I finally took some acting classes because I always wanted to try it out. Vancouver is a great spot to get some acting gigs as it’s the Hollywood north. Throughout the acting program, I got to know the other students in the class and started to get to know them well. I remember I was outside the school waiting for it to open and then I see this Porsche pull up and park on the side curb. I then see my classmate Nick walking out of it. Right away I had to ask what kind he did. He said he was in Venture Capital which I found interesting and I wanted to know more. He explained a bit more in detail on what his company does and what they’ve achieved. Definitely not that Life Insurance/Financial Advisor style of finance that I was used to hearing about.
When the acting program ended, we all wanted to stay connected and added each other on Facebook. I’d message them once in awhile to ask if they had any auditions or booked some gigs. One of them went back to training more full-time and landed some gigs. When I’d message Nick he told me he didn’t have anything booked either. That itch to learn more about Venture Capital kept on eating at me and finally asked Nick if we could meet up quickly to explain more to me about how this industry works. He invited me to his office and we sat down for a while. I learned that this is some High Risk / High Reward type of work. He then gave me a little speech that someone like me can do it too. At first I didn’t believe him, because I don’t have any formal finance training. He then stated, If you’re not shy and good at talking to people, you’d be able to do this kind of work. With experience in Corporate Sales and some acting skills I was no stranger on how to talk to people. I started to believe that with proper training I can actually do it.
I asked how does someone get into this industry. He then told me that because he liked how I presented myself and how I can naturally just talk to people, that he would like me to work for his team in the near future as they were going to expand later that year. I felt honoured to even be asked to work with a special situation finance team. I do like challenging myself to get better and even though that I don’t have a finance background, I knew that I could understand it when it gets taught to me because at the end of the day it’s still sales. I shook his hand and accepted the position when it opened. It was going to take some time for this to all happen as they were going to merge with another firm. Nick let me know to stay in touch in between the time, which I did.
In a short period of time, I got a message back from Nick asking when’s a good time to come down to the office to meet the team. I came down as soon as I could and when I got there I met the other 2 partners who are pretty cool guys. They all like my attitude and thought I would be a valuable asset to their team. They asked how soon can I start and I said that I didn’t want to burn any bridges with my former employer and would need at least 2 weeks before I can officially start. In no time, I officially became part of the New Venture Capital Team.
I knew I was getting into Cold Calling and I had to challenge myself. I knew that this style of marketing wasn't for everyone, so that made me want to do it more. Have a skill that no one else has and become more valuable. They told me that they'll be around to show my ways to get over the first few calls and show me ways to handle difficult people. We weren't licensed advisors so we had to be careful with our words. Our main job was to get people to write down the stock letters and do their due diligence, then move on to the next. Their was really no pressure with that and if they person had any questions, I would then direct them to the manager partner. I'd like to say that I ended up getting good at it. I was fearless to pick up the phone and dial.
I also later found out is that this type of work is not usually posted on any online website job listing or newspaper ad. You have to know someone in this industry to get your foot in the door. They also have to like you and know that you got what it takes to survive in this industry. After working there for a while now, it was no joke. I can tell you that you need really thick skin and a positive attitude to work in this environment. If not, you won’t survive. It was a great experience learning how stocks worked and made some decent investment while working there. I got a really good payout from a Marijuana Stock Project we worked on.
Now, I'd like to point out that what you just read was a documentation of how I landed a role that is only privileged to a handful of individuals by utilizing the power of networking and relationship building. This wasn’t my first attempt either. I’ve networked numerous times before and I’ve been lead to other types of opportunities that I knew that wouldn’t work out for me. You still have to remember to be you.
Eventually, my skills got noticed and I was encouraged to move on up in the industry and work with a Major Stock Broker Firm. What really sold me was that they would be paying for the course for me to get my licensed and become a Legit Stock Broker. It was a great opportunity at the time and I jumped on it. I still had respect from the Team that first got me in, but I would now be partnering with them instead of working for them. (You can learn more about that experience here)
I learned early in my Entrepreneur journey how vital networking is. Knowing that, I had to get myself educated with the subject. I've read up a lot on this and found that the 2 books I’ve read that levelled up my Networking & Relationship Building game.
“How to Win Friends & Influence People”
“Little Black Book of Connections”
If you haven’t done so already, pick these up and give them a read. It taught me the proper ways of networking and how to build strong lasting relationships.
Learn, Apply, Repeat
At first it might seem uncomfortable but just keep on networking and building those relationships. If you keep applying it, you'll get better at it, then you will see the results.