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Today’s episode of The Sweaty Startup is a continuation of a self-help kick that Nick has been talking about. Nick loves learning self-help, how to better himself, make changes to his life, and become a better person through it. Because of that, he loves sharing what he learns with all of you. Today’s topic is how to win friends and influence people.
No matter what you’re doing in life, a core group of friends is key. Towns, jobs, sports, and anything else is all about community. What’s more important than what you do is who you share it with.
Nick didn’t know anyone in Athens, or even Georgia. He had to take a risk. He had to move to a city where he didn’t know anyone, and be willing to put himself out there to make meaningful friendships. If you’re in a place where you don’t know people or have close friends, that’s on you. They don’t just appear out of nowhere. Below are 2 key ways to kick start building better friendships with acquaintances or people you don’t know at all.
1. You have to be willing to do work to make friends.
Nick meets a lot of new people every month, and he says that 9 times out of 10, no one is interested in him. No one asks him questions about himself or tries to get to know him. People love talking about themselves. To reverse this, ask them questions about their hobbies, interests, or what they do. People are interesting, and they will enjoy the conversation a lot more.
2. Genuinely listen
Showing people that you’re interested in them and what they have to say goes a long way in meeting people. Go out of your way to ask questions about something they’ve talked about. View it as a time to learn more about what they do and who they are. It’s a much more natural way to hit it off with someone.
Just doing those two things will get you ahead of 99% of other people. BUT if you want to take it to the next level, you can get a layer deeper in your conversations past the classic “what do you do for a living?” question. After getting to know someone a bit, you can start to ask questions like “what are your goals?”, “what scares you?”, or “what are you most proud of from your 20’s (or life)?”.
Nick recommends a book called Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks as a great resource on how to tell deeper stories that keep people engaged, while the story always leads back to core emotions or values. Instead of telling a crazy drinking story or adventure story, a simple story that relates to a person on a deeper level will always draw people in more.
Check back in over the next few episodes to get back into business and entrepreneurship!