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6 Valuable Lessons a 19-Year Old Learned from Reaching Out To Millionaires

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valuable marketing lessons from millionaires

This valuable advice is shared by a young aspiring entrepreneur by the name of “Vincent Nguyen“.

Through his successful experience Vincent will teach you how to contact millionaires and highly influential people to take your ventures and ideas to the next level.

 

 

How To Successfully Network With Entrepreneurs & Millionaires

 

Just a month ago, I saw the greatest opportunity in my life present itself.

It was linked in a tweet, strangely enough. Sean Ogle changed my life with a simple tweet.

Sean Ogle Twitter

When I read through the entire page I only had one reaction.

Holy crap!

There was a company based in the Philippines that was offering an apprenticeship that would make my life. The work itself sounded fun and I felt qualified enough to go after it, but what caught my attention were the extra side-benefits.

The person who was chosen would be able to move to the Philippines for the first 6-months. Cool, everyone likes to travel. No big deal right?

There’s more. These guys were going to pay for pretty much all of my expenses while I’m there. Housing, bills, food, and maids. Everything. They didn’t cheap out either because it’s a huge house.

On top of all that, I’d be getting paid for my time there along with the chance to earn even more and work with them full-time if all goes well.

As a 19-year old who has been working in their niche for less than a year, I felt like I’d be buried by the competition. There has to be thousands of people who saw this and wanted it. I was sure they’re more qualified than me.

I almost ignored it. I almost listened to my own excuses, but I couldn’t let this slip past me without a fight.

I studied what they were looking for in a candidate and started wondering if there was something I could do to blow them away.

Ton of People

“You’re going to be reaching out to a ton of people.”

There it is. My opening. That’s what I’m going to leverage for my application.

I felt like I was getting hotter and hotter. Maybe it’s because I was getting excited or someone lit a light bulb above my head like in the cartoons. I don’t know. All I knew was that I had an idea that would grab their attention right from the start.

They wanted a connector. What better way to prove I am one than to take advantage of the mandatory video they wanted alongside the written application?

I made a long list of 40-50 successful entrepreneurs, authors, and internet marketers I could reach out to for help.

Vincent Nguyen

I cold-emailed Michael Hyatt, John Saddington, Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin, and several others, asking them to record a short video testimonial for me. All I asked of them was to record themselves, say their name and something along the lines of “Vincent reached out and connected.”

The challenge was that most of these people have never heard of me.

Why would they care to do me a favor?

 

The Result?

Out of 47 people, 16 agreed and sent me their video. That’s almost 40%! The rest either wished me best of luck or didn’t reply, but nearly half said yes!

When I turned in the video to the marketing company, they were floored. In fact, they loved it so much that they had shared it among their secret circle of entrepreneurial buddies. My chances were looking really good.

Thanks to this creative journey, I ended up befriending a few of the entrepreneurs I reached out to.

None of this would have happened if I bought into my own excuses. I was telling myself things like they don’t know my name. I’m too young. No one would take me seriously. What if I look like an idiot?

The list went on for miles. I could have just moved on and told myself that nothing could come of it, but I went for it. I got famous influencers to vouch for me and the company is telling me my chances are looking good. The Philippines is becoming something that can be a part of my life for the next year.

Most importantly of all, I learned several valuable lessons from this that provided insight into how other people worked.

 

1. Rejection doesn’t take anything from you.

In a lot of cases, the worst that could happen is that you don’t get what you wanted. No one comes and collects the things you love then locks them away. You don’t lose anything.

At least when you get outside your comfort zone and make a leap of faith, you give yourself a fighting chance. If you don’t try at all you’ll end up failing anyway and you’re stuck where you were by default.

 

2. People are more willing to help than you think.

When I first had the idea to reach out, I was scared. I thought for sure I’d get a 0% response rate. After all, who am I to just email someone like Michael Hyatt and ask for help?

I didn’t tell him what I did, where I’m from, or anything that would woo him. I politely told him the situation, how much it’d mean to me, and that’s all. He was more than happy to get in front of a camera to do this and that’s what amazes me. Michael, along with 15 others, took time out of their day to help someone they didn’t know.

 

3. When you’re genuine, people will want to help you.

You don’t always have to offer something in return to get help. I didn’t swap favors or promise to pay them back in the future. That’s sleazy. People see right through that sort of exchange.

Instead, I was honest and transparent. I didn’t hide anything at all. Everyone I emailed knew that I was the only one to benefit from this and I knew it too. Why hide behind a thin veil?

 

4. You can connect with anyone.

Sure, a few people ignored my request, but that’s okay. The fact that nearly half got back to me means a lot and should inspire you to get in touch with a person that you look up to.

There are some people who are more difficult to get ahold of, but that doesn’t put them out of the realm of possibility. I didn’t reach out to Obama or anything, but there are ways.

 

5. Creativity has more definitions than one.

I used to think I wasn’t creative just because I didn’t know how to draw, paint, or do anything artistic. I equated creativity with art and determined that I wasn’t creative.

But creativity is the ability to do things differently that others haven’t thought of before. It doesn’t always come from a whim. Instead, you have to be intentional and brainstorm ideas. It will get you noticed and is worth the effort.

Don’t count yourself out. You’re probably more creative than you give yourself credit for.

 

6. Taking action is far better than getting stuck wondering what could have been.

So the next time you see an opportunity come by and you start believing your own lies, remember what could happen. Remember that you can put 100% into what you want.

Even though the final decision hasn’t been made yet, I learned a lot through this whole process.

 

What’s the worst that could happen when you decide to go all in?

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59 Comments

59 Comments

  1. Thabo

    Sep 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    you story is a real eye opener.

  2. belakcreativeKarl

    Sep 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Thankyou so much for this article, it has inspired me to reach out to a few people, fingers crossed I get a reply but even if I don’t I didn’t lose anything. “Rejection doesn’t take anything from you” is a great thing to remember when attempting to reach out to people, the worst thing that could happen is they dont reply but if you dont even try you get the same result!

    Good luch for the Job mate hope you get it.

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 26, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Glad to see you took the risks!

      Good news, I got the job! 🙂

  3. Quincy Madiam

    Sep 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Vincent, this story is amazing. Cold-calling/approaching people has always been my biggest roadblock. Being a Personal Trainer, it is crucial to my business. Thank you for this piece and best of luck in the Philippines! (I grew up in the Philippines, so if you need any tips on how to navigate the country, don’t hesitate to shoot an email or reply.)

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      I hope you’re learning to ignore the barrier and just go for it. I imagine you are since it’s crucial, like you said. 🙂

      Thanks for the offer! It would be in Davao City. Do you know anything about Davao?

  4. Nell

    Sep 20, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Very helpful advice. The ideas were inspiring and gave me a platform to begin to think of even more I can do in the business sector. I appreciate motivators.

  5. Totti

    Sep 18, 2013 at 3:11 am

    It’s really amazing you got replies from all these people but, to be honest I’ve tried contacting people (most times not even famous ones just some with whom we had something in common e.g. work) in the past the same way you did and I was always snubbed… A friend of mine even explained to me that those people probably got thousands of similar requests every week or/and had nothing to gain from me.. How did you do it? xD

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 18, 2013 at 4:02 am

      It all depends on how you approach it. My angle was “I’m being honest. This will only benefit me and I don’t have anything to bribe you with,” but at the same time it was somewhat tactful. It wasn’t “Hi! Give me this and that. Thanks!” I made it personal.

      I actually highly doubt these people get reached out to as often as we think. Without a doubt, they do get requests, but imagine how few have the guts to send an email. We all automatically assume they either have too many similar requests or we assume they won’t respond. That fear alone weeds out tons of people.

      • JJ

        Sep 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm

        Great points and great work Vince. My question for you is regarding your 3rd point…
        how does offering someone a reward for their help seem “sleazy”? I find that so many relationships or “friendships” are often superficial and that people ask others for help/assistance which can make the other person feel like they are being taken advantage of. It’s rare that someone does something for nothing and instead of pretending to have an interest in that person only for the sake of getting something from them, why not be genuine and honest and let people know that if they scratch your back, you will scratch theirs so to speak. I know people I haven’t spoken to in long periods of time or people I barely know constantly asking me for favours and it definitely puts me off; instead of them feigning interest with the obligatory and fake “hi how are you, long time…how have you been?” I’d rather them get to the point and ask me what they want right off the bat. What are your thoughts/opinions on this?

        • Vincent Nguyen

          Sep 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm

          Thanks, JJ! I’m glad you asked that question.

          It’s sleazy because most people “offer” something in return for a favor but fail to followup on it. You should always be looking to help others and provide value, so it should be implied. Either that or you should show them a gesture without them even asking. When you offer something it’s like saying you scratch my back and I scratch yours, but only if you scratch mine first. I’m only helping you because you’re doing me a favor, not because I want to give value.

          Hope that makes sense!

          I agree with you. I’m a person who loves getting straight to the point but it all depends on context. A lot of people prefer the buildup, the small talk, and the “dance.” In a business setting you usually have to be very concise and to the point. Maybe a bit of banter. For more acquaintance-based situations then you just have to deal with the dance, unfortunately.

          • JJ

            Sep 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

            Very insightful response…and I never looked at it that way. You have a bright future ahead and look forward to seeing the progression of your life/business journey. Thank you for opening up a new perspective/vantage point for me. JJ

            • Vincent Nguyen

              Oct 2, 2013 at 1:01 am

              No problem, JJ! Feel free to reach out to me if you ever want to pick my brain or if you think I could help you with anything. 🙂

  6. Nkanyiso Vezi

    Sep 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Thank you for not listening to the lies that almost prevented you from chasing your dreams

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 18, 2013 at 12:33 am

      It was definitely scary, but I’m glad I went for it. 🙂

  7. Vipul

    Sep 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing this experience Vincent, this sure boosted my morale!!

  8. Jef

    Sep 16, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Great Read! Your method ties in very much with the way we should do business in our company. Anyone can communicate, but I think connecting is way more important, And you’ve hit the nail right on the head. Massive success is on the other side of fear. For so long I was afraid of such simple tasks that would help me get to the next promotion. I think you’ve just demonstrated the ‘how to’ and the ‘why’ these things should be done.

    If not for fear what would we be? WHAT EVER I WANT TO BE!

    Cheers Mr Nguyen

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 18, 2013 at 12:22 am

      Exactly! Don’t let fear get in the way. Use it as fuel and you’ll surprise yourself. 🙂

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 18, 2013 at 12:32 am

      It was definitely scary, but I’m glad I went for it. 🙂

  9. Ragnar

    Sep 15, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    That’s really cool Vincent.. also I didn’t know you where 19, makes me feel old, haha. I think I sabotage myself because at some level I don’t think things will work out, so I can never manage to invest myself 100%. Plus when push comes to shove, I am about as creative as a doorknob. Or maybe that’s just my current slump talking!

    Either way, congratulations? And enjoy the Philippines if you end up going. ^^

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 16, 2013 at 2:56 am

      It does seem like self-sabotage. Do you think that way because of previous experiences or out of fear of the unknown/never explored?

      Creativity doesn’t always happen when you sit down with a whiteboard and marker in hand. I’m sure you’re more creative than you give yourself credit for. 🙂

      Thanks, Ragnar!

      • Ragnar

        Sep 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm

        Maybe I can find a balance where I give it 100%, expect the worst, and then get pleasantly surprised all the time! Haha. I just need to work on reaching out and asking for help a bit more I think. I can invest the time and effort as long as it’s just me, but the second I need to rely on others, I get all hesitant and negative.

        Hopefully I’ll be able to tap into some hidden creativity this week and churn out something of real value. 🙂

    • Rochelle McFarlane

      Sep 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      I’m sure you are more creative than a door knob! Use some positive affirmations and self talk. I’m certain you are coachable and can achieve anything you desire !

  10. LaManouchka of Upgrade Me Network

    Sep 14, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Trully Inspiring ! I am amazed by all the positive answers you have got Vincent. My deepest fear was to ask people for help, this major issue is very common and can lead to many other problems. When you are stuck because you don’t ask for help, you tend to loose your faith & quit.
    Asking for help is they key for success as far as I am concerned. I’ve learned to do it thanks to one book : Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It is a part of the Mater Mind concept. Do you know that concept ?

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 14, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      I’m glad you were able to find a way to get through the fear. I’m not familiar with the concept, but I know that book is often recommended.

      • LaManouchka of Upgrade Me Network

        Sep 15, 2013 at 12:20 am

        Yes indeed, that’s why I read it in the first place (and also because the book title is catchy 🙂 It’s a must read I think even if everything may not be applicable for our times. Anyways, thank you again for the article, I wish you to get that job !

    • Kervyn

      Sep 18, 2013 at 1:33 am

      That’s a great book LaMan, it keeps me focused and on my toes.

  11. Vincent Nguyen

    Sep 14, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Would love to connect! You can shoot me an email at vincentnguyen@selfstairway.com

  12. Remington

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Hey vincent. I am a 18 yr old kid from the philippines and an aspiring entrepreneur also. Would love to connect with you.

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Whoops, looks like I missed the reply button and accidentally made a new comment. The comment below was meant for you:

      “Would love to connect! You can shoot me an email at vincentnguyen@selfstairway.com

  13. Jonathan Determined Hall

    Sep 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    This was surely worth the time to read! It gave me further help on not being afraid to go after what you would like to accomplish. I hope you get the job Vincent.

    J. Hall

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks, Jonathan! I really hope I get it too. The worst-case scenario is I don’t get it but I walk away with a new experience and story that will drive me to pursue greater things. I can’t possibly count either situation as a failure. 🙂

  14. Fadela Seddini

    Sep 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Well done!!!

  15. Dereck

    Sep 14, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Great post.

  16. Jena

    Sep 14, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Great STORY!
    I`m in Europe right now and every time i am in New York for instance-i do meet so many different kind of creative and open minded people that try to do new things .I`ve traveled to many places and people like you Vincent are a pure blessing.You are honest and about actions-most important thing here is :You fought the inner battle and created a new true story that others might follow up to.Thank you !

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      NYC has tons of awesome meetups! I’m pretty jealous because out here in AZ we lack such an engaged community. We are working on it though!

      Thanks for stopping by, Jena. Let me know if you’re ever in Arizona!

  17. Muazzam Ali

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Excellent article. This was very helpful as the same questions pops up in my mind too while trying to connect with people .

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 14, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      It’s all about reminding yourself that you’re not a nuisance. The majority understands the importance of maintaining a connection with their audience so they are much more willing to at least respond to you. Remembering that makes it much easier to not let nerves affect what you do. 🙂

  18. Michael Donahue

    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Way to act outside the box V!

  19. Jordan Phillips

    Sep 14, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Vincent, thank you for sharing your efforts. As I am seeking to begin a career after college this serves as a great reminder to not sell myself short and (with good intentions) ask for help where others will not dare to go. I wish the best for you and pray God will lead you to new endeavors.

    • Vincent Nguyen

      Sep 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      No problem, Jordan. Aim as high as you can! People are going to doubt you and you will doubt yourself. Hopefully you learn to ignore both voices and dive in anyway!

  20. Vincent Nguyen

    Sep 14, 2013 at 2:27 am

    Thanks a lot for having me, Joel. 🙂

    • Joel

      Joel

      Sep 14, 2013 at 3:13 am

      No problems Vincent, Nice work on the article and your hustle, I respect that!!

    • Vince

      Sep 14, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Are you french Vincent?

      • Vincent Nguyen

        Sep 14, 2013 at 10:23 pm

        Nope, I’m Vietnamese. I like your name, by the way!

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