During these times of self-isolation, it’s not difficult to feel the loss of human connection. Whether it’s time with friends at a restaurant or putting together the puzzle pieces to scale your e-commerce endeavors, connections matter.
Today on the AM/PM Podcast, Tim welcomes a guy that knows all about making connections. Pablo Gonzalez is a networking expert and a content strategist. He came out of the “green” building industry and is here to help entrepreneurs understand how to care for existing relationships, attract new clients and build a community.
According to Pablo, humans didn’t become successful because of our great strength or sharp teeth, instead it was our ability to create connections that helped us survive. Listen in and see if anything he says connects with you. I think it will.
In episode 201 of the AM/PM Podcast, Tim and Pablo discuss:
- 01:35 — Falling Upwards
- 04:40 — The Value of Human Connection
- 06:00 — An Outsider Trying to Get IN
- 07:30 — Pablo’s Start with Green Building
- 09:20 — The Lobby Connections Are Key
- 11:30 — Introverted E-Commerce Sellers?
- 14:00 — How to Start that First Conversation
- 15:30 — Be a “Tour Guide”
- 19:00 — Adding Value and Showing Vulnerability
- 21:40 — Getting that First Rep In
- 25:00 — Networking Possibilities Are Everywhere
- 26:13 — Creating the Stage by Being the Stage
- 29:45 — Email Introductions
- 31:47 — Your Network is Your Net Worth
- 33:00 — Networking During a Period of Self-Isolation
- 35:50 — The Human Being as Social Animal
- 37:11 — How to Connect with Pablo
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Tim Jordan: Your network is your net worth. And it doesn’t matter if you’re an e-commerce seller in your mom’s basement selling arbitrage items, or if you’re the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, you need to network to build your brand and to grow your business. In this episode, my good buddy, Pablo Gonzalez is going to talk to us about how to do that.
Tim Jordan: Hi, I’m Tim Jordan and in every corner of the world, entrepreneurship is growing. So join me as I explore the stories of successes and failures. Listen in as I chat with the risk takers, the adventurous and the entrepreneurial veterans, we all have a dream of living a life, fulfilling our passions, and we want a business that doesn’t make us punch a time clock, but instead runs around the clock in the AM and the PM. So get motivated, get inspired. You’re listening to the AM/PM Podcast.
Tim Jordan: Hey everybody, and welcome to another episode of AM/PM Podcast. We talk about all things business. And today we’re talking to Pablo Gonzalez, who I met completely on a whim in a VIP section at a club in Nashville of all places. We’ll talk about a little bit. And Pablo was an expert in a lot of things; entrepreneurial building businesses. Specifically today, we’re talking about networking. So Pablo, why don’t you say hello and maybe give a ten second introduction of yourself.
Pablo Gonzalez: Started from the club and now we’re here, man. I love how you introduced me. I think it’s really funny since I never go to nightclubs in the last 15 years. My name is Pablo Gonzalez. I’m obsessed with human connection. I feel like my whole life, I have been falling upwards because for a really long time, I would really just beat down on my work ethic and not give myself enough credit for the fact that being obsessed with how you connect to other people, how you communicate, how you bring good people around you, the way that that aggregates value for yourself and for others that has turned into my passion. And that is what I realized has allowed me to do the things that I love doing and succeed in 500 companies, in my own business, socially with my family, whatever you want to call it. But that’s me, I’m obsessed with human connection and I desperately want to be your friend.
Tim Jordan: That made you sound desperate. Please be my friend, but no, I get it. I get it. And knowing you, I know where you’re coming from. That makes sense. And I know that the majority of this audience, this podcast is e-commerce sellers, but we’re not just talking about how to list your products and rank your products on Amazon. But most of us do come from eCommerce. And just so most of you know, public does come from an eCommerce background. Well, from a business development background, we’ll say that, but one of his more recent employers is the VP for a software company that provided services to Amazon sellers. So, he gets the space. He gets where coming from. We want to talk a little bit more broadly about business in general, but all of this applies to whether you’re a service provider, whether you’re an eCommerce seller, whether you’re a brand connector, whether you’re a digital marketer, it doesn’t matter.
Tim Jordan: And I think that networking, connecting is so important to talk about, because again, I’m assuming I’m speaking to an e-commerce audience here. We like to be hermits. Okay. A lot of people that are e-commerce sellers like to work by themselves, they’re not very public. They don’t get out, they don’t network. They don’t talk about what they’re doing for various reasons. But a lot of times they’re hustling. They might be selling millions of dollars worth of products out of their garage. And even their neighbors and their closest family members don’t know exactly what it is they do. And I think there’s so much value in networking. I know that education is important and there’s a lot of people that listen to every podcast, and they watch YouTube videos, and they take courses. That’s great, but nothing can replace human connection and the power of networking and learning and the value of teaching other people and picking up things that aren’t specifically talked about in a webinar.
Tim Jordan: It helps us in life. It helps their family. It helps us in our business. It helps us to succeed in everything that we do. So Pablo in his wonderful musical rendition that he just graced us with. What we’re talking about is we were at Funnel Hacking live. Was that a year and a half ago? 2000, January, 2019? And I went to a random networking thing. He went to a random networking thing. We both somehow– we use it our way up in this VIP booth this big, he ended up being a complete tool, but this influencer, and then we bumped into each other and Pablo’s like, “Hi, my name is Pablo. What’s your name?” And I’m like, “Oh great. It’s going to be one of these guys who just won’t shut up.” It turned out we had a really meaningful conversation and we ended up talking for a long time. We’ve stayed in touch. I’ve had him on another podcast. He’s had me on his podcast and we’ve made some business connections and Pablo– I watch his content. He’s got content all over the internet. And he talks specifically about the value of human connection, right, in that networking. So talk to me about networking man.
Tim Jordan: I know, that’s super broad.
Pablo Gonzalez: When you were just like, “he hasn’t shut up”. I’m like, “man, this is like the longest I haven’t shut up in forever.” No, listen, Tim, there’s this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that is, “In my travels, every man I meet is in some way my superior and in that I can learn from them.” I’d take that quote really, really to heart, to mean that every single person I come across is inherently unique. We’ve all had a different journey, no matter what you’re at. Even if we have the same expertise, we arrived at it in a different way. We have different experiences that shaped that opinion, that perspective. And when you start taking that really, really seriously about understanding that everybody has something to learn from, your network becomes your Google, right? You are walking into a conference, walking into a networking event, is it’s like walking into a library, right?
Pablo Gonzalez: All the knowledge that you can unlock, all the advantages that you can create. And, this access that you can now have for yourself can really truly be life changing. And I have found that throughout my life, from being a young kid to now. I’m the most American person in my family. My first formative memory is walking into preschool in Miami and being the only kid that didn’t speak English, and wanting to figure out how to fit in. And, that kind of shaped me. So, I’ve always approached everything from an outsider, trying to get in perspective. And the moment that I started realizing that you are more able to achieve the things that you want through others quicker, right? The same way that building an audience, the quickest way to build an audience is through other audiences that works in a person to person level.
Pablo Gonzalez: And it really, really works at scale. And if you can dedicate yourself to this, you can become the person that has one phone call away, access to whatever you need, right? So specifically, conferences, like where we met, right? Most people go to these things and I know e-commerce sellers do this, right? I know e-commerce sellers are very into the educational component. They spend a lot of time on YouTube and let’s face it. You spend a lot of time as an eCommerce seller, doing your thing, whatever. But when it comes time to make a decision and to cross a threshold that you’ve never been before, you can get paralyzed because you don’t have that outside perspective. You don’t have all the people to bounce stuff off of.
Pablo Gonzalez: And having that around you, becomes a very, very valuable tool to know when to hold them and when to fold them and want to walk away, want to run, right? Just having a bouncing board on whatever subject you might need is an insanely valuable tool. And I learned this quite frankly, in 2009, I started a green building consultant company in Miami. And I was the only green building expert in town, right. So, whenever I had to create a proposal or had a conversation to have, I just didn’t know, from zero to 10, how close I was to hitting a target. And then when I came into the eCommerce world and I realized that all these online sellers have a similar experience, I realized the value that networking and bringing them together and why masterminds are so important.
Pablo Gonzalez: And, why going to a conference back to my original point, not just to learn from the person on stage, right? Whatever you learn from people on stage at a conference, you might take home one to three things that you’ll start implementing, then you’ll start refining. Maybe that can change your business in due time. But if you meet one person, right? If you meet that one person that has that one introduction, that has that one on lock, I’m like, “Oh, you’ve been stuck here for years. I fixed that six months ago. Here’s the answer.” Right? Or, someone like you, Tim, when I met you, right? You put me on my first podcast. That’s my first experience in being out there, audience building and the doors that somebody can open for you are exponential when you have a personal relationship. So I don’t know if I answered that completely holistically. I feel like I went in all sorts of ways.
Tim Jordan: I didn’t even ask you a question. I just said, tell us about networking. So I just wanted to hear you go, man, I’m learning from you. I know this is what you focus on all the time. I’ve noticed that, and I go to a lot of conferences. Last year, I flew 250,000 miles going to things. And, I’ve spoken all over the place, but speaking on stage or hearing people on stage is not as important as the lobby connections, right? I know people that go to large conferences and they don’t even buy tickets. They just go to the resort or they go to the hotel, I call them lobby lurkers, and they get just as much value without having to pay for the ticket because those conversations are great.
Tim Jordan: Some of the more recent conferences that I’ve go to, I was at ASGTG. It’s like 750 people in Brooklyn. I was there in January. I didn’t even walk into the room where the presentations were being done. I don’t even know what the stage looked like. Because I stayed in the lobby. I sat at tables and ate great food, and just met a ton of people. And it was amazing. And that networking– you can’t replace it. And it’s not just about having a connection or having someone you can call or having favorites. It’s the learning. And what I think is interesting is it’s not just the learning that you can have from your interaction with one person, but the interaction you see with that person and another person. Right? So I have a coaching group called the Centurion League and I didn’t want to build a course.
Tim Jordan: I didn’t want to have webinars. I wanted conversation. So twice a week, we get on a zoom call and that’s what we do. And on Mondays we have what’s called a round table. And I had this idea because some of the most profound learning I had in business e-commerce life, whatever, was sitting around a round table with a bunch of strangers. And especially when I got started, I didn’t know what to ask. I didn’t know what problems were coming up in my future. So I didn’t– but this person over here would talk to this person over here. Then this person would ask this person question. This person would answer. And this person on the other side of the table would have an opinion and I’m learning stuff I didn’t even know I needed to know. And now six months later, 12 months later a year from now, I run into something I’m like, “Oh, I remember that conversation.
Tim Jordan: I hear it. I hear an idea. Or a thought gets sponsored.” Networking isn’t just about one-on-one. Networking is like accessing a web. It’s like you enter this point of a network and there is unlimited potential of contacts, of relationships, of pieces of information, of knowledge that go in 360 degrees around you. So when you insert yourself into a network, it’s massive. Now networking is hard. And I’m going to stereotype a little bit. All right, I’m going to say that a lot of e-commerce sellers are introverts that don’t like to talk to people, that don’t like to meet strangers, that don’t like to get out of her house, that don’t like to go to trade shows. I was once at this conference where they had a, I don’t remember they call it, but it’s like a quiet room. It is a room at the convention center where they literally put a bunch of chairs against the outside wall of the room facing the wall. And it was for introverts or if they just felt overwhelmed and not just interesting. People are just overwhelmed. They could go sit in this chair and know that they are in this room. They know that they were to be left alone and just let themselves recharge. Right? I’m not saying they’re scared of crowds, but that’s how people would just recharge. They just have to have a minute. So we know that this community has a lot of people like that; that are scared to get out there, put themselves out there. They undervalue themselves. They have more content and more wisdom than they realize they do. And they need to share it. How do you tell people, “Hey, get yourself out there. Here’s one step to start on this networking journey if you’re not doing it to access this abundance of connection, community and knowledge?”
Pablo Gonzalez: Yes. I love this question. I want to make a distinction first. There is the difference between introverts and extroverts. It’s not that introverts are shy. There is shy introverts, and then there’s not so shy introverts. And then there’s shy extroverts and not so shy extroverts, right? It’s not that they’re shy or not. It’s not that they can have a conversation or not. It’s that introverts get drained by person to person interaction and energy, and extroverts receive energy from that, right? When I’m in a room full of people, I’m like Superman staring at the sun. I come home from a conference and it’s like I’m all jacked up for three days on Mountain Dew. And I’m unbearable to my wife cause I’m super, super energetic. But those rooms that you talked about, for the people that get drained on energy, that’s fine.
Pablo Gonzalez: Go and recharge. Right? Because that doesn’t affect if you should network or you shouldn’t network. I think it’s just energy management. And I completely encourage that. Now, I also understand that one of the scariest things for most people is walking into a room, walking into an event and not knowing anybody. And that initial thought of just like, “am I going to be the loser standing here by myself?” Right? That is really what people need to know. The big hump that most people need to get over. Cause most people, even introverts will tell you, “listen, man, I’m shy. But you get me in a conversation.” And I love people. I love talking, right. So how do you start that conversation, number one, I think you approach it from a mindset standpoint, get rid of whatever your preconceived notions of networking is.
Pablo Gonzalez: Right? Like most people have this idea in their head that a networking event is a place where you just spraying business cards and people are trying to solicit each other. I recently heard a really funny story from the guy that founded BNI, where he was on stage speaking at a networking event. And he’s like, “raise your hand here if you’re hoping to get a sale.” And everybody raises their hand. And then he’s like, “All right, cool, awesome.” “Raise your hand if you’re planning on buying something”, and nobody raises their hand. So get that out of your head, right? You’re not there to make a sale. You’re there to make relationships. You’re there to open doors and see the possibilities. And this isn’t a one stop shop, right? So get that out of your head, take the pressure off. Don’t approach it from that. Approach it from a level of service, right?
Pablo Gonzalez: And everything that I’m saying and the idea that everybody has a unique value, you’re included in there, right? You have a unique value. You, person listening, there was something that you have thought about completely differently than the way that I’ve thought about, for sure. And that will have some kind of inherent value in my life when I meet you, if you can get good at understanding that. So the first step is get to know yourself, right? Understand what you’re passionate about, talking about what things that you have done a deep dive in, and be comfortable accepting that as value, right? I have one of the networking superchargers that I like to give, it’s called “Be a Tour Guide.” Right? And, when I lived in Miami, I lived in this really trendy neighborhood in Miami. Now it’s called the Wynwood Arts district, right. It’s where all the cool restaurants started popping up. And I was there right as it started blowing up, it was really, really cool. And all my friends started calling me and asking me like, “Hey, I’m taking my wife out. Where should I go?” And I’m like, boom, here. And, I was on top of it. So at some point I developed a list of the places I really like there. And at another point I developed a list of places I really like in Miami. And I started just using that list as a talking point, right? Anybody that I knew was going to go to something. I knew that I had a recommendation for them. I would listen for it in any conversation that I would get into. If you just had a baby and you just spent the last year researching cribs and baby rooms and whatever you’re going to do, that is something that’s valuable to some person. If you know the best school districts in whatever city, you know the best restaurants in whatever city, that’s valuable.
Pablo Gonzalez: So it can be that little. If you’re an expert in e-Commerce like you are Tim, clearly that’s valuable. Right? So, you’re going to be looking for opportunities to add value. And the way that you do that is by asking good questions, right? So, you want to be of service, approach it from a mentality of how can I help other people, right? How can I bring value to somebody else? And that’s the mentality that you have to go into it with. And that takes all the pressure off. Am I going to show up in this room and feel like a loser or not? If you’re just there looking for a way to help other people, great. The most basic way to help somebody when you’re at a networking event is what Tim? Introduce yourself to them, right? Because everybody in that room has that fear of being the person, being the outcast, feeling lonely when you’re surrounded by a hundred people.
Tim Jordan: I was always the class clown because I was overcompensating for being nervous. So, growing up as a class clown. So now I do that. I actually do that now. If I go to a conference and look, I go to conferences where I don’t know people, I don’t know anybody. I go to stuff that’s not Amazon or e-commerce related. And that’s what I do. I’ll go sit, I’ll go find a table where there’s one person sitting, and I’ll go and just be a goofball and make fun of myself. I’ll walk up to the table and let me say, “Hey, do you mind if I sit here? So I don’t look like a giant loser standing in the back of the room by myself. Can we like pretend to be friends? So I don’t feel so uncomfortable.”
Tim Jordan: And usually that makes them kind of look at me and laugh and then I’ll be like, “Hey, look, let’s recruit other people and see who we can get to.” So I’ll turn around. You know when people make eye contact, they’re walking through a room, looking for a table. If they make eye contact with me, I’ll go, “Oh, Hey, Hey, are you looking for a table?” And, I’m overcompensating. Cause I saw these people too. But if I can get them to let their guard down for a second and be like, “uh, yeah.” Come on, come on. We’re out. None of us know each other, sit down at a table and you can look cool too, and I overdo it and I’m a little bit loud and boisterous. And some people would even say obnoxious, but you know what, doing that wasn’t easy for me. It’s super difficult. Deep down, I’m super self-conscious. I have impostor syndrome a lot of times. All these things and by overcompensating, it’s allowed me to, if it doesn’t go, well, I can shirk it off. I can laugh about it. If someone looks at me like I’m a complete weirdo, cause I am, I can laugh. I was kind of being weird. But some of the relationships that I’ve built and some of the things I’ve learned and some of the people that I guess, fortunate I’ve been able to help, started out by just being goofy and weird and putting myself out there. And if I hadn’t done that, I would have really missed out on a lot of things in life, you know? So, so I think that’s huge power in that.
Pablo Gonzalez: Yeah, man, self-deprecation goes a really, really long way. Right? I base most of my good friendships on how much somebody can make fun of me about it, but you know why that works, Tim? It’s because we connect on two levels immediately, right? If somebody adds value to your life, you feel you owe them, right? That is a chemical reaction that happens in your head right? Like the Hare Krishnas in the late seventies would give people a flower and ask for a donation. The flower meant nothing, but they crushed it with this big thing because people felt they were getting a gift and have to get something back. The other thing that bonds people, is vulnerability, right? Any kind of shared vulnerability that you have with someone will automatically connect you.
Pablo Gonzalez: That’s why, bootcamp platoons bond, fraternity classes bond. That’s what people from the same generation tend to bond. That’s why if somebody tells me, “Oh man, I lost my brother.” At some point I’m like, boom, I immediately bond with them, right? It is that really, really bonds people. And that is where self-deprecation hits. Right? If you can be lighthearted and make fun of yourself and say, “Oh, I don’t want to feel like a loser.” That person that was sitting there by themselves can totally relate. And it brings me back to something that Dean Graziosi said at Funnel Hacking Live, where we are, where we met, which is people don’t follow, create relationships with, do business with people that they understand. They follow, create relationships with, bond with people that they feel understand them. Right? So, if you can be vulnerable on in a way that somebody can relate to it, that’s an instant connection.
Pablo Gonzalez: And you said it, the other thing that you brought up there is that person walking around the room, man, that is the biggest opportunity for a relationship and for you to add value immediately, always. There’s always that person in a room that’s walking around aimlessly. They’re dying to not feel alone in a room of a hundred people. All you have to do is introduce yourself to that person. Hey, “I’m Tim.” “Hey, I’m Pablo.” Just the same way that I came up to you when you were standing off on in a corner in the VIP section at a club. If you just walk up to that one person that’s by themselves and start a relationship, you’ve kind of done both, right? You’ve added that value to their life where they now, all of a sudden are like, “Oh my God, thank you. I’m not going to be here sitting by myself.” And, you can just be like, “man, I saw you by yourself. Dude, you’re floating around. I was floating around. I didn’t want to feel alone.” So that immediately connects you. And I like to– just like anything, right? The only way you get good at stuff is through repetition and practice. And I think that when you’re walking into a networking event, the best thing that you can do for yourself is get that first rep in, right? Introduce yourself to somebody, just start a conversation. The moment that most people get into a conversation, they get out of their own head. They go into storytelling mode. They go into listening mode and you just become way more comfortable on that. Second introduction is way easier. So that person floating around is one perfect person to get that first rep in. There’s also every time you’re walking into a conference or a networking event, sometimes you’re walking through a lobby. Sometimes you’re taking an elevator. It’s pretty clear who’s walking there, right?
Pablo Gonzalez: Who’s going into the event with you, that person that you’re walking next to, “Hey, are you going to this event?” “Oh, Hey, I’m Pablo” Walk and talk, boom. That’s one rep on the way in. The other thing that happens at all these events, there’s always a line. There’s always a line for registration. There’s always a line for the bar. There’s always a line for the buffet. Anybody standing in a line, just go stand in the line, look to the person in front of you, look to your person behind you. Be like, “Hey, what’s up a Pablo”, boom. That’s a rep that you get in. You’re immediately feeling more comfortable. And then finally, there’s exactly what you just described, which is there’s always somebody sitting at a table by themselves. You walk up to the person, sitting at a table by themselves and say, “Hey man, he wants some company.” You’re alone. You were at a networking event. Boom, that’s another rep, right? So that to me is the overall way to enter one of these events and get over that fear is by approaching it, as I’m doing a service to anybody that I’m introducing myself for. And then you look for these four categories of people that are inevitably going to be there waiting for you to help them out.
Tim Jordan: And let me say this, we’re talking about a very specific thing. We’re talking about going to a conference or trade show, but what we’re talking about applies to everything and everybody that’s listening to this is a business owner or an aspiring business owner. You don’t have to be in person at a conference. You can be just communicating and networking with people at the grocery store in line. There’s a million places you can do this because business success isn’t based just on business connections or apparent obvious business connections. It’s about connections. Somebody can connect you to somebody else. Somebody can give you an idea. Somebody can talk about your brand. Someone can become a brand advocate. So I’m going to be influence. You don’t even know it. So we’re not– we’re using networking events, conferences, examples, but this applies everywhere. It also applies online.
Tim Jordan: There’s a million places you can apply this stuff online. Paul was talking about sharing information. If you know the answer to a question that somebody asked in a Facebook group, get in there and answer it. It’s really amazing how many times I’ve answered a question, which has led to a long conversation, which has led to me learning something. And it’s led to me starting some sort of relationship with a person that’s added value to my life. Just get yourself out there and help and put out content. But don’t think that this is just talking about networking events when it comes to trade shows, conferences. If you are wanting to talk about a business event, there are e-commerce specific events. There are business building events. You don’t go to a Tony Robbins event or Grant Cardone event and hear people talking about e-commerce. They’re talking specifically about just building business entrepreneurs and you can go to small meetups. You’re down there in Miami or you need to hook up with Carlos Alvarez. You know what I’m talking about?
Pablo Gonzalez: Yeah. I recently met Carlos at the Pod Fest.
Tim Jordan: Oh my gosh. So Carlos has a free meetup where people show up for– before the COVID thing happened for free on Saturdays and like me and Carlos, I love that guy. You can go to just places and have coffee. They’re going to meet ups for Amazon sellers or entrepreneurs or BNI, the Business Networking International. I’ve been to those events before. It’s everywhere. It’s all over the country. If you’re a brand owner, you have to network to push your brand, right? Whether you’re a private label seller on Amazon or Shopify, you’ve got a brand you’re getting in brick and mortar stores. It doesn’t matter. Networking is important across all sorts of facets, but how do we do it? You have a formula, alright. You have a formula for building networks. Do you want to share at least the high level of that formula right now?
Pablo Gonzalez: Yeah, man, I would love to, and I’ll start off by saying, cause you were talking about good opportunities to network and to meet people that can add value to your life. I developed this stuff by networking in young professional, philanthropic groups in Miami, right. So completely left field, right? I started this young professionals group for habitat for humanity. And I started realizing that the people that are the volunteer for nonprofits are at least care more about– some don’t only care about themselves, right. They have something more than they care about than just themselves. And that unlocked the– a whole big piece of my brain. But the formula for me for really effective networking involves creating a stage and being the stage, right? So the best thing that you can do, just like we talked about that the easiest way to grow an audience is by growing through other audiences. The best way that you can grow a network is by being able to promote other people in your network. So what do I mean by creating a stage and being the stage? Originally, I had started young professional groups for habitat for humanity. Then I started another young professionals group for this Miami Lighthouse for the Blind that I became part of the Miami economic development agency. And we started young professionals group there. And what we would do is we would gather these groups of 12, 15 young professionals. And we would plan our meetings around a board member of the nonprofit itself and we’d all meet together. And we would pick the brain of this community leader.
Pablo Gonzalez: They would give us the information, experience in their career, how they got ahead. And then, we’d have a chance to form a relationship with them. And then we would plan out our meetings. When’s our happy hour? When’s our volunteer event, whatever. We started realizing– what I realized is that if I am reaching out to a business leader on not just behalf of myself, but on the behalf of its charity and these 12 other young professionals that want to make a difference, I now have more access than I normally would, right? Because I provide more value because I’m providing a stage to somebody, right? So, that was the first level. Then at a certain point and I came up in the construction industry. I had a green building consulting company, got acquired by my biggest customer that was a hospital builder.
Pablo Gonzalez: I became the director of sustainability. And at a certain point I got bored. I wanted to be a business developer. So I reached out to this developer that was doing this really interesting project that centered around transit oriented development. So it was building density, a high rise in a residential zone on top of the Metro station. And it was really controversial because nobody really wanted the project. They were from the neighborhood, but it was incentivizing mass transportation in Miami. And that was important. So I reached out to him and I said, Hey, listen, man, I got these groups of young professionals in Miami. I’m going to put you on stage with the politician on the board of one of my charities and a land use attorney that I know. We’re going to talk about transit oriented development as it fits into the skyline of Miami for young professionals to know, and I had this little tiny event, 20 people showed up, had this conversation, connected him to the people that I put them on stage with, let him speak as part.
Pablo Gonzalez: He didn’t ask for anything. Next week, he’s in the office talking about, “Hey man, are you guys bidding on the $65 million project or not?” Right? So, that was the nexus of me understanding that if you can leverage a stage by not trying to put yourself on stages, well, by having a stage and putting other people on it that you can connect to an audience, that becomes very valuable. So now you look to the world we live in now with social media and how anybody can have a YouTube channel. Anybody can have a podcast. Anybody has just your own feed and your ability to have stages have become exponential with technology, right? So your Facebook group is a giant stage. This podcast is a giant stage. If you are trying to reach out to, I don’t know, Jeff Bezos, the chance of you getting to talk to him. If you’re just reaching out as Tim Jordan is very different than the chance of you getting to talk to him as the host of this podcast. And, I want to have somebody on, right? So I take that down to the micro in the sense that networking is all about connecting with people and being to connect them to others. So I now think about email introductions as a stage, right? Anytime I’m going to introduce somebody, I have a set formula. I say, “Pablo meet Tim, Tim, meet Pablo.”
Pablo Gonzalez: Then I go, I’m going to say, “Pablo, Tim is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He’s super friendly. He’s an e-commerce Ninja. And, he does everything from these buyer trips to having a Facebook group, to having a private label brand. And I think that you should get to know him because he can teach you this and that.” Right? And then I’ll say “Tim, meet Pablo. Pablo is just super connector. You want to have them in your network? Cause he can introduce you to whoever, blah, blah, blah.” Right? So I write two separate paragraphs, putting people up on pedestals for each other. And that I say, I hope this brings value to both of you, happy connecting. Now at that point, whether those people follow up with each other or not, whether it’s successful or not, both of them think, damn! Pablo just put me on a pretty high pedestal. I like that guy. The next time he needs something, I’m going to do something for him, right? So, just thinking about an email introduction as a mini stage already adds value to people and already creates that feeling of this guy is in it for me, he cares about who I am and I want to reciprocate in that.
Tim Jordan: Yeah. And of course we’re talking about high level stuff and young professional groups and $65 million developments. But these things apply to everybody, right? Whether you’re a digital marketer and you’re just starting some sort of affiliate deal, whether you’re trying to get a few sales to launch your next product on Amazon or Shopify or trying to build your email list for your product, it doesn’t matter. All this stuff works. So give, give, give, and you will receive like that. That’s what it comes down to and leverage other people. But don’t leverage them by selling to them, leverage them by providing value to them. And they will come back. I can ask somebody for something and they might give it to me. But if I provide something for somebody, they’re more likely to just come to me, give me some I didn’t realize I need, right?
Tim Jordan: And of course, there’s a lot of points I can make about having value in society and providing value for those around you for self-fulfillment, I’m not going there. I’m talking about just networking. When you put yourself out there and you put other people together and you provide content, provide value, your network will grow. And your network, like they say, is your net worth. So it doesn’t matter what stage you’re at in life, what you’re doing in life. Whether you’re a stay at home mom doing little retail arbitrage, and you need to learn something you didn’t know, or you’re the CEO of a multi-million dollar company you’re trying to grow it or exited or whatever you’re trying to do. All this stuff matters. So speaking to a largely e-commerce community, Pablo let’s wrap this up by giving an opportunity to share. You’ve got like three minutes to get on a soap box.
Tim Jordan: And right now things are tough in the world, right? We see businesses closing all the time. And right now the forecast for the economy doesn’t look good. People are scared. People can’t go out and network in person, but e-commerce is growing. And the e-commerce opportunities have never been greater. People need to not sit on their butts and not do anything. Now’s the time to put your pedal to the metal, put your foot on the gas, make a big change, but you can’t go out and physically network. Getting your soap box for three minutes and encourage people and tell them how they can still be networking even in a time of self-isolation and no physical events. So, preach to us brother.
Pablo Gonzalez: Yeah, man, we talked about this, not that long ago, right? Coronavirus has changed a couple of things, but more than anything, it’s accelerated some trends that were already coming. And one of those trends is the fact that we’ve just gone through this inflection point in history when communication mediums have just exploded and gatekeepers are gone and you can now talk via video, audio, however you want to the world unfiltered all the time and you need to become fluent in that type of communication, right? This is akin to when the printing press got invented, all of a sudden writers became really, really, really valuable, right? When the television, when the radio came out, people that could speak on air became really, really valuable. Same with TV, right? Now, this has just been an accelerating trend that has been coming. So everybody is now paying much more attention online, how to communicate online, how to do that.
Pablo Gonzalez: And this is the opportunity to start speaking your truth. Start putting out there your value, whether you are an eCommerce seller, talking about your expertise, whether you are a stay at home mom that is talking about the way that you are managing the stress of COVID while you’re building your online business, whether you are somebody that is a nine to five work from home person that is also trying to start a side hustle. This is the time to start speaking at scale online. And I have found that, to find real happiness, there is kind of a four step system that I have distilled for myself. Number one is find something that you’re really, really good at that you love doing it, right? So once you figure that out, dive into that and start talking about it nonstop and figure out a way to serve others with it, right?
Pablo Gonzalez: Once you have iterated through understanding how this thing that you’re good at can serve others with it, then figure out a way to monetize that in a way that is not– doesn’t lose authenticity, right? So if you’re an eCommerce seller, you need an audience. If you’re a digital marketer, you need an audience. Right? And it doesn’t have to be an audience. Let’s say you’re selling dog toys, right, on Amazon. You don’t have to make an audience around your dog toy. You can make an audience. If you’re the stay at home mom and you know how to manage kids and you know these things, right? You’ve figured out some truths of how to balance your day and not go crazy during Corona. And you’re talking about that. Talk about that at scale online. And it’ll draw people that connect to your message and those people that connect to your message are then going to ask you, Oh, and then what are you selling?
Pablo Gonzalez: Okay. I’m in. Right? So that is the way that you would monetize a service that you have to others in a way that you don’t lose authenticity. And once you have that figured out, you can build a business around that, man. But the bottom line is that the human being is the quintessential social animals. We did not get to the top of the food chain because we’re the strongest, because we have the sharpest teeth, because we have chameleon-like coloration. We got to the top of the food chain because at a certain point, one caveman looked at another caveman and they said, “you know what, man, let’s work together to take down this wooly mammoth.” And they figured it out. Right? And, then we populated cities because one Roman looked at another Roman to like, “man, if we can build an aqueduct, the sanitation thing, we can congregate.” Right? We got to the moon because a bunch of engineers and a bunch of ship builders and scientists and a couple of stud athletes. And, our political system decided we’re going to pull two dudes on the moon, right? So if you are an entrepreneur, you’re building a business, right? Whether it’s e-commerce, whether it’s marketing, whatever you’re doing, if you want to do it well, you need to get good at understanding how to bring people together around a message, around the mission and working together with others in order to accomplish anything great. And if you’re out there to sell a million dollars on Amazon this year, guess what? That is an amazing accomplishment. So get good at this. The faster you get at bringing people around you to help you reach your goals and you helping other people reach your goals, the faster you’re going to get there and exceed your own expectations. That’s my soap box now.
Tim Jordan: Amazing. It was longer than three minutes, but it was worth it. So Pablo, if people want to get in touch with you, how do they find you?
Pablo Gonzalez: Connect with Pablo. That is my website connectwithpablo.com. My email address is email@example.com. My Instagram address is @connectwithpablo. I would love for you to connect with me on LinkedIn, but the easiest way is to go to my website, cause there’s a bajillion Pablo Gonzalez in the world, but that is my favorite place that I would like to connect with people on. And I also have a podcast called the Chief Executive Connector that is based around everything that I just said. Right? Everybody that I meet, who I learned from, how I learned it, how I get them into my network and how you find value in others and surprise, surprise. There’s a really good guest coming on it called Tim Jordan.
Tim Jordan: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on this one, Pablo. It’s great to see you again. When all this travel restricts and stuff freeze up, we need to make sure we meet up somewhere and I’m going to let you take me out to one of these good Miami hole in the wall restaurants that you know about that is off the beaten path.
Pablo Gonzalez: We’re going to eat some bomb Cuban food, buddy.
Tim Jordan: No, I’m excited. Thank you all for listening to another episode. Appreciate your listening in, appreciate you listening to the end. Make sure if you found any value in this, that you share it with anybody that might want to hear it. Make sure to hit that subscribe button. Follow us in our Facebook page, AM/PM Podcast. Also go to ampmpodcast.com. We’ve got a lot of cool content stuff on there, and we will see you guys on the next episode.
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