There is no denying that 2016 was a big year for losing some big names to the great beyond. We lost a Thin White Duke and a Prince. A man who floated like butterfly, a man who floated among the stars, and a woman who played soulmate to a super-powered “strange visitor from another planet”. We lost two TV cops from Barney Miller, a couple TV Dads and a few of TV Moms, along with the guy who created many of the classic TV shows that have crossed two or three generations so far (and countless more generations to come), and so many, many more individuals who’ve made an impact on so many lives.
But why lament on the individuals we’ve lost when many of us have had just as many (or perhaps many more) individuals who have been added to our lives and helped us gain more this year?
One new connection can be worth their weight in gold — or even better in my case if they are worth MY weight in gold! (I should really drop a couple extra pounds in 2017…)
Jim Keenan from A Sales Guy wrote a post about the one person who helped him the most in 2016 (Chris Brogan) and that article made me think about who had helped me the most this year and I had a hard time narrowing it down to a lone individual. As a matter of fact, I easily came up with a list of five people with whom I connected this year who not only contributed to my success and ideas in 2016, but will also impact my ideas and action for the coming year.
I connected with Jason a couple years ago when he was still running a business called IWear YourShirt.com. When he launched Buy My Future last year I started trading more frequent emails with him, and once I invested in BMF his seemingly endless supply of energy for putting ideas into action really began to influence me. I launched a 50-episode daily podcast, a collection of Writers Worksheets, and an experimental “course/box” project — and I already know of two or three projects I’ll be launching in 2017 because I was in Jason’s orbit.
Nick Loper was just a disembodied voice to me at the beginning of the year. He hosted one of my favorite podcasts and side-business communities, Side Hustle Nation. I was a fan of the show and contributed ideas to my fellow community members and Nick invited me on to the program to talk about generating ideas for side hustle businesses. Nick was open to doing something creative with that episode and we turned it into a live brainstorming session for his listeners. Nick says it was one of the most popular episodes of the year (I won’t rest until it’s the most popular of all time!!) and now we’re talking about working together to create ongoing content with future episodes or segments that provide the citizens of Side Hustle Nation with creative solutions to their toughest business challenges. Being on Nick’s podcast exposed me to a new audience and I’ve met another half dozen people who’ve made my 2016 a better year, and will postively impact the coming year.
Beck is a person I connected with this year because my new friend Nick Loper was scheduled to appear in a virtual Idea Summit Beck was producing. I didn’t know her, but I reached out and asked how I could become involved because I thought someone called “The Idea Guy” ought to be able to add some value to that event (fortunately, Beck agreed)! From there we continued the conversation on Facebook and I even participated in a mastermind group Beck and her “business bestie” (Hannah) hosted virtually from their house in Thailand. Last month Beck posed the concept of a 30-day email that provided a strongly-worded morning pep talk for creative minds. She said she’d create the content if at least 10 or 20 people would agree to signup and pay for it. I fell in love with the idea and immediately shared it with several of my friends who immediately signed-up and the “Daily Bitchslap” was born! Now I’ve introduced Beck to more of my friends and she can add the same positive impact to their year that she’s added to mine.
When you connect with one cool person, you will soon connect with another. This is absolutely the case with Hannah Dixon. If it weren’t for becoming friends with Beck, I might never have crossed paths with Hannah (at the very least it could have taken a lot longer to meet her). After meeting Hannah by participating in the “Hustle House” mastermind session I mentioned above, she immediately sent me a friend request on Facebook (beat me to it by about three seconds!) and now I can keep up with all the awesome stuff Hannah is bringing into reality. The most recent project was a “5-Day VA Challenge” to help people find and monetize the unique value and services they can provide people as a Virtual Assistant. I’m just starting to learn all the cool things Hannah has planned, but her energy, enthusiasm, and quick path to idea implementation had a positive influence on me with just a short amount of time left in 2016 — I can only imagine how much of a difference knowing her will make on my success in the coming year.
Lee is a new client who found me because of some of the new people I’ve met over the past year (including those mentioned above). Lee is a creative freelancer with a strong and interesting brand as Mr. Explainer which started as an animated video production company, but has the potential to expand in some really interesting directions. We’ve had a couple really productive and interesting and invigorating brainstorm sessions, and I know we’ll have some new projects to bring into reality in 2017. This is a guy to watch and add to your list of “cool people I should connect with in 2017”.
Choosing just these FIVE names was pretty limiting.
It was a no brainer to rattle off another five names to make it an even ten…
Ozeal: Smooth-talking host of the No Permission Needed podcast who shares the incredible stories of his guests and his a hardcore creative hustler himself. I am excited to see what he does with his course to help mobile bartenders, and to see if there’s a project we might collaborate on when he visits the Buckeye State sometime in the future.
Doug Farrick: We were introduced by way of my interview on the Side Hustle Nation podcast. Doug is the creator of many side hustle business initiatives , but my current favorite (which I’m twisting his arm to let me help with!) is a unique twist to selling original paintings from an online gallery called Pleinairly.
Steph Halligan: Creator of the ArtToSelf daily art project which had the same kind of vibe as my own daily project at BigYellowSticky.com, but she was much more successful at monetizing her content and reaching a wider audience. Even though her daily content production on that site has come to an end, I still look forward to the lessons I can apply to my own efforts.
Robin Miller: I met Robin because we both have a mutual crazy-awesome friend in Whitney Bishop. Robin struck-up a conversation online and when I heard she’d be in my city for an unrelated event, I had to invite her to meet-up in the real world. We had a blast bouncing around ideas over some tasty craft beers and have continued the conversation in regard to some interesting concepts for event-based brainstorming. I hope we get to work together more in 2017. You can connect with Robin at Nest Community Marketing (#seewhatshedidthere?)
Anthony Iannarino: I met this guy years ago when he was just a “baby blogger” getting started online (I take full credit for telling him it was perfectly acceptable to add the word “The” to the front of a domain name he liked but which had already been reserved by someone else.) I add his name to my 2016 list because his brand seemed to simply skyrocket — loads of speaking gigs all over the world, connections with the top gurus and influencers in every category, appearances on major media, and oh yeah… a best selling book titled The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need. Talk about a guy who provides continual inspiration and keeps raising the bar!
But even these names still only scratch the surface and I know I’m leaving off interesting people. Here’s a question for you: Can you name five or ten people you’ve met this year that helped you achieve the biggest gains in your personal or professional life?
Here’s an even bigger question…
Will your name be on someone else’s list?