409: How To Excel At Networking By Pursuing Meaningful Relationships

Darrah takes a novel approach to networking by pursuing meaningful relationships.

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Guest

Darrah Brustein, Entrepreneur, Author, Coach

Darrah is the founder of Network under 40, Equitable Payments, and Financial Whiz Kids, and also contributes regularly to Forbes.

on this episode

In an age of email and LinkedIn, networking has never been easier. But networking has also become a dirty word. It means bothering people for favors or having them bother you, and knowing all the time that neither of you has any interest in actually getting to know the other person. Not surprisingly, this kind of transactional networking doesn’t really work. On the podcast this week, I chat with Darrah Brustein about her approach to networking by pursuing meaningful professional relationships.

What you’ll learn

  • Why you should look at networking as friendship building
  • How Darrah learned that networking could be more about relationships
  • How to approach networking in a positive way
  • Things to avoid doing when networking

Darrah Brustein 00:00

A platform that I've really taken a hold of because I think it's so important and also pertinent to our conversation is helping people create the life they want through intentional relationship building.

Introduction 00:33

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you're ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:51

I want you to meet Darrah Brustein. She does, well, a lot of things.

Darrah Brustein 01:03

I am multi passionate, and I do a lot of different things. And it's tough to get out in a "elevator pitch". So what I told Scott was that, I'm half entrepreneur and half writer, and he scoffed and then said, "Oh, there's so much more than that." So, frankly, it depends on the circumstances and the environment.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:24

Darrah is a writer, an entrepreneur, the owner of a credit card processing company, the founder of a live events company called Network Under 40. But overall, she's someone who has devoted a lot of her time, her life, her talent, to helping people form meaningful professional relationships. And that's exactly what I wanted to talk to her about on this episode. Take a listen later on, as she gives very specific examples of how you can reach out to busy people who might be hard to contact. This is a great episode. If you want to understand from their perspective, how to be able to reach, get attention and make a real, actual connection.

Darrah Brustein 02:09

It actually took about a decade of building my own life and career to look back more recently and notice what had happened. Notice that I had been utilizing intentional relationship building and community building skills. Other people call it 'networking' but that's, again, one of those words that has a lot of different meanings.

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:31

Do you cringe like all these different words, I know that I do quite a bit. But networking is one of those as well as along with the, "Hey, what do you do? Tell me your job title."

Darrah Brustein 02:42

Right? Well, I cringe at the latter part, the "tell me your job title", because that's typically what people associate with "networking".

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:49

Yes.

Darrah Brustein 02:50

I don't think networking in its inherent true creation and what it's supposed to be or what it really is, is bad. I think it's wonderful. What I cringe at, are the people who have taken on the nomenclature of networking and have, for lack of a better term, bastardized it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:08

Yes.

Darrah Brustein 03:08

So that's where I start to position myself and say, "Oh, I don't really want to be associated with that." If that's your expectation of it, because I don't conduct myself that way.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:19

So what would your definition of networking be? I'm super curious.

Darrah Brustein 03:24

To me, it's synonymous with relationship building. Plain and simple.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:28

I totally, completely agree, in fact, to the point where often in many of the things we do, we will jokingly refer to it or like strike out networking and put relationship building next to it.

Darrah Brustein 03:41

Right.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:42

Why do you think then, that it's so much about relationship building, as opposed to this bastardize thought that many of us have of what is networking, tell me the differences in your mind.

Darrah Brustein 03:55

In my mind, the way people view networking, when it's the word that we cringe at is a transaction based interaction. It is the antithesis of a relationship. A relationship in my mind, quantifies the idea of going deep, of getting to know someone for who they are not what they do, hence the cringe around the "Hey, what do you do?" Right out-of-the gate question. It's the idea of pouring in and investing. It's the idea of, this is a long term relationship. So it's not about taking something, it's about being curious and discovering, perhaps giving, although I think that's a wonderful framework. It's also been a bit marred as well with, oh, just be a martyr and give and give and give, which is also not, I think, appropriate. But it's really about finding people that you truly connect with and resonate with, that you'd want to be friends with. And from there, a lot can flourish. So if you want to look at it another way, networking is friendship building.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:02

I like that too. So for me, honestly, and I'm not even sure I haven't arm chaired psychology myself enough to the point where I understand where it came from. But if I go back, you know, 10, 15 years ago, I very much thought about... and acted as if building relationships or building friends or anything else, as though it was very transactional. And that's how I behaved in a lot of different ways. And although I don't entirely know where that come from, I had to like, pick it up and learn that it could be different along the way. So I'm curious, you've been acting and behaving this way for a long time, where did you first start to recognize that it could be different? or How did you learn this?

Darrah Brustein 05:45

There's a few things. One is my dad. My dad is the consummate networker in the good way. And the way of, he's always been the person out in the world, helping other people advance their goals, their ideas, their whatever the thing might be, because he sees the world how I see the world, which is as a puzzle to put together for the advancement of the rest. And you see the big picture, even when the pieces seem like they don't fit. Or you don't even know that they're on the same board. So he's that guy. And I just saw it my whole life and didn't know any other way. And then upon going out into the world of the workforce, I started my career in sales, and just continued to treat people that way. Feeling like, you know, the golden rule exists, why wouldn't we continue to do that in life in this arena, and through a lot of experience of selling, whether it was expensive jeans for the fashion company I started working in when I got out of college to other products and services I sold after that to starting my first company at age 25 of credit card processing. And going off and building that and learning that at the end of the day, even though it might take longer, the rewards were bigger. And I vividly remember telling my twin brother Garrett, who is my business partner in that company, nine plus years ago, when we began, I said, "Listen, Garrett. Everyone in this business is doing the cold call thing. They're literally dialing for dollars and saying we've got a rep in your area, blah, blah, blah, jargon script. And we're not going to do that." I said, "I'm going to go out and develop referral relationships with people who get our mission. They like me, I like them. And it's going to take a while. But once it clicks, it will be a snowball rolling down a hill." And that's exactly what it was. But that took patience. It took perseverance. It took belief and hope. It took a lot of things that a lot of people maybe don't allow themselves the time and the space to cultivate. And secondly, I think a natural reaction or objection to this would be to say, "Well, I don't have the luxury of waiting." When actually neither did I. I was eating through my savings. I was terrified. I had bought a house three months before I started my business, not because I felt financially ready, but because I had a landlord with a restraining order I had filed against him. So I was in a position of feeling the desperation that a lot of people feel when they say, "Well, I need to get something now. I can worry about the long term later." But I still knew that I needed to come at it that way, because it was going to pay off in the long run. So no matter your circumstances, it doesn't mean you can never ask for anything. It doesn't mean that you can't get along the way. But it does mean that you need to treat people as people and not people as an outlet to what you want.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:46

At that particular time, what caused you to be sure enough? Because I don't think there's any ultimate assurance for anything anyplace. But, what caused you to be sure enough to where you committed to that type of strategy as opposed to what so many people will do with that short term transactional type approach? So the snowball versus the transaction. Right?

Darrah Brustein 09:11

Right. It wasn't that I necessarily was comparing the two. But what I was doing was feeling out what's authentic to me. And that was authentic to me. And I was lucky because of my grooming growing up and just my own natural wiring, I suppose, that that came more organically. And then in going into the real world and being a young adult in the business community, I remember going to Chamber of Commerce meetings in Atlanta where I'm based, and meeting people who were my parents age predominantly and have been in their careers for decades upon decades and feeling quite intimidated. And watching some of them do it what I consider to be well and modeling that and others doing it what I consider to be not well which is the transactional business card shove, not interested in you at all, looking at your name tag not in your eyes like that whole kind of jam, and feeling so gross and feeling like you don't think of me as a person. I am just a company, a title, a transaction, a sale, an introduction. And I didn't want to do that to other people either. So that only continued to submit and solidify for me why that was, what I was going to continue to live out.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:29

I think at least describing the less desirable of those two routes that we just talked about, gross is the right word for that. Gross is absolutely. I haven't called it gross before. And I love that, or love the... whatever we want to call that. Yes. That's fantastic. So you have, I think, done a very good is I started to understand a little bit about your past and your story and everything like that. I think you've done a really amazing job, not just building relationships, and not just looking at the long term game and not just trying to be authentic to yourself. I also think that there's something else that I would say that you're pretty good at that I'd love to talk about here too. One of those things in particular, that I think is a huge question for many of our listeners, when they're interested in building relationships, when they're interested in reaching out to other people, when they're interested in getting in touch with other people that they want to get to know, but don't want to feel gross about it. And they don't want to create that type of impression. And at the same time, they know that it's important for one reason or another. And they really do want to build that relationship. I would love to spend a few minutes and really talk about, what can that look like? How you think about that?And some of the ways that people listening to this, can do that too.

Darrah Brustein 11:57

Absolutely, I'm going to start sort of on the high end, meaning, when you have someone who really seems to hold the key for you, and that can be, they are the hiring manager of the job you're looking for, maybe they're the decision maker of the company your trying to create as your client, maybe they're the celebrity that you just idolize and feel like this person needs to give me the advice to change everything. Because I've been in all of those positions. And I know exactly how each of those fields. And just start by saying like these people, as like we would say, are just like us. They are people and they want to be treated like people first. And you want to think about, if I were in their position, how would I want to be talked to, interacted with, approached and so on. I'll start by sharing some of the mistakes that I see happen like even I'll give you this example. My friend, Sarah called me from Denver two weeks ago, and she has recently graduated from a data science program after being a math teacher for about a decade. And she said, I'm making this big career change. This is really overwhelming. It's always been sort of a layup getting jobs and teaching because it was a clear trajectory. But here I am in a new space. And there's this person who is the hiring manager at this one company that I'm looking to get into. And here's the general email that I sent him and it goes something like this, "Dear so and so. My name is Sarah. Someone told me to reach out to you. I'm applying for this job. Can I get coffee with you next week? How's this time? I look forward to it. xo Sarah." Something like that. And she said, "How is that?" And immediately I said, "Sarah, how could you have done that?" And she said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "Sarah, you are so smart. You are so personable. You are so capable. But what made you feel like it was okay to be that presumptuous?" And she said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "Sarah, this person doesn't know you. They don't owe you anything. And you are asking of their intellectual property and their time, which are two of the most valuable things they have to offer. And you did it without any amount of bashfulness, or any amount of saying, I understand that you're busy, or is there any way I can come up with this or even giving them a real substantive idea of what you wanted from them to show them that you put in the work and you did your research, and you were respecting their time." So those really are some of the baseline critical things that I think are important. Another example of this is years ago, when I wrote my kids book on financial literacy, my primary goal was to become the Baby Einstein of financial literacy. So to do that, I thought, well, the creator of Baby Einstein is obviously the person who I need to know. So I spent hours researching everything that Julie Agnar Clark had ever done or said and was public online. I sent her an email and I said something along the lines of "Dear Julie, I'm so admiring of your work. And here's why. And here's where I am in my career. And I have this one specific question for you and share the question. If you'd be so kind as to take a moment to answer that question over email, I'd be sincerely grateful. And if you'd feel so inclined, it would mean the world's me to hop on a 20 minute phone call and expand upon it." The next day, I got a response from her, which I was shocked by. And she said, "I'd be happy to get on a call with you." And we spent close to an hour. And then we talked many times after that. And I know deep down that the reason she answered me it was because, one, I was kind to her. Two, I flattered her, which always has to be sincere, but it goes a long way. And three, I put in the work. I spent so much time doing the work to make sure that the question I wasn't asking her wasn't easily google-able. Which, frankly, as I'm sure you know, Scott, as well, is one of the most frustrating situations. That if you could find that answer with a quick Google search, then it's pretty rude, frankly, to reach out to someone and ask them to reiterate something that you could have found out more quickly on a basic search, or it's listed on their website, or their LinkedIn or an interview they recently conducted or something like that. And so the fact that I did those things, and came to her sincerely, didn't presume that she should help me, didn't leave it so open ended that she had to fish to figure out what I wanted, or how long this might take. It made it an easy yes for her. So make it an easy yes for someone and put yourself in their shoes and think, what does this person value? Might they see themselves in me. Might they want to help. Because people want to help. You just has to make it easy for them.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:48

At this point, you know, I'll get literally hundreds of emails in my inbox every single day. And I have had so many different emails that are the opposite of that, they are not kind, they have not put in the work, you know, we've spent now five years putting content out there where they could literally Google it, and it would pop up. And as much as I love helping people in the way that we do and that's why we're in this business. I also literally cannot, there's not enough time in the day, even if I were answering every single email that people sent out, to be able to get them that information. And when they're not making it easy, it doesn't even matter if I want to, I can't. So I love what you have pointed out and just reiterating that really quick in terms of being kind and being complimentary, or that flattering piece and then putting in the work, and then making sure that it is easy for them. And I think that's part of putting in the work too. So I'm curious, you probably, since you have actually a couple of different platforms, you probably get emails like this at this point too. And or not just on the one side of it as well, right?

Darrah Brustein 18:00

I get them all the time. So when I write for Forbes, and when you write for Forbes, you get a lot of unsolicited people, either pitching you their thing and their press release, or saying hey, "Can you mentor me on this? Or can we have coffee or hop on a call to teach me about this" or any number of other things, or same thing with having a company called Network Under 40, where, you know, we have 30,000 people in a number of mid tier US cities, who are a part of our organization. And because of the natural framework of a brand around networking and connection and relationship building, there is a misguided perception or assumption that you can spend one on one time with every one of those 30,000 people, which is not the goal, the goal is to help you find local connections that you really click with. And I much like you do through this platform since so much free content to answer many of the questions that they have or might have in the future, so that I can allow them to have that access more easily. And I'd say for anyone who gets those types of inquiries, there's a few ways that can be really useful to handle them. Because saying no can be really awkward. However, I don't love to ignore people. The only times I really ignore emails is if I feel like it wasn't personal to me whatsoever, like you sent out a bulk press release and wanted to just send it to every person whose email you could extract off of a list somewhere. But beyond that, I think it's again, in that human relationship piece that even if I'm unwilling to do the thing that you asked, I'm still going to try my best to be gracious to you and tell you now, but from there, my hope is that, you as the recipient will respect that. Because I've had many times and I say this from a me perspective, but hoping that this will resonate with some people who struggle with this as well. That there's many times where you say no and the other person does not take that well. And they look at you like "what a jerk" or "how dare you" or I was entitled to that when none of us are entitled to other people's time and resources, it's generous of them to offer them. So in those moments, choosing to respond and say, whatever it is you choose to say, for me, it's typically something like I'm at capacity, but really appreciate you reaching out or, you know, and these are templated emails, in some cases, you can create and put, I use a tool called mixmax, which has a ton of robust stuff in there free option, where you can do everything from calendaring and email sequences and a number of other things. But in this case, I have a drop down menu within your inbox of templates of emails, so I have one called No. And it's something along lines of, you know, "My focus right now is on XYZ. And this doesn't fit within that. And I really wish you all the best. Thank you for reaching out and hope our paths crossed again in the future" or something along those lines, where it's gracious, it's honest, but I didn't ignore them and make them feel like they didn't matter at all. And in maybe you don't, maybe not everyone has capacity for that. And that's okay. But all I can then do is know that I did my best to keep true to my values and my integrity and handle that situation, how I think is in alignment with those things. And then it's up to that person. And this is where I struggle, to not take it personally to know that it's up to them, however they translate that and how it lands with them.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:27

That is a challenge for me as well, because one of the reasons why I got into this business as I want people to be helped and it almost feels like in some ways, and I know this isn't true logically and silently as we're talking about it now. I don't get to control their reaction. And what comes back, but in some ways, if I am not careful, I will feel pain if they're not having a great reaction. And I have to remind myself of exactly what you were talking about. Here's what I'm super curious. Let's flip this around on the other side, and look at the okay, here's what happens, here's the situation for a lot of people that might be harder to get hold of. And I think it's really important to understand what's going on, on the opposite side. Like, if there's somebody like you who you've got a few different organizations, and you get a lot of email. And there's lots of people that have different perceptions around you know, around your time and what you're doing and everything else that's going on. But let's say that we want to contact somebody like you in that situation, or we want to contact the hiring manager, or anything else, aside from that couple of elements that you just laid out, being kind, being complimentary, you know, making sure that you put in the work and make an easy yes. What else can we do? Or how else can we make it an easy yes, so that we don't get the no email? Because I've got several variations of those two.

Darrah Brustein 22:56

It may seem obvious, but the best way always is to be introduced.

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:59

Yes.

Darrah Brustein 23:00

Having the ability to ride on someone else's reputational equity, will always benefit you. And doing so, comes with a lot of trust and expectation that you are going to treat it well and not be damaging to it, hopefully continue to elevate it. That is always the best way. And now more than ever, we live in a time where it is so much easier to figure out who knows whom, through all of the social media tools that we have at our free disposal and access that everyone's constantly updating. Like, for example, I always say that LinkedIn is like my CRM that other people update. And for those who don't know what a CRM is, its Customer Relationship Management. But in this case, it's basically just a living breathing Rolodex that other people are constantly updating with, where they are in the world, what they're up to, and who their connections are. So if you're talking to a hiring manager, and you're looking for someone, or you're wanting to talk to a hiring manager, you're looking for someone to make that introduction, go to LinkedIn, go to Facebook, see where the mutual connections are, there 1 2 3 degrees away, and start to get introduced through the change that person, because then you open the door. There's a study, I maybe bastardizing this as well, but it's, I believe it came from Stanford. And it's called the idea or something along "the idea of the power of loose ties" and it talks about how most things happen...

Scott Anthony Barlow 24:26

The power of weak ties.

Darrah Brustein 24:27

Thank you, weak ties. Thank you. Yeah, and it's how everything really happens statistically through weak ties. So it's not always or often the first degree connection but it's the second third or fourth, where someone introduce you to someone who introduced you to someone who then makes that introduction that you're looking for, or someone who you don't actually know super well, but they feel good enough about you that they're willing to make the introduction because it can actually work against you sometimes when you know someone too well, where they think well I actually know too much about you and I know you're good, and you're bad. And maybe I'm less inclined to make that introduction for you, because they know so much about you. Whereas the person that you met at a conference, or a cocktail party or a dinner party, or on an aeroplane, might feel like that interaction they had with you for five minutes or 20 minutes, was positive enough that they're willing to open the door for you. So there's so much power in those, and we should never underestimate them, which is why it's really important to follow up when you meet someone to make sure that when you meet someone in the first place, that you're doing so thoughtfully, and you're making a great impression that you're continuing to nurture that relationship over time, because they're likely will come a time where you're going to want to turn around and ask for something. And it's never a good time to ask for something when you've let the ball drop, and you've not been in touch. And suddenly you want something from someone who barely remembers you or your name.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:55

So let me ask you this, then, you know, if we know that one of the best ways to be able to make this happen and reach people that we want to reach is through introductions, let's say that we're in the situation where we have somebody we want to get introduced to you, we know somebody who knows them. What can I do to make it even easier or more successful? How can I, let's break this down even a little bit more, what can I do from there?

Darrah Brustein 26:25

Similarly, you're going to want to make it easy for someone to say yes. In this case, I think you can craft emails like a one paragraph email that they just can tweak, if they feel like it doesn't match their tone, or their writing style, and say, "Hey, here's a little example of something you're free to use." So it makes it super simple. And just spell it out, do it directly and easily. So that they say no problem, or they can just forward it on, send them the email knowing that, whatever you're saying, that you'd be more than happy for that other person you're looking to get connected with might read. So again, just creating this templated situation where that person can say no problem, copy paste, send it over or forward, send it along, took them 10 seconds or less, but they feel really great about it. You got the outcome that you wanted and needed and then hopefully you can get the yes.

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:24

What if you don't get the yes?

Darrah Brustein 27:25

That's okay, too.

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:27

I'm curious, where have you had a situation in the past where you didn't get the yes. And what ended up happening from there, that you were able to either overcome it or something else good came from it?

Darrah Brustein 27:40

So the first thing that comes to mind is something that happened very recently, which is, I'm in the moment of planning a virtual summit called "Life By Design, Not By Default." And in doing so, I'm booking talent. And I've got about 60 speakers even a Deepak Chopra involved. And I really wanted Scooter Braun to do it. And Scooter Braun is someone with whom I went to college, but we only casually knew each other. So I reached out to a friend of mine who is very close with him. And I said, "Tom, I know that Scooter is someone whose relationship you probably protect quite dearly, because he's in high demand. And I wouldn't ask you if I didn't feel like this was something that you're going to look good for doing. It's not going to put you in a weird spot. But more so, if this conversation goes no further than my asking of this, I completely understand, if you don't want to ask him at all." And he got back to me and said, "I'm actually going to see him this weekend at the March in DC." So this was a couple weeks ago. And he said, "I'll ask him." But here's the thing. I never heard from Tom about it again. And I'm completely okay with that. Because to me, that means, he didn't say yes, he's not interested. And that's okay. Because Tom did me and maybe Tom didn't even ask, I have no idea. But I didn't want to push Tom. Because there's a place to be persistent. And there's a place where you're annoying. And I didn't want to push Tom because my friendship with him comes first. And the outcome of, if he can get me an introduction to Scooter or reintroduction to Scooter was not more important to me than the quality and the consistency of my friendship with Tom. So even his silence while it may be a yes one day or maybe it'll remain silent, I took it as a no and are at least a no for now. And I'm okay with that. And I have other angles that I can massage to get to Scooter if I so choose. But I'm not valuing my own goals and outcomes over my relationships ever, no matter how big the goal.

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:42

Here's why I love that, we started out talking about the difference between networking and building relationships and ultimately the difference between valuing relationships and being transactional. And I love that this is such an illustration of putting that into practice. So kudos to you for walking the walk, way to go.

Darrah Brustein 30:06

Thank you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:06

Absolutely. And here's what I'm curious. And I'd love to ask you one more question about, for people that are in this place, and they are not considering themselves necessarily amazing relationship builders, but they want to really get started, and they're interested in doing this. And it's kind of more on the beginning stages for them at least thinking about it in this way. What advice would you give them?

Darrah Brustein 30:32

For starters, you already have a network no matter where you're beginning. And people often underestimate that, for example, I sit on my University's board, and I talk to college students all the time where they say, "I don't have a network, how am I going to get a job? Everyone talks about value adding before extracting and taking, but I have nothing to add, I'm just a college kid who's had an internship maybe, what am I going to add to the world?" But no matter where you are, you've had classmates, you have family, you have friends, you have your friends family. And this is your network. And they don't have to be the biggest names. They don't have to have impressive shiny titles. But they can often be valuable to you and valuable to the people that you're going to interact with for a number of reasons. So start there, start where you are. And then don't be afraid to ask because the people who are the perfect testing grounds or the perfect resourceful to go to are the people with whom you already have depth of relationship where you already have trust, where they already like you. And they're going to be interested in helping you if you ask them in a gracious way, instead of just going out into the world thinking well, crap, I've got to build an entire network, and work towards my goal at the same time. So instead, you can go where you've already been sowing your seeds, which sounds weird, but like planting seeds and growing a garden of the relationships you already have. And you've been watering those just through the friendships and family you've been building over the years. And start, truthfully, and honestly approaching them and saying, here's my challenge, or here's my goal, this is what I need, do you have any ideas? And that's a really low pressure way to get someone's buy and to assist. So sometimes it can feel daunting when people feel targeted. So instead of maybe saying, "Hey, I know you know this person, or you're in this industry, can you open a door for me?" To just allow someone to do something most of us naturally enjoy, which is to share advice and counsel and be helpful. So if you open it up more open entity to someone who already knows likes and trusts you to say, "What do you think about this? Do you have any advice or any ideas for me?" And then generally, they will draw the dots together. And say, "Oh, well, let me introduce you to so and so or have you considered this?" And in some cases, if they're not getting to that conclusion, you can walk down that path and then say, "Would you be willing to make that introduction?" In which case, they'd generally say yes. Or they'll say, "No, it's not a good time, or here's why that person's not a good idea." But that's all great knowledge and data points for you to keep taking into other interactions. And it's also great practice, to be unafraid to ask, to be unafraid to be authentic and vulnerable in those moments about what it is that you need. Because what you're also doing there is deepening the relationship. And if this all comes back to true networking is relationship building, then make sure that no matter, even when you're let's say there's a bank account and why I don't look at it this way, really, if for every two times you give, you extract one time to make sure your balance is always positive, then you're still generally not only keeping the balance positive in the two to one nature that I just mentioned. But you're also keeping the relationship equity positive, because you're valuing this person, you're investing time and energy into the relationship. And you're just demonstrating it through your actions that you care. And this is an important relationship to you in the first place, otherwise, you wouldn't be approaching them.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:09

That is amazing. I, firstly, am refraining from making a joke about sowing seeds. And then...

Darrah Brustein 34:16

I know it sounds so wrong.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:19

Secondly, thank you so very much for taking the time and making the time because this is something that I think is really one of the most useful skills in the world, in my opinion, is building relationships authentically, and doing so in a way where you feel comfortable and very practiced at it and can even do so in a way that's helpful to other people. So I really appreciate you taking the time and coming and sharing your experience with us. And the other thing I wanted to ask you about too, is take a moment, you mentioned the life by design summit coming up here, but take a moment and tell people what that is and where that is partially because I get the opportunity to participate in it, but two, I think that, that is something that can be useful to a lot of folks as well.

Darrah Brustein 35:09

Thank you. It's all virtual, which is cool. You can be anywhere watching it from your bed or vacation or your office or wherever you choose. And it'll be two to three days in late May we haven't officially announced. In order to find out about it, I'd say the easiest way because it's not public yet, is to follow me on Instagram, which is just @darrahb, like boy, and I will be sharing about it and it's gonna be amazing because, one, it's free. Two, we've got some powerful speakers like Deepak Chopra, Ronny Turiaf, from the Lakers and Miami Heat and two time Olympian, got Adam Grant, the author of "Give and Take" and the "Originals" and "Option B", we've got Kat Cole, who's one of the biggest badass is in business, she's number two at Focus Brands. She's a humanitarian, she's fortunes 40, under 40. And we've got about 50 other speakers as well. And there's just so much value in it for the cost of $0. So I hope that everyone will stay tuned by following me on Instagram. And I will be letting y'all be the first to know via Instagram when it is live and how you can register.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:19

If this is not your first episode of the Happen to Your Career podcast, you've probably heard somebody on here that their first step to work that they absolutely love that fits their strengths, and they're excited about, was going through our free eight day mini course, to figure out what fits you. And we've had now well over 30,000 people have that as their beginning step to identifying what they want in their lives. And you can do the exact same thing. And if you're interested in that, it has some really amazing questions to get you started in becoming clear on what you want and what you need in your career. And it's a great way to kick it off and determine what is most important for you, moving forward, You can learn what you're great at so you can stop wasting time in your job and start working in your career. Even identify some of the internal blockages that are keeping you from fulfilling work, and wealth and career success. And begin narrowing down what you should be doing for work that's fulfilling to you, all you have to do is go to figureitout.co that's figureitout.co and get started today, enter your email and wallah, will send you the very first lesson, head on over there, figureitout.co or you can text happen to 44222. That's happen to 44222.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:54

Strengths, signature strengths. Particularly we spent a lot of time on the podcast discussing this idea of strengths, finding them, appreciating them, talking about them in job interviews, using your strengths to find your ideal role. What we don't talk about as much our weaknesses, we know that people are generally more fulfilled at work when they spend more time focusing on their strengths, and less on weaknesses. That's what makes the story of Ross Loofbourrow so fascinating. You're going to meet Ross in just a second. Ross didn't avoid his weakness. Instead, he turned his greatest weakness into his greatest strength.

Ross Loofbourrow 38:41

Energy like dude, you're the energy guy. And that's the word. And it's by far the thing that people have said the most about me, in such a positive way.

Scott Anthony Barlow 38:57

Ross has ADHD and throughout his life, he's always thought of it as weakness, until he realized he was thinking about it completely backwards. This is a pretty unique story from the HTYC library. I want you to listen to how Ross completely reversed the way he saw himself and the world saw him instead of focusing on weaknesses. Focus on something else that we haven't spent a lot of time on, which we call anti strengths or the shadow side of your strengths. All that and plenty more next week right here on Happen To Your Career. Make sure that you don't miss it. And if you haven't already, click Subscribe on your podcast player so that you can download this podcast in your sleep. And you get it automatically. Even the bonus episodes every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Until next week. Adios. I'm out.

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