photo by Anita Saini
there is this unspoken (or, spoken?) myth that the most “important” or “successful” people are impossible to reach, and therefore probably not worth trying to reach.
the thing is, “important” or “successful” people have gatekeepers yes, and protocol yes, but when something is aligned, you would be surprised as to who might respond to you…if you do it the “right” way. and also if you are not unhinged in some way, or a stalker – very important.
how do we know when it is “right” to try and connect with someone who we may otherwise consider “too important” to want to give us the time of day? first of all, intention. what is your true intention for reaching out to person X? how do they relate to you or vice versa? what is your common denominator? what’s potentially in it for them, for you to reach out? you don’t need a tangible token to offer, per se, but you should have more than one thing in common. in order to clarify intention, we have to ask ourselves: “if this person had nothing to offer me, would I still want to connect?” – if the answer is yes, then you likely share something in common with them, beyond what the eye can see. if this is the case, your natural draw to them will supersede logistical bs (accolades, on-paper achievement, etc). the other thing is, very successful people are also very intuitive – despite what you may think about that. some of the top C-suites I’ve worked with have an eye for talent or intention in a way that totally rivals mine! in fact, I’ve been in the presence of such people who have more years on the planet than I do, and have sized someone up in seconds right in front of me — whereas it took me much longer. that said, that super important or successful person you want to connect with will have a natural radar to spot your intention — this is good news if you know what your intention is, if you can state what it is, and if that intention actually aligns to theirs. if it doesn’t, and you try to connect with them, perhaps it will align with them at another time. it doesn’t really matter though, because if your intention is clean then it will guide you regardless – and maybe you will find out that person is not a match to YOU.
the next part of knowing “when” to reach out, is the actual…WHEN. pairing alongside intention is timing. you have to look at yourself like a piece of fruit. when will you be the most ripe, according to your intention for reaching out to someone? for example. a year ago, I knew that certain parts (interests of mine) of me would ripen around Summer 2019 (now). although there were a number of people I really wanted to connect with a year ago (the people who might be too important or successful to want to talk to me), and my intention was on point, it wasn’t the right time. so I waited.
if we can lock down our intention and our timing, the only other thing to consider is whether or not the people we are looking to connect with require a certain protocol. this requires RESEARCH. now, not everyone’s protocol is readily obvious…but, we should do our diligence to understand whether or not it IS readily obvious. for example, go to their website. see if they are open to connecting with people, but if there is a particular “how” that they prefer. for example, I definitely have a how. after you do this, follow the protocol. if they do not have a protocol, then there is judgement that can be used as to how to connect via social media. perhaps sending person A a DM on twitter or instagram is a terrible idea, whereas it may actually work (I haven’t really heard of this though) for someone else like person B, IF your intention and timing are a true match to you (and them). other platforms like Linkedin are a solid potential, and I often do reach out to people in this manner. it gives them the opportunity to either wait, or politely decline an invitation or message without either party feeling offended. after all, it’s business…not personal.
finally, don’t be afraid to break the rules — I’ve had so many people get through to me at really random, but totally synchronistic times, even when I have called off certain work for a time. I’ve broken my rules on occasion because the person followed all of the other rules of mine, was totally conscientious, and it was just “right”. don’t be afraid, either, of being rejected…I get rejected all of the time. it is part of life. not everyone will like you or understand you — but it’s not personal. it’s just the mosaic of this very grey world we live in. keep trying. don’t get salty or bitter over it. breaking the rules — within reason and with enough honor — has afforded me opportunity I would never have otherwise gotten.
when I was young and wanted to be on a tv show, I didn’t know what the rules were for headshots and resumes. I also had no resume. I had a headshot that was totally not the industry standard, but I sent it to this one casting office anyhow — about once a month. for like a year! just my photo. two years later, I took a class with that casting director. upon entering the class, this person stopped talking to everyone who had shown up for the class and looked at me and then said “how do I know you!!??” — well…long story short, I was cast in my first network tv show and it was a highlight of my year (and my life). had I thought too much about doing things perfectly, or the fact that casting might laugh at my photo with hearts and stars stickers all over it sans resume, I might never have landed that tv show. thanks, Bob!
my concluding point here is that when we honor ourselves to the best of our ability and take risks, dreams can happen. if you don’t do it, someone else will. and you will watch someone else living out one of your (many – we all have many whether we recognize them or not, as recognizing them alone takes actual courage) dreams. today I am taking some chances with people who I think are maybe too important or successful to want to hear from me, because maybe I can’t offer them what they need or want right now. but you never know…it’s worked for me before. I recommend you try the same today!