– Mark Suster is a former serial entrepreneur and a partner at Los Angeles-based GRP Partners. This article originally appeared on his blog “Both Sides of the Table”. The views expressed are his own. –
50 coffee meetings. It should stick in your head as a metaphor for networking. For getting outside of your comfort zone. For starting relationships today that won’t pay off for a year. It’s the entrepreneur’s equivalent of “10,000 hours.”
Anybody who has spent any time with me in person will be tired of this advice because I give it so frequently. It’s a piece of actionable advice that if you put into practice starting next week, will start paying dividends in the near future. There’s a direct correlation to your future success.
5 meetings/week = 250/year.
Imagine the human progress you could make with 250 short, relationship-focused meetings.
Here’s why it’s critical:
1. Recruiting. Are you looking for great engineers? Talented brand sales people? A smart young marketing exec? If you wait until you need to fill somebody in a roll, you’re losing valuable time as an entrepreneur. You should always have a steady stream of “friend of the firm” hanging around your company. You invite them to cocktail parties. You send them update emails. You don’t have a budget for them – not yet. But when you do, you’re ready to go.