Getting Apps Done

It’s Who You Know

October 24, 2019

1x

Episode

49

Joshua and Kel talk about the old cliché, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Some general advice about networking and building relatinpships to help you forward your career…. oh and one F-Bomb! So probably not safe for children.

Be sure to check out our new Slack community to meet others who are facing the same things you are and share your journeys!

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  • 00:00 Joshua

    Before we start: Transcripts are incomplete! Better ones will be coming soon!

  • 00:00 Joshua

    Hey folks, welcome to getting app's done. A mostly non-technical podcast about building software. We have been talking about marketing for developers, kind of a marketing one-on-one course. And today we want to talk about yet another cliche because I kind of decided that actually cliches are cliches for a reason and sometimes the reason isn't all that obvious. So can it make sense to go through some of them and kind of point out why they make sense? And in today's cliche episode we are going to talk about is not what you know, it's who you know.

  • 00:41 Kel

    You got to intro.... Your name, remember?

  • 00:44 Joshua

    Oh yeah, we're getting better at this. But I still forget every once in a while. I'm Joshua and I've got Kel with me today. Say hi Kel.

  • 00:50 Kel

    I'm Kel... hi.

  • 00:50 Joshua

    There you go. Um, and really what this comes down to is developers need to market themselves and one way or another, whether you are looking for a job or you're looking for gigs as a freelancer or a contractor, or you have created the next best app ever, you need to get people to pay attention to you or what you're trying to sell to them.

  • 01:14 Joshua

    One way or another and it's not something that we learn in boot camps or at university or anything like that. And it's something that I certainly personally found I didn't understand well enough early on. And there are a lot of lessons that I've learned fairly recently that I wish I had learned about 10 years ago, at least maybe 20 years ago. I said I keep going back. I, yeah. If these are, if I'd known these things early on, I think it would have drastically changed how my career went and I, when it comes down to it, I think it's really good thing for us to share with you now so that you don't have to wait 20 years to learn them.

  • 01:49 Kel

    Yeah. And it's a, these are things that take practice too. I mean, Chabad, I had a little disclaimer here that I am kind of trash at this style of networking. This is one of my worst skillsets. It's something I'm really bad at. Um, and I have kind of succeeded despite that because of who I know, which is kind of like what we're talking about here. That who you know is important and everyone knows this, but it's kind of a, it's good to kind of reflect and realize why. So if I go back far enough, I can think that my first job, Joshua here got me my interview and that was the opportunity that got me into a career and a path. And before that was parents who got me a computer, that's another opportunity to play and learn and do a thing that got me also kind of lined me up for the next job interview that lined me up to the thing. So there's, even though I'm kind of bad at this direct type of networking, a good example is us introducing ourselves at the beginning. We actually forget the, one of the most important things of saying, Hey, listen to me. Oh wait, what's my name? Um, we forget all those things all the time. It's a skill you have to practice, but it is important to both practice and be aware of that what you're doing is trying to generate opportunities, trying to generate leads or trying to generate things that can lead to something else.

  • 03:00 Joshua

    Yeah, pretty much. I, and I am exactly in the same boat. The job I referred Kel to, somebody referred me to and they called somebody that they knew and they said, you know, I know this kid, he's actually really good at what he does. You should give him a chance. And that's all it took to get me in the door. I was just a kid. I didn't have a lot of experience. In fact, I both of my first careers, our first jobs, uh, when I started at IBM, it was somebody who just called up somebody at IBM that they had worked with before and said, I know this kid give him a shot. And they did. And I, when we started at federal mogul, when I got that role, it was exactly the same. Somebody else I knew said, you know, I know this kid, he's been working at IBM, he actually knows this stuff.

  • 03:41 Joshua

    Give him a shot. And they did. And then when I said, you know, there's somebody else kinda like me, we're discussing this before the call, for whatever reason they'd liked me. And when I recommended Kel, they were all for it. They said, yeah, we can take another Josh. That's cool. I don't know that they got what they bargained for, but uh, yeah, not exactly, but when it comes down to it, it really is important to know other people because first off, I think it's good to make human connections in general or we've been saying this whole long marketing is not about being sleazy. It's not about used car salesman techniques or anything like that. It's about building real human connections and understanding other people and knowing other people and providing value to other people. And when you do those things, there are some magical things that start to happen in the background and that's really where this whole sand comes from. That's why it's so important to know other people. And I will stick a huge caveat in here. I absolutely think it is also what you know, it is definitely what you know that gets you through and makes you valuable in the first place, but who you know is absolutely going to be one of the best ways, particularly early on in your career to get those jobs.

  • 04:50 Kel

    I like to separate those two things as like the opportunity and actually kind of grasping the opportunity, knowing people and being the, the being able to introduce job opportunities and interview opportunities and just opportunities in general is one thing. And then actually being able to do something with that is another thing. And those take your own skill and so it's kind of important to realize that there's a bit of both luck of sorts and you as an actual person that has to go into this situation.

  • 05:15 Joshua

    Absolutely. And that is exactly it. If those people had recommended me in the first place and I was horrible and didn't know what the hell I was doing in the first place, I never would been in a position that I could have recommended Kel. I wouldn't have kept my job. I wouldn't have one. I, maybe I could have kept a job, but it wouldn't have progressed me through my career the way it did. But having that knowledge of other people who could recommend me in the first place and get my foot in the door as well as that skill to actually prove myself is what really got me going. And I'm going to assume because I'm optimistic that all of you have that skill or you're building that skill. So really what you need is somebody who can help you get your foot in the door and other people helps you with that.

  • 05:59 Joshua

    So I think the next thing we really need to talk about is how the hell do you get to know all the people? Because that's tough. That's hard. Uh, it is. I think it's something that I, to this day, I still struggle with this. I was thinking today, you know, I really suck at Twitter. I do. I want to talk to other people and get to know other people. And in fact, right now I'm on crutches. I'm kind of housebound. I, it actually kind of painful to call the side because I have to lug myself around with my arms, which aren't really meant to drag me around all over the place. Uh, but in general I work from home. I don't go to an office where I can go to meet a lot of other people. So I'm constantly seeking connection. And yet one of the best places to meet other people from a remote workers perspective is Twitter and I suck at it. I'm horrible because meeting other people and getting to know them and actually establishing that connection in the first place is difficult. [inaudible]

  • 06:53 Kel

    and I, I can definitely reflect that one is, uh, I wouldn't, I got the seven year notice on Twitter the other day and I've posted like maybe 200 things and all of them are retweets. So yeah, same boat of, yeah, it's difficult to make connections. Sometimes it's difficult to put yourself out there and take that risk. And that is what we're talking about here today.

  • 07:13 Joshua

    Absolutely. And I will say that it is exactly that. It is scary as hell to take that risk in the first place. It doesn't matter who you are. It's scary to put yourself out there, but that's actually kind of what she needs to do because what makes you stand out is you, I am not Kel. I can't present myself as Kel. I couldn't even fake it at all. So Cal has a unique personality that some people are gonna like some people aren't and it's okay. Let somebody unloading it. You know, I've got my own personality. I know a lot of people don't like me, and that's fine. I'm absolutely okay with people not liking me. The part that really got me though is I never put myself out there because I was so terrified that some people weren't gonna like me, even though I know internally that I really don't care if my neighbor hates me. I don't give a damn. But whenever, uh, but when you then start to think about putting yourself out there to hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people, that's scary as hell to think how many of those are gonna not like you. And, it's very easy to get stuck on that part and not think about how many are going to like me.

  • 08:27 Kel

    Yeah, that's very much the same story with job interviews and just resumes is kind of the exact same problem of what did the rejection, right. You, you put these things out there, how many rejections do you got? And you just kind of have to ignore that.

  • 08:40 Joshua

    Yeah, absolutely. I was talking to somebody the other day. Uh, they suffer from a disability. It makes it difficult for them to move around to type a, but there are really great software developer. They have had over 400 rejections [inaudible] between jobs. That is a lot. That's scary as hell. I can't even imagine how you would get up the next day and carry on. But they do because they understand that 400 rejections doesn't mean a damn thing. If one person says yes and that's all it really takes is just one person to say, yes, I'm going to be your friend or I'm going to take care of you. I'm going to pay you money because we all need some money. When it comes down to it

  • 09:19 Kel

    and it doesn't have to. Yeah. It's like it doesn't have to be a huge personal connection. You can just pay people money. It's, it's fine.

  • 09:25 Joshua

    Absolutely. Um, but it's kind of getting over that rejection fear and putting yourself out there. From a practical perspective, I obviously we're talking about Twitter and things like that, but there are other ways that you can do this as well and some of these have much better percentages than 400 versus one. Um, for example, meetups and coworking spaces. I actually joined a coworking space from a made up here in Leicestershire and I found that that actually it was one of the best ways to create genuine connections with other people, other business people in my area and learn about what's going on and get to know other people, other people who know other people, who know other people, which is exactly how you get to know people. That's, that's where it all started. The reason it's called a network. Yes, exactly that because while I might know Joe who doesn't have any roles for me, Joe might know Sally who does and because Joe thinks I'm absolutely fantastic and I helped him out with that one thing. Sally may will have a position for me or might have a role or might want my product or whatever it might be. That network grows very quickly. It's very rapid. Once you start to get to know people.

  • 10:35 Kel

    If I was better at math, I could describe the type of growth exponential, logarithmic, which one I always forget

  • 10:42 Joshua

    I, it can go either way depending on the sort of value you provide and that is absolutely it. Particularly when you're talking about a product that you've built. It can absolutely be exponential because if you build something that Kel likes and Kel knows 10 people who will like it and those 10 people know 10 people like it, suddenly

  • 10:59 Kel

    your Twitter, it doesn't tend locally, not in Twitter and hopefully not a pyramid scheme. Yeah. [inaudible] technically also networking, but not really what the kind of networking we're talking about here. No. Yeah. It is important to to, yeah, to get to know people, to get those people to forward you information, to help both filter and broadcast you as a person, things into F into you, opportunities, jobs, other people, whatever, but also broadcast you outwards by and they'll be more willing to do that if you're hopeful and like useful to them as well. So it's kind of a back and forth on networking there.

  • 11:36 Joshua

    I like that getting to know you as a person part because that is the negative side of this. This is what I saw as networking when I first started looking at it. And it's why when I first started networking, I thought this is horrible. This is rubbish. This isn't working at all. Because my initial version of networking to go talk to as many people as I could in the room, hand out business cards and run. Yeah. And I see so many people do exactly the same thing. I have seen so many people tell me, yeah, you just got to mingle with everybody in the room, hand on all these business cards and that's the way you connect with people. No, I'm just gonna flat out say no, that is not how you connect with people. There's no connection there.

  • 12:17 Kel

    Yeah. You're not really connecting with people. They're there. You're just hoping on luck in average is of Oh maybe they'll pass it on to somebody. So you know, half a percent as opposed to actually talking to somebody which raises the percentages weighed way higher and is a much more useful and you know, personal connection as we're talking about here. Yeah,

  • 12:36 Joshua

    absolutely. And it also is what separates you between a smarmy and spammy and used car salesman and just somebody who wants to get to know other people. Then

  • 12:47 Kel

    there's a feeling like we're gonna like deserve an apology to the used car salesman at some point here. We are definitely like throwing them under the bus as an example.

  • 12:57 Joshua

    We are, and I will admit there probably are some good used car salesman. In fact, one of my grandfather's is used as car sale on it, so probably shouldn't be too hard, grandpa. Sorry. Uh, but

  • 13:09 Kel

    Yeah. Anyway, we all know that stereotype.

  • 13:10 Joshua

    We know that stereotype. Yes, absolutely. And it's really, that's what we're trying to avoid. We don't want to be that person who's just constantly bombarding people with nothing. When it comes down to it, when you hand them a business card, you're not giving them anything. There's no context, there's no value, there's no relationship there at all. But if you talk to them about their dog or about what they're doing right now, just ask them what they're doing. What are they up to, what are they interested in? It's a really great way to get connected with them and find out how the hell can you help this person? Because when it comes down to it, most people, when you're looking for value, it's about solving a problem or adding some enhancement to what they're doing right now. And if you don't ask them anything about them, how are you going to help them?

  • 13:55 Joshua

    How do they know you can help them? One of the first things you can do is just ask them, what are you up to? What are you working on? Because that's a really great way to first off, get them talking about themselves, who doesn't like to talk about themselves. I like to talk about myself. I'm sure Kelly likes to talk about themselves. I don't know. It's just that's the way it is. We're all slightly narcissistic whether we want to be or not. It's just the way we are, but that's not always a bad thing. Get them to talk a little bit about themselves so you can figure out who they are, what they're about, what they're doing, and how you can build a relationship with them. How can you help them? How can we make that better for them? Or you might be able to write them in there and say, Oh, have you tried this out?

  • 14:35 Kel

    Just taking that back to a, the other reflection you're talking about like, you know, we're all a little bit narcissistic. I actually have this talk relatively regularly lately of that's okay. You can put yourself first. It's okay for your problems to be important. It is okay for you to like

  • 14:50 Joshua

    talk them too, to tell them to the people who are trying to connect to you. And so that kind of reflects backwards, right? Like if people come to you, you can tell them about your problems and hopefully they can help you with them. And that's that. That's part of this exchange. Absolutely. I love that. When you get on a plane and they're telling you about all the safety things and the first thing they tell you is basically to help yourself before you help anybody else. [inaudible] exactly. Because if you don't put your air mask on first and you pass the fuck out before anybody's getting any help from you, you are no good to anybody. Exactly. Including yourself and especially yourself. Absolutely. And that is completely valid in everyday life as well because if you're not taking care of yourself, if you aren't thinking about you, if you want the slightly narcissistic and taking care of the you, you're not taking care of anybody else either because you're just constantly stressed out or worried or just depressed store.

  • 15:45 Joshua

    There's so many things that can go wrong. If you're not taking care of yourself. Yeah. The a lot of it is making yourself on an equal ground. Like don't, don't put people above you for no other reason. Like the the, there should definitely be an exchange and all of these things. You are just as important as this person who's approaching you or equally when you're approaching somebody networking, they're just as important as you and you should kind of start from that point. Like this is kind of a negotiation in some ways, but we like this. It's fun. It's a game. It's how you be friendly. You tell them about your trouble as they tell you about their troubles and you hope that you can help each other. That's kind of the human experience. Yeah. I think that's what makes our relationship, that's what separates that.

  • 16:20 Joshua

    I again, use car salesman, sorry, sorry. But that the stereotype is based around this person who doesn't care about you, isn't interested in you at all. They are only worried about themselves and their own gain. Even if it's to your detriment and that is what actually makes a real relationship and what makes a good healthy business relationship is when that person is thinking about themselves. Absolutely they should be getting something out of this, but also thinking about how they can benefit you at the same time. And that's that mutual part of it. That's what makes it great. That's what a good relationship is based on. Whether it's your relationship with a friend or a spouse or family members or business partners or clients. That's what makes a really good relationship is when everybody's getting something out of it. And you'll find that those types of things build towards trust.

  • 17:10 Joshua

    I did the easy example, the friends, uh, paying for lunch, you know, I'll pay for lunch today. You pay for it next time and you'll notice after you hit about 10 or so, everyone kind of forgets whose turn it is and you just trust that the other person will get it and it'll somehow even out. And it's okay. And that's a lot how business relationships work too. Like you, you go back and forth and eventually trust will build up over time as you exchange these, these, these benefits to each other, the these helps. And so yeah, trust is good. And then of course they will trust you. They will recommend you to their friends who will again trust you and so on and so forth. And then hopefully we're all employed. Hopefully we're all employed and that is why it is who you know as well as what, you know, I think that pretty much covers it.

  • 17:56 Joshua

    Uh, that was a pretty good wrap up there. If we go any further, then I'm going to just start to, uh, discuss how much Kaelin I owe each other for beers because if we tried to total that up, it would be worse than figuring out my U S taxes, which are horrendous. Yeah. That can take a while. Yeah. But we trust pretty much evens out. Well, we'll just make that assumption at some point. At some point it was easier just to assume. Yeah. I, because I'm pretty sure I owe you a lot of beers. You've been editing most of these podcast episodes. I'm pretty sure I'm well behind at this point. There you go. When you come into the UK, hopefully soon ish. There's a pub literally a hundred meters that way I seem to remember you telling me that they measured in pubs per mile. We do and I've got about eight.

  • 18:42 Kel

    So yeah... soon hopefully.

  • 18:45 Joshua

    Alright. I'll toss up some transcripts up at gettingappsdone.com. Please be sure to check out my website at joshuagraham.info And Kel's website at piffner.com If you have gotten a career because you knew somebody or your just curious about how to get to know other people or you work from home and you want some advice on how to get into meetups or Slack channels or something like that so you can get to know other people and start to build some real connections or you're trying to build some real connections and you're really not sure what the next step is. We would be absolutely thrilled to give you some advice that might not be good advice, but we will try our damn this to give you good advice to why we're here. But we also have a really great community who will tell us when we're being stupid. So join us at gettingappsdone.com/slack And, uh, let us know what you're up to, what's your trying to do, what questions you got. And if we can't answer you, our community will help. We post every Thursday, so we will be back next week. Until then. Thanks for listening.

  • 19:55 Kel

    Cheers!