Judy Robinett’s story begins in Franklin, Idaho. As a young girl who was bullied during junior high, Judy felt uncomfortable at social events, which she would often arrive late to and leave early from. Until her 40s, she felt shy, awkward, not good enough, not cute enough and not educated enough.
Today, however, Judy’s life paints a different picture. As a well-known and highly respected investor and advisor, she is known as the woman with a titanium Rolodex. If you’re curious about how she made the leap from insecure young woman to confident businesswoman, then you will want to hear episode 30 of I Want Her Job: The Podcast.
In today’s show, Judy shares how an attitude of, “Keep your head down; work hard; and wait your turn,” turned into advice worth tossing. She read Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People and immediately realized that it was actually those leaving early on Friday to socialize at the golf club were the ones getting ahead at work. After reading this book, she began to make intentional choices in how she interacted with others.
This fresh outlook aids Judy to this day. When she meets someone new, Judy immediately begins looking for ways she can help, which she explains further in her step-by-step approach in her book on networking – How To Be A Power Connector. In today’s episode, Editor and Host Polina Selyutin discusses the art of connection with Judy and tips that can help you develop your own titanium Rolodex.
TOPICS DISCUSSED IN TODAY’S SHOW:
- From Social Worker To Investor: After leaving the field of social work, Judy continued her higher education and worked toward an MBA. She started building a corporate career in finance. After a book inspired Judy to start her own business – noting it was one of the ‘5 ways to build wealth in the U.S.’ – she took a risk and left her ‘safe’ corporate job to open a franchise restaurant with a small business loan she had received. Then, after nine years of running the restaurant, Judy was invited to run another company. From there, she says, she used her experience to grow into an investor and advisor.
- Keeping The Faith: When Judy’s first business was on shaky ground, it was this advice that helped ease her future business fears: They break you, but they can’t eat you.
- Meet and Greet: When meeting someone new, Judy suggests connecting at a personal level first. Seek ways to add value to this new connection several times, she continues, and after every meeting or interaction ask your connection if she has ideas for you, or suggestions for someone else who you can talk to.
- Personal And Professional Success: Judy shares quick and simple tips to improve your own life. First, ask those closest to you what your three greatest strengths are. Then, expand your network by talking to three new people a day – yes, even including strangers! Next, write down a ‘victory log’ of 50 things you’re proud of that day. Finally, imagine three years from now. Answer the following questions, she says, and spend time reflecting on your answers:
- What three things do you need to happen to you professionally and personally to be happy?
- What three opportunities in your life should you go and grab?
- What three strengths should you maximize?
- What three threats do you need to deal with?
- Most People Are In The Wrong Room: Judy suggestions knowing the game of connecting and its rules. You win by adding value and being generous to others, she says, and by understanding if you are surrounded by the right ecosystem for your needs.
- Win-Win: Judy says that you win by being generous. “Every individual has gifts, but you can do very little by yourself.”
- Person-To-Person: “You win with the heart, not the wallet,” Judy says. She suggests getting to know about someone’s family, interests and health when you want to connect with them. Even before you move on to professional questions, she says you should seek to first connect based on interests and values.
- Consistency Is Key: Judy believes in responding to others quickly and consistently. She says that one builds lasting relationships with others by, “adding regular, value-added contact through time.”
- On Weak Links: She continues to remind us that the people we gravitate toward are not the only people one should have in her network. Research she cites shows that the weaker links in one’s network are actually, “the strongest and most important connections in our network.” She continues to say that, “Diversity is key to a rich network.”
- How To Diversify: “Get out of your comfort zone,” Judy says, suggesting that we talk to strangers more often. Make it a point to say ‘hello’ and talk to people you see on a daily basis, she says. Make sure people in your network are not all like you.
- Judy’s Key Advice: Learn. Pivot. Persist. After realizing that equity was the secret to financial success, Judy changed her career path, continued to learn, practiced her faith and took risks. She advises everyone to, “Kick fear to the curb,” and to get out there, and start learning, pivoting and persisting.”
- On Problems: “Every problem has a solution,” she says. “You just have to be in the right room.”
- For Reflection: A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
- Recommended Reading: Resilience by Eric Gretiens.
- Connect: Follow Judy on Twitter.