I’m sitting in my room at the Westin getting ready to meet with two POWERHOUSES on the topics of women and money. (See more below). Interestingly, NEITHER of these connections are because I went to Harvard Business School. Here are my two cents on what it REALLY takes to make the connections that will change your life and business:
1. The Goods– First, you’ve got to have the goods. Do you have something cool, different, better, cheaper, faster? Are you an expert? What are the indisputably great goods you’re going to deliver? Be credible and be excited about it.
2. Your Mojo – Then, you need to target – and really LIKE and be EXCITED – by that target mentor/contact/business/organization.
3. Your Facetime– Then, you need face or phone time to tout your goods to the network. Me – I’m an idea touter. out. It’s women’s leadership. It’s role models. It’s filling gaps we know need to be filled to educate the next generation.
Last, I address the points of Execution and Placement.
Here is how I connected with the two POWERHOUSES using the process above:
Carrie is Chuck Schwab’s daughter. She runs the foundation, and is a senior executive in the company’s community services division. She is a leading voice on the topic of women, families, money, and empowerment. If you don’t know about her, you should. Here she is on Yahoo! Finance. Here is her “Ask Carrie” blog.
1. The Goods– I GUESSED Carrie would be interested in the “goods” of the Hot Mommas Project which is the largest collection of women’s personal and professional stories in a teachable format. Role models, baby. How did I guess? I heard her speak. So, onto number 2.
2. The Mojo– After hearing her speak, I was SOLD. She is AMAZING. Everything she says is brilliant. I’m not kidding. I kept thinking, “People need to KNOW this!” So, I go into step 3 (facetime) excited about what I’m doing, and what she’s doing, and believing we are meant to meet.
3. Facetime – I was in the same room as Carrie. She keynoted the “Women and Philanthropy” forum at the George Washington University. Perfect, right? I’ve been known to go to events specifically to meet one person and business-stalk them. My interns know about this and – I’m so proud – have begun business stalking as well. Minor curve ball: I was teaching class that day and could only go to the first hour. I was incredibly disappointed. I scrawled out a note on a Hot Mommas Project post card (not business card – which could be easily lost), communicating a bullet about #1 and #2 and that we’d love to connect with her. I left this note with a trusted GW staff member (where I am part-time faculty) and ran off to class.
What happened then, you might ask? I got a call from the staff member. She said, “Carrie is interested in your project.” I was THRILLED! I arranged a phone conversation with her and interviewed her for a book of celebrity case studies I’m assembling to help promote the overall Hot Mommas Project library (of all of us out there, not just the famous). I thought she was even MORE amazing. Thus, the cycle of goods, mojo, and facetime continue.
a. Execution – Actually following up with people helps. So I did that.
b. Placement– I put myself in a situation to meet Carrie. I found out where she was speaking, got there, and made a connection. I do this all the time. I have a target list of people with whom I want to speak, and I rush the stage after they are done talking. So much for the dignified professor! Ha! Look, I’ve got to get stuff done. That’s my attitude. And when the people are amazing, it makes it easy.
The Womens’ Funding Network
The Women’s Funding Network is a global umbrella organization for female-focused foundations and angels/fairy godmothers. They are on FIRE. They have incredible insights, an incredible degree of power because of their network and vision, and they are literally trying to MOVE MONEY to women-owned businesses. It is a master plan at a global level. I love it. We can learn a thing or two about world domination from this group. Then, they also have a measurement tool that can place some numbers around the success of their programs. I am going to hit them up for that today.
1. The Goods– Again, I guessed that the WFN would like the Hot Mommas Project. And, what helped was a referral saying, “You should talk to these people” from Romi Lassally. How did I meet Romi? On Twitter. How did she find me on Twitter? From Guy Kawasaki when he tweeted about the Hot Mommas Project.
2. The Mojo– I spoke with the WFN on the phone and was blown away. And thus, the reciprocal excitement began(between #1 and#2 and the ability to connect).
3. Facetime– After a first call, we were going to speak again in about one month. When the Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz trip came about thanks to some outreach by the George Washington University School of Business, I thought “Ah ha! WFN is in San Fran.” So – here I am, in San Fran, at seven in the morning, prepping for my meetings this afternoon. I want to have my game on, because here is the question posed to me by the Women’s Funding Network:
How can the Hot Mommas Projectbring together or have a role for other initiatives taking place for women? (Reading between the lines, there are lots of little things women are doing around the world. Who is going to do the BIG thing?) And, you can see how WFN is structured as an umbrella organization. They have their fingers in many pots to make things happen on the women’s finance global gameboard. So, how can the Hot Mommas Project be like WFN? This is my challenge to ponder today. No Twitter, no email, no checking the Blackberry, FOCUS.
a. Execution – I followed up with the WFN. Once someone is on my radar screen and I think they are the greatest, I really am good at keeping in touch assuming it is reciprocated. I don’t call and email people who don’t care.
b. Placement– This WFN example is interesting because the placement began in the social media realm. I think that is very cool.
Wish me luck. I’m off to use my brain.
P.s. Did you know Einstein did not know his phone number because that information is recorded somewhere? Why waste his brainspace with that, right? Man – I am not on that level but am going to do my best.
Reminder: Our 2009-2010 Case Study Competition is launching next month! Know a dynamic woman over the age of 18? Nominate her to be a role model and tell her story at www.HotMommasProject.org. Email email@example.com with your nomination.
Want to let someone know you believe in them? Sponsor a case writer with your nomination. Every $25 allows a case to be permanently archived on our educational site. Mention your nominees name and email in the PayPal note.