My dad is probably the smartest person I’ve ever met. He is an employment lawyer, he’s published his own books, he was a University professor, in his church leadership, and his library is bigger than most schools.
It won’t come as a surprise then if I tell you that whenever I had a school assignment I had the big guy help me edit. He’d always tell me to do at least 3 or 4 drafts of anything before handing it in.
That way you know your grammar is well, your spelling is flawles and your sentence structure great is. ( 😛 )
So, once I started to be done with homework and essays, I started moving into the entrepreneurial world of networking and emails. Emails are the handshake of 2013. People can tell a lot about you by reading your emails. Samantha has told me that one of my best entrepreneurial talents is my ability to raise people’s attention in a first email. I plan to continue to write a lot about how I have managed to contact and engage in relationships with some of the world’s brightest CEO’s.
One of the first of these encounters where I had to make a big impression with someone important was with Taylor Shupe, founder of Isis Gear and one of the original members of Stance Socks (that have been worn by celebrities internationally, including Travie McCoy and Lil Wayne).
I was introduced to Taylor by my one and only favourite professor/mentor Ron Lindorf. He told me that Taylor was looking for a young/ambitious entrepreneur that had experience with China to help him with one of his entrepreneurial endeavours. I immediately replied, very excited to hear more. After I got his email address and got home, I jumped on my email and immediately sent this message:
I am Josh Fairbairn from Ron Lindorf’s entrepreneur class. I checked out Isis Dei. Your ipod cases and laptop sleeves look dope. I was just in touch with some guys in Shen Zhen who were making 山寨本 InCase products…so I was very interested when Ron told me that you were starting to do some laptop sleeve deals with Nixon.
I’d love to help out.
Let me know whatsup.
You can hit me up whenever after about 730—– 801-822-28** (* = for the stalkers)
Notice the chill and very transparent attitude in the above email? It was me. I wrote the email as if I was talking to a friend on the phone.
Taylor replied that day. He asked me what I wanted to help him with and to tell him more about myself.
I won’t lie. I got nervous. I didn’t even think he’d reply to that email. I was a sophomore in University and had no experience. I knew I was ambitious.. but that’s about all I knew.
So, naturally, I went to the man who knew it all. My dad writes millions of emails. He impresses smart people around the world. He would know the answer.
My pops helped me craft the perfect e-mail. It made me sound smart. It made me sound educated. But most importantly, it made me sound professional and experienced.
This is what we came up:
Hope you had a good weekend.
I served in the Canada Montréal Mission – Mandarin speaking. I love speaking and learning the Chinese language. I was fortunate to quickly develop an appreciation for and a rapport with the people and their culture. It seemed easy to laugh together and entertain each other. Since getting home at the end of the summer, I’ve wanted to go to China ever since.
I have also always loved doing business. I started with my own candy business when I was ten. Since then I have always been looking for new opportunities to gain experience and make money. Working through some Chinese contacts I found some products that I could sell with significant markups, this presented me with an opportunity to compete. Already, I have managed to make a few thousand dollars in sales. I have sold and looked at a variety of products (iTunes dollars, Dr. Dre Beats/Skull Candy Headphones, Powerbands, DVD/Blu-ray). That is basically where I am at now.
I know that I am creative and have a keen sense for seeing trends that will provide profitability. I would love to work in China. When I find things I enjoy I diligently pursue them. This makes me a very quick learner. I am extremely passionate about doing business with Chinese contacts and organizations. At this point, I am not sure what your needs are, but would love to speak further about how I might be able to work with you.
Looking forward to talking again,
Bottom line: Taylor didn’t reply.
This has nothing to do with my Dad. He is borderline genius and a brilliant copy writer and editor. His job is to convince people of what he wants every single day. He does it well.
However, the moral of this story has everything to do with transparency.
Being yourself is the most important thing you can ever learn. Do not write like a lawyer if you are not one. In the year 2013, your name is one Google search away. Everyone can find out everything about you in 0.069 seconds (latest results). Use that to your benefit.
Don’t change. Don’t make yourself sound like a pro if you’re an amateur. Work hard and make things happen. But make sure that all these things happen naturally, or nothing will go your way.