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How to make unexpected progress by meeting new people

Recently, I held a presentation about bootstrapping and scaling our app business to six figures in less than 2 years. (Check out my article from last week about the two most important lessons learnt). This week, let me explain how I got to hold this presentation in the first place. It was definitely something I didn’t expect at the beginning of this year when I made a decision.

4hww presentation meetup
In January, I set myself a number of goals for 2015. One of them was that I wanted to meet more inspiring people. More entrepreneurs. More people I could learn stuff from. More people that would give me good impulses going forward.

I had been kind of lazy last year in terms of meeting new people. Life was just too comfortable! With Netflix and Amazon Prime at home who needs to meet new people in the first place? There’s plenty of entertainment going on on your sofa! And the time and energy needed to go and meet new people, introduce myself, be friendly and get to know them!? Who has time for that?

You become who you spend time with

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn

Think about it. There are a couple of people in your life that you spend an enormous amount of time with. Your spouse, your kids, your co-workers, your best friends, your family. Some of them you cannot choose. Some of them you chose a long time ago and it’s been a while since you last asked yourself if these people still serve you and your goals in your life.

And we become those people. We talk like them. We develop similar attitudes, opinions, world views and habits. So if you want to become a better person what would be a good way to do it? Get better people around you!

Jim Rohn’s quote is one that rings true with many entrepreneurs or people conscious of their self-development. But in the end, who really takes action?

The power of meetups

Okay, so my goal was to get to know more inspiring people. Specifically, I set myself a SMART goal: “Go to ‘networking events’ twice a month.” Not a huge stretch out of my comfort zone but quite the change compared to 2014 where I probably didn’t go to a single networking event.

By the way, I hate the term “networking event”. It sounds super cheesy and makes you feel like you go somewhere just to drop and collect business cards. But in the end you often end up meeting good people. So don’t get distracted by the term, and let’s call it “inspiration event”.

One site to rule them all:

As I review my goals weekly, I finally had to take some action. So I joint several meetups in Berlin. If you have never used I highly encourage you to check it out. You will be surprised how many amazing meetups are happening in your area. They cover every topic under the sun such as podcasting, Bitcoins, WordPress development, yoga, entrepreneurship and startups, architecture, meditation or urban gardening.

I joint a local meetup with the theme “Four Hour Workweek”. You have heard me talk about it before: it refers to the book by Tim Ferriss. And no, it is not only about how to work only four hours per week but about certain ideas applicable to entrepreneurship and life in general: eliminating distractions and information overflow, optimizing your life and work, outsourcing unnecessary tasks and generating passive income.

Good things happen outside of your comfort zone

When I got there for the first time, I really felt a little bit uncomfortable. With no-one that I knew at the meeting I had to approach other people if I didn’t want to stand in the corner displaying a lot of social akwardness or spending half an hour in the bathroom before the first presentation started.

To make a long story short, since joining this monthly meetup in January I have already made amazing connections with other entrepreneurs in Berlin. I have heard great talks, got cool business ideas, connected with like-minded people, had great business head shots taken for free by a photographer and used all this as inspiration for my own business. When I was talking to the meeting organizer I proposed to hold a talk myself as he was constantly searching for new speakers. I decided to put myself out there and it really paid off.

Last week, I held that presentation. Over 100 people came to listen, which was the biggest turnout of this meetup ever. (Admittedly, there was one other speaker with a much bigger business the same night. But hey, someone who couldn’t join even requested live streaming because he wanted to see my presentation.) I had to get out of my comfort zone, give a talk while holding a microphone and staring into an unbearably bright light and in the end got very positive feedback. I established myself as successful entrepreneur and I’m sure that will lead to something in the future.

Totally worth it.

Your task

Do you want to make some progress by being more conscious about who you spend time with? If yes, it’s time to get your butt off the sofa and meet some new people. Who knows what will happen…

  • Check out and browse around.
  • Look for meetups in your area of interest.
  • Commit to going to at least one of them in the next month!

That’s it! Make an effort to meet new, inspiring people and great things will happen.

So tell me, which meetup will you go to this month?

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