Tag Archives: the fine art of small talk

Looking for High-End Jobs online? Your Wasting Your Time

Walk on to any golf course between the early mornings and lunch time and you will see many men puttering about on their golf carts with other people. They’re laughing, talking, and having a good time. From a distance they are just people enjoying a nice time out on the range shooting a few balls around.

During the same time that is happening there are people eating in nice cafes or restaurants either for brunch or lunch. Then there are the people who are enjoying a really nice dinner in a high end restaurant to cap off their busy day somewhere in the world right now. Again, from a distance they just look like people enjoying a nice meal and talking.

Now lets zoom in to those conversations. What is really happening there? Why aren’t the people who are playing golf at work? Don’t they have jobs and shouldn’t they be working to make money so they can support what ever it is they do? This is regardless of those who are retired and grew up doing the golf grooming thing. So, bottom line….why aren’t they working?

Real Work Happens Outside the Office
The truth about what those people are doing is that they ARE working, in the form of networking, conducting business deals, and talking over the details of prior arrangements. The idea of all business being conducted inside a closed office is one for the movies to show, and enough though some business does get done in those fancy rooms, people are people and high-end individuals like to conduct business in a fashion that is enjoyable for them.

The golfers and diners like to conduct business in a setting that puts them at ease so they can focus on what matters. This is also the place where offers are made, such as promotions and new job openings. The reason why you will never see an opening online for a CEO position is because those only go to people they already know (like a boys-only club), except in this case it’s an executives-only club. This is why people from Ivy Leagues have a greater chance of getting high end jobs, not because they know how to do the job (that’s just a given expectations and many times they have no experience so they will be groomed by their network of connections) but because their family knows people who know people who know who to talk to about getting the job.

Those dinners’ that happen over an expensive meal are meant to cover what is happening at the company. What new jobs are coming and in many cases, the new jobs that are created just to bring someone they like in to the company. This happens all the time. The higher up you know people the more power they have to create anything they want, even job positions. These are the very jobs that normally never get posted anywhere because they are only by word of month and friends of friends and even associates or class mates.

Word of Month Jobs
In many reportsstudies, and magazines articles, you find those never-heard-of-jobs through people you know or network with. I have been offered many jobs that didn’t exist because I have always been asked to come in and create programs for businesses. Would those jobs have been advertised if I didn’t take the job? Maybe, but the idea here is that companies are more interested in finding people who have proven that they know what they are doing and can see their work in action. This is better than reading a faceless resume. When people see what I am doing first-hand it takes out the guesswork of trying to find out if that person will be a good fit for what they are looking for. That is a better test than performing an interview.

In Keith Ferrazzi’s top networking book, Never Eat Alone, he explains the power of networking and why the top jobs always go to people who are connected with those at the top. These jobs are handed out because they see something in that person they know. More than 80% of jobs are found through a person’s network and the type of network a person has will depend on the type of job a person gets.

Rings on the Ladder
Many people complain that they never advertise the jobs they want online. I remember when I tried the whole looking for jobs online thing and found it to be a very depressing experience. Infact, if you look very carefully, the same jobs I was looking at a long time ago are still there on the sites today. Why is that? Well, those same jobs (ex. work from home, medical billing encoders, and sales reps for outlet stores, etc) are a whole business unto themselves, meaning there is a whole new business of making sure people take those jobs because the people posting them make money anytime someone signs up. Infact even the website The Ladders is an odd experience because if you are already making more than $100k (the only jobs posted on their website have to be more than $100k in salary) then chances are you are already surrounded by high-end opportunities through networking, your company culture, and even the jobs your friends are telling you about. So why would you use it if your company already posts all their jobs on their company website? Unless you plan on switching to another company.

So how does someone get out of that whole mess? If you want to improve the type of jobs you hear about you have to improve the type of people you associate with. Again, going back to Ivy League graduates, they have been around people who are successful in life and attend high-end events and parties. They mingle with other people who are successful and hear about opportunities that are not advertised. They end up working in jobs that are three or four levels higher than someone else who applied directly to the company would have started.

This is why birds of a feather flock together; why office assistants hangout with other office assistants and hear about more office assistant positions, why construction works hangout with other construction workers and hear about more jobs in construction, and why middle-class hangouts with other people in middle-class. If you want to find the jobs that are not advertised (i.e. executive level positions) and you have the knowledge, social skills, and some experience then you need to change your social circle of contacts and meet those who already work in those fields.

The last part I just mentioned is a difficult change for most people because if you have never been around people who have been successful their whole life and always been offered jobs instead of looked for them it can be a very intimidating experience. That is why books like, The Fine Art of Small Talk, The Art of Mingling, How to Win Friends and Influence People (I read this important book when I was in high school), Never Eat Alone, How to Make People Like You in 90 seconds or less, How to Work a Room, How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends, Conversational Speaking are so important to read. But very few people ever take the time to read these important books. Infact if you go to college, or even public school, no where in all those classes will you ever hear about these important books. These books teach you how to talk with people and make meaningful connections, they are the glue that binds us to other people. Something that is worth its weight in gold.

Creating Your Own Opportunities
Go on Kickstarter or Indiegogo and look at all the amazing ideas that people have come up with. Each idea for either a product or service is a business all by itself. These people, instead of sitting on their computer looking for jobs online, went out and created their own opportunities and gave themselves their own job. They created a good enough presentation for people to think their project was worth investing in.

The idea now is there are tons of different websites now that allow people to create all kinds of things on their own. Infact there are many websites, like Cafe Press and Threadless, that lets you create your own clothing line without ever touching a single piece of fabric. You just select the type of clothing you want to use, pick the style, and then upload your graphic image or text you want to appear on the clothing and then edit how it should look and then submit. You can create your own store online of all the different things you have create and post the link on your website or to give out to people you meet so they can see what you have done.

The ability to create any kind of business is so easy that it would only take you an hour or two at the most. You just have to be creative enough to come up with a fairly decent idea that people will be interested in buying. Even if the store is not successful right away (and you should never think your product or idea will be a viral hit right away, no one can predict that) you will have created something for you to showcase your talents that way if any employer is interested in hiring you then you can show them all the different projects you have created.

This is better than someone who sits at home all day sending out resumes to random employers for basic jobs that won’t go anywhere. If you create something at least that looks better than the person who does nothing all day. In either case, who would you hire?

Network Your Way Up
If you want to start networking then you can start by finding your cities main websites that tells you about all the events happening. A good place to start is your city’s Chamber of Commerce website and read about all the events happening. They always have networking opportunities. Here is how I would do it for Austin

Austin 360 Lists Tons of Events – Click Here to See
Austin Chamber of Commerce Events Calendar
Do512 – List of Events
Austin Business Journal – Events Calendar
Networking Austin
MeetUp – Business Networking Groups

As you can see I found tons of events to fill my entire fall calendar already. I will probably find a lot of new leads, job offers, and amazing opportunities by attending them. You can do the same for your city. A few key terms I used were “<name of city> networking events”, “<name of city> business events,” and “<name of city> business networking events.” That will help you out so take a look around and use the website Meetup to help. If you do not find what you are looking for, then use Facebook groups or Meetup to create your own networking group and invite people to join. You can also use Leftover Swap so you have food for everyone who attends or you can make it a potluck event. You can even create your own rules, like you introduce one person to someone and then that person has to introduce someone they know to someone else and pretty soon everyone knows at least two or three people at the networking event.


Whether you are looking for just a job to pay the bills or you actually want to elevate yourself into a new social circle then you will need the people skills to get you there. I have seen many great people at networking events bomb terribly, not because they didn’t have the skills or experience in their field but because their social skills were not up to par. I have heard comments or off-the-mark conversation topics, that they though were appropriate at the moment, that didn’t leave a good impression. The problem with that is they didn’t see it for themselves, they weren’t aware that what they were saying was making the other person uncomfortable.

If you want to improve your opportunities, get to know different people around you anywhere, and be able to have a conversation with anyone anywhere then my advice would be to read those books (their at your local library) and study them like you would for a final exam. It’s hard work because you have to keep testing out everything you read until you finally meet that person where you have a conversation with them that makes the both of you feel like you have known each other for a long time. That sounds easy reading it but it takes a lot of practice before you can make anyone your friend.

Once you know how to do that the world will open up with lots of opportunities.

Side Note: All the Books Listed in this article and in the Books Resource section of this website I have read. So I am not just posting books that have catchy titles. I have already put in the time and effort.

Expanded Reading List
Adversaries into Allies: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion

Your Network Is Your Net Worth

Reputation Economics: Why Who You Know Is Worth More Than What You Have

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

What Got you Here Won’t Get You There

News Article

Study: Half Of All Available Jobs Are Never Advertised

Who you know is more important than you realize

80% of Today’s Jobs are Landed Through Networking

Thinking of Majoring in Entrepreneurship? Here are the top Business Schools

It’s funny to think you need to get a major in something that didn’t exist ten years ago. This is just another way universities are trying to bring in more money while matching demand. If you want a real education study psychology, philosophy, business and throw in some engineering to balance it out. If you just want to make things for people go out and do it yourself, that will teach you more than sitting in a classroom for 5 or 6 years. You won’t get anything out of going to school for 4 years and no company will hire you if you have no work experience to offer so don’t fool yourself that companies will be begging for you to work for them after only 4 years.

So whether you are still deciding if it is smart to even go to business school, take a look at the list of places that made the cut. If you want my advice, use the money for the following

1. Read the following books
How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis
My Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman
The Portable MBA for Entrepreneurship by William J. Bygrave
Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
What the Best MBAs know by Peter Navarro
Hacking Your Education by Dale J. Stephens (Study Very Carefully)

2. Start your first business for $100 dollars (that’s the first challenge)
3. Travel and find out how business is done in other places
4. Meet and Talk with lots of people offering to take them out for coffee or lunch or dinner. You can send random emails to people in different cities and see what comes from the experience. This lady did that and it lead her to travel all over the world meeting new people on her blog entitled 52 cups of coffee. (2nd Challenge)
If you have trouble talking to random people read The FIne Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine
5. Travel to a city that is known for being the best for Starting a Business
Best Places to Start a Business

You will learn more in that experience than what state legislative requirements make you take in school. You will probably even save some money considering now that more than 50 universities cost more than $60k a year to attend.

This is the list of schools that offer the best environments for startsup and entrepreneurs. They have incubators, think tanks, and special courses and even majors to help one learn how business works.

1. Standford University
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. University of California, Berkeley
4. Cornell University
Look at what Cornell is doing for Entrepreneurs
5. University of California, Los Angeles
6. California Institute of Technology
7. Brown University
8. Princeton University
9. Pepperdine University
10. Dartmouth College
11. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
12. Yale University
13. Clark University
14. Syracuse University
15. Southern Methodist University
16. New York University
17. Howard University
18. San Diego State University
19. University of Colorado, Boulder
20. University of California, Santa Barbara
21. University of San Francisco
22. University of Southern California
23. The University of Texas at Austin
24. Carnegie Mellon University
25. University of Miami
26. Northwestern University
27. University of Denver
28. Boston University
29. American University
30. Brigham Young University
31. Miami University-Oxford
32. Brandeis University
33. Florida Institute of Technology
34. Harvard University
35. University of Maryland-College Park
36. Hofstra University
37. Southern Illinois University Carbondale
38. University of Tulsa
39. Tufts University
40. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
41. University of Notre Dame
42. University of Pennsylvania
43. University of Washington-Seattle
44. Clarkson University
45. Lehigh University
46. Pennsylvania State University
47. University of San Diego
48. Boston College
49. Colorado State University
50. Rice University

If you get rejected by any one of these schools you can always take yourself down to your local library and get a card. If there is any book you want you can always request for them to purchase it. You will learn more from this method than spending money to sit in a classroom the only thing is that you have got to want it bad enough to make yourself go to the library and sit down and not let yourself get distracted or make any excuse to get out of studying.

News Articles

Startup Schools

These men took matters into their own hands and it paid off

Many people wonder what it takes for great things to happen to them. They think that someday something will change and they can start doing the things they want to do. Then there are the people who don’t make excuses in life and just go out and do it. These are usually the people you end up calling boss or CEO because it wasn’t easy for them to get there but they worked hard at it and did something with their time.

Then there are those that put in the time and effort and it paid off big time for them. I decided to write this article because over the summer I have been approached by a number of people asking me to help them build their business. We go over what they would like to do, what they want to sell, and how great their idea is. All the people tell me the same thing – that their business idea is one-of-a-kind and there is nothing else like it out there. Well, the thing is there probably already is it’s just a matter of putting in the time and effort and because there are people out there everyday who are the creators and hard workers at starting their own company they are just really good at making their idea happen. Then there are those that work hard searching online everyday looking to take someone’s idea and beat them to the finish line.

In all the people who have approached me, none have taken that first step of actually doing anything. One of my policies I have with everyone is that I don’t do anything for anyone until I see that they have completed something physical to show for their efforts otherwise I am just working for a paycheck on an idea that won’t really go anywhere. It is very rare that I meet someone who actually wants to start a business and has already put in the time and effort. That should tell you what makes starting a business hard in the first place, that first step of doing actual work.

The two stories I found recently caught my attention because I hear so many more people say they are looking for work. The advice that I am slow to give to others is that they should focus on teaching them skills that employers expect from them instead of spending all their time looking for work. The common response to that is, “Well, I don’t have time to sit and read all day I need to be looking for a job,” or “I don’t have the money to go back to school.” You don’t need to spend money to teach yourself anything anymore, you just need a library card and last time I checked those were free. Plus, why apply for jobs if you don’t even have what employers are asking for?

Meet a College Student who Saved a Woman’s Life
Blake Pryor was driving in his car on the highway either heading home or going out for something when he drove up onto a flyover and noticed something that caught his attention. He says that it was a gut feeling that made him pull over and assess the situation. There was a woman who had parked her car on the fly over and from where she was standing was a 100 foot drop down onto busy traffic. The lady was standing there looking over the edge and it was that instinct of knowing that something didn’t look right that made him stop in the first place. This lady was trying to commit suicide.

Blake said that he approached the woman and looked over the edge with her just to make sure that she knew he was there and even though she made several motions to jump, the fact of Blake stopping, showing appreciation for her and giving her his attention was enough for her not to take her own life. He gave her a hug and told her it wasn’t worth it. After officers arrived they commended him for his efforts to keep a woman from taking her life.

This whole event took place at night in the city of Round Rock on one of their flyover highways and when the police department posted it on their facebook page the article received thousands of comments and likes. People like hearing about stories like this because I guess it makes them feel all warm inside or they are glad to know there are nice people out there like him. For Blake his gut reaction to stop, check out what was happening, and offering his time was enough to catch the attention of many other police departments because he has been offered multiple job offers now. It gets better, so not only does he have many job offers already extended to him but his studies in school match what he wants to become, a police officer. He is studying criminal justice at Tarleton State University.

Everyday there are many people looking for work by getting on a computer and posting resumes and paying for classes that teach them how to write amazing cover letters and resumes not realizing that one of the best methods for finding a job is talking to people. Blake had no intention of landing job offers from his efforts nor was that his intention. He did what was required of him at the time and that was all that was on his mind. I can’t tell you how many times I have been offered jobs or asked to check out a program just because I started talking to someone and asking more about what they do. People want to be appreciated and people will talk to you if you know how to approach and talk with them. Books like

The Art of Mingling: Proven Techniques for Mastering any Room by Jeanne Martinet
The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine

will show you how to do that and more. Infact, these books are so important to read that it surprises me that schools don’t teach that, but many universities have had to add them to their outside programs because they get complaints from employers that their graduates don’t know how to talk to people properly. Such an important skill and yet efforts are spent more on standardized testing. What Blake did was amazing and his efforts were rewarded by what he was able to do. He doesn’t have to worry about job interviews or sending in his resume because it was his efforts of doing something that mattered more.

You can read more about Blake and the full story here
Texas Student Saves Woman from jumping
College student saves suicidal woman
Young Man stops woman from jumping
Facebook Post

Meet a Guy who freed himself from Jail by studying Law for 12 Hours a Day
If I was to tell you that the best way to learn anything is to find some time alone, sit down and read, you would probably find every excuse in the book for getting out of it even though you know you need to do it. Ask any college student when they will clean up their dorm or do their laundry and they will tell you “when I have some time,” but the second it’s time to study for exams you will find majority of students cleaning their places instead of doing what they need to be doing.

The reason for it is because people will give excuses over to things that they know need to be done but don’t prioritize until it gets them out of doing something more important. For Rondell Sanders he didn’t have any excuses because he was in prison and there was nothing for him to do all day. He asked his family to raise some money so they could buy him some law books for him to study. After they raised the money and sent him the books he told his family to stop visiting him so he could focus on studying.

The push to study so hard came after the fact that he lost his initial trial and his lawyers were doing nothing to help him. He knew he had to figure out how the legal system worked and he did that by studying law and that is what he did for 10-12 hours a day seven days a week. There was nothing else for him to do so he made a valid use of his time. His efforts paid off because he was freed  (Jul 23, 2014) after he won his third acquittal trail having spent 20 years in prison (1994) for a murder that he said he was innocent from. He is now adjusting to his new life in society and trying to get used to having those freedoms again.

Sanders said that he loves law now and would love to work in a law firm to help people in his situation. He says he understands what it means to not have anyone listen to him because he was there and met others that felt the justice system ignored them. His real push to learn law came from knowing that his family didn’t have a father there to listen to his kids and he didn’t want that. I’m sure the job offers have come to him in some form or another for his efforts to free himself.

This story goes to show that you don’t need to enroll in a major university or night school program to get an education. You just need to stop with all the excuses grab the books that will teach you what you want to learn and sit yourself down and study. There is nothing else to it but for those that are not serious about that they will continue to find every excuse of getting out of it. If this man was serious enough to put in that much time then you can find at least half of that in your day. And if you are sitting there thinking that you don’t have any time, you do, no one needs to watch that much Netflix in a day.

Read more about how he did it
Inmate studies Law in Prison
Man Freed after acquitted in trial
Imprisoned man studies law

The First Step to Starting a Business
The first thing you need to do is stop making up excuses to keep you from taking the first step. Sit down and write out what your business is all about. This process is called, “Writing a Business Plan.” Second don’t think for one second you need to go to business school to get a degree in this stuff or that you need an MBA so you don’t miss out on something important to know. Here are two books to read that will teach you what you need to know to help you get started so you can then hire those that did go to business school to run your company once it’s up and running.

The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship by William D. Bygrave
The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

After you have read those two books and written your business plan then you will know what the next step is and by then you will have put in enough effort and momentum to get you going that you won’t think of stopping.

Get out there and start appreciating people more and you will be surprised how much the world opens up to you. Then make it a point to read and learn something. Yes the laundry needs to be done but it doesn’t take a full day to do it. Learning apps have made it easy now to learn anything on the go. If a man, who didn’t go to law school, can teach himself law then anyone else can you just have to want to do it, and that is the hardest step.

As for the people still asking me to help them with their businesses, well I’m still waiting for them to make the first move in the mean time, there are a lot of ideas out there floating around but it doesn’t take a genius to make the first move.