to disconnect? How to create the space and then how to create the love? It’s like a dance where we have to create this wave in and out. Talk a little bit about that.

I am talking from personal experience. I have two daughters. One of them is out of college and engaged to be married and lives in Chicago. She and her fiancé were supposed to be married on May 16. That date has been changed, thanks to Coronavirus. Their wedding is temporarily postponed. In addition to spending fourteen months of their lives planning a dream wedding, they are sequestered in a 700 square foot apartment in a high-rise where there are no common areas open. You have to stay in your own apartment and a city there in Chicago on full lockdown. My future son-in-law, his job has moved home. He has an important job and he’s working 8 to 10 hours a day. My daughter has to stay out of his way because he’s got to use this brain for what he’s working on. He’s a mathematician.

She has got 100 square feet to hide and her job has been canceled. One of the things we did is every week, we’ve been having a Zoom dinner with them. We open up a Zoom room. They come in, they make dinner. We are ready at 6:30 and the five of us sit down and have dinner together. That has been a great way to keep in touch with extended family. In fact, I’m wondering why we haven’t done this forever. We get to have a meal. We, as humans, we love to break bread and we’re able to talk and laugh. My wife, my younger daughter, and my son-in-law say, “It’s just like dinner around the table because my oldest daughter and I are big talkers and they can’t get a word in edgewise.”

They said, “It’s like being in a restaurant with you. Thom and Jackie are stealing the conversation.” I’m not sure I’m proud of that, but that’s what they said. It was real is the point within our mini-society here inside the house. With our eighteen-year-old, I have a high school senior. I have commented that at least she likes her parents because we are on lockdown, but my wife and I are very different. We both still have some semblances of jobs we have to run. We both work for ourselves. We’re not sure how much money we’re making, but we’ve got things to do, but we operate differently. I go into my office. She has her office. She has taken to wearing headphones and listening to music or a book on tape when she’s not working. If she doesn’t want me to be like, “I thought that, that, that.” I’m much more of an extrovert and she is much more of an introvert.

We’ve agreed if she needs introvert time, were headphones and music, or whatever because otherwise, I’ll come in and start going, “Guess what I just read online.” We’ve set up that parameter, but being an extrovert, I can’t go forever without human contact. I’ve been hosting a happy hour in my Zoom room. I’ve been inviting people to come, get their beverage of choice, and log on with me in Zoom. I’ve been hosting anywhere from 8 to 12 people. I do a little bit of standup comedy and so in Austin, I’ve been hosting the only ongoing virtual open mic night for the local comics. I get about eighteen people for an hour and a half every Tuesday night. What’s funny is a lot of them are young and single and live alone. They stay after it’s over. They’re like, “Do we have to hang up?”

Yes, I’m a grownup who wants to go to bed now because it is 10:30, but it’s just doing that. Within my daughter and my wife, we’ve sat down and had dinner together every night. We make dinner. I guess once we had a restaurant catered in, but every night we make dinner and everybody comes and sits at the table. Even if it’s twenty minutes, we have that human connection time. I think the long answer to your question, there’s a lot of ways to do it, but you have to have some structure and you have to appreciate, “She’s an extrovert. She needs to be left alone.” “He’s an introvert. He needs some human interaction, even if it’s his friends online.” “She’s eighteen. What a nightmare to be stuck with your parents for months.”

There is compassion for what everybody is going through. I have trouble with this and I’ve had to pay attention to this is dinner time with David. We used to go out to dinner. We created that as a pattern because when we would get home, he was interested in looking at the mail and I knew that there was all this cleaning that needed to do. There was all this stuff that distracted us. We started just going out to dinner every night, which was great.

That doesn’t sound bougie at all. We hit all the restaurants in Northern California. Only Sunday through Saturday.

Building relationships, both personally and professionally, doesn't happen by accident. You have to be intentional about it. Share on X

I am grateful for the life I’m allowed to live.

I was going to add in, when you don’t have to send two children to super bougie colleges, you can eat it as many restaurants as you want. I bet you and David couldn’t outspend the cost in decades of educating two children.

We are like it in what we’re able to do. We’re noticing it, and believe you and me. Where I was headed with this is that we’re at home, we have dinner time, and we are very committed to eating together. We’re both tempted to poke at the phones. We’re tempted to run over and do something in the kitchen or attempted to turn over the laundry. There are all these things. We have to force ourselves to sit down, even if we have nothing to say because we’re both exhausted from the day and be together.

It is funny because the first couple of weeks we were like, “This is so much fun. There was so much to talk about.” The next week, it was like, “Hey.” We’re starting to get back into that old world, like having a conversation over dinner when we didn’t have everything on our phone. Everything interesting was not on our phones. We found each other interesting. We are doing that again. It’s just funny how we evolve and to set expectations on how we’re going to connect. Sometimes people think, “Connections should be organic and fluid.”

If we left it to organic and fluid, then a lot of people would never find the business success that they find. Networking and building relationships that matter, both personally and professionally, doesn’t happen by accident. I speak at a lot of conferences and there’s a lot of meeting planners that say, “What are you doing to encourage great connections?” People come to conferences for two reasons. Remember when we used to go to conferences, people used to go into a ballroom, but the thing is sometimes meeting planners are like, “We’ve got a sponsor for an open bar.” Booze is not a network.

That is not a social lubricant like we think it is. In order to do this, you have to learn the number one thing I teach people is you ask other people questions and then listen when they talk. I know that sounds shocking, but it does. Within your family, we establish this years ago when the cell phone, the smartphone first came out and that was no phones at the table. Whether we’re in a restaurant or we’re in our house, no screens at the table have been a family motto. I’ll be honest, we’ve been a little bit lax because we are around each other all day. At dinner, if somebody was to pick up a phone, we probably wouldn’t go, “No screens at the table.”

No screens mean just no phones, no iPods, no laptops, no TV, nothing.

We’ve had the TV on during dinner more than usual, but it is a new rule. My 23 years old was commenting that we were letting the eighteen-year-old have a glass of wine. She’s like, “That’s different rules than when I was a high school senior.” I was like, “Coronavirus.”

The main point is to understand that it’s not just that in business that we have to pay attention to building relationships, in our personal lives, we do too. It’s more important than ever because we’re spending so much time together. We are spending time together does not mean connection. It’s not quality time necessarily. Most of the time, it’s just time. We need to figure out how to have that quality interaction within our own homes, in our environment so that we can stay connected. Otherwise, what will happen is that you’re going to be surrounded by all these people that you love and you’re going to go back to feeling lonely, separated, and isolated.

You feel lonely in a group. It happens all the time.

It is because people aren’t connecting.

The other thing we have to do is realize different people are going through different things. As a person who travels 100-plus nights a year, being home for months on end, there’s like this, “I’m going a little bit stir crazy.” Whereas my wife, who’s a pretty serious introvert. Having me gone 100-nights a year is causing her to go a little bit stir crazy because I’m right there. I don’t pick up after myself the way it wouldn’t happen if I was gone. I think you have to take into effect, how is this affecting her? Not just me. We also have a high school senior. The news is not covering this well enough. There’s a couple of little stories here and there about brides getting married on their iPad, socially distance from their fiance.

My daughter and her fiancé chose to postpone until the fall, which hopefully it will happen then, but they’re not covering these major life events like weddings, high school graduations, and college graduations. There are many major life events that are being swept under the rug. I don’t think as a society, we’re giving them enough attention. In our house, I’ve tried to ask my daughter, “How are you feeling about this? How are you about this?” She got accepted into her first-choice college. She has a Facebook group with some other students who are new.

She has this community and it’s been a little exciting. She’s making some new friends there, they’re doing some Skype, and some Zoom and stuff like that, but I’m like, “How do you feel at school doesn’t start in the fall?” Her answer was, “We’re not talking about that yet. We’re not going there.” These are things that I don’t think as a society, we’re doing a good enough job of saying, “I have to work from home. My speaking events are canceled. My income is cut to nothing.” There’s a lot of that being covered out there, but there’s not a lot about, what about these people who have nonmonetary major life events? How are we honoring these people? I don’t know that we’re doing a good job of it.

REW 3 | Social Tightening

Social Tightening: You can feel lonely in a group. It happens all the time.


I don’t know if you know this, but I have two sets of my show. There’s the free show, which is this piece and then we’ve got EXTRA. There’s another article I want to talk to you about an extra. We’re going to finish the show in a moment, but I’m going to spring this on you and let my audience know what’s coming next.

I love things that are extra.

In EXTRA, I want to talk about the article that you wrote and I’ll admit, I haven’t read it, but it is about if you’re wealthy, how to be compassionate for those who are not. I’m excited about that topic. We’ll talk about that next, but first, let everybody know how they can get in touch with you and hear more of your amazing advice.

ThomSinger.com or Thom Singer on all the social media.

Thank you, Thom. This conversation has been wonderful. It’s filled me up. Thank you so much for joining us. Ladies, thank you for joining Thom and me for this portion of the show. If you are subscribed to EXTRA stay tuned. We’ve got more. If you’re not, please do go sign up at RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com. If you’re leaving us, thank you so much for joining us. I look forward to seeing you on the next show. Until then, remember, bliss is your birthright. Choose to live your bliss every single day. I’ll see you next time. Bye.


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About Thom Singer

Thom Singer is an advisor to executives, a speaker and content creator. After a successful career in sales and marketing, he became a growth leadership speaker in 2009. A decade later he has brought his high energy presentations and action-oriented content to over 950 audiences.

He is the author of 12 books and is the host of two podcasts, “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do”  and “The Digital Enterprise Society Podcast”.  On these shows he has interviewed over 550 business leaders and others with a focus on discovering how the most successful people get farther across the gap between potential and results.

He and his wife make their home in Austin, Texas and are the parents of two highly-spirited daughters.

We talk about what Thom calls Social tightening…it’s important, no matter whether we are social distancing, networking, or building a business, to remember that we always need to stay connected.  Thom gives us some great ideas on how we can do that effectively and lovingly.


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