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A hand-sketched trio of diagrams. 1) An entrepreneur with a piggy bank, 2) an outline of a head with a heart where the brain should be, and 3) two friendly stick figures.

For Entrepreneurs… Friends Are Wealth (And Mental Health!)

Table of Contents

Homeless man turned business advisor explains why your marketing, outreach, and promotion aren’t working, and how good mental health leads to reviews, shares, and sales.

Did you know that every guru teaching lead-gen, marketing, and biz growth lies about a key step?

It’s mostly a lie of omission, but it’s a lie still.

And this lie they give you, is why you’re still struggling to grow, wasting your marketing getting minimal results. And worse, your mental health is suffering for it.

Don’t worry.

It’s not your fault.

I was in the same boat. No one told me the truth about the value and power of making friends.

After an embarrassing 22 failed businesses, I eventually discovered the true relationship between connections and wealth, and found out how to dissolve my “outreach” mental blocks…

This made growing any business simple, clear, and surprisingly easy.

During my early failed businesses, I believed that when I made money, I’d get lots of friends. I thought business was transactional first, and that friends would come after I was successful.

When I was struggling to make money, the experts tried to tell me my mental health suffered because I identified with my business too much, or that I was ‘burnt out.’

None of that was true. I just needed to be better at making friends and getting strangers to know, like, and trust me.

And although I’d heard the phrase before, I definitely didn’t understand what “Know, Like, Trust” actually meant. (No one really explains it.)

When I eventually figured it out, I did a complete reversal of my initial philosophy. I learned…

…the more friends I make, the easier it is to earn.

I realized that money is a side-effect of providing value to… “friends.”

“Friends are money.”

Think about it, every opportunity we’ve ever had in our lives comes from a connection or ‘friend.’

Show me someone good at making friends and moving relationships forward…

…and I’ll show you someone with a growing business.

Show me someone who’s bad at friend-making or who disregards relationships…

…and I’ll show you a failing business.

Making friends and moving relationships forward is how you get people to “know, like, and trust” you enough to even become a customer.

No guru ever tells you this, but “making friends” is what “traffic sources,” “lead-generation,” “brand touchpoints,” “lead nurturing,” and the “customer journey” is really about.

The thing is…

Most people have mental blocks about making friends.

They think:

  • Making friends is too hard,
  • is scary,
  • isn’t worth it,
  • takes too long,
  • they’re not ‘big enough’ yet,
  • they ‘have to pay rent’
  • have no time for friend-making,
  • they “don’t know what to say,”
  • and on and on.

But before I tell you about “friend-making…”

…here’s a bit more about me.

Hi, my name is J-Ryze and I ran my business homeless for nearly 3 years, then pulled myself out of depressed homelessness by becoming a right-hand advisor to Evan Carmichael, helping him grow his brand from 1,000 followers to 3 million.

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca posing with the "believe gesture" next to friend and collaborator Evan Carmichael. Shot in black and white by Matt Barnes in Toronto.

The day I discovered the power of friend-making I pulled myself out of homelessness by getting a roof over my head, a secure income, and growing royalties.

Evan was my first intentionally made “real friend,” and like with any friend you make as an entrepreneur, (whether you realize it or not) it was so worth the effort.

And I’ve made countless friends through the years, sometimes I help them… sometimes they help me. I’ve had at least 1000 friends over the years, with easily hundreds of thousands of dollars of value exchanged… all in the name of friendship.

Not only that, but I’ve taught many of these friends how to make more friends and level up their businesses. I know this stuff works.

  • If you’re a solopreneur struggling to gain traction, you’re not making enough friends.
  • If you’re an advanced entrepreneur whose growth has plateaued, adding more friends will grow your profits.
  • If you’re a massive corporate CEO who wants to increase your share price, leveling up your friends is the key.

Sure, your issue may have more to do with the copy you write, your brand clarity, or your market research…

…but making friends with copywriters, brand advisors, and market researchers solves all that, too.

So yes, friend-making has been the answer to so many business struggles –for every entrepreneur– the entire time.

Ask yourself:

“What would I rather have, a million dollars, or a million human connections I can rely on?”

(Hint: If you’ve been focusing on one and neglecting the other, you’ve already lost.)

That’s why I teach every client who wants true wealth, the value of connections and the power of making friends.

And none of them ever believe me until they try it for themselves.

Once they actually put their time and money fears aside, they start forming intentional human connections.They then see massive growth and become die hard fans of friend-making.

There’s no better time than now to try it for yourself and what’s the worst that can happen? You become successful? You end up with more friends than before?

Still not convinced?

Well, if you keep reading you’ll discover these friend-making secrets…

  • How to get leads without ever facing rejection.
  • The sneaky little trick to get people begging you for your product.
  • The secret to moving a conversation forward even if you have “nothing to say.”
  • How to gain the confidence necessary to contact “bigger players.”
  • Why targeting the “right people” is an unnecessary waste of time and energy.
  • The one mindset shift that removes all pressure.

Don’t take my word for it. See what these satisfied people are saying.

"J has mastered the art of communication. He knows the right questions to ask to unleash a person's creativity and explore new possibilities. If you desire to re-design your life or business, & start going above and beyond being mediocre. J will get you there with class."
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D. Hayes
Online Auctioneer
"DUDE!!! This is soooooo cool! I just wanted to say... you are seriously like the pimp-ass mack Daddy of coaching, and I admire you for it!!! Reading your emails is like hearing a poetic rapper free-flow...I always enjoy them a lot. Get outta town, you badass! Please receive oodles of sparkles and glitter and dazzle-dazzle!"
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Eyenie Schultz
Technicolor Priestess
"J-Ryze... I hang on to every word, re-read so I can digest... Thank you for your perspective, analogy, and wisdom you brought!!! Since we've talked, I've been getting so many referrals for web consulting, to where I'm getting help to fulfill it all! I'm ELATED!"
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Lakesha Brown
The Uncommon Chick

So let’s dissolve one of the biggest mental health blocks for entrepreneurs.

“I can’t make people know, like, or trust me.”

And I get why this is a mental block, because, most of us entrepreneurs know, deep down that…

If you want to turn strangers into customers… they must first know, like, and trust you.

The question is…

Who controls whether someone knows you, likes you, or trusts you?

Many struggling entrepreneurs think they’re at the mercy of strangers.

They believe they have little (or no) control over who knows, likes, and trusts them…

…but successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Phil Knight, or Elon Musk understand that they actually have massive control over who knows, likes, and trusts them.

They also invest lots of time & money in just the first step of “getting people to know them.”

  • They’ll pay loads just to get their brand logo on an athlete’s jersey.
  • They’ll invest time on talk shows, interviews, and press, just so people get to know them.
  • They’ll buy entire companies, not for their product, but just for access to their userbase.

And these successful entrepreneurs had the wisdom to make friends right from the beginning, it’s not something they only did “once they were big.”

When Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman first started Nike, they would attend college track meets, 7 days a week, just so they could shake athlete’s hands. They treated friend-making like a full-time job, prioritizing it over developing new shoes, writing copy, or any other business activity.

And these entrepreneurs understood that friends aren’t made instantly, they knew seeking instant-gratification wasn’t a healthy mindset.

Friendships are grown and nurtured, like plants.

And the first “seed” is to turn a stranger who doesn’t even know you exist into a (usually hesitant, guarded) acquaintance who at least knows of you.

At first, they don’t even need to know what you do, or what you provide, they just need to know who you are.

Because once they know you exist –even if they’re unsure– they’re now a seed that’s already growing into a potential friend.

Diagram of a plant, with each part of the plant corresponding to a phase of the customer journey.

And you don’t do this once, or once in a while.

You do it like Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman did it.

You do it like it matters.

You do it like it’s your job.

Because once a few thousand new people know you, you’ll be creating jobs for others, and getting shared by others, but until then… this is on you.

You control it.

“But Jay, a thousand is so many!”

No.

It’s 100% not.

I could get a teenage volunteer (or hire an intern) to acquaint me with a thousand leads (strangers) in about a week and a half.

If you’re an entrepreneur being outperformed by a teen intern, you might want to reconsider being in business.

Please, have enough confidence, discipline, and focus to outperform an intern if you give a f*ck about your biz. (If not, have the grace to bow out and admit biz isn’t for you.)

And this doesn’t just apply to leads and friend-making.

The 100-for-1 rule applies to everything.

“But, but, but… I have excuses that prevent me from reaching a thousand leads.”

Again, no, you don’t.

People have been succeeding in business since caveman times. And every single successful entrepreneur had to make way more than 1,000 acquaintances in their lifetime.

Every single one of them began with excuses and eventually realized there IS no excuse to avoid getting leads (unless failure is your goal.)

Let’s examine a few common excuses.

But first, take a quick look at how you feel when the people you’re trying to help give *you* excuses.

If you’re good at what you do, you’ve probably heard others make excuses as to why they “can’t” do what you do.

It also probably bores you or frustrates you to hear such excuses, because you know they’re silly, neurotic, trauma-based reactions that have no basis in reality.

The same thing goes for me every time I hear an entrepreneur make excuses as to why they can’t do a basic human function such as “making friends.” I’ve seen so many people do this, and I’ve never seen a single reasonable excuse to avoid it.

Entrepreneurs will say they’re “too introverted,” “bad at marketing,” or “bad at networking.

What they’re really doing is refusing to admit all that’s necessary is the basic human function of “making friends,” it’s achieved by every role model you have, from all walks of life, and labeling it as “marketing” or “networking” is just a way to distance yourself from it.

Still, I get it.

These beliefs come from trauma, poor mental health, and lack of understanding.

They’re often trauma response excuses stored in our nervous system or spat out by our egoistic mind. It’s ok, I’ve had them all myself at one time or another, and it took me many dark, hellish years to get over them. And you can do it too.

All that said, here’s common excuses.

“I hate rejection.”

This is like saying “I hate mosquitos,” or “I hate cold snaps.”

They exist, they’re part of life, you either find ways to make peace with these things, or spend life complaining & triggered.

There’s no other option.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, I assume you’re committed to embracing rejection.

If so, there’s two approaches to handling rejection, the fast way, and the slow way.

The fast way is best seen in an entrepreneur like Grant Cardone.

Have a thick skin, ignore rejections, and blaze a trail forward, finding ‘ready-buyers’ as fast as possible.

With this method ‘rejections’ are a fully embraced part of the game, and have little meaning. In a short time, you’ll have a list of acquaintances who “know” you.

The slow way is best seen in an entrepreneur like Gary Vaynerchuk.

Create your content, put yourself out there, over and over, for a long, long, long time, until you gain traction with ‘ready-buyers’ eventually. No one can really ‘reject’ you this way, since you’re not really offering anything, you’re just putting out content in your field, and letting people come and go as they wish.

After an (unpleasantly) long time, you’ll have a following of people who know, like, and trust you.

You can also use a blend of both methods, which results in your business growing at a moderate speed.

Either way, every entrepreneur you look up to has done this.

When Bill Gates was asked how he successfully got investors and became a billionaire, he said:

“There’s no secret. I knocked on door after door. I showed my idea to 1200 people. 900 said no. 300 showed some interest. Only 85 people actually did anything. 30 took a serious look. And 11 made me a billionaire.”

While looking for a manufacturer to produce Spanx, Sara Blakely spent “months” getting factory doors “slammed in her face,” she said. But all she needed was one yes from a decent-sized manufacturer.

All she needed was one friend, and once she got him, bam, the rest was history.

One decent-sized friend can open so many doors for your business, and if you’re struggling, there’s likely no better thing for you to invest in.

Are you still scared of rejection?

Fine.

Here’s the secret for getting leads without rejection.

It’s really simple and doable.

(Though it sometimes takes creativity and practice.)

You just drop all agenda of a sale, permanently. You make small-talk, take the relationship and conversation super-slow, let the target lead, and basically “never” make an offer.

This is kind of like meeting someone at a party.

  • “How do you know so-and-so?”
  • “Oh, your career sounds so cool, what’s your latest project?”
  • “I noticed we both like [X], how’d you get into that?”
  • “I loved your latest post, are you considering more like [Y?]”

Innocuous small talk like this almost never results in a rejection, and is the first tentative step to connecting and making friends. Keep in mind, it will grow a relationship but unless you move the conversation forward, it will never lead to sales.

And like most things in life, it’s low-risk, so it’s low-reward.

Let’s say you’re making small talk with “Steve.”

Steve eventually stops responding.

This could be because he is “rejecting” you and no longer interested in connecting.

But it more likely happened because he got too many notifications and yours got lost. Or because of a family/work/life emergency. Or because he lost his password on that account. Or because he finally hired an intern to take over his socials and they missed it. Or because you used one of his “trigger” words unintentionally, and he shut down.

Since it’s small talk, (and since no rejection ever has to be “permanent,”) you can simply “follow-up” a few times.

There’s a reason successful people everywhere talk about persistence.

Besides, rejection is a good thing.

Do you really want a world where everyone, every where just says “yes” to everything?

That world would be insane chaos.

The truth is, you want a world full of rejection, because…

Rejection is nature’s way of sorting out who’s a right fit for who, and when.

You’ve rejected many things people have offered you in your life already.

And I bet you many times you did so, the offer-er ended up with hurt feelings.

I bet they “didn’t like the rejection.”

But you know what? It was a blessing. It helped them find the right people for them, it saved them time, it helped you, it helped the world.

When you rejected someone’s offer, it was the right thing to do.

Why wouldn’t it be the same when others do it to you?

Rejections are blessings. The more you have, the more people you’ve reached, and the more “yeses” you’ve gotten.

Show me someone with very few rejections and I’ll show you a failure.

There’s a Katt Williams bit that clarifies this beautifully:

And rejections aren’t personal.

Most rejections are not about you.

People often default to “no” first, but this is only because everyone’s traumatized and trained not to trust others.

Secretly, people want to say yes, they want to make friends, they want to be big spenders, they want to invest in their passions, hobbies, and lives. They want to pay appropriate amounts for things.

So when they reject you it’s usually because they’re afraid they can’t make the time, or can’t afford it, or that it’s too much work.

They’re afraid it’ll hurt their precious reputations. Or that it’ll be ‘too much’ on their plate.

All kinds of things.

Most entrepreneurs take rejections personally, and it keeps them poor.

Anyway, let’s say you easily move past the rejection.

So next, you comment on Steve’s post on another platform. Maybe you forward Steve a funny meme you think he’d like. Finally you even attend one of Steve’s “live events.” He sees you in the audience and says “Sorry for dropping the ball on contacting you, I’ve been pretty overwhelmed.”

Now Steve has given you “ammo.”

“Ammo” is a chance for you to serve, take the conversation forward, and be valuable.

You have limbs and a brain, which is more than enough to provide value to people.

Is there anything you could possibly do to relieve or soothe Steve’s overwhelm, thus being valuable to him, and freeing up his time to respond to you more?

Could you introduce him to Asana, Social Management Software? Could you volunteer to be his intern and gatekeep some of his messages for him? Could you introduce him to a social media manager? Could you summarize some of the long comments he’s been receiving? Could you give him some time management tricks or lifehacks?

As you make small talk with people and move the conversation forward, eventually they’ll feel comfortable enough and vulnerable enough to “share or reveal a problem” to you.

When they do, it’s a precious opportunity for you to serve and become valuable to them.

It’s a chance to move the conversation and relationship forward, and get them to a place where “rejecting” your offers would be ludicrous.

It’s what I did to reach Evan, and it’s what you can do to connect with anyone.

To do this, it helps to have the belief “I’m valuable, creative, and always find a way to help someone,” or “Even if I don’t know how to help someone, I can research and introduce them to someone who can.”

“But, I don’t know what to say.”

If you ever talked to someone at school, or at a new job, or at a party, you absolutely do know what to say.

I know it sounds reductive, but you just “be a human.”

You interact as best as you know how, and learn from your mistakes.

Does it take courage and heart and a persistent mindset? Yes, but it’d be weird if something on the entrepreneurial journey didn’t.

Again, there are two extremes to this.

You can take the ‘direct response’ approach, kind of like a door-to-door salesman, where you just approach people and talk straight about what you do and what you offer. This requires high volume –almost ‘spamming’– and results in above average rejections, Grant-Cardone-style, but also gets more direct, speedy results.

Or…

You can take the ‘seduction’ approach, kind of like wooing your crush or schmoozing a big wig. With this method you start small and gentle, talking about whatever the other person is open to or focused on, deliberately avoiding your real agenda until you can organically find an opportunity to bring it up.

This way results in little-to-no rejections –like a shy teenager timidly flirting with a crush– but gets much slower results.

People have success reaching influencers with both methods.

Both work.

Connection Methods - Comparison
Temp. Method Rejections Results Loyalty
Cold Direct-Response Lots Fast Lower
Warm Inbound / Reputation Marketing Few Slow Higher

The main differences are outreach-volume required, persistence/thick-skin required, and time-delay until results are achieved.

As before, you can also choose an in between approach, resulting in moderate speed.

“Fast” results come from Grant Cardone’s “spam-multiple-thousands-of-targets” style. Slow results come from Gary Vee’s “inbound-content-marketing” style. Rejection-free results come from Cyn’s “gentle inception” style (discussed further down).

NO results come from most other approaches.

An author will never finish a book if they don’t write enough words, and an entrepreneur will never “blow up their sales” if they don’t make enough friends.

Whatever you do, if you want to be an entrepreneur, I have news for you…

You must practice, stumble, and learn what to say.

(The sooner, the better.)

A good starting point is learning how to reliably get attention.

“I’m not big enough yet.”

Eminem wasn’t big when he hooked up with Dr. Dre.

Kate Upton wasn’t big when he hooked up with Elite Model Management.

Ryan Holiday wasn’t big when he became Tucker Max’s assistant.

I was f**king homeless when I first started consulting for Evan Carmichael.

Here’s a secret no one tells you:

Connecting with any human being, of any size, shape, or accomplishment, always follows a simple formula.

Connecting with “big” people can be done the same way as connecting with “small,” even if it seems otherwise. (So don’t even bother labeling targets as “big” or “small…”)

Sure the big guys might have gatekeepers, but ultimately…

All human beings are reachable. And reaching them is a journey that can technically start at any time, regardless of size.

It’s just a journey of nurturing them via touchpoints, providing value (to either them directly or their tribe) until you’re a familiar face in their world, and then deeper connection is a natural, organic next step.

You could give me anyone –anyone on the planet– you want to connect with, and I could chart you a course to reaching them.

Some journeys might be longer, with more touchpoints and gatekeepers, such as reaching Taylor Swift or Kanye West, and some might be shorter with less touchpoints and gatekeepers, like reaching your neighbor.

But ultimately, we can reach either, and it would only take touchpoints, value-provision, and familiarity until a comfortable connection was on the table.

“It takes too long and I don’t have time.”

Each day that passes is 24 hours of precious life.

You spend those 24 hours however you want.

Especially as an entrepreneur, you have no boss except yourself.

You can spend your 24 hours on your business, you can spend them on your family, you can spend them on Netflix, you can sleep them all away.

Many entrepreneurs who’ve come before you, like Phil Knight, Bill Gates, and Sara Blakely mentioned above, chose to spend huge chunks of time, money, and energy making friends. Many of them cut down on sleep just to do this.

Many of your entrepreneurial peers are pissing their hours away on “brand building,” “improving their products,” “fixing their website,” “chasing SEO,” “finding the right people,” (discussed below), and on and on.

Remember, a customer is ONLY someone who knows, likes, and trusts you/your brand… in other words, a friend.

So the more friends you make, the more sales you make.

Since that’s the case…

Which is the most profitable use of your time?

Is making acquaintances, then nurturing them into a colleague , and eventually growing your (mailing) list of friends the wisest use of your daily 24 hours?

Or…

Is other “business busy-work” that earns you nothing the way to go?

Whenever someone tells me they have “more important things to do” in their business than making friends, or that they “don’t have time for friend-making,” I automatically know they either a) don’t understand the value of friendship & are headed for failure, or b) are already successful with a giant friend-list.

You can make friends crazy-fast, the Grant Cardone way. You can make them super-slow, the Gary Vaynerchuk way. Or you can find some approach in-between.

Do whatever suits you.

But if I were you, I wouldn’t dare think excuses like “I don’t have time” to make friends or “it takes too long” or “it’s too hard” are even remotely acceptable.

Especially for someone who’s intentionally chosen to be an entrepreneur.

“But I don’t have confidence.”

Were you confident when you first rode a bike?

Are you confident riding one now?

What did you do to go from under-confident to truly confident in bike-riding?

Were you confident when you first swam?

Are you confident in swimming now?

What did you do to go from under-confident to truly confident in swimming?

In both cases, everyone answers “I just did it.”

In both cases people realized they’d have to “skin their knees” toppling from their bike, or get water in their lungs as they swam, and that taking those lumps were part of learning.

The same goes for making friends.

You will get rejected.
Conversations will go awry.
You’ll “lose” some friends or relationships.

Who cares?

It’s part of learning.

“But how to gain confidence contacting ‘bigger players’?”

When you first started riding a bike, you tackled flat roads only.

As you gained confidence, you tried small hills, both up and down.

As you gained more confidence, you rose to challenge bigger hills, even wheelies.

The same goes for outreaching to influencers.

Maybe you’re only confident to reach people with 1k followers. Fine. Start there. It won’t be as thrilling and satisfying as a “big hill” but it will gain you confidence.

Eventually, you should feel confident to approach influencers with 2k followers.

Then 5. Then 10. Then 30. Then 50.

Soon you’re confident enough to write to people with 100k, or a million.

You stepped up and gained confidence in cycling and swimming, now it’s time to do it for connecting. Or don’t… and continue struggling in your biz.

The choice is yours.

And if you want extra confidence before you dive into the actual practice of “outreach”, preparation helps.

Ask yourself:

  • Have I researched and paid attention to what my target is focused on?
  • Do I have confidence that I can provide value in every interaction?
  • Do I have confidence in the small offers I make along my journey with them?
  • Do I have confidence in my flagship offer I’ll eventually pitch to them?

Anyway, there’s an infinite number of excuses you can come up with.

And if your mental health is poor, your brain will continue popping them up for you.

The real question is, are you gonna believe them, or believe what I’m telling you here?

Are you gonna let excuses stop you, or are you going to find a way forward and master friend-making?

I’ll assume you’re a baller who’s stepped up and left the excuses in the dust.

I’ll assume you at least did a couple of week’s worth of work, intern-style, and introduced yourself to a thousand people who didn’t know you existed before.

“Yes, I acquainted myself with a thousand strangers.”

Excellent! Now you have a pool of new leads.

Once you have a thousand new people who ‘know’ you, that means you have a thousand seeds you can ‘nurture’ with more ‘touchpoints,’ converting them into “warm leads.”

You can nurture acquaintances who ‘know’ you into colleagues who actually ‘like’ you, and guess what? Now you’re much, much closer to a new friend, and a new sale.

So, the next step is to…

Organize your list of leads, and chunk it into manageable chunks.

Russell Brunson creates a section of his ‘biggest’ leads, aspirational influencers he’d love to reach, and labels them his “Dream 100.”

You can do something similar with your list of a thousand, organizing them by top 10, top 100, etc. I dig deep into this in my post “Make Getting Customers A Breeze (Attract Millions With Ease!)

So you’ve got your list of a thousand new leads (you have been tracking their contact info, right?), you’ve organized them. Now they’re each ready for their first touchpoint.

So…

Nurture those leads through touchpoints.

Why?

Because it takes on average, 8-15 touchpoints to turn a friend into a sale. It can sometimes be a bit shorter for pro salespeople or for low-ticket items. But it can also be much longer for high-ticket items.

Do you get that? You aren’t getting any sales, from nearly anyone, without 8 to 15 touchpoints with them first.

A touchpoint is just a fancy word for “interaction.”

It could be interaction with you personally, interaction with your brand, interaction with your content…

…whatever the case, touchpoints are insanely precious for a business and of paramount priority if you want to create new customers (or even resell to loyal customers).

And touchpoints can be made on any platform from Reddit to TikTok, from country clubs to bowling leagues to doctor’s offices. They can even be made across multiple channels and venues.

Sure, each channel/venue has its own etiquette, ‘rules’, and hoops to jump through, but it doesn’t really matter, it’s just part of the game.

Let’s look at examples on Instagram.

Heart’ing” someone’s post can count as a touchpoint – but it usually doesn’t count because most folks don’t look at who hearts posts. Commenting on them nearly always counts as a touchpoint though, because at least a gatekeeper is reading them. DM’ing them counts as a touchpoint (as long as it actually reaches their inbox and they see it.) Replying to Instagram Stories counts as a touchpoint and it puts you into their DM’s main inbox.

Sharing their work and tagging them is a touchpoint. Buying their product (if you can) is a touchpoint. Attending their event is a touchpoint, especially if you interact with them at it, and rave about it publicly afterwards.

Offering them a helping hand, asking them a question, or responding to their questions are also touchpoints.

Each touchpoint boosts your familiarity and their comfort, but not every touchpoint will move the relationship towards a sale.

How do I do that, you ask?

Here’s the secret to moving a convo forward even if you have “nothing to say.”

Let’s say “Tom” is the first target on my list.

Tom’s an influencer who helps introverted entrepreneurs.

He has about 10k followers, so I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have an assistant, staff, or gatekeeper handling his social media for him. (If he was bigger and had a gatekeeper, it’d be the same process but I’d be schmoozing the gatekeeper first.)

My first touchpoint with Tom could be asking a question about “introverted entrepreneurs” on one of his Instagram posts. Seeing that most of the comments he gets are “emojis” and “hell yeahs!” He’d love my more thoughtful inquiry.

Of course, I could always pull a “Grant Cardone” and go right to offering my services (likely to result in a rejection… but technically, a touchpoint.)

Or I could notice that his latest post isn’t about business at all, it’s about his pet cat, ginger.

“A pet cat? What the–”

What if I really have nothing to say to that?

What if I don’t have a pet, or even like animals… how could I possibly use his pet-post as a touchpoint?

Because it all comes back to “just being human.”

You just have to realize that everyone is giving you ammo, whether they realize it or not.

If someone posts about their new shirt, I now have ammo, because I can talk about their new shirt as a starting point.

In Tom’s case, the “ammo” he fed me is his cat.

So, I drop my agenda of trying to sell Tom. I stop worrying about business. I treat him just like making a new friend at a party.

If “Tom-the-party-goer” is talking about his cat, I’d best talk about his cat too.

I let him lead the conversation.

So I go to his post and I write:

“Tom, I love this post, ginger looks so adorable that even a non-animal-lover like me is starting to feel won-over.”

Tom will love that. He’ll think “Ginger’s so adorable she’s starting to convert animal-haters!” He might even mention me by name to his family at dinner.

Bam.

Successful touchpoint.

(And the more in common you have with someone, the more ‘ammo’ you have, and the easier touchpoints become.)

But touchpoints are useless if they don’t eventually…

…move the conversation forward!

The friend- (or customer-) journey is all about taking them from strangers into…

Cold” leads.

This builds your list of acquaintances.

Then through initial touchpoints, you turn them into…

Warm” leads.

This creates your list of “colleagues” or “peers.”

Then, through deeper touchpoints and moving the convo forward, you turn those into…

Hot” leads.

This creates your list of “friends” who are “ready” to share you, review you, shout you out, and yes, buy from you.

Friend/Customer Journey
Temperature Friendship Receptive To...
Cold Acquaintance Small Talk / Initial Touchpoints
Warm Colleague / Peer Deeper Touchpoints / Reveals
Hot Friend Offers / Asks

So as you can see by the chart…

Although my first touchpoint was great for connection and familiarity, it doesn’t get me much closer to a sale.

If I want to move the conversation forward, I might have to try a different kind of touchpoint, or at least increase the quality of my original touchpoint.

For example, I can add “…I get the feeling you love ginger as much as I love ‘mental health’ or as much as my partner loves DIY.”

Now I’m moving the conversation forward and revealing a bit about me, my business, and my partner.

Not every touchpoint is “worth” the same amount, but an interaction like the one outlined above could be worth 2 or even 3 touchpoints.

Practice becoming a “creative conversationalist,” because conversations are happening constantly in an entrepreneur’s life, and a creative conversationalist can make any touchpoint lead to a result that actually is worth it.

Tom might even respond to my great touchpoints with “Actually, Ginger is my therapy cat, and helps me deal with my anxiety!”

Now I’ve got an in.

Tom has confessed to anxiety issues.

Excellent ammo.

It doesn’t always go this easy or smooth, and often many more touchpoints are required, but if you’re a smart reader, you can see the applications here.

You can see how vital touchpoints are.

You can see how important it is to “move the conversation” forward to turn a stranger into an acquaintance and eventually a friend who’ll buy / share / collab with you.

And if you go through your list of a thousand leads, and nurture them with 8-15 touchpoints each, a good chunk of them will move along the customer journey.

A good chunk will no longer just “know” you exist, they’ll “like” you, and be highly receptive to your wares.

And guess what happens to your mental health when you’re actively growing your biz, and actively getting strangers to know you and like you?

This sets you up to get more friends trusting you…

As long as you make them a juicy offer.

In friend-making, people are similar to squirrels.

Human hand extending a bright cream-colored peanut to a grey squirrel on a darkly lit background.

If you want them to really trust you, you’ve got to extend your hand and offer them some “food.”

And for people, “food” means “touchpoints.”

And you’ve got to be kind, calm, and patient allowing them to either take the “food,” as well as allowing them to remain shy if they want.

Period.

It doesn’t matter how much someone likes you, even if they’re your best friend on earth, getting them to accept something from you still requires extra trust.

And that trust is displayed when they accept an offer from you.

So that offer better be a juicy offer.

If you say “Hey man, wanna go see that new Madame Web movie? My treat!”

They’ll take one look at Madame Web’s rotten tomato scores, realize that’s 2 hours of their life gone, and likely turn it down.

But if you say:

“Hey man, wanna go see that new Madame Web movie? I heard it sucks but we’ll have a blast laughing at the dialogue, I’ll treat tickets, food, and beer, and that hottie you’re crushing on is the one who put this whole movie night together…”

You’ll likely get a “yes.”

For this to work though…

…you must know your target well, and put together an offer that’s compelling for them.

You may also have to find the right moment.

Asking your Dad to drive you to the store when he’s tired from work and just about to relax with a cold beer…

…isn’t as good as asking for a ride to the store when he’s about to head out and could use an extra pair of hands unloading the van.

Of course, you’ve the option to take the “Grant Cardone approach” and spam offers to every lead, regardless of how warmed up they are and regardless of timing. Or you can take the “Gary Vee approach” and rarely make individual offers, while occasionally posting invites or sales to your long-term audience.

You can also do a blend of both: Make contact, do a few touchpoints, warm them up with comments & compliments, and then send them your pitch.

As usual, each of these approaches has pros and cons, and each of them results in different levels of rejection, speed, and success.

You can even take my partner Cyn’s magic approach, which is different because it never really “makes an offer.”

…It’s a sneaky little trick to get people begging you for your product.

She calls it the “libra” approach.

What is it?

Well, it’s a bit advanced, and it’s definitely slower, so most gurus never even mention it.

Basically it’s to seduce, persuade, and incept ideas so well that others are begging you for your wares, without you offering.

The idea here is to become a ‘go-to’ person for your target, providing many small pockets of value in your interactions, all while planting seeds in language that resonates, so that they’re mentally and emotionally primed to ask you what you do, what you offer, and how they can get it.

There were the beginning hints of it in my 2nd example with Tom above, but it’s more than I can get into here. One way to get your feet wet with it though is to check out my post Persuasion Tips & Tricks: Basics That Work.

Again, I stress that this is the most advanced and slowest technique, so if you “need money now,“ I recommend any other approach.

“Jay, I must not be targeting the ‘right people.’”

If you’re poor, broke, struggling, or plateaued… there’s a trick to finding the “right people” to befriend.

It’s simple and easy.

Are you ready?

Target literally anyone.

I don’t care what other gurus have told you, hell, even I teach how important it is to find your “one person” and target “tribe leaders.”

But that advice is bad if you’re poor, broke, struggling, or plateaued.

If that’s the case, there’s a 1% chance that targeting the “right people” is going to help you, and a 99% chance that making more friends –with anyone– will boost your wealth (and sanity.)

So stop giving a f**k about the “right people.”

Befriend a toddler who has no money, because their parents might be rich buyers, hungry for your wares.

Befriend a senior in a retirement home, because their son might be a rich buyer, desperate for your services.

Befriend an OnlyFans model, because someone in their audience may need what you’re selling.

And even if none of these are true…

…they’re one more person than you had yesterday.

Why does that matter? Because every person has a network of about 150 potential people they may share you with.

If you are not speeding well towards your goals, and if you’re not making many friends each week, you do not have the luxury of worrying about the “right people.”

It’s like buying your first car.

Maybe your first car is a beater.

  • It has problems.
  • It doesn’t suit you.
  • You’re too tall for it.
  • Whatever.

Who cares?

That first car can get you far in life, if you stop being so precious about it. It can be your savior, if you get into a mindset of gratitude, and stop focusing on “the perfect car.”

The same goes for friends, connections, and customers.

Chasing “the right people” is usually just an excuse struggling entrepreneurs make to slow down their friend-making because they hate rejection, find it boring, or it’s outside their comfort zone.

Going back to cars…

You can fret about finding “your perfect car” once you’re driving to work and earning income, not when you’re a kid struggling with a broken bike.

Show that you can handle & be responsible for any vehicle before you get all picky and specific about makes and models.

Similarly, you can start worrying about finding “your right people” once you’ve proven you can connect and make friends with any thousand people.

Only once you’ve got the hang of friend-making, then do you earn the luxury of being more picky.

Any other approach is a waste of time and energy.

The other approaches are the equivalent of refusing driver’s ed, plus rejecting the car gifted on your birthday because you’re… ugh… “looking for the right one.”

Absurd.

And if you really feel your targeting is actually holding you back, (it’s not) check out my tutorial on how to find your “one person” – Make Getting Customers A Breeze (Attract Millions With Ease!)

***

Whew.

If you’ve read all this, then you’ve gotten a mini masterclass on outreach, self-promotion, and making connections.

More importantly you’ve gotten the mindset tweaks and mental health insights that make friend-making easy as pie.

This should be more than enough to get you out there practicing friend-making.

But if for some reason it’s still not, here’s a final mental health shift that may free your mind.

It’s the one mindset shift that removes all pressure.

Focus on truly serving others.

Business is all about service.

Start by serving one customer effectively, until they compensate you with money. Then serve two, then three, and so on.

And if you’re already serving a thousand, start working on 1,001.

But you can only do this once they’re friendly with you, once they know, like, and trust you. So you must change your focus, so that you’re no longer aiming for sales, reviews, shares, or follows.

In fact, with this new focus, you’re not even focused on “connections,” despite all I’ve said above.

Instead, focus on helpfully serving & providing value to acquaintances… based only on what they’re open to.

(That means you’re not serving based on what you enjoy, are passionate about, or have invested in.)

Whatever your target perceives as valuable, figure that out and give that. Whatever they’re focused on most recently, cater to that, engage with that.

If they’re overwhelmed by social media, do whatever you can to soothe that. If they’re obsessed with an upcoming event, support that, attend that, or show similar enthusiasm. If they’re passionate about a cause, even if that cause isn’t important to you, find a way to contribute value regarding that topic.

This lays the groundwork for friendship. This plants the seeds that eventually grow into an opportunity to help further.

So if you have something you know will help them, don’t just force it on them, instead provide value on subjects they ARE open to, until, like a flower, they open up to what you’d really like to help them with or offer.

Move conversations forward one step at a time, until you see your chance.

If I know my book / coaching / course / podcast can help “Joe,” but Joe is currently a stranger who’s mostly focused on fashion…

…I can either write Joe off as “not a fit,” or I can look to serve Joe in some way, thus building a connection that starts earning me a friend… which gets me access to Joe’s network and plants seeds for the future when Joe may be more ready for my wares.

Because the fact is…

Every human being is a chance to serve.

Every person is a precious gift from the universe.

In caveman times, there were very few people around to serve.

These days, we have an abundance of them.

We have 8 billion chances to serve, and 8 billion chances to make friends out of another human being.

And when you encounter one… you either show the universe you’re passionate and grateful for opportunities to serve, or you show the universe that you’re a spoiled, entitled, picky, agenda-driven mofo who’ll only serve others once in a while when conditions happen to be perfect for your snowflake ass.

This is the ultimate mindset shift:

“I cherish opportunities to serve. The more and better I serve, the more my business thrives, whether I realize it or not.

The more I serve, the more I’m rewarded with access to people’s networks – but that is absolutely not my focus, and I don’t care how fast or slow that arrives… my only concern is passionately helping others in the best ways available to me because if I die tomorrow, at least I’ll be proud of serving others today.”

Why does this take all the pressure off?

Because you’re focused on helping someone.

And who feels pressured when they’re just volunteering to help someone?

If they’re not open to it, you don’t take the rejection personally, you just think:

“Whatever bro, I’m a volunteer. I was trying to help you.”

If they reject you at first, as is natural for most people, and need to be persistent…

It’s fine because you think:

“Well, they have some issues to work on first, not open to help, I’ll check back on them later.”

And most fears and pressures come back to your mindset about death anyway. You shouldn’t feel pressured because we can all die at any time. Life is a gift, and no tomorrow is ever assured.

The healthy mindset here is:

“Hey, although I could die tomorrow, at least I’m doing my best to help others.”

And whatever mindset you adopt, during your outreach process, as you’re making friends, perhaps even converting them into customers… you must make sure your energy is positive in most of your business.

People with low/poor energy, who spend time in the lower parts of the emotional scale, get poor results, but that’s another story entirely.

For example, Cyn and I actively practice elevating our emotions daily, and even more so at extra points whenever frustration arises.

Most entrepreneurs don’t realize this, but negativity around outreach or friend-making, is negativity around expansion, biz-growth, and wealth.

If you actually adopt everything I’ve written here, mindset included, you will become a god-tier marketer, promoter, and connector.

If you put this all into practice, you will earn a wealth of friends.

And friends are money, my friend.

Friends.

Are.

Money.

P.S. Special thanks to my wise friend I.C. Robledo, and my partner Cynshine, for nudging me to actually write this. This is extremely precious wisdom since I’ve never seen another book or guru explain this, and countless entrepreneurs struggle with outreach, so I’m grateful they motivated me to share my insights.

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