"Finally a way to follow-up, without me."
“Even one person can make a huge difference to a company, or a even a city, if he or she takes initiative, dreams big and is persistent.” - Mark Suster, Upfront Ventures
The following is an excerpt from Mark Suster on his experience with a politely persistent person, Paddy Cosgrave of f.ounders.com. You can see the full article here: The Magic of the Irish
Paddy Cosgrave was a young entrepreneur in Dublin and a couple of years after the crash was talking with a mate of his who had a brand new hotel opening but had no clue how he was going to attract visitors. Paddy got the idea to invite a bunch of founders together in an anti-conference that just focused on building founder relationships and sharing war stories. The first year was just a few dozen people. One of those people was Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress.
Having seen that this could be a successful format for attracting people to Ireland Paddy hosted another the following year and called in favors to get the likes of Jack Dorsey and Chad Hurley to come and Matt Mullenweg came back again – a good sign.
If you attract names like these you’re bound to attract some media attention and then Chad Hurley dropped the bomb that he was leaving YouTube while he was at the f.ounders event.
Suddenly it was a hot ticket and many people started lobbying to get on the next year’s agenda. It was then that I learned why Paddy is so good at his job. He is quintessentially “politely persistent,” which I often describe as one of the most important attributes of an entrepreneur. He began messaging and emailing me to try and get me to come out to the event, which he was now turning into a conference called Web Summit. I had no idea who Paddy was but I kept hearing his name from different people so I’m guessing he was politely persistent at scale.
Getting names of marquee speakers would obviously draw a good crowd from across Europe. I knew it sounded like a good crowd but I was on the road constantly with fund raising and board meetings so I politely declined.
Paddy never stopped.
The first year I felt Ok about saying no. I had looked at Kayak and determined there were no non-stops from LA to Dublin, so that was a big strike for me. Connecting flights in Europe add on at least 5 hours to the journey and a whole lot more headaches.
Year two I thought to myself, “I probably should go. But it’s a long way. He seems to have a great list of speakers already – I won’t be missed.” Plus I had already committed to 2 European trips (one fund raising, one a DataSift board meeting) and neither coincided with his event.
In year 3 he expanded to the US and started throwing events in NY, SF and such and started building up a lot more of a brand for f.ounders & Web Summit.
And there he was again with his polite message encouraging me to come. I thought by now he would have given up on me as a flake. Perhaps he knew that I’ve always had a fondness for Ireland and the can-do spirit their people possess. Through the years I had spent time visiting all over including Dublin, Cork, Galway, Derry, Belfast and less well known places like Sligo, Donegal, Connemare, Westport not to mention amazing tourist spots like The Giant’s Causeway and Ashford Castle.
So this time I fell prey to the charm of the Irish persuasion and had zero regrets. I imagine Paddy has done this with 100s of guests, which is what it takes to pull off an event of this magnitude. I have a hard enough time persuading people to fly from San Francisco to LA for an event let alone half way around the world.
When I read this a tear came to my eye.
This story of Paddy being politely persistent with Mark is what it’s all about.
So what is PolitePersistence?
PolitePersistence is a hustling method and mindset that levels the competitive playing field and often gives you the unfair advantage in business.
There are two further ways to answer this question broken down into (1) Purpose and (2) Product.
1) What is your Purpose for being politely persistent?
I believe that Path = Purpose(Passion + Persistence) (Tweet This)
It’s human nature to ponder, contemplate and cogitate on our path in life.
Being persistent in business, leadership and life helps carve and define your Path.
Your Purpose for being politely persistent is the compounding factor for why you are going to invest time, energy and resources into achieving a specific goal.
I’m assuming In Paddy’s case, his Purpose (among others I’m sure), was to bring together like-minded professionals in the startup community for mutual growth and collective innovation opportunities.
As a fellow startup founder, Paddy already had the Passion needed to achieve his desired result.
When added with his Persistence to meet top names like Mark Suster, Robert Scoble, Gary Vaynerchuk, Dave McClure, Ben Huh, Shak, Shervin and many others it was no wonder Paddy’s Path became that of a premiere connector and high-caliber entrepreneur.
How do you define the variables that make up your Path?
It’s difficult to teach people to be passionate. This is something that you need to have when you come to the table.
Passion is whatever creeps into your mind when you’re taking a shower and brushing your teeth.
Your Purpose should come easy, however, this is another variable that can’t be taught.
Why do this? Why get out of bed every morning? Why eat breakfast, lunch and dinner? The answer to these questions will reveal your Purpose.
Is it to make a better life for your family?
Is it a personal challenge to see if you can accomplish?
Is it because you just want more money?
Now, when we talk about the Persistence variable - this is something that can be learned.
2) What is the PolitePersistence Product?
Not everyone will become a super-human connector and hustler like Paddy Cosgrave.
Sitting down with Paddy and dissecting his approach and formula for creating one of the most popular tech and startup conferences in the world would be riveting to say the least… and hopefully one day Paddy shares his secret.
In the mean time, we have developed the PolitePersistence product to enhance your Persistence approach.
I want to teach people how to be more politely persistent in their life.
Some people believe it’s all about the product, others believe it’s all about the marketing well, I believe it’s all about the relationship.
Being able to form relationships by using a politely persistent approach is what can help you determine:
- validation of your product.
- strategic partnerships.
- the right investors.
- every other business necessity.
The PolitePersistence Gmail extension is a relationship acceleration tool that is also:
- a structured follow up system right out of the box.
- an email service that saves time and resources.
- a wish come true for people who understand the importance of follow up.
Why Should You Care About PolitePersistence
Whether you are just starting a business or are trying to grow one…
No matter if you are reaching out to top-tier venture capitalists to come to your tech conference or contacting your local reporter to cover your story…
You will achieve your goal by adopting both:
1) A politely persistent hustling philosophy and
2) the PolitePersistence product.
“Your time is the greatest asset you don’t own.” - Mark Cuban
Every action you take subtracts time from your life. Choose the actions that best leverage your time.
You need to accomplish a goal?
Today is the day. Now is the time. Get politely persistent and make it happen.
Let us know one politely persistent thing you will do today to grow your business.
My team and I are excited for our upcoming launch of PolitePersistence and love sharing our thoughts on business strategy and professional hustling.
We have a close knit group of ‘Polite Persisters’ over at G+ who like to talk shop on everything related to professional hustling and PolitePersistence.
I invite you to join.
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