Kevin Bell

Connections Are Everything

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Medium Article

The connections you make are EVERYTHING.

I’ll keep this brief, but start with a story.

When I was first starting off in my career in law enforcement I had a training officer that whenever a need came up, he’d always say “I have a guy for that”.

And he did.

It was as if he knew everyone of importance in the city.

But this wasn’t just because he had been there a while. There were other officers that had been there the same amount of time who DIDN’T have “guys for that”.

Getting to ride with him during that phase of my training, I got to see first hand how these connections were made. And it’s this concept that I take with me and transfer into everything else that I do.

He called it “building his empire”.

Throughout our shift at random times when we were in the area of the connections he had, he’d stop in, chit-chat with the owner, joke a bit and then leave. He’d always leave by saying “if you need anything, let me know.” Super simple, but super effective.

Not sure if you caught that, but that’s the secret sauce right there.

I’ll break it down:

  1. Connect with people without an immediate agenda
  2. Build a rapport, befriend them, talk to them and most importantly, LISTEN to them
  3. Offer assistance without asking for anything in return, and mean it.

When you’re wearing a police uniform it’s easy for people to recognize the value that you have to offer. People feel safe and protected when a they are connected to a police officer who stops by weekly to check in. But the same process applies to networking outside of being in a uniform.

Building your network is just as simple as those steps above. Connect to people just purely to connect. Become friends and hear them out with what they have to say. Leave them with value.

It could be as simple as 👉 “Did I hear you say you were looking for a new boots on the ground employee for your storage facility? If you want I’ll send you the Indeed post I use to hire.”

And then give that to them. Easy as that.

I could go deeper in the weeds here with this, but the point is, it works.

You also never know where these conversations lead. It might not be the conversation that you have with that particular person, but a connection that you make from talking to them that REALLY makes the impact.

Here’s a real life example of that:

One conversation with one storage facility owner led to another, which led to a business partner of mine visiting a few sites in person, which led to another conversation with a business owner (still tracking?) which led to a conversation with a broker that my partner had, which led to me talking to her as well. And THAT convo produced a TON of golden nuggets.

And in the theme of providing value, I’ll share with you some of the nuggets👇

🎙️ Network: She has a connection with a roll off dumpster business owner grossing over $1M… who knew right??

📈 Market Trend: Anywhere with families you have baby boomer grandparents who want to come and stay. Oklahoma is one of those areas right now. Boomer grandparents are moving from all over to be with their families in OK.

🏠Real Estate: Tiny homes are really in. You can buy them at Home Depot for $15k, pop them up on some land near a lake and create a “luxury airBnb”.

👨🏻‍💻 Accounting: If you’re a bookkeeper, you’re minimum monthly fee should be $500.

This was all over about 45min on the phone with her. All great nuggets but my personal favorite was this:

“If there’s not the potential to make a minimum of $400k from your efforts, it’s not worth your time”.

That’s a big picture point of view. Maybe it’s not $400k for everyone, but the point is to choose the venture that you pursue wisely. Make it worth your time.

Not every convo is going to be as full of nuggets as this one, but you’ll never have those golden conversations if you’re not willing to have the boring ones.