Promise #8 For The New Year: To Make 50 New Contacts

Did you go over your list of resolutions last night? And again this morning? Great! You’re getting better and better! You now rank in the top 15% of the promise-making population. You are definitely going to have a good year! Today, you are going to promise yourself that you will make your future life a lot easier by getting people to support you. And you?ll do that by reaching out to 50 new people.

We’ve talked about support groups before. The idea is to develop a Rolodex of contacts – people to whom you can go for help (and everyone likes to feel helpful). We are talking essentially about people who have things you lack (e.g., money, power, contacts, knowledge, etc.). When you need what they have, they will be a phone call (or e-mail) away. We’ve discussed ways to go about this (in messages #170 and #195). The secret is to make the contact like you. You do that by communicating your respect and admiration for him. Nothing else will work, because nothing else will be seen as genuine.

Here’s your job: Once a week, for 50 out of the coming 52 weeks, you are going to contact someone. You can do so by phone, with a personal note, by e-mail, or whatever. You are going to say something nice and solicit some sort of feedback. In some cases, making a new contact will be a one-step process.

In other cases, you will have to develop the relationship over time. Fifty attempts will produce 10 to 20 new supporters. Consider the power of a single contact: Two years ago, I introduced myself to a guy who had a reputation for knowing local real estate. I told him I’d be interested in doing something with him if he ever needed an investor. He had plenty of other investors already, so he didn’t immediately say “yes” to my offer. But he didn’t say “no” either. I kept in touch with him.

Earlier this year, he called me and we went into a deal in a neighboring town. We bought and sold two properties in less than six months. My profit? More than enough to pay for all the Christmas presents I bought this year. Make yourself a promise: 50 serious efforts this year, one a week, with time off during your vacation.

[Ed. Note.  Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]