Jon Levy is a behavioral scientist who researches connection, trust, and influence. He is the founder of Influencers, a private community for industry leaders.
You’re Invited: The Art And Science of Cultivating Influence – Check out Jon’s book, a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller!
3 Value Bombs
1) Networking is a terrible strategy to succeed. If you want genuine relationships that can impact your success, then you need to do the things that call people to become friends.
2) Influence is your ability to have an impact on a person or an outcome.
3) You have to find ways for people to care more about your brand, company, and product.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: The Art & Science of Influence with Jon Levy
[0:40] – Jon shares something that he believes about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
- He believes that networking is a terrible strategy to succeed. If you want genuine relationships that can impact your success, then you need to do the things that call people to become friends.
[1:51] – JLD talks about Jon’s book.
- You’re Invited: The Art And Science of Cultivating Influence – A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller!
[2:30] – Jon talks about some pretty baller dinner parties with some baller influencers that he has hosted and the impact those have had.
- About a decade ago, he started something ridiculous – he invited 12 people to his home.
- He has now hosted over 2,000 people at 227 dinners in 10 cities in 3 countries around the world.
[4:16] – People seem to be over-focused on growing their influence. What makes someone influential?
- Influence is your ability to have an impact on a person or an outcome.
- The kind of influence that people are looking for can differ.
- Influence is different from a Social Media following.
- The influence that you want is about getting a potential customer to see things from your perspective.
- Influence is affected by three characteristics:
- Who are you connected to?
- How much can people trust you?
- The sense of community that you share.
[6:41] – Jon shares his thoughts on having an indefinite community.
- There is nothing wrong with having a small or a big core group.
- You don’t have to be with the person directly to know them.
- The more people you have in common, the closer you become – even if you don’t see each other consistently.
[9:16] – Jon believes that traditional networking stinks. What stinks about it, and what should you do as an entrepreneur instead?
- It stinks if you are just using another person to get what you want.
- At networking events, people are just exchanging cards before they even know the person’s name.
- Common ground generally causes people to be friends: a shared interest, activity, or culture.
[15:17] – How can Fire Nation build trust quickly with customers or investors, even if we don’t have a ton of time?
- You care disproportionately about anything you put your effort into.
- You have to find ways to put effort into your relationships – so they care more about your brand, company, and product.
[18:05] – How to get people to trust you more…
- Spot an open vulnerability loop.
- If you do not see an open loop, be willing to open it for them and have them complete it.
- Start to stack favors.
[21:55] – Jon talks about his book – You’re Invited: The Art And Science of Cultivating Influence
- The book is about cultivating influence, connecting with anybody, building trust quickly, and fostering a sense of belonging around you.
- You’re Invited: The Art And Science of Cultivating Influence – Get your copy and learn more about cultivating influence!
Who's ready to rock today Fire Nation. JLD here and welcome to Entrepreneurs On Fire brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network with great shows like the shakeup today, we'll be focusing on the art and science of influence and to drop these value bombs. I have brought Jon Levy into EOFire studios. Jon is a behavioral scientist who researches connection, trust and influence. He is the founder of influencers, a private community for industry leaders. We're talking Nobel laureates, celebrities, executives, you name it. And today for our initial, we talking about what actually makes someone influential. We'll talk about what you should be doing instead of traditional marketing, how to demonstrate that you're trustworthy and so much more.
When we get back from thanking our sponsors, the HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business. Whether you're looking for marketing sales, service, or operational guidance, the HubSpot Podcast Network hosts have your back, listen, learn and grow with the HubSpot Podcast Network at hubspot.com/podcastnetwork. Jon say what's up to Fire Nation and share something that you believe about becoming successful. That most people didn't with. Hello, Fire Nation. I'm so excited to be here as something that I'm, I'm actually really adamant about is that everybody thinks that in order to succeed, you need to network.
0 (1m 35s):
And I think that that's a terrible, terrible strategy. And the reason is that when you look at the emotional relationship that people have to networking, they actually feel dirty and they want to clean themselves. Networking is it's like a pretty miserable experience. People go to these events, trying to make friends, not even not trying to make friends, trying to transact, and it leaves them with a bad taste in their mouth. The real secret I believe is when you look at the research, people feel, don't feel like that at all. When it comes to making friends regardless about introverted or extroverted there, people love making friends.
1 (2m 10s):
And so the key is if you want real relationships that can actually impact your success, we need to do the things that cause people to become friends
0 (2m 18s):
Carnation. That's why I'm excited to have this conversation with Jon today. Cause he always comes at things at a different angle outside of the box. And we'll talk about this a little bit more at the ends, but I mean his new book, your invited, which is the art and science of cultivating influence as officially available as of May 11th, 2021 is in New York times to say wall street journal and a USA today, bestseller for obvious reasons, you'll hear throughout this interview. So Jon, I do want to talk first and foremost about the baller and I mean ball or dinner parties that you've hosted with some baller influencers. And I've actually been a part of one virtually, which was, and kind of want you to share with Fire Nation details about these dinners.
0 (3m 6s):
Break it down for us.
1 (3m 7s):
About a decade ago, I decided to do something completely ridiculous. I started inviting 12 people to come to my home, but there was a catch. They weren't allowed to talk about what they did or even give their last name. And then rather than me giving them like some nice meal, everybody had to cook dinner together. And when they sat down to eat, they'd play a guessing game to try to figure out where the people in the room were. And then there was this big reveal they'd find out they were the Nobel Laureate in Olympian with Trevor Noah and Deepak Chopra with a Logan Paul, who you might know as like a YouTuber or even, you know, the person who discovered telomeres.
1 (3m 47s):
And so I've, I've hosted over 2000 people at 227 dinners in 10 cities in three countries, celebrities, Oscar winners, Grammy winners, CEOs of fortune 500 companies. You name it, we've had,
0 (4m 2s):
Wow. I mean, how cool would that dinner be Fire Nation to like be hanging out there, cooking with people, connecting with people, not having these preconceived notions of them. Cause you didn't like walk in and get their like full bile, but how amazing they may be or what crazy things they may have done over their life. And then at the end, you find out who they are and what they had done. And you're like, wow, like I like you just as a person. And now I get to hear some details about maybe a little more of your accomplishments and, and why you're, you know, a quote unquote influencer or whatever that might be. But you get to know them in a way before them, which is just very special and more than ever Jon. And I think this has even been accelerated with COVID and everything we've been dealing with. People seem to be Uber focused on growing their influence, like Uber focused.
0 (4m 47s):
And they don't even really know what that means that even know what the definition of influential is. So can you talk to us about what makes someone influential in your opinion?
1 (4m 57s):
Flint is really basic. It's the ability to have an impact on a person or an outcome, right? It's just that now the kind of influence that Jon you're looking for and the kind of influence I'm looking for are going to be different because we care about different things. Now we tend to confuse influence with like social media following, and that's really more audience it's. You have an incredible audience and community that you've built because you produce top-notch content, right? And so that's fostered an audience, but the influence that we actually care about is much more subtle. It's about getting a potential customer to see our perspective, getting our children, to eat healthy, getting that seat at that fitness class that we want to work out at.
1 (5m 44s):
And for that, for the things that really matter to us day to day in life, it's great to have an audience, but it doesn't really affect those things. Those things tend to be affected by three characteristics. It's who we're connected to, how much they trust us and the sense of community that we share. And that's what influence is really made out of. Because if you're not connected to somebody, you can't affect them. If they don't trust you, they're not going to opt in to being affected. And you'll notice that if I'm trying to spread an idea, the more people around you that are talking about it, the more likely are to absorb.
0 (6m 19s):
I mean, Fire Nation. I really hope you're absorbing those three things that Jon just talked about. I mean, who we're connected to think about that, how much trust is there and then that sense of community like really that community and Jon, this is like a little and slightly off topic, but I'm just kind of curious because I do look at you as like a master of community and a master of community building and bringing people together. You know, one thing that I have realized over the years is that, you know, it comes to community. It just can't be infinite. I mean, there's only so many people that we can keep it real meaningful touch with that we can really stay connected to on a very consistent basis.
0 (6m 60s):
So there's kind of like these different levels of like your inner circle and then, you know, maybe your outer circle, people just bump into at conferences and you'd love to hang out more with them, but you know, there's only so much time. Yeah. They're loose tie. So like, can you talk a little bit about that? Like if you seen like numbers or how that kind of like plays out for most people in your world? I think
1 (7m 18s):
The first thing we need to ask is not so much, if there's a set number for people so much as what people are comfortable with. So if you're really introverted and you just don't want to have like a thousand people that you're in touch with that wouldn't make any sense for you. And there's nothing wrong with having like a super core group of three people, five people that you're very, very close with and having a bunch of loose ties around that. Now, if you're credibly extroverted, you might still have that same core group, but then like literally 300 people that you have loose ties with the, the biggest recommendation though that I can make. And this is one of the big mistakes I think people make in general is that Jon and I don't really get to see each other very often.
1 (8m 6s):
I mean, I don't think we've actually ever met in person. And that means that the chances of us becoming close is limited. But if Jon knows and I actually think he does like 10 of my good friends, then what ends up happening is that he gets to hear about me, even if I'm not talking to him directly and I get to hear about him. And so we're in each other's orbit. We feel safer with one another and we're more familiar with one another. So what most people end up doing is they try to hoard relationships. They say, okay, these are a bunch of variant important people. I don't want to bug them. I don't want to interfere in their life. Only in those moments that I really need something.
1 (8m 47s):
My personal perspective is that if those 10 people are extraordinary, I want them to know each other as much as because first of all, they'll be really happy that I introduced them to one another. They'll have great friends. And the more people we know in common, the closer we become, even if we don't see each other on a consistent basis. So I agree wholeheartedly, Jon, there is a limit to how much we can manage. And the more we connect the people around us, the less effort that puts on us to actually have to manage things.
0 (9m 22s):
She found nationwide. I asked Jon these questions because frankly, he's just a person that actually has sat down at some point, maybe multiple points and thought these things through. And that's why I love speaking to people who take the time to really become masters in their area of expertise. And as we talked about earlier, I mean, you specifically mentioned something around the lines of traditional networking actually stinks because people just do it wrong. You might feel dirty and slimy when you're leading one of those traditional networking events. So what specifically thinks about it and what should we as entrepreneurs, as you know, people that do want to connect with other people be doing instead? I think
1 (9m 57s):
The simple thing that stinks about it is that none of us want to be that inauthentic person who just uses another person. And at networking events, you know, people are exchanging cards before they know a person's name and the moment that they realized there's no business opportunity, they walk off and that doesn't feel right to us. Now what seems to work well is to look at what actually makes people, friends and what causes us to be friends is generally common ground where either introduced through another friend or it's a shared interest activity or a culture. So for example, Jon, if you're at a event for veterans, right, that common ground, once you maybe see somebody patch and you know, oh, they were in a certain unit that gives you a shared connection.
1 (10m 52s):
And then that's a starting point for broader relationship. So my personal preference is that people go out and find activities and opportunities that have shared culture or shared activities. And like a simple thing would be, if you're going on a hike with people, you're going to bond with them much more than if you're interviewing them over a cocktail, the interview feels uncomfortable. A hike gives you a shared activity when you don't want to talk. Then the hike carries the weight and of the interaction. And then when you have something to say, the hike also triggers new conversations.
1 (11m 33s):
And so I'm a huge believer in soccer clubs, chess groups, knitting, whatever it is, reading clubs, starting your own or joining them. There are tons on meetup.com. They could be virtual, they could be in person, but find those things that it's actually a shared activity, not just, oh, inviting a bunch of people to come and be spoken at or inviting a bunch of people for a mixer. You need something that functions as a social catalyst.
0 (12m 2s):
So I love Fire Nation, how Jon's talking about bringing experiences into connecting with others. And I can remember so clearly, like I've had people that have been either fans of the show, part of Fire Nation, or just people who I've been connected with, but never actually met in person before come down in Puerto Rico to kind of scout it out, see if they might be moving down here or various other things. And I'm always just like, Hey, meet at my house. And I'm going to take you on a hike this right around the corner. We're going to go on this little hike up, you know, and had this beautiful panoramic view. And, and what Jon was talking about is exactly what happens because it's not like we're going to have like a million things to talk about. And now instead of like sitting across from a table and like being afraid of silence, cause there's gonna be staring at each other, we're able to kind of like look around experience nature, be experiencing the actual hike itself and not have to be forced into this, like, you know, banter just for banter sake.
0 (12m 51s):
And if you think Fire Nation that Jon is even close to done drop in value bombs, you have a another think coming. We're going to be talking about building trust quickly, which is important because we only have so much time. And then it's important to demonstrate foundation when you're trustworthy. So we're going to dive into that. As soon as we get back from thanking our sponsors Fire Nation, do you wish you were early on some of the best performing IPOs of 2019 and 2020? OurCrowd investors were, and now you can join them in what's next with OurCrowd, accredited investors have access to invest directly easily. And most importantly, early OurCrowd investors have benefited from OurCrowd companies, IPO in like beyond meets or being bought by companies like Intel, Nike, Microsoft, and Oracle.
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0 (14m 15s):
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0 (15m 45s):
This is I think one of the most interesting things about the way we behave as people we do, almost everything backwards. A simple example is with trust in the business world. The common thing is I want to impress you. I want to build trust with you. I'm going to take you out for an expensive dinner, or I'm going to invite you to a party and give you some swag bag that you're going to throw out a re gift. Clearly, none of that works. There are a small cases where you can give people things, but it has to be things that they really, really care about. In general, though, what's weird is that the exact opposite works and this is called the Ikea effect. It says that we disproportionately care about our Ikea furniture because we had to assemble it.
1 (16m 27s):
And it turns out that anything we put effort into, we care about disproportionately. And so what we want to do is actually find ways for people to put effort into our relationship. So they care more about us, our brand, our company, our product, and just like Jon, what you do is you go with people on a hike that shared effort of the hike actually gets you to care more about each other. At my dinners, we cook dinner together because as people do that, that shared effort causes them to trust more and like each other more. And the actual mechanism is something called a vulnerability loop.
1 (17m 10s):
This is the basis for all of trust and it's wildly simple and we just need to start paying attention to it. It works like this. Jon, I come to visit you and your home. We're going for this hike. And I go, I am so stressed out. I've been working for weeks on end. I'm so happy to be here in that moment. I've just signaled vulnerability. I've said I'm really stressed out and like exhausted. Now, if you made fun of me or ignored me, trust would be reduced. But if you acknowledged what I just said and respond in kind saying something like Jon, I know how you feel. My book just came out.
1 (17m 50s):
It was so much work. I know exactly what you're going through. The moment I hear that we've both then been able to demonstrate vulnerability at the same level. And as a by-product, we know we're safe with each other and trust exists, and then we can continue to build it higher and higher. When you have a shared activity like cooking, inevitably, there are moments where I ask you to pass me something, or you helped me with a cutting board. Or if we're on a hike, you give me your hand to pull me up. All those things are openings and closings of vulnerability loops. And so the secret, if you really want to get people to trust you more is to one spot it.
1 (18m 34s):
When they have an open vulnerability loop and then complete it. Number two, if you see that they aren't or don't have any open loops, then you need to be willing to open the loop and have them complete it. And here's like the super pro tip we're often concerned about bothering people and reaching out and so on. If you're avoid, obviously reaching out in the same way that everybody else does, like asking them for coffee and things like that. But it turns out that if I ask you for a really small favor and then a larger favor, you're more likely to give me the larger favor. If I ask you to, for directions on the street, you probably won't give them to me.
1 (19m 17s):
But if I first asked for the time and you give that to me, I'm viewed as somebody worthy of your effort and attention, then you're willing to give me the directions. So when I approach an investor, a potential dinner guest or a business contact, I'll often start off with a really small request. Hey, I noticed that you talk about your favorite books. I've read the three that you suggested. What else should I be checking out? That's a very small lift for an important investor or something like that. Then once you've read it, you can go back and say, wow, that book was phenomenal. Can I also ask X?
1 (19m 58s):
And so by stacking favors and using this Ikea effect in vulnerability loops, you could build trust very fast.
0 (20m 5s):
I love that Fire Nation stacking favors, and a couple other things I was taking notes on while Jon was talking is the opening and closing of the vulnerability loop. I mean, if they open it up, you close that down, you spot their loop and you complete it. And I just loved that thought. And now, like, I can just picture myself in these future scenarios, having great conversations, but really keeping an ear out for those vulnerability loops and just simply close again. And honestly, it's not always going to be a conscious thing that that person identify. Sometimes it's going to be an unconscious thing where they're just like, wow, that was just like a really refreshing, satisfying hike and chat that I had with Jon.
0 (20m 45s):
And I'm not quite sure because it just feels a little bit better, a little bit different than other great talks that I've had or other chats that I've had. And to me, these are just a couple of things, Fire Nation that can really enhance and build the trust quickly and demonstrate that you are in fact trustworthy. Now, I want to end today, Jon, by talking about your book, your invited, the art and science of cultivating influence again, New York times wall street, journal USA today, bestselling book for a reason because you have been doing that. You have been cultivating influence for years now. And in fact, when I showed up on the call where you were generous enough to allow me to come on and be the featured guest and talk a little bit about the book and I was just blown away by the number of people and also by just the quality of human beings that were there.
0 (21m 33s):
So, I mean, you are practicing what you preach, you do it in this book's success is to me, just an obvious result of the years you've put in to, to making this happen. And it's something that you actually shared with me before the interview that I had to agree with for my book is, you know, it's the hardest thing you've ever done. Just like writing my book was literally the hardest thing I've ever done. I mean, it was 480 hours of doing something that I'm not great at doing, which is writing. I, you know, I can, I can get on a call with someone like you all day every day and just talk the talk and walk the walk, but to sit down for two hours a day and a right man, that was tough for me. So give us a little detail about the book, you know, anything that you think that would really resonate with Fire Nation around that. And of course, let us know the best ways we can support you and the book.
0 (22m 16s):
Wow, that's so generous. So the book is essentially about what we've been talking about. That for us to cultivate influence, to really have an impact on the social causes our careers, our businesses, whatever it is, that's important to us, how do we connect with anybody? How do we build trust quickly? And how do we really foster a sense of belonging around us? Because if we can become masterful at those three things, the only limitation on your influence is then what you want to do with it. And so we break down the science, the stories, tips, and tricks, everything that you should know to really be able to impact the quality of your life and to really have those relationships that, that matter.
1 (23m 2s):
And so that's what the book is about. I go into everything from the origins of Ted and Comicon to crazy art, heists, and serial killers, everything across the board and how it has to do with these topics. As far as, as support. The biggest thing is obviously picking up 12 copies and giving them to friends, but in all seriousness it's I think the message is really important. That's awesome. I want people to be able to have as much success as possible. So picking up a copy and reading it, and if you find that it's great post a review on Amazon,
0 (23m 43s):
Well Fire Nation, my favorite number is 14. So don't, don't pick up 12, pick up 14 copies, give them to 13 of your best friends. And of course keep them for yourself and just get better at doing all the things we were talking about here today. And you know, this Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with JL and JLD today. So please keep up that heat and head over to eofire.com type. Jon J O N in the search bar in his show notes page will pop right up and again, his book, your invited, the art and science of cultivating influence is available. Now, Jon, thank you for sharing your truth, your value, your knowledge with Fire Nation today, for that we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side.
0 (24m 28s):
Hey, Fire Nation today's value bomb content was brought to you by Jon and Fire Nation. Are you ready to rock your very own podcast? I mean your own podcast, check out our free podcasting course, where I teach you how to both create and launch your podcast for free freepodcastcourse.com. Freepodcastcourse.com. I will catch you there, or I'll catch you on the flip side. The HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business. Whether you're looking for marketing sales, service, or operational guidance, the HubSpot Podcast Network hosts have your back, listen, learn and grow with the HubSpot Podcast Network at hubspot.com/podcastnetwork.
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