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A Day In The Life Of A New York City Super-Connector

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Jared Kleinert

Ever wondered what it is like to meet your favorite social media superstars or interview your favorite startup founders? What if you could meet almost anyone you wanted and spend hours learning about their ideas, business-building strategies, and life stories? We caught up with entrepreneur, TED speaker, and award-winning author Jared Kleinert last year as he was interviewing contributors for his new book 3 Billion Under 30 and asked him to document “a day in the life” in order to learn firsthand how he’s been able to become USA Today’s “Most Connected Millennial” and “The Most Connected ‘Kid’ You Don’t Know (But Probably Should)” according to Inc. We see our favorite personalities on YouTube or Instagram, or obsess over new startups and try to meet them for coffee, but to no avail. Sure, it would be cool to get a selfie with these people or include them in your snap story, but what if you could make friends and do business with them? Jared has, and by following him, we can learn to do the same ourselves.

 

[Enter Jared Kleinert]

 

At 10 a.m., I walk up to the Hyatt on 45th street and meet Jason Liebman, of the producers of my new web series, Stories From The 3 Billion Under 30 (whose co-producer is Roberto Blake, a well-known creative entrepreneur and social media influencer). We are here to interview Furious Pete, a YouTuber who has over 5 million subscribers as well as an entrepreneur, sponsored bodybuilder, competitive eater, world record holder in multiple categories, author, TV show host, and cancer survivor. We go up to the 20th floor and enter Pete’s hotel room, chatting with his fiance Melissa who is about to (bravely) take on Times Square in search of coffee while we record two interviews – one to include Pete in my next book and one to include him in the web show.

The day hasn’t even started yet and I’m already humbled. After this, we have interviews with a VC-backed startup founder, co-founder of a non-profit impacting over 50,000 high school students across seven cities, one of the most connected individuals in the business world who runs an event series that is harder to get into than Harvard, the head of a media company with millions of social media followers and tens of millions of monthly unique views on their website each year, and dinner with a good friend and well-known Instagram influencer making over $50,000 monthly from her “side hustle”.

Back to Furious Pete, we spend the next ninety minutes reflecting on his story – from overcoming anorexia when he was younger to his work, lifestyle, and even the German TV show he hosts despite only speaking English and coming from Polish descent. We laugh over my eggs-and-pancakes-themed socks and exchange a furious fist bump in between interviews. All it took to get access to this social media influencer was an introduction from a mutual friend and a ten minute phone call beforehand. Now, we were becoming friends in the moment and finding new ways to help one another. He even pulled out his camera as we walked out and caught footage for his vlogs, which as a stand-alone YouTube channel has over 500,000+ subscribers. I’m just happy I shaved this morning.

In the subway back to my office in the Financial District, I send a 30 second video message to happiness researcher and Snapchat influencer Virginia Salas Kastilio, who I’ve already interviewed for the web series and chronicled for 3 Billion Under 30. We met at SXSW while wearing banana costumes and leading the world-record-breaking attempt for most dancing fruit in one place (or something like that). It’s her birthday today, and I make it a point to call people or send a personal message of admiration as much as possible in a world where everyone else resorts to impersonal posts on Facebook. I record and send the video right as we enter the Q train heading downtown and before I lose wi-fi for the next twenty minutes.

Waiting on the 17th floor of Wework as we walk in is Layla Tabatabaie, lawyer-turned-startup founder who is working on three completely different projects right now. She has her investor-backed startup BarterSugar which helps companies trade professional services with one another, TaleMonster, which is still in beta and aims to assist content creators in sharing works of fiction with readers who can “choose their own adventure” and change what they read in real time based on different jump-off points in the story, and Drinking Press which is a podcast covering history and culture through different drinks of choice (so far, they’ve recorded episodes while drinking whiskey, picklebacks, and Soju, a Korean spirit which is currently one of the most popular drinks in the world).

kleinert jared

photo by Liebs Media

We need to be finished with our interview at 1 p.m. in order to travel back uptown to interview Kanya Balakrishna, the co-founder of The Future Project who was introduced to me by a professor and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. He, like global bestselling author Tony Wagner, Sir Ken Robinson, Cleveland Cavs owner and billionaire Dan Gilbert, Alicia Keys, Deepak Chopra, and others support this nonprofit, which works with over 50,000 students in schools nationwide to help them identify projects they can work on to help them see a brighter future, and so I’m really excited to interview her both for the book and for the web series we’ve been shooting all day (we record episodes in batches, typically each Thursday).

We wrap up, share big hugs with Layla, and grab protein bars from the market downstairs. Considering my newest marketing consulting client is Ample, a 500 Startups company that raised $70,000 on Indiegogo in its first two day and went on to raise over $367,000 in one month for its “meal-in-a-bottle” solution to help people gain optimal nutrition in a rush, I’m already feeling guilty, but alas, the show must go on and we are otherwise going to be late for yet another subway ride.  

About a half hour later, we walk into The Future Project offices. Apparently, yesterday was Kanya’s birthday, and so there are signs and pictures of her all over the office with words of admiration from her team and program alum. We’re a few minutes late, and squeezed in a 3:30 p.m. meeting after this, so we only have about forty-five minutes to do two interviews and learn how The Future Project has corralled so much support in such little time.

As we head down the elevator, I check my email to see that New York Times bestselling author Dave Kerpen has just published an article about me saying that I’m “The Most Connected Kid You Don’t Know Yet (But Probably Should)” and sharing my “5 Strategies For Quickly Building An Influential Network”, which are the reasons to why I’ve been running around the city meeting all these incredible people today.

I quickly post the article to Facebook, shout out all the mentors and friends I mentioned in the interview, and retweet some of the comments readers have already shared online. Apparently, my next interviewee Jayson Gaignard has already seen the post and commented on my Facebook status, so the pressure is on!

kleinert jared

photo by Liebs Media

We enter another hotel near where we had our first interview this morning (why is everyone staying near Times Square?) and see Jayson in the fourth floor lobby. Jayson Gaignard is the founder of Mastermind Talks, one of the most exclusive events each year that hosts thought leaders like Tim Ferriss, Dave Asprey, Gary Vaynerchuk, Lewis Howes, Marie Forleo, and is harder to get into than Harvard with a less than 1% acceptance rate for the thousands of entrepreneurs attempting to get into Jayson’s events.

Much to my surprise, I learn that Jayson is still only 30 (turning 31 next week) and so I offer to include him in my next book, prompting us to dive into two interviews and spend the next hour-plus chatting about how to build super-powered networks. I’m geeking out and am again humbled – Jayson is where I want to be in a decade, running a seven-figure business with a network that influences millions in industries ranging from tech to internet marketing and publishing. This article may as well be a day in his life, but I digress.

We are running over our hour time allotment because we are having fun and sharing so much practical advice with our eventual audiences, and he has a meeting with none other than investor and author James Altucher right after we wrap up.

Ten minutes later, I’m meeting James for the first time (I’ve been a big fan of his work for over a year, and even gave his book Choose Yourself to my mom) and giving my goodbyes to Jayson, a new friend, book contributor, and web show interviewee all wrapped into one.

kleinert jared

photo by Liebs Media

5:30 pm is when I finally stumble into my office again. The crowd has cleared on this Thursday night and I’m left relatively alone to choose a conference room in which to set up for my next interview, which isn’t until 8:00 pm and is over Skype.

In the meantime I reach out to potential contributors for 3 Billion Under 30, the follow-up to my first book 2 Billion Under 20 which was voted the #1 Entrepreneurship Book of 2015. So far, everyone from entrepreneurs running 7, 8, and 9 figure businesses to pro athletes, Guinness World Record holders, venture capitalists, industry-leading designers, corporate intrapreneurs, and others have sent me their stories so I can share them with the world and encourage our generation to act on their passions in life and unite in solving the world’s most pressing problems. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh called my last book, “a challenge to young people across the globe,” and I’m increasingly getting more excited about 3 Billion Under 30 because it is shaping up to be the blueprint to accepting such a challenge.

Soon 8:00 p.m. rolls around and Joel Brown from Addicted2Success.com hops on the line. In a few short years, Joel has grown his media company to social media accounts that collectively have millions of followers and an annual unique visitor count of over 50 million. I used to write for his outlet, and now get to hear his most recent story to be shared in my book about struggling with TSA to re-enter the country after temporarily leaving the U.S. to head to Mexico for a friend’s bachelor party (he’s here on a six month visa from Australia). I’m glued to the screen as he shares the experience and how we was kept in a deportation chamber for twelve hours because the officers didn’t understand how he makes money online.

40 minutes we wrap up, wave goodbye via video chat, and I walk out to the shared area in our office to see Alex Wolf, a good friend, Instagram influencer, and entrepreneur who is here to grab dinner with me on Stone Street, the famous restaurant strip near Wall Street that fortunately happens to be right behind the building. Alex has grown various Instagram accounts totalling over 260,000 followers and has a business generating over $30,000 monthly that she doesn’t even run anymore (she has since hired a CEO to run the brand BossBabe she became famous for in order to grow a stronger personal brand). Earlier this week she was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People” in business, and so just as I have been all day, I’m just happy to be here. We wrap up at around 10:30 pm and I head back to my office to send out my free daily “Millennial To Watch” newsletter (where I cover impressive peers of mine from all different backgrounds and industries) before heading back to Brooklyn and calling it a night.

Not every day of mine ends up like this, but I’ve set up projects like 2 Billion Under 20 and 3 Billion Under 30 that force me to meet interesting, exceptional talents given that all my work revolves around identifying, befriending, and connecting top-performing Millennials so I can help educate companies about how to best engage our generations and educate the public about why young people hold more power today than ever before.

I share this not to impress you, but to impress upon you that you too can create these connections and build a network that wants you to be successful and values your unique input. If I can build a 100% self-made network like this in less than five years, imagine what you can do if you take the time to develop a career around providing others with as much exposure, support, and rewards for their work as possible.

Help others by bringing awareness to their work and the stories they have to share, and they will certainly help you in return.

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Business

5 Ways to Attract More Business

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business attraction

In this competitive era where every business is facing deep competition, it is essential to project a differentiating factor and adopt latest techniques for attracting more business to your business. It is often the failure of planning that leads to collapse and shut down of businesses. You need to have a proper strategy that can build a reputation of your business in the market. To run smooth and successful, have a prior construction of successive plans to target the potential customer base.

Here are 5 techniques to improve your business prospects.

Genuine Value

Be specific about the services or products that you offer so customers are not misguided. By going through the information that you provide, the targeted clientele must be able to understand the quality of your product or service offerings. Having a differentiating factor and projecting it effectively is essential to grab those choosy eyeballs of potential customers. Setting clear expectations and delivering the best within the deadline is the best way to retain customers and grow your business.

Business Website

The most important step to take when you start your business is to build your website. The website is your online identity and your biggest marketing weapon as far as the digital space is concerned. Make sure that the website is interactive, informative, and guides the visitors in the best possible way. It should be user-friendly and have the power to convert casual visitors into customers. Remember, a great website projects a great brand image.

Effective Communication

Be precise and dynamic when you communicate with potential patrons. Regularly updating your blog and listing the information related to your work will build a strong relationship between the reader and your business. Replying to queries and comments within a short time frame is very important and depicts that you value the interest which someone has in your business. Healthy communication will help frame a positive image of your business.

Socially Active

Socialization is very important in today’s world. With billions of people on social media, these platforms have become effective marketing channels and one of the best source of generating prospective clients for your business. Having well-defined social media marketing strategies and getting your business highlighted on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others has become essential. People these days have a tendency to refer to social media when they need any product or service and have a strong affinity for brands. The return on investment in case of social media marketing is also very high if the business adopts the right strategies.

Search Engine Optimization

This is the digital marketing technique that can help your business be listed on the top search pages of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. With a comprehensive list of well-researched keywords defining the nature of your business, SEO experts will target your business with informative content on the top search engine pages and improve your page ranking. Off-page SEO techniques have also become very important due to the cut throat competition in the SEO space.

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Business

Retain Your Employees Through Company Culture

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company culture

Strong company culture is one of the best strategies to building a good solid team. No company can survive without good talent behind it. When employees want to bring their talent elsewhere the considerations are usually company culture and work environment. To address these problems, employers need to create a culture that nips these issues in the bud. Employees that feel more deeply for their employers are more committed to the company.

Communication

All employees want to think that they are being heard by the higher ups. By fostering a culture of great communication, employers can address any dissatisfaction. Taking feedback, maintaining open lines of communication, and holding regular meetings can shed light on possible reasons why employees consider leaving. By interviewing dissatisfied employees, companies can improve problematic areas or address issues. Taking time to listen builds a culture of loyalty which can reduce the risk of turnovers.

Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is not simply about keeping employees content. It is also about relationships, particularly between managers or supervisors. Companies should not only focus on rewards and motivation because it will cause them to miss relationships that are going sour. Businesses should always monitor internal temperature to avoid losing top talent.

Work-Life Balance not Work-Life Integration

Forget about work-life integration and focus on work-life balance. Thanks to technology, work has shifted from the usual 9-5 routine to the “always connected” schedule. Employers must change this to keep employees happy. Creating an environment where employers trust their employees to allow them to have flexible schedule shows that the company fosters a culture of mutual respect.

Hire Slow Fire Fast

One of the best ways to destroy company culture is by hiring the wrong kind of people and letting them stay long. Luckily, it is clear early on when somebody is a wrong fit for the team. Managers can always “fire fast” when this becomes obvious. However, it is always more important to spend time on hiring people who are the best fit for the team rather than firing them. This ensures that the culture your company has cultivated is a good fit to the new team member.

Trust and Ownership

Once employees feel that they are trusted, they begin to exhibit ownership behavior. Displaying proper levels of “hands-off management” will create opportunities for your employees to become more engaged and exhibit leadership behavior. Employees who feel this way work harder and exhibit your company culture better.

Reinforce Culture

The best way to retain employees is to constantly reinforce culture. This has to be driven by top management and reinforced by the way employees behave, communicate and interact. It is not enough that you have culture because employees are not stupid and know when something is just for window dressing. If your company values open communication then this should be reinforced and implemented so that employees can see and benefit from it.

Strong culture is the best way to build a strong team. Part of building a strong company culture is understanding how employees work on a daily basis, learning from them, and understanding their needs and attitudes.

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Business

Ways To Encourage Feedback From Your Team

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feedback

The business team is the backbone of any company. Your business team is responsible for the constant growth of the enterprise. The management should try to know and accept the good, bad, and the ugly sides of the company from their employees. It is the first step to building a good workplace relationship. Smart leaders want to gain insight from the internal teams first. Encourage feedback from your business team to be aware of the potential problems among the workers before they become too complicated to handle. Your business team is placed in such a way that they can visualize certain things which managers fail to notice. Here are the ways to receive extensive feedback from the team

Embrace transparency

Eliciting honest and constructive feedback from the business team can be difficult. Employees do not want to upset their upper management by being too open. So, they generally avoid criticisms and complaints. Your employees should feel empowered and they should take an active part in the evolution of the company. Allow your team to send emails to suggest some better ideas for smooth flow of operations. You can also opt for flowcharts. These charts empower the team to voice their opinions prominently.

Ask discerning questions

Your business team may not feel motivated to come forward with comments, suggestions, and concerns. You can invite them to an informal meeting to draw out the honest feedback. Here are few examples of questions you can ask: ‘How would you like to change the structure of the company?’, ‘What do you know about our client’s response on your products?’, ‘What is the most challenging part of your job?’, and ‘What can be done for you on the company’s behalf to improve your skills?’

Hire a ‘Feedback Coach’

Getting feedback from the higher authorities of the company are normal for staffs, but they feel uncomfortable when management wants them to give feedback. A feedback coach can help you out with this kind of situation. The team does not directly report their suggestions and concerns to their boss. The feedback coaches are trained to handle employee grievances and report them to higher management. The coaches also provide effective solutions to the negative feedback.

Regular follow-up

When you consider your business team’s feedback seriously, they feel motivated to speak up about their concerns and come with constructive suggestions. Encourage and appreciate every team of your company to give some constructive opinions about the company. You can call them for official lunches once in every quarter to listen to their suggestions.

Anonymous survey

Spell out a positive goal for the company and set some questions to ask your business team. Each member of your business team should answer these questions unanimously and management should read and consider each of the suggestions posted. The anonymous survey is the right way to receive suggestions even from the shyest employees of the company.

Getting a proper response from your internal team can be difficult. An open environment and casual approach can ease the formal environment and get the best out of every employee.

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