Ok, for some of you this list is going to be a little basic or cover some ground that you have already covered. But lately I have been getting some emails and messages from folks who really did come up from the street or didnt have someone to teach them this stuff. Everyone has to start somewhere. So here are a few things you need to have a handle on before you can step up your game.
- Give good advice.
At some point, someone is going to ask your opinion about something personal. Short and sweet is the key. If someone tells you their wife is sleeping around or their kid is an asshole – they don’t want to hear a 2-hour lecture on your childhood (unless you are buying the beers). Give advice that helps in one or two sentences. If you can’t do that, then you haven’t thought about the question hard enough.
Friend: “My wife is sleeping with my best friend. It is driving me crazy. What do I do?”
You: “Anyone sleeping with your best friend is not your wife and anyone sleeping with your wife is not your best friend.”It may not be what they want to hear, but it is an irrefutable statement. It also may give them a new perspective to start from.
- Tell if someone is lying to you.
Everyone has a theory. I like these: Liars change the subject quickly. Liars like to say “Honestly”, “Can you believe it?”, “You know you can trust me.” or swear you to secrecy. Liars will sometimes stare straight at you and employ a dead face. Liars place objects between themselves and you during a conversation. Forbes Magazine published a little on this too.
- Shake hands.
Steady, firm, pump, let go. Use the time to make eye contact, since that’s where the social contract begins.
- Read some non-fiction.
You may enjoy Stephen King or some other horror or romantic novels. But no one gets rich reading this stuff. Also in business company, these authors never come up. However, Larry Winget, Suze Orman, Seth Godin and authors like that – all the time.
- Not monopolize the conversation.
When I was younger, I suffered from this affliction. You want to be heard. You want people to notice you. You take it from the fact that everyone around you is letting you talk because you are saying some smart stuff. The fact is the opposite. There is an old saying – “It is better to be quiet and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”
- Buy a suit.
Avoid the $99 suit sales if you can. Know your style and what you need it for (work, funerals, court). Squeeze the fabric into a fist — if it bounces back with little or no sign of wrinkling, that means it’s good, sturdy material. And tug the buttons gently. If they feel loose or wobbly, that means they’re probably coming off sooner rather than later. The jacket’s shoulder pads are supposed to square with your shoulders; if they droop off or leave dents in the cloth, the jacket’s too big. The jacket sleeves should never meet the wrist any lower than the base of the thumb — if they do, ask to go down a size. Always get fitted. Labels aren’t that important until you start running with the $2,000 to $5,000 suit crowd – but fabric and patterns matter. Stay with the basic colors and patterns. Get creative with the shirt and tie. That’s where you add flavor. I found this video too.
- Talk out a fight or know how to throw a solid punch.
You may be in a restaurant or bar with a client or employer. Someone may get stupid. Learn to speak softly and let the folks involved know why it doesn’t suit their interests in pursuing their current course of action without assaulting their manhood. This is an important and difficult skill to master. I was a bouncer for about 4 years and learned how to squash fights before they happened. This is important for me today as sometimes people look for trouble. A few words in private and they are usually willing to walk away. Knucklheads will say this makes you a bitch. Going to a meeting with a black eye or a broken nose is stupid.If all else fails, you have got to know how to throw down. You have to stand close enough, but not too close. Swing with your shoulders, not your arm. Long punches rarely land squarely. Follow through; don’t pop and pull back. Remember, the bones in your hand are small and easy to break. You’re better off striking hard with the heel of your palm (I like to use my knees and elbows). It doesn’t hurt to take some boxing or fighting classes. I like (and studied) Krav Maga.
- Tie a tie.
I am talking a Half Windsor knot or Full Windsor knot. Not that half-ass “Four in hand knot” crap that you learned in the boy scouts. And it doesn’t matter how tall or short you are. Make sure the bottom point of that tie comes over your belt buckle. Nothing makes you look like a country fool faster than having a tie that ends above your waist. Do I really need to say anything about clip-ons?
- Know how to order a social drink
When I was younger, all I drank were Tequila shots, Kamikazes or whatever was being passed around. This got me in trouble when I went to a business meeting that took all day and into dinner and everyone was drinking scotch or some mixed drink. You need to know what you can or want to drink in this situation without standing there, looking like a dumbass.Always call the liquor; never go to the “Well”. You need to know Brand, amount, style, fast, like so: Booker’s, double, neat. If you need help finding “Your Drink” go to a nice bar or restaurant and ask the bartender to make some suggestions. Try some things out. Find something you like and memorize it.
- Speak a foreign language.
You don’t have to be fluent. Grab a copy of an at-home study course – there are even free ones online. I took two years of Japanese and two years of Spanish in high school. I speak no Japanese, but understand the culture. I also like freaking out my border brothers when they try to run game on me and find out later that I understood everything they were saying about me to each other.
- Sew a button.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been on my way to meet someone and had a button pop off, break or whatever. Most hotel rooms either have a sewing kit or you can get one in the gift shop. It is not hard and beat the hell out of looking stupid because your shirt is missing a button or your fly keeps dropping. Learn how now.
- Talk Politics without starting and argument or expressing your specific views.
The rule is that you never discuss politics or religion. But just a few weeks ago I was talking to 3 different clients in a social setting and the election came up. Not knowing where the political views of my client lie, I did the non-committal two-step. I said something to the effect of “The whole process is driving me crazy. It is almost making me lose faith in the process. I really just wish I could find a candidate that I truly felt had the best interests of the country at heart”. No matter which side of the fence they were, they all nodded in agreement.
- Know how to play Gin, Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Dominoes, Billiards (Pool) and Chess.
One of the richest guys I have ever met has reached a point where he travels the world to visit kings and leaders to have tea and play Gin. That is all they do – travel the world and play cards.Learning any game based on strategy will help you out in life and give you a point of connection with the people you are trying to know.I don’t gamble recreationally. You will rarely catch me in a casino unless I am there with a prospect or part of a group trip. That being said, I have a strategy for Roulette, and all those games above. I learned how to play pool when I was eight years old and played competitively in local tournaments. I am not a great player, but I am pretty good. Plus, if you are playing pool at a bar with a client, they don’t notice that they are drinking and you are not.Make three different bets at a craps table. Play the smallest and most poorly labeled areas, the bets where it’s visually evident the casino doesn’t want you to go. Simply play the pass line; once the point is set, play full odds (this is the only really good bet on the table).Learn to shuffle a deck of cards. I have played cards with guys who can’t shuffle, and they lose. Always.Know when to split his cards in blackjack. Aces. Eights. Always.
- Know how to speak to a waiter.
You don’t own the restaurant, so don’t act like it. Act like a guest in someone’s house. Don’t speak into the menu. Make eye contact. Say please and thank you. Women will tell you that they will size a guy up by how they treat the server at a restaurant. I do the same thing.
- Say no graciously.
You can’t do everything, but you don’t want to burn bridges. Learn how to say no “this time” but leave the door open for a future relationship. “I would love to do that, and normally I would, but right now I am just not able to devote any time to that. But let’s plan some time for next month to get together and take a look at what projects you have coming up.”
- Throw a ball.
Company picnic or a pick-up game of ball at the gym – you have to be able to be part of the team. Learn how to throw baseball over-hand with some snap. Throw a football with a tight spiral. Shoot a 12-foot jump shot reliably. Learn how to drive a golf ball, even if it is only 50ft off the tee. If you can’t, play more ball.
- Iron a shirt.
I hate to iron. Usually I just dry clean everything. If I am out of town and the clothes are clean and they just need to be ironed, the dry cleaners will press them for about $2.00. But if you are really in a spot, you have to be able to break out an iron and get the job done. Rolling in a wrinkled shirt is never allowed unless you just got mugged. And in that case, you had better be bleeding.
- Write a thank-you note.
Make a habit of it. Follow a simple formula like this one: First line is a thesis statement. The second line is evidentiary. The third is a kind of assertion. Close on an uptick.
Thanks for having me over to discuss your business. I hope that I was able to answer your questions satisfactorily. I will be thinking about our conversation and if I am able to come up with some more ideas I will definitely give you a call. Next time, let me take you out to lunch so that we can get to know each other a little better. Thanks again,
So that concludes this list. Obviously this isn’t everything you need to know. But these are some things that come up pretty regularly in my day to day life. This is just a pimer to get you set up with some basics so that you can focus on the real skills to get your hustle going.