Day 65: How Did I Get James Altucher’s Attention (or Anyone Else’s)

Consider this article my response to your question Sky King:

How did you get them to notice you after you did it? I haven’t been able to get ahold of them.

Sometimes you have to scream at the top of your lungs to get all eyes on you. In full transparency, this DOES NOT always work in my own home. I could be standing on my sofa belting the “clean up time” song and no one will react. There have been times when I’ve tried silence…I’ve simply whispered to see if that works. Neither extreme helps. Same idea for when I aim to grab someone’s attention.

It’s never about me expecting that someone famous owes me a reaction because I breathe just like him or her...i.e. the whisper strategy. It’s never about me assuming that I’m so cool that everyone has to respond to my emails…i.e. the scream you are so cool concept.

Instead, striking a conversation with someone cool boils down to figuring out how to show your target whomever it is just how badly you’d like to sit next to him at the lunchroom table where he is sitting and not eat his juicy sandwich.

These days I’m enjoying metaphors a bit more. This is what I mean in this case: you have to make it easy for someone to say yes by going to them and then promising that you won’t “eat” their time. I’m comparing time to a juicy sandwich. I don’t want a stranger to eat my juicy sandwich. It’s juicy. It’s mine and I’m not into sharing unless you are bringing me something even juicier.

My promise not to waste James’ time I hope was implied by all of my prior legwork. In this case, I plan on interviewing James after conducting my due diligence and I will travel to him. Whatever we discuss, I promise that it will not be a waste of his time. We don’t know each other however I hope my work thus far expresses this idea.

Now, more personally, what is it about me thinking that I can just strike up conversations with mega important people? I think it’s that I’ve mastered some sort of mind trickery.

The key for me back when I landed a meeting with Dr. Marshall Goldsmith the the #1 Leadership Coach in the world to when I started engaging with James Altucher is this.

I can’t stay in my head. If I for one minute began to think about how famous, powerful, influential someone is then my knees would buckle.

Instead, I apply my dad’s wise advice in all situations.

Melissa, as with everything just make pretend like you belong. Whether you are trying to use a restroom in a restaurant when you are not a customer or when you are trying to have a conversation with a person who has millions of people vying for his or her attention.

Then I get my ass in gear and here’s how. I go overboard. Some would say it’s not necessarily overboard but most would say it’s a bit much. In the case of grabbing the attention of James Altucher, I decided to document my podcast creation journey in Medium. So for the last 65-now days I’ve been writing a piece every night logging my thinking, trials, tribulations, etc. from the moment I decided to launch my podcast. I am aware that there were days when I deviated from my aim however it just felt more interesting to reminisce on my twin sons’ birthday than to talk about my technical podcast issues.

The reason why this is overboard is because I committed to this challenge and wrote in many settings despite the strong compulsion to say, nah, forget it?

For example, I wrote…

when I went to my alma mater the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, I wrote my piece at the Marriott Hotel whilst my sons were jumping on the beds.

that time when I went to Miami with my sister I wrote at the American Express Airport Lounge in MIA with my mojito on my table waiting for me to finish my thoughts.

and I even wrote in the relaxation room of a spa in which I am likely never allowed to return to because my keyboard typing killed everyone else’s zen moment.

Any who, I’d like to think that my writing is why James Altucher did respond when I InMailed him in LinkedIn to be interviewed on An Interview with Melissa Llarena

To add to this craziness, I’m still holding out for Gary Vaynerchuk to agree to a cameo on my podcast channel because he got me started as a result of the James Altucher episode #260. #garyveeandjamesistarted

Let’s see, other things I did to engage with James were that I wrote a tailored note to James which included a note about my first three guests. My first three guests are extremely cool so there’s that…cool people want to be associated with other cool people…

Lastly, I did quite a bit of legwork to put together my podcast and get people to add reviews which felt like pulling teeth? Honestly, just that exercise felt a bit self-deprecating and revealing too.

All-in-all, it’s hard to say what ONE thing worked. Instead, I’d suggest my “lunchroom” strategy along with going overboard in your own way and making pretend you belong in the club.

Side note: I’m doing a TEDx talk in March and perhaps that will help me get on Gary Vaynerchuk’s radar? Yes, extreme however he says to double down on what you’re good at so here I go to an incredibly wacky 2018!

Subscribe to An Interview with Melissa Llarena the podcast. My plan is to interview talented people who figured out how to build untraditional careers of substance. My guests would have had the guts to say NO to traditional options, brains to make sometimes wacky interests profitable, and creativity to pull it all off.

Gary Vaynerchuk, happy to meet you at LGA, EWK, JFK in January for five minutes on my podcast which I launched because you pushed me to. BYOC-I’ll bring my own Cap’N Crunch to the interview.

I coach executives on how to dissect & deliver a perfect #jobinterview @TuckSchool Author of №1 #HR interview @Forbes @LinkedIn #mom