No, this story isn't about Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak's relationship. The tale is about a lesser known entrepreneur who had the gumption to get one of the icons of the tech industry to join his fledgling company.
In his book Up Your Game, technology entrepreneur David Bradford describes how he was able to convince Wozniak to join his startup Fusion-io, a computer hardware and software systems company based in Utah.
While Bradford had all the faith in the world about Fusion-io, Wozniak, who had already made millions from Apple, had no reason to take a chance on a small company in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.
So, what stroke of luck allowed Bradford to convince one of the most influential people in technology to take this chance?
Surprisingly, there was no luck involved. Instead, Bradford used a technique that is critical to every single entrepreneur in the world. Few have been able to master this technique, and many aren’t even aware of how essential it is to success. What is this magical technique?
While some people may have been expecting a more complicated answer, we often disregard simple solutions. Yet you’d be shocked at how far you can go and what you can achieve by simply having the ability to ask.
Whether you’re asking for help, for an investment, a partnership or in Bradford’s case, asking a big-name entrepreneur to join your small company, by just taking the step to ask, you’ve already accomplished more than many of your competitors.
I’ve often heard entrepreneurs opine about their inability to get in front of the right people or get the chances they need to succeed. And when I probe deeper and ask those same entrepreneurs what they’ve done to accomplish their goals, very rarely do they tell me they’ve performed the asking technique.
Related: How to Ask a VIP for a Favor
If you need to meet with an influential business leader, it can be difficult to walk right up to them or cold call them for a meeting. But by taking this simple (but challenging) action, doors open. People know other people.
One of the most useful things I’ve done in my entrepreneurial career is network with other entrepreneurs. Then, when I find out that they know someone I want to meet with, I simply ask them for an introduction. This increases my chances of success immensely.
I myself receive requests all the time for introductions to people in my network. And I can’t think of a time that I flat-out refused to make the introduction.
Similarly, Bradford used his connections to find people that were in his network as well as in Wozniak’s circle. Once he found this connection, he asked for an introduction, then gave his pitch to the creator of the Apple computer. The rest is history.
So, don’t be daunted by the idea of having to ask someone for something. The very worst possible outcome is that they say no. And quite frankly, if you cannot handle hearing the word no, then you may need to rethink your choice of careers.