353: Darrah Brustein | How to Start a Networking Group with over 30,000 Members
Darrah Brustein founded two businesses serving over 30,000 people, and a payment processing company that spans 38 states. She is a prolific writer about thought leadership, read by over 1 million people across Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other publications. In this episode of Build Your Network, you will find out what Darrah learned about business from her first job, how she grew her primary business, and how to amplify your message using meetup groups.
- Darrah is a twin but went to a different school from her twin brother because she wanted to go to a performing arts magnet school.
- She developed the capability to fit in wherever she went by being an explorer and being interested in learning what made people tick.
- Darrah achieved nearly straight A’s in high school but her experience trying to fulfill her father’s definition of success is what led her to learn that you have to define success for yourself.
- Darrah feels that there is a danger in any extremism in your beliefs and that you should try to find a happy medium between polarities whenever possible.
- She studied Religion and Italian in college, with the perspective that this was her time to learn for the sake of learning.
- She spoke to her father’s business colleagues to find out what they look for when they’re hiring, and found that they didn’t care what you studied in school unless it was something highly specialized like accounting or engineering; they preferred someone well-rounded.
- Darrah was contacted by the owner of a boutique she worked for during college, who connected her to a clothing brand the boutique worked with, who hired her.
- She made $1 million in sales in all of 10 months, only to realize she had hit a ceiling and there was no room to grow in this role or with the company; shortly after that, the company was sold and everyone lost their jobs.
- This happened a few more times, where she hit sales goals only to be laid off, so she began reflecting on what she really wanted and knew that it was to start her own business.
- At this point, her twin brother approached her to start a business and Darrah decided that maybe if she “reverse engineered” her passions and skills, it would lead her to being passionate about the product and service of the business itself.
- Darrah recommends people focus more on networking than what their first job is.
- She approaches everything with a curiosity and abundance mindset rather than a desperation mindset.
- When someone approaches you with a desperation mindset, does it make you want to help them? Probably not.
- Instead of handing out 100 business cards and hoping it turns into one conversation, try having three meaningful conversations which will become exponentially more.
- Darrah did a giving challenge where she approached one person a day and simply said she wanted to help them solve a problem or tick something off their to-do list with no strings attached.
- Darrah makes “reconnect files” on her Google Calendar as reminders to reconnect with people on 30 day rotations to keep her contacts engaged.
- Don’t leave your networking to chance when you know how important it is; it has to be done on purpose, with intention.
- Darrah started putting on events as a favor for a friend who was struggling to make friends after college outside of a networking or dating context.
- Starting this event business was a way for Darrah to elevate her primary business while prioritizing connections over contact info.
- Build a platform and remain consistent as you build it.
- Who you know matters to open doors, but what you know matters once you walk through the door.
- The Random Round
3 Key Points:
- Defining success for yourself is necessary to discover what you want.
- Approach everything you do with an abundance mindset, and approach networking with a curiosity mindset instead of... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy