Today, we’ve got the founder of “Why Networking,” Dave Burlin. He talks how standardized education, though important, won’t be as valuable as the people that can get things done through self-education. Dave talks about the two differences between networking and prospecting. Dave explains why you should start leaving yourself clues when it comes to connecting with people.
DAVE’S LEARNING JOURNEY AND MASTERMINDS
The Mastermind Effect: 02:31
The ability to learn and access different people changed over the last 5, 10 years. When you and I were younger, textbooks and teachers, then family, friends, and coworkers. But that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?
Dave Burlin: 02:53
I think I learned trial by fire whenever I was younger, and I can tell you how much it’s evolved since then. I have no problem telling people this. I think the first time I actually read a full book was when I was 30 years old. That was the first time I really consumed something and said, “Wow, this actually grabbed me.” Now, I want to learn. I think I’ve always been a learner. I’ve always put myself in situations to learn and grow from. That was where it got really intentional. So, books, audiobooks and podcasts—all those things. Now, with the way things have changed in the last year, it’s really an opportunity to connect with people on such a hyper level and learn and grow more. More interviews, showing up, and more rooms just being present.
The Mastermind Effect: 03:41
Let me ask you a question. Do you ever look back? Because I think this is human nature. I started at 30 or 31 years old reading books. Why didn’t I start this 10 or 15 years ago? Where would I be today? Do you ever go through that? And either way, how do you combat that when you’re just sitting there saying, “Well, why didn’t I do this earlier?”
Dave Burlin: 04:04
Yeah, I did. There has been an interesting thing and I don’t know if it’s like this for most people. I did start journaling at a fairly early age. While I wasn’t really locked into books and things of that nature, I think I was always taking notes. I was always observing, always paying attention to what’s going on. I was seeing where I fit into the world. I didn’t make all the best decisions all the time, but I do have that sort of record. There was a period of time where I thought if I was driving around doing the dumb stuff that I did at 16, 17, or 18 years old before I went to the military, what if I was driving around listening to books? What if I was driving around consuming some of that stuff? I think you’re ready when you’re ready. When I did find the first couple of books that really grabbed me, I just couldn’t stop. It’s very addictive.
The Mastermind Effect: 05:28
A lot of people get stuck. They don’t know how to execute what’s in their head. We are still going through a pandemic and I think it’s causing a reset on how we’re able to accomplish things. How masterminds and coaching help you reset when you’re stuck and you’re looking to accomplish something new?
Dave Burlin: 05:50
When it comes to masterminds or collaborations or synergy with other people, it really comes down to just putting myself out there. I think everybody had all of the excuses to isolate and not be involved in things like that. For me, I immediately started connecting with a lot of people. Then, as we got closer to the turn of the year, I felt like everybody was ready for the ball to drop and things to change and they didn’t. So, for me I’ve been very intentional. Something I started to wake up with this year is what if there are no live events? What if that’s just not going to be an option this year? I’m prepared for it. I force myself to be more intentional about finding new circles, putting myself in the room with different people, and putting myself in the room where I’m definitely the dumbest guy in the room. And then putting myself in the room where I’m somewhere in the middle, and even putting myself in the room where I do help facilitate things and help people reach up and ask for more advice and try to grow. I tried to put myself in all those different situations. It’s 100% instrumental to my growth. It’s very therapeutic. For the things that I’m going through, I always have the right circles where I can grow and get past challenges. Or, I have circles where I can honestly feel better about helping other people. It’s critical to my success.
The Mastermind Effect: 07:25
It fills multiple buckets because you’re able to shift some energy in an area where you’re able to be helpful. You’ve been able to get that from the rooms that you don’t know what the heck to do. You can transfer that knowledge and energy in order to help those other rooms. You don’t always want to be the smartest person in the room but then, there are rooms that you want to be in because you can collaborate more when you are in that middle area.
Dave Burlin: 07:55
Somebody described it as a golf four-man scramble. There’s normally one dude that carries the team. Then, there’s two guys that are pretty close to each other and they’re challenging each other enough that they’re growing in their own little version of themselves. Then, there’s one guy who never plays golf and he doesn’t really know what’s going on. He’s kind of counting on everybody else. He’s there for the fun part.
The Mastermind Effect: 08:20
Everybody’s best friend.
Dave Burlin: 08:22
Exactly. I try to put myself in a few different circles where I’m those different roles.
The Mastermind Effect: 08:28
We have more ways to take in information than ever before. Some people look for a mentor, an accountability buddy, a mastermind, a coach, online courses, and lots of ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from and how did you actually connect with them?
Dave Burlin: 09:21
One of the people that inspired me more than anybody else was a guy named Jon Acuff. Jon Acuff is a phenomenal author. He’s written books that have absolutely changed my life more than any other influencer, more than any other author. He has started a podcast about setting goals. I listened to one of his episodes the other day. I haven’t listened to those books and stuff in a while. I’d sort of grown through a lot of those things. I recommend his books all the time. His new book or his new podcast about goals, I saw it. I followed it. It was so refreshing to have him riding shotgun on my way to work again. Just hearing him speak truth into my life once again, it seems like always the most critical turning points of my life. There’s always been a Jon Acuff book that made sense.
To answer the first part of that question, how do we get introduced? I actually saw him. I went to a Dave Ramsey one-day event way back in 2013. It was when he first started the entree leadership program. There were just a couple podcast episodes in, and it was an entree leadership. That’s the first time I saw John speak. He’s spoken to my soul. I just want to be friends with that guy, and I’ve been following him ever since.
The Mastermind Effect: 10:55
Have you personally connected with him and sent him a message saying, “Hey John, this is what you meant to me. This is what I’ve learned.” Have you reached out to him? Because I feel people are more accessible than they’ve ever been, has he reciprocated in some form or fashion?
Dave Burlin: 11:11
Yes, a million ways. We could talk for hours about that. The first book of his that I read inspired me to want to do something big and do a TED talk. I set the big crazy audacious goal in 2013 that in 10 years, I’m going to do a TED talk through the power of my network, his network. He had an online group at the time I’d collaborated with some people. There were some people that brought that to reality. Fourteen months later, my first public talk was a TEDx talk. Randomly, he was speaking at a coffee shop a couple weeks later, just probably two hours from my place. I went and became friends with him and told him how much it meant. He autographed it. Since that time, I’ve helped them promote books. He let me do a blog on his podcast whenever his next book came out because I felt that book, called “Do Over,” was going to be really instrumental for something. I was passionate about veteran transition. That book was all about career transition. I felt like it was the same thing. He let me write a blog on his book. I helped them promote the book, all kinds of stuff. People are a lot more accessible if that makes sense.
The Mastermind Effect: 12:24
What we’re talking about is how accessible people really are, pandemic or no pandemic. If you start following, listening, commenting valuable comments and find a way to build that trust and value, you’re going to find out how quickly people will reciprocate. You’ll be able to build that relationship. It’s not difficult but you have to put in the time.
Dave Burlin: 12:59
Here’s what I think what I remember the day that I realized how accessible people were. I remember when I saw him speak, I said it’d be cool if I was that guy’s friend someday. Then, he had this thing online. It was something about fears. His whole idea was behind “fear hates community.” You could post anonymously what your fear was on this online board. People could click on it and say me too (this is before the whole “Me Too Movement”). What that meant was you’re not alone. Somebody else has that fear and fear hates community. It was just smashing fear. Well, it wasn’t even me that commented something. It was a friend of mine. He responded to that friend online. Then I said, maybe this guy is accessible in different ways to make videos or ways to collaborate and stuff like that. It’s one of the ideas behind the whole “Why Networking” thing. I call it pitch the universe. Some people call it law of attraction. You really believe that you can connect with somebody. If what they said or what they practice is something that you really align with, they need your help. It’s never as easy as they make it. Remember, they’re not rock stars. They do this because they want people to say, “I need your help” or “This really changed my life.” That stuff really does go a long way. A lot of times they are more accessible. They need your help, and you can help get that message out to more people.
Networking, Self-Education and Dave’s reality
The Mastermind Effect: 14:37
Absolutely. The road to success was built in skeletons. You don’t see all the hard work that’s put in. You just get to see that finished product. By commenting, reaching out, and even being able to collaborate, you’re helping that individual and they’re helping you. I want to drive that message home this evening.
Masterminds been around for a while. Probably the apostles might have been the first one and then Benjamin Franklin, the Judo club (also known as the leather apron club). Then this guy by the name of Napoleon Hill, he inks the book that really solidifies the word of mastermind. As there is this huge boom in self-education over the last 5, 10, or 15 years, where do you see the parallels going between self-education versus standardized education going forward?
Dave Burlin: 15:27
I think we’ve really seen an interesting shift in standardized education with everything that’s happened with the pandemic. Maybe I’m skipping forward a little bit but I will back up. My son is 16 years old. When this all happened, first I couldn’t imagine growing up in a world that was going to go one direction. Now, it’s completely changed. I don’t think that the organized standardized education is going to be as valuable as the people that can actually get things done. Because how many people got laid off when everything went dark? They had degrees and multiple degrees, and everything just shifts. It’s left to the people that it’s going to be the self-education that got you where you are, the street smarts if you will, the emotional intelligence to push through, and being able to adapt and to learn anything.
The shift in our culture and the pandemic aren’t necessarily something that you can learn in college. It’s something that I definitely learned in the military—how to be adaptive and how to overcome those different situations and being flexible to what resources we do have. I think online education soared because people were bored trying to find a different way. They’re trying to figure out how to make extra money. I think it’s going to be the biggest shift in what we see in the future. It’s going to be the people who are out there being authentic, getting it done, sharing the right message. It’s always going to be good versus evil, but good always prevails because there’s always going to be snake oil salesmen and snakes in the grass.
The Mastermind Effect: 17:16
Do you want to be the engineer that can explain why the bicycle goes forward? Or do you want to be the person that just gets on the bike and rides the bike?
Dave Burlin: 17:25
I want to be the guy that gets on the bike. That’s a great analogy.
The Mastermind Effect: 17:31
I don’t need to teach you why. I’m just going to get on the bike and do it.
Dave Burlin: 17:35
Yeah. I think so many people do get caught up in the process and that’s okay. Somebody told me this just today on a phone call. They said, if there’s anybody that’s habitually doing things halfway, whether they’re ready or not, it’s me. At first, it was like an insult. Then he literally listed in a list of accolades of things that I had done that nobody else could even compare to. It’s not like I changed the world or anything, it’s just I hosted some different events. I tried things and I was willing to go scrape my knee. I did some fundraising events for veterans. I just did all these different things. When you look back on it, it seemed like I was kind of all over the place, but I just kept trying something or seeing what works. For that, I get to take a few steps closer to what I believe success to be.
The Mastermind Effect: 18:36
When someone invest in their future, they have a better than vague idea of what the outcome or what they’re going to get out of it. They have an expectation. What should someone expect when they enter Dave’s reality and work with you?
Dave Burlin: 18:55
My favorite thing is to get people to think and to grow and take action. It’s not one of those things where you can just get all the slides and you have all the answers. It’s the willingness to go out and put the work in. One of the biggest things that I’ve been working on for a couple years now is very challenging to the normal behaviors of what people believe networking to be. To me, networking is not about the sales cycle. It’s not. Prospecting and networking are two totally different definitions. Because I’m pulling people out of that, I’m challenging them to do something that they’re not comfortable with. A lot of times you have to make them first think past that, understand why they’re doing it, and take action. It’s definitely not one of those things where they don’t have to apply anything. It is going to be work and I will push people outside of their comfort zone.
The Mastermind Effect: 19:57
When you say prospecting and networking are two different processes, can you dive a little bit deeper in that?
Dave Burlin: 20:06
Most people go to networking events because it’s something to do with furthering their business. Something else that’s very synonymous is prospecting. I’ve been doing this talk around “Why Networking” for three years and it’s been in the last three months that I actually said, “Wait a minute. That’s the problem. We have a different frame of reference.” I looked up the definitions and I kid you not, the word prospecting is to introduce your product or service into an organization or to an individual with the main goal: to move them through the sales process and get them to purchase your product or service and become a client or customer. That’s the definition of prospecting. It is part of the sales cycle. The definition of networking is to build positive relationships with a network, a group, or an institution, specifically to gain positive results towards your business or employment. It doesn’t have to do with the sales cycle. Do you see the difference?
I think many people get it twisted because what do they do? They show up and as soon as somebody says tell me what you do, it’s heard as “Please sell me on what you do.” We go into pitch mode. When you’re in pitch mode, you’re in offensive mode. When you’re in offensive mode, they’re in defensive mode. I’ve done this at almost every event that I’ve spoke at. I’m the host of events around this idea. By show of hands, how many people came to build positive relationships. Every hand goes up. That’s what networking is for. It’s a networking event. Keep them up. If you came here to introduce your product or service to more people, the hands stay up as they should. But how many came here to be sold by somebody else? All the hands go down. That’s where the difference lies. We have a plan for prospecting, right? If somebody says this, we go into this. We have a move for that. All I’m trying to do is how do you teach people positive principles that give them a different frame of how to operate? When somebody says what do you do, you don’t go into pitch mode. You go into question mode or you learn more. You generally try to help them connect to more clients.
I get really passionate about this, if you can’t tell. When I sit down in front of somebody, I cannot sell this person under no means, under no circumstances. If I’m at a networking event, I cannot sell this person. Put me in a tradeshow booth, different story. We’re there to sell. But if I’m trying to build a relationship, I cannot sell the person in front of me. I can set up all of my stuff to where if they go back and find me after the conversation. I can create a clear path for them to buy. But if all I do is provide value to them, I am unlocking their whole network and that’s an opportunity that I can go back to. Those are people that I’d be more than happy to work with. To me, that’s the difference.
The Mastermind Effect: 23:24
Yeah. You unlock their network because you’re there to network. I was just talking to Sally and Bob the other day and I’d love to make the introduction.
Dave Burlin: 23:37
Yeah. And they’ll say that guy was so great. He likes music stuff. I’ve got somebody and sometimes people connect me with the weirdest things. They’re just always trying to open more doors for me. Why? Because I didn’t make them feel like everybody else. I didn’t put a metaphorical pistol in their face and try and get them to buy something and put them into that defensive mode. A lot of times they’re more than willing to open up more opportunities. Networking isn’t about closing a deal. It’s not about getting more prospects. It’s about unlocking more opportunities.
The Mastermind Effect: 24:13
Would you mind if I give an actual example of this? didn’t ask Dave after he interviewed me on his podcast for “Hey, can you send me this amazing person, that amazing person?” I don’t believe I asked for anything. Within 24 hours, he had connected me with one of the previous executives of Disney and then another amazing individual, and two more today. It was because you and I built a rapport. We ran in similar circles. We’ve started building that friendship and trust but at no point have we sat them and say, “Hey, can you hook me up with your network?”
Dave Burlin: 24:59
Yeah. And at no point did you send me an invoice, or did I send you an invoice on anything that you weren’t expecting. I think that’s the biggest difference and I will continue to open up those doors. That’s the community that I try to create. When you asked earlier when somebody plugs in, I try to set that as a standard. So many times I see all these different groups and things where people have too many rules. I only have one and it’s don’t the people that you’re talking to. If you just serve them, it’s the same mentality that I wake up with saying there’s no live events. If I say I cannot serve, I cannot sell this person. I can only serve them. I’ll connect them to all the resources that they need.
Here’s the deal. Sometimes the role that we’re in right now does not serve each other. What I’ve been fascinated by is sometimes it’s one, two, or three years down the road. I don’t want to say it comes back full circle, but it definitely comes back in a way that I didn’t expect. Case in point: I hosted my first “Why Networking” event in Las Vegas. I’ve been here less than a year. I don’t do a full-day thing. I do more like a two-hour kind of either a lunch and learn or an evening with cocktails and drinks. I hosted it. It was my first time. I was here less than a year and I wanted to see where I stand. Does my message hold true here? I charged a ticket price. People got food and drinks. I had 50 people show up and in Las Vegas, I was pretty proud of that because it was a Thursday night. Thursday nights are popping for events. I was really challenged to do it. The normal cycle is I go through and invite everybody in my network. I invite random people that I met through a friend of a friend until somebody says “Dude, stop inviting me up.” I’m very courteous. I’m not very aggressive. There was a gal who I think I’d sent her two or three messages. She said, “Hey, appreciate the invite but I met you one time at a thing. I don’t need your effing networking.” I said, “Cool. No problem.” About a year and a month later, she pops up in my feed as a life event happened. Guess what happened? She changed roles. I think at the time she was doing lighting and design for stagehands. Your company keeps you busy, right? There are events going on in Vegas all the time. You don’t need to build relationships. This is a perfect example. She had left and she’d went to become a realtor. Now, I’m not saying that if she came to my event, she would have a totally different frame of reference or any of those things. But do you think networking is important in the role that she’s in now? It’s never about networking being important in the sales cycle. It’s about being important for employment or your business. At any time the world can change. I think COVID showed us that. There are millions of people that aren’t even passing out a business card at all anymore. Most of the time people won’t pass out the same card for more than two or three years. The relationships that you build or break last forever.
The Mastermind Effect: 28:13
Absolutely. I appreciate you going deeper. People need to hear that.
Dave Burlin: 28:20
Yeah. It was your episode about networking that really inspired me to connect with you. I don’t remember who had chimed in or something. We run in similar circles. I scrolled and that’s where I saw networking. I want to see what his opinion is on it. We’re very like-minded on the way that we look at some of those things. I’ve spent a lot of time being through and creating principles and pillars and all those things on how to do it differently. I think we’re cut from the same vein. We’re trying to solve the same problem.
The Mastermind Effect: 28:58
I was trying to think I probably talked about the GPF (goal plan flow). When you go into something, creating a goal, having a plan, and then going with the flow, nothing ever goes to plan.
Dave Burlin: 29:11
Yeah. That’s the other thing too. One of the practices that I teach is when you host events. There’s a totally different level when you host events. There are four places where you can build relationships.
One, you can go to events. You can be a member of a group. You can go to a thing—live, in person, virtual—it doesn’t matter. You can be an attendee. Two, you can host events. When you start hosting events, you start to connect people at a much different level. Three, you can go through a growth experience. This can be your challenge. A mastermind retreat. Somewhere that you go with the intent to grow through something. When you’re next to people, they’re also in that growth mode. You can build pretty deep relationships. I went to the Marine Corps. Not suggesting that everybody go to Marine Corps, but shameless plug go through a mastermind. If you think it’s a year, if you think it’s a six-month thing, there are definitely programs out there that are 30 or 90 days. Go through something. The final level is you can host those masterminds and create those experiences for people. What I’ve learned, and just on the event level, when you start promoting those, it’s not about posting and praying. A lot of times, I’ll go through my entire network—LinkedIn, Facebook. I’ll write down 200 names of people that I need to contact anyways. I’ll just start calling and seeing how I can help. Seeing what they’re working on, seeing if there’s anything that I can share. Most of the time they know that I’ve got something going on but it’s not a “What’s going on now, Dave?” It’s like, “Dude, what do you got? What’s next?” It’s like, “Hey, hosting an event with Lee Cockerel, the guy that used to run Disney.” It’s always something that brings value. That’s the fun part.
The Mastermind Effect: 32:31
I feel that people have a way of surprising us, whether it’s the grit, the grind, or the willingness to learn. Has anyone been through your coaching and the outcome, because of them working with you, was just unbelievably successful? In essence, give us that success story of someone working with Dave.
Dave Burlin: 32:52
It was a hybrid of a different coaching program that I was using but the principles of relationships have been baked in through and through. I was working with a guy. His name is Marty and he works for a big bank. It rhymes with Wells Fargo. He was a mortgage lender. He’s up in New Jersey and what was interesting was he had already done, back 2017 or 2018, about $8 million in production—big, huge home loans up in New Jersey and New York City. When we took a look at the tactics of things that he does, remember I am not from the mortgage industry, I just know relationships, when we started to really unpack everything that he was going through, I said, “Where do you get most of your referrals from?” He said, “I work with referral partners.” Coming from the mortgage world, they’re downstream a little bit from the realtors. A lot of times when realtors need people to get a house, then the only thing they need to get a house for somebody is to get a loan. They’re generally trying to court those people. I asked, “Out of the 16 loans that you did last year, how many of them came from those referrals” And it was almost 80%. What do you got, 17 people? What’s going on here?
He had two referral partners. What he didn’t know is how do I know how to sell and go through the loan process. What he didn’t really know is how do you build value for people. Teaching him some of those principles on how to show up. First of all, get a couple events on your calendar. Go through those same process. You’re not trying to sell anybody. You’re just trying to open more connections, show up, serve, create some synergy, and just bring value and those people are going to be the ones that keep coming back to you. I think by the time of the year that we ended up working together, he got seven more referral partners. Even though those seven people weren’t sending him 20 deals a year, it was enough for him to go from $8 million in production to $24 million in production. I’m not the next guy. I never claimed that I am. But three times the production in one year, there was definitely a difference.
The Mastermind Effect: 35:09
Yeah. That’s awesome. And working with you, that was the catalyst.
Dave Burlin: 35:25
I felt really strong and confident in what I was doing. I wish I could tell you Marty, he was a 35-year-old guy just like me who was just trying to figure out a way like he was 60 years old and he was ready to retire. When he experienced that much hypergrowth, he said, “Dave, I’m going to go ahead and go hard at this like one more year. What do you think?” And I’m like, “Yeah, you’re still young. You might as well.” So, he did. He went. He stayed in it because he got excited again. That was the thing. I couldn’t even imagine. I still have 20 more years before I get to 60. I can’t imagine just being ready to start making decisions to stop right now. To be in that mode and that zone is life. It’s like, “Let’s go again.” We still got a little bit more pep in our step. Let’s go.
The Mastermind Effect: 36:21
Absolutely. I wish I had 20 years to get to 60, but I’ve got a few less than that. I want to talk to you about transference of risk. You look at a politician and they transfer it by saying, I’ll send you off to war but I’m not going to make sure my family goes off. A doctor wants to prescribe this for you, but I wouldn’t give it to my own child. When someone works with you, how do you keep from transferring the risk from you being the coach, the mentor, the person that’s leading them to this person that’s learning from you? How do you keep that transfer of risk from happening so they’re not stepping in their own land/mind?
Dave Burlin: 37:04
I’m very vulnerable and very authentic. I never want to sit back in a high horse and armchair quarterback and tell people to do these things that I’m not willing to do myself. I’ve also always had great coaches in my corner. I’m very open about the vulnerability. Probably the most challenging transition I’ve ever been through was I went through a divorce. I was expected to do high-level, high-ticket sales at the time. I was coaching like 31 people—all people that made like four times the amount of money that I did. I had a coach in my corner that was really pushing me to grow in the areas that I needed to, and it allowed me to be more transparent, be more vulnerable to those that I was coaching. I always wanted to make sure that I was very open and honest. I’ve never been afraid to sit in and cry with somebody that I’m coaching. As long as they know that it’s not, I’m not there to be their friend. I am there to be very real with them and be very honest and transparent. Sometimes, that means I have to get as vulnerable as they’re willing to get and then be the person that says, “Alright, let’s snap out and let’s push through it.”
The Mastermind Effect: 38:26
I like and appreciate and respect how you phrase that. I’m not going to give them anything that I’m not working on. I’m not there to be their friend, I’m there to be their coach. And the other thing is, I want the listeners to realize that during this process, you had a coach. If you’ve got a coach, you’re going to mastermind, you need to make sure that that person has a coach or coaches. Learning from other people, the gurus, they’re just good marketers and they aren’t learning from anyone. They learned from some other self-help startup thing. But the coaches and the real masterminds, they’re still learning. They’re getting coaching themselves. I think that’s really important.
We had talked about you had brought up success a little bit ago. In my solo shows, we talked about the pillars of success and different things that take to be successful. Mentorship, experimentation, partnership, willingness to fail, and willingness to succeed are just some of the things that I think it takes to be successful. What do you think is a key attribute when it comes to being successful?
Dave Burlin: 39:33
This conversation came up earlier today actually. I had a phenomenal call with a friend and the attributes of being successful are treating people the way that they deserve to be treated. Forgive me if this goes a little dark. It’s not designed to; it’s just I look back on one of the most impactful groups I’ve ever led. When I say led, it was a book club mastermind group. I needed it for me. It was right on the beginning end of that horrible transition.
I was trying to read a book called “Living Foreword” by Michael Hyatt. I was really stuck in about the first or second chapter because in that book, you have to write your eulogy. I’ve delivered eulogies before. That’s one of the most challenging talks that you can ever give. When I thought about the way he positioned it was you can actually write your own eulogy for how people will interpret you when you’re gone. That’s the level of success that I think most people don’t think about. The way that I attribute that to what can you do while you’re here is treat people the way that they deserve to be treated. You never know what they’re going to say about you when you’re not around anymore. That group, because I needed that accountability, that was the first time that I ever charged for a mastermind. I needed it for me. Because I’ve done several book clubs in the past, I was afraid that if I got people to come, they might come for the first session or two and then they wouldn’t come back. I think I charged like $100 or $200. Ten guys showed up and not only did we meet for the six weeks that we agreed to, but they continued to meet. They even continued to meet after I moved away. Other people have moved away since then and there’s still a core group of guys that meet. It’s been fascinating to see the journey that they’ve all been in. It started with that one level of commitment where it was selfish for me. I just wanted a place where we can show up and we met for breakfast at five o’clock in the morning on Fridays. It was just fascinating to see that all come to life.
The Mastermind Effect: 42:22
During times of prosperity, things are good. It’s like easy to win but I think innovation and ingenuity come out of times when we feel the squeeze. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?
Dave Burlin: 42:45
The conversation of “Why Networking” has really evolved. It started when somebody asked me to speak in 2017. I started to go through that transition. Up to that point, everything that I had spoke about was about something totally different. For two and a half years, the same story that I told was about moving to Las Vegas and going to work at Zappos, company culture, and all those things. When that changed, I really didn’t know what I was going to talk about. Somebody said you’re good at building relationships, let’s do that. The whole idea of “Why Networking” came to life because I’m a huge fan of Simon Sinek and “Start with why.” And I said, can I just put why in front of networking, and call it why networking? So, I did. The very first time that I spoke there, I noticed a shift that people were paying attention a little bit different than before.
As it evolved, I started to develop principles. When I say evolved, it’s been three years now that I’ve continued to have this conversation and come up with the little fun quotes and the little fun things to do to help stand out. I carry a gigantic boombox, but I don’t suggest everybody do that. What’s been really interesting now as I have come up with those pillars and now, I understand the how part of it. It’s really putting all this into action. I have spoken about it. I’ve done virtual presentations. I’ve done virtual keynotes. I’ve practiced it. I’ve seen people host their first events and get great success before the event ever happens. What I’m excited about this year is putting together some smaller coaching groups around that topic, around that subject, but also putting together a few different levels of masterminds and really seeing this conversation get loud and attached to a lot of the other networks out there. I just really see a lot of cool synergy and things happening from that.
The Mastermind Effect: 44:42
I look forward to being part of that journey with you. I look forward to eventually being invited out to Vegas for your next event, big or small. Just looking forward to that hopping on a plane.
What is a tip, tactic, an actionable item that if someone listened to this right now over the next 30, 60, 90 days they implemented it would make a real impact on the personal or business life?
Dave Burlin: 45:10
I think the important thing to do right now is to leave clues. I noticed this. When we sat down, I looked at your shirt and it says “better together.” And immediately, I think Simon Sinek’s book called “Better Together.” Fun story. I think there are ways that we can leave clues to connect with people. What I do is I take books everywhere I go and I generally leave books out. Now, obviously, we can’t go a lot of places right now. But I even took that a step further. I put a title on my shirt because now we have this real estate on Zoom. You can show up into a meeting and you can have the right words even if it just said, “Ready for this Podcaster.” There are ways that we can start more conversations so you want to leave clues for other people so they know they can connect with you. I’ve been in coffee meetings just like you and I are sitting here right on Zoom in a deep, deep conversation right there in public and a book sitting on the table. I’ve had people walk over and say, “I’m so sorry to interrupt. I love that book. It changed my life.” And I’m not trying to sell them. I’m not trying to do anything. But do you think I’m going to want to build a relationship with somebody who interrupted me and cussed about a book? Heck, yeah! That’s somebody who’s in my tribe. I’ve met so many incredible people and it just opened up more opportunities just by leaving that little clue.
The Mastermind Effect: 46:30
Wow, that’s when I say simplicity. That’s a good thing because there’s so many things that are so simple but we don’t do in life. That is so blessed and simple to implement—to create an impact a network without having to do a thing.
Dave Burlin: 46:52
Well just like you, I stole it. I know you’ve stole a few things, but I stole it from society. Brief example: If somebody walked by in a Raiders jersey, if I were a Raiders fan, we would have a little bond that could turn into “Where are you from?” and it could evolve into a thing. But if for some reason it’s somebody wearing an opposing jersey, even if we had everything in common in the world, that jersey might be what prevents that relationship from ever happening. There’s no jersey for the books that we read so I started putting it on t-shirts.
The Mastermind Effect: 47:30
Wow. I love what you’ve brought today. We have the founder of “Why Networking,” Dave Burlin. Dave, thank you so much for spending your time with us and all the unbelievable nuggets that you left with us.
“Networking isn’t about closing a deal, it’s not about getting more prospects. It’s about unlocking more opportunities.” – Dave Burlin
“The relationships that you build or break last forever.” – Dave Burlin
“The attributes of being successful are, treating people the way that they deserve to be treated.” – Dave Burlin
“You’re ready, when you’re ready.” – Dave Burlin
“People, I believe, are a lot more accessible than celebrities.” – Dave Burlin
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