My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Sunday, Jul 07, 2009

Are you good to the people who follow you?

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I know a lot of amazing people.

So many that people I was once called the Kevin Bacon of the tech community.

Ok…I made up the KB part up but if people were to make any connection for me I would like it to be known as the Mother Theresa (of Calcutta…not the other one) of the tech world because, I wash a lot of feet but also go out of my way to do other nice things for people, even if it isn’t asked for.

Here is why.

This past Wednesday I attended the monthly Wired Wednesday put on by the nice folks at RedWire and while there I got to chatting with Aran Hamilton.

Ya see, chatting is what I do.
…anyway, Aran is the VP of Strategic Partnerships with the new (and very impressive) startup Zoompass….and over the course of our conversation we started talking about our networks and I offered to help him with any introductions I could because I think his product is cool and want to see it do well. Somewhere in our chatting I blurted out (and I don’t remember the exact thing that triggered it anymore)
“What is the point of having a network if you don’t use it?”

Spending most of 2008 traveling to every conference or speaking opportunity I could find put me face to face with so many of the smartest and nicest people in the Tech and Entertainment industry, and I consider myself a pretty connected person…but seriously, what good is knowing all these people if I am not helping them?

The goal of this post is not to pat myself on the back but I am going to use “me” as an example and challenge everyone else to do the same because while this may sound odd but in my free time I sit around thinking about who I know and who I could introduce them to.
I do this because it makes me feel good to help people, but also because I usually get repaid in hugs and long kisses. Out of the hundreds or thousands of folks I meet over the course of a month or a year, only a small number of them will actually have a fit into what I am doing work wise…but all can help me in other ways…and I think the best way to get people to help you (if needed) is to help them first with something.
This has nothing to do with Karma or Pay it Forward but just good old fashioned un selfish introductions because there may not actually be a time where you need help from one particular person but if you help them find a job or escape from a bully I bet they will remember and help if called upon.
In the past month I have helped one person land a job. Made intro’s and helped secure interviews for two other people and made at least 10 introductions that resulted in real business or a new clients for people.

Does this make me a better person than you? Not really, like I mentioned earlier I am doing it for the warm loving embraces….because I like the way those make me feel but if you have time this week why not take a look at your network and make an unsolicited intro to two people you like and think can work together…and if you don’t get a hug out of it let me know and I will send you one.

  1. Very well said, and a point not often discussed as a vital part of success in the wired world.

    I go thru life dreaming that it's always something on the scale of London in 1967 and I love connecting two people who didn't know each other before because I feel like it's an epic meeting that will get books written about it one day. Feels like we're all in a movie.

  2. Dear Saul,

    You are exactly like Kevin Bacon! I couldn't have said it better myself. At first I thought it was because of your Footloose-worthy dance moves, but then I realized that it's because you can link anyone in the tech industry to you in 6 degrees or less. Anyone I can think of – from big-timers like Chris Brogan (on a panel with you at SXSW) to my mom (you are on RedWire, where my mom is an expert) – is connected to you in some way.

    But it's not the fact that you have these connections – it's the fact that you use them for good. It's almost like you're a superhero and you're using your powers for good (if you were using them for evil you would sit with a giant virtual rolodex and cackle about how you are hoarding all your connections). I remember when you introduced me to some awesome people at a party at SXSWi – I really truly appreciated it, and can honestly say that it helped me out a lot since I was new-ish at RedWire and you were a wise experienced social media magic guy.

    So from me to you, thanks. And from me to anyone else reading this, Saul is right – if you help someone they will help you back. I would do pretty much anything for Saul – except maybe give him a foot rub.

  3. Great thoughts Saul! I first started doing this connector stuff after reading some of Tim Sanders stuff. He can be found at

    Keep up the good work SuperHero!

  4. Hi Saul,

    Disclosure: I work on the TFC team helping to launch Zoompass.

    I you're absolutely right. It comes down to whether you're in it for yourself or for your network. Do you build a network of connections to help yourself, or do you use it to help the other people in your network too? I think the latter likely pays-off in the long term. As you point out, people remember when you help them.

    Thanks for the kind words – glad you like Zoompass!


  5. Saul… I'm in the middle of doing a podcast about the power of networking. I'm going to reference you, so I go to your site, and of course your latest post is a perfectly written article on the power of networking.

    Same brains I guess.

  6. Hey Saul,

    Awesome post!

    And Erin's comment was kick ass!

    Right away I was able to see that you just don't talk the talk but you actually walk the walk as you have people who will support you all the way because of your abundance mindset.

    Some people see the world as a pie where only a certain amount of pieces are available to everyone while others believe that you can just bake more pies to share with everyone else.

    People who see their network as a limited commodity that should be kept private are losing out on helping create new connections that enable people to bake more pies. 😀

    Thank you for encouraging others to be better. Next time I meet someone instead of thinking what can the person do for me, I will think what can I do to help them.

    All the best,

    Alex “Baker” Ikonn

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