Be fearless when asking for help; especially from the Big Shots

Well, since I’m stuck here in Columbus thanks to that no-good ground hog, I just read an article in BusinessWeek this morning called “The Art of Doing It Yourself,” which said, “Share your ideas with those who have done it before. You can learn a lot from the experiences of seasoned entrepreneurs, and they are much more approachable than you think.”

I couldn’t agree more. It reminds me of the first time I emailed Seth Godin out of the blue to commend his brilliant work; then he ended up blogging me. (Eep!)

Anyway, the article also referenced a 2005 piece from BusinessWeek written by Vivek Wadhwa called Ask for Help — and Offer It. I dug up the archives and found some pretty cool quotes…

“Heads of big outfits are often approachable and willing to assist. Now that I’ve gained some success, I try to practice the same generosity.”

“Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur are things they don’t teach you in business school. I’ve learned to be fearless in approaching a celebrated figure, listen carefully to those who have paved the trails, and mentor others who seek to learn from my experiences.”

“In previous columns, I’ve written about my surprise that movie stars weren’t as distant and aloof as they seem. While I knew that successful technology executives were often eager to help and mentor, I never expected that film legends would be approachable or readily share their experiences. Networking, it seems, may be the best way to learn and grow in almost any industry.”

This reminds me of a great piece of advice given to me by my friend Todd Brockdorf at my first NSA Convention: “Scott, don’t be a Speaker Groupie. Don’t be afraid. These Big Shots that get 25,000 per speech are actually pretty cool guys (most of them.) So just go up and say hi.”

Thanks T. I never forgot that.


How do you approach Big Shots?

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Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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