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Instead what you need to do is simplify and get down to the fundamentals. You need to focus on the few core things that are going to produce the most results.
This post is about:
I’m going to tell you how to do this by thinking in terms of the Pareto Principle – meaning that 80 % of the results will stem from 20 % of the actions.
These are the few core things that are going to really boost your social life – not using secret techniques to influence people.
There’s a lot of fancy techniques and interesting psychology out there related to meeting new people, frame controlling, influencing others, and doing pick-up.
However, most of that material is not-so-useful mental masturbation – meaning that it’s a poor use of your time if you are looking strictly for results in improving your social life.
When you want to get good at something you should always consider:
Which are the 1-3 activities that are the most important to accomplishing my goal?
This is the 80/20 approach. Once you have identified these things you seek out to master skill sets related to these key activities.
So, let’s look at some of 80/20 activities related to improving your social life and becoming a connector.
1. Improving your Social Life
A good social life stems from having cool supportive friends and knowing interesting people that you can choose to hang out with whenever you’d like.
Cool supportive friends and interesting people don’t exactly grow on trees – there’s a lot of boring and demotivating people out there that aren’t beneficial to hang around.
If you don’t know how to improve your social life you’ll be stuck with these people.
If you don’t know how to meet new people you’ll feel limited to the few people you already do know.
Your range of choice gets limited – and that’s never a good thing.
The main 80/20 activities that will improve your social life are:
1. Introducing yourself. Always extend your hand – be proactive in meeting new people and introducing yourself to new people in any given social situation. It surprises me that
many people don’t do this immediately and instead talk to each other without saying their names and leaving as strangers. Every interaction is an opportunity to meet someone new.
2. Asking for people’s contact info. Whenever you have an interaction with somebody cool you should take their contact information as soon as possible. You don’t necessarily have to wait until the end of the conversation. Most people will take it as a compliment when you ask for their phone number, Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin. If you feel uncomfortable doing this you could begin by saying something like, “I think you’re an interesting person, what’s your (insert contact info).”
3. Solidifying the relationship. Once you have gotten the contact info, you need to follow
up on it as soon as possible while you’re still fresh in their memory. Do this by writing a short message saying something like, “Hey Carl, it was cool meeting you. I like that you’re also interested in XYZ. I’ll see you around. Regards Ludvig.” It’s often a good idea to refer back to something you were speaking about.
See how damn simple it is!?
This is how a relationship is built from scratch.
Then it’s only a matter of continuing to apply these three activities and then you’ll get to know a ton of new people over time so long as you’re consistent.
Soon you start to collect and follow up on contacting new people as a habit.
If you take a look at the most socially popular people – like club promoters – this is exactly what they’re doing, but with a fanatic dedication. This is literally their full-time job!
By improving your social life you will raise your self-esteem as a result of feeling less dependent on your current social circle.
You’ll be less needy in social situations because you’re confident in your ability to meet new people.
2. Becoming a Connector
Connecting people is probably the oldest job in the world after prostitution.
As a connector you act like the host of a party. You leverage your improved social life by connecting other people to each other. You make sure to include people in the conversation or the social circle by inviting them.
Here are two practical ways of inviting people:
Alicia, This is John, he’s really into mountaineering just like you are!
The main 80/20 activities that will help you connect people are:
1. Connecting as a Short-term strategy immediately. You need to assume the responsibility for your friends meeting new people. Always ask your friends if they’ve met each other and introduce people near you to each other. This is just as the bullet-
pointed example above.
2. Connecting as a long-term strategy over time. You think about people in your social network that might benefit from meeting each other – whether that benefit comes from a business, romance, or friendship standpoint. They will remember that they met through you and appreciate it. You’re providing a ton of value. If you’re serious about this you should frequently send messages to people in your social networks saying things like
Hey Kyle, I know you’re doing X and Y. Michael Johnson, a friend of mine, is doing ABC, I think the two of you could work something out.
3. Being or providing the social nexus. This means either that you are or that you provide the platform through which communication occurs. Being a connector and acting comes close to being the social nexus. Providing the social nexus is a bit different.
To become a connector isn’t very hard if you know a decent amount of people already. The short-
term strategy above is highly effective for being appreciated at social events or parties.
The long-term strategy requires that you’re thinking daily about how you could match different people with each other and then take the time to connect them.
If you are willing to create one a group you’ll soon be in a good social position. Meetup is also great for getting to know new people when traveling or moving to a new city.
What’s your take on these 80/20 activities – are they unrealistically simple?
Do you have strategies of your own for improving your social network?