12 years ago, I moved to Boulder, Colorado and proceeded to make zero friends.

Instead, I focused on becoming a millionaire. Specifically, by selling products online with world-class copy skills. Getting to know fellow business owners? Preposterous!

The only equation in my mind was:

High-Converting Copy +
Quality, Unique Products +
Advertising =
Profit (and also being more attractive to women)

In reality, I should have been thinking:

High-Converting Copy +
Quality, Unique Products + Advertising +
Close Relationships with Smart, Tenacious Businesspeople So I Can Get Great Feedback, Up-To-Date Intel, and a Dose of Sanity =
Profit (while hopefully still being attractive to women)

This more complete equation eluded me for the next 10 years. Instead of making friends, helping other people, and allowing exponential growth into my life, I trudged along, depressed and deluded that I was doing my best.

This path dumped me into bankruptcy and a job waving a sign on a street corner for $10/hour. For more than three years, I scraped by on a meager income. I wanted to build my business, but I could barely inch my way forward.

Then, I left Colorado for almost two years. During my sabbatical, I learned the power of good relationships—and returned with a new game plan in mind.

Within a day of landing, I asked a friend if he knew other direct response marketers around Denver. He introduced me to some peeps via email, and we met for coffee.

My network grew. As the meetings added up, I wondered if they could go further. I asked my new friends what they thought of a Denver-based Mastermind (networking group) for direct response marketers.

They loved the idea, so I started one.

It’s been growing for two years. Now, I’m friends with some of the best minds in marketing. And I’m an introduction away from 10 times as many. I get free advice from top email copywriters and traffic-drivers.

Here’s why this might be the breakthrough you need for lasting wealth:

I’ve never met or heard of anyone who got rich, without forging close relationships with some bad*** people.

Maybe there’s some lone soul out there who cranked away on a project and triggered money to rain into his coffers. There are a few people sauntering through Ferrari dealerships right now because they cashed out their Bitcoin at $19,000 after buying at a few cents, due to some anonymous message board recommendation.

Those exceptions prove the rule.

Want lifetime wealth?

Then forget your lonely routine of work, news, garbage on Facebook, repeat. Forget hanging out only with other working stiffs.

You need a network of entrepreneurs. You need a Mastermind.

You’re crippled without one. You can’t access the most cutting-edge marketing techniques. You won’t have a consistent dynamic of helpful feedback. You won’t access “inside” deals because you’re not an insider.

Here’s how to start a Mastermind and become an insider:

1. Know your superpower.

What’s your special skillset in the business arena? If you don’t have one, get one. Business—like many other parts of life—is like a rollercoaster. You must be “this tall” to step on the ride. If you have nothing to offer, then you’re not ready.

2. Reach out to one friend in your area and ask for an introduction to another local friend who’s in your industry.

This is how you get the ball rolling. Don’t have a friend? Or maybe none that would do this for you? I understand. Truly. I do.

It sucks…

… and you must fix it.

Go to a Meetup group. When you introduce yourself to someone, say, “I’m getting my business off the ground and I don’t know any cool business owners in town. So, I’m here to meet some awesome people and see how we can help each other.” Then, shut up and offer a genuine smile. Here’s the secret: If you drop your pretense and let your ego chill out, you will become magnetic.

I’ve never met or heard of anyone who got rich, without forging close relationships with some bad*** people.

3. When you’re introduced to a new person, immediately schedule a one-on-one meeting for coffee.

Get to know this person. Find out what they need most to take their business and life to the next level. See if you can help them—by any means. If not, take a mental note because perhaps you’ll be able to in time.

When you part ways, be sure to keep their contact information. If the meeting resonated, follow up. Expect to do most of the following up in this project. It doesn’t mean you’re of lower status. It means you’re steering the ship.

4. Accept that it’s a numbers game.

People will flake out on you. Bring a notepad to the coffee shop so you can be productive and have fun, no matter what.

Most people will not be an amazing connection for you. Perhaps you’ll never speak to them again. That’s okay. You’re looking for the life-changing 5%.

And keep in mind that this isn’t a “make money overnight” strategy. It’s a slow-cooker. But your patience will pay off, because it is a millionaire-maker strategy.

5. When you’ve met enough great connections, suggest a group meeting. Then schedule it and take care of the pain-in-the-butt details.

You can start with just four people—including yourself. Get three other people to agree to a specific day and time, and then rent a room in a shared office space. Plenty of companies offer hourly rates. Pay for it yourself.

When everyone shows up, give a brief introduction and explain why you’re hosting the meeting. Then invite everyone to introduce themselves. Last (but not least), you can dive into solving each other’s business problems.

Congratulations. You’re facilitating a Mastermind. Instead of networking, you built the network. Now you’re an insider.


It’s time to couple your dynamic, growing network with the habits and routines that set you up for business growth and personal success. Culling wisdom from hundreds of successful figures across history and business, ETR Editor Craig Ballantyne gives you just that in his book, “The Perfect Day Formula.” Get your copy now—it’s FREE!

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Nate Rifkin

Nate Rifkin’s copywriting has generated over $20,000,000 in sales and counting. He’s gone from tens of thousands of dollars in debt, bankrupt, and making $10.50 an hour, to becoming financially free. He’s publishing his bizarre life stories and controversial strategies for success at NateRifkin.com.

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