How to be Kind of a Big Deal

I was having lunch with my friend Rachel the other day. As we were walking back to her offices at Quick Left in Boulder, I got stopped a couple of times by people who I’ve worked with before and/or consider friends. Rachel quipped that she loved that I was a big deal or something along those lines, to which I scoffed audibly.

While Rachel’s comment is certainly flattering, the fact is that I’m not a big deal. People stop me because they know that they can. Anyone who follows me on Twitter, has emailed with me or maybe chatted for a couple minutes at an event knows that I’m a pretty approachable person. What’s surprising to me is that kindness is a standout characteristic in a person. Shouldn’t it be the default?

I have a few goals when it comes to my job. First and foremost I have a goal to keep TNW’s readers informed and entertained. But second to that, and only by a fractional margin, is to help startups. I like to think of myself as a connector, helping the right people to meet each other.

You’ve probably noticed that I plug startups pretty often on Twitter. I’ll talk about what they’re doing, where they are in their process or maybe I’ll tease their next feature release. Why? Because startups need customers, and most of them need money. I know that potential customers, as well as VCs and Angels follow me on Twitter, so I do my best to help make those connections.

If I’ve developed a relationship with your startup, I’ll help you in any way that I can. Sometimes that’s business development (just ask FlixMaster and Vidyard), sometimes it’s helping you to find the right person to fill a position. Sometimes its 2am Skype conversations about your next pitch (right Jana?). I’m a connector, and if you think that’s a big deal then I suppose that’s OK too.

So, want to know how to become kind of a big deal? It’s a pretty simple process:

  1. Be kind
  2. Help people
  3. Repeat

Do these three things, every single day, without fail. Do the right thing, no matter how hard it is. Be more than a business contact, be a friend.

Friendship is kind of a big deal.


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