How to Leverage Your Relationships to Make Money as a Super-Connector

David Gonzalez is one of the most connected guys I know  in the “internet marketing” space…

He regularly meets with seven and eight-figure online entrepreneurs, and has built his business around connecting influential, wealthy people – in a cool way.

I really appreciate how transparent Dave is in this interview – He doesn’t try to puff up his ego by only talking about success. Instead, he talks about how he bounced back from his darkest moment.

In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How Dave built his seven-figure hypnotherapy business
  • Why most people avoid “networkers” like the plague, and how to be a valuable super-connector
  • How Dave pulled himself out from under suicidal thoughts and $140,000 in debt
  • The process Dave uses to generate $30,000/month in his affiliate management business
  • Why Dave started the largest monthly marketing event in the world
  • The exercise Dave used to find his long-term life mission

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Transcription:

Hey guys, in this episode of Pathways to Wealth, I'm interviewing a really good friend of mine, David Gonzalez, who is the founder of the Internet Marketing Party and an affiliate marketing company called Simply the Coolest and Dave has built a network for 7- and 8-figure entrepreneurs and he is probably one of the most connected guys that I know in the online business arena.

In this interview, Dave really breaks things down and gets very real. He talks about how he went $140,000 in debt and the steps that he took to put him on a path to get out of that debt. He also talks about how he built his first 7-figure hypnotherapy business and what it was like to scale that up and then eventually sell that business. He also talks about why a lot of people look at networking as this really dirty old school thing and the way that you can leverage your talent if you are a very personable person, leverage your relationships to actually earn an income and eventually built a business which is exactly what Dave has done and now he has multiple income streams because of his innate inability to be a super connector.

I'm really excited for this interview because Dave is just a wealth of knowledge. He knows a ton of people and I know you're going to get a lot out of it. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

Chris Dunn: Alright, hey guys, welcome back to another great interview on Pathways to Wealth. I'm your host Chris Dunn and today I have my good friend, David Gonzalez. Dave, thanks for being here man.

David Gonzalez: Thanks for having me.

Chris: Good to see you.

David: This is kind of fun to be actually in-person. Usually, I do this over Skype or over—

Chris: I'm still trying to figure out the studio but I think we’ve got it dialed in.

David: That’s great. I feel like I'm in the Howard Stern Show, The Chris Dunn Show.

Chris: Exactly. Guys, Dave is—I like to call you a super connector. Would you say that’s accurate?

David: I had resisted that title for a long time and I’ll tell you more about that why in a little bit but if had to give myself—too many people call me that for me not to say that that’s accurate.

Chris: Now that you fit just in that box, if somebody asks me “Who’s David Gonzalez?” I’ll be like, “He knows everybody.” He talks to everybody. He’s a super personable connector and that’s what I wanted to bring you guys on the show is just show everybody your world because there are so many different skill sets. You have some people that are highly technical, some people who like to be the star or CEO and some people that are just like amazing at making relationships and connecting people.

David: I can speak pretty quickly here as to why I resisted that title for so long because there are a lot of times networks are people you want to take a shower after you spent time with them because they're just like, “What’s in it for me” and they're like the people who are just at the party, you're talking to them but they're looking over your shoulder because they're looking at who else they can—

Chris: –can I give my business card.

David: Yeah or get something from. Super connectors, I think, tend to be a lump sometimes in that category. And that the second thing that a lot of times, super connectors can't rub two nickels together. And so for a long time that was me and I've learnt how monetized my business, learnt how to monetize my talent. It’s taken me awhile and I'm still actually working myself out of some debt from that time. You and I have talked about some of that offline. There’s a part of me that does feel that “Uh, I don’t want to be just the super connector” because so many of the people that I do connect together are people that are amazing at what they do such that if you think of a world class investor, you don’t think like, oh, that’s somebody who just wants something from somebody or who can't rub two nickels together.

So if you can connect an amazing investor with a world class business analyst, that’s fun, that’s great, and that’s what I like to do. But both of those of people are people you tend to think of as adding value and for the longest time because I wasn’t making the kind of money that people around me were, I felt like I wasn’t adding value. Does that make sense?

Chris: Yeah, you were adding a ton of value for a lot of people. It’s just, I guess, how do you monetize relationships in a way that’s cool and doesn’t just ruin relationships I guess, right?

David: Sure, yeah. I think that one of group of people that will likely be very interested in listening and watching this are other networkers and connectors and people persons, people-people. And so, the way that I did it was by being fortunate to be involved in the internet marketing, online marketing direct response community where the affiliate game is very very pervasive and for those of you who are listening and watching that aren’t familiar with the affiliate game that’s where you basically have someone that gets paid to put someone else’s product, service, or offer in front of an audience and they get paid on a rev share basis. If somebody’s got a huge blog, a huge mailing list, a huge podcast, a huge YouTube channel, somebody expects shortcuts, you might chang in those guys. They are affiliates for audible.com, so they get paid every time if somebody listens, “Oh, I should buy this audible subscription” they get paid forever and so what I found is that a lot of people in my network had information products or had affiliate programs and they knew that I knew everyone, so it kind of fell on my lap and all I had to really do is—and for the longest time I was making introductions and people are getting richer and I didn’t even know it.

Chris: Basically, you're adding all this value but it was for free and you weren’t monetizing so everybody else is making money.

David: Because I loved doing it so much that the money mattered less to me than the relationships and while on the one hand that was really good because that’s why I kept getting invited to more and more and more stuff, because people knew that when I was there, a lot of the people in the online space they tend to be introverts and they tend to be hermits and they make their millions in their man cave on their computers, so they’d invite 5, 6, 7 people to their party and they're just like, okay, so let’s talk about how we make money, but then nobody don’t want to share each other’s secrets so I’d show up sand I say “Hey! What’s up?” and I bring a bottle of tequila and mixers and it was fun and I'll be like, dude, did you know what so and so does? I was kind of the social—

Chris: You sparked it.

David: Yeah and I enjoyed doing that and so for the longest time I was doing that and finally started having people that really like me for me, as a friend, as a person, as a brother and they’d go, Dude, seems like every time we to go these things, you're the only guy that can't because you can't afford it. Why aren’t you making more money? You're making all these other people so much money and for a while there that hurt a lot because I was struggling financially and other people were getting wealthier but at the same time that was a lesson I had to learn that just because I didn’t know how to monetize that in a cool way, it wasn’t their fault. You know what I mean?

Chris: Yeah, it was something for you to figure out so you had to go from using your skill set—

David: it’s a hero’s journey kind of thing.

Chris: Yeah, yeah, exactly. You have the skill set of super connector and then you're like, okay, now I need to maybe think like entrepreneur like how do you monetize that without ruining which you’ve spent so much time building.

David: And that’s the other thing is that I had been an entrepreneur. I had a million dollar a year hypnotherapy that had a staff of 12 and it ran for 9 years, that’s what I'm an EO alum and so—

Chris: What’s EO .. business?

David: Entrepreneurs Organization.

Chris: Huge by the way, awesome.

David: For a long time, a friend of mind referred to me as his friend like, he’s a man of leisure. At the time I wasn’t a connector, I had a team, I had a staff, and I had a service business that was helping a lot of people and I didn’t really have to go to work because I've E-Myth that business and I would go into work for 15 minutes every couple of weeks just to deliver checks.

Chris: What did that business look like? Were you selling stuff? Consulting products?

David: It’s one of those businesses where it was like a gym membership or a chiropractic consultation where you come in to find out if hypnosis will work for you. We’d put these $8,000 full-page ads in the Austin American-Statesman our local main newspaper and it was an advertorial. It was made to look like an editorial piece and had a picture of a woman with her pants 10 sizes too big and now she’s super skinny going like, one of the headlines was “They laughed when I said hypnosis…they're not laughing anymore” it was an old Eugene Schwartz headline a friend of mine took and we used it and it worked like gang busters but what people would come in was for a free hypnosis evaluation. Find out if you can be hypnotized to see if you can lose weight, which everybody wants to lose weight, right–

Chris: –but not everybody is .

David: Everybody’s is hypnotizeable that’s a topic for another conversation.

Chris: Okay.

David: And that’s a previous business of mine but the long and the short of it is, we had people who would schedule their free consultation, they’d come in for their evaluations, as what we called it, and they would buy a $2,000 year long program. The problem with that business was that if someone was successful, they had it. We’ve given copies of their CD when they were being hypnotized, a bunch of program sessions so they can listen to those at home. If they weren’t successful, well then hypnosis did not work for me. Unlike hair club for men, unlike the gym, unlike chiropractic, where there’s a back end, there’s a continuity component to it where you spend all of that money to acquire a new client that they’ll pay you, you know, there’s a lifetime value there. Our lifetime value is that one sale.

Chris: That one sale and that was it.

David: Yeah.

Chris: So you scaled that up to a million and then what happened? Did you sell it?

David: And the advertising stuff working as effectively for various reasons. It was before the internet, it was before hypnosis was a more common place, and it was before other weight loss companies in town realized that, “Hey every Monday they run an $8,000 full page ad.”

Chris: They're cranking it.

David: Yeah, so they knew that something was working so competition set in and we didn’t have another medium for getting people to come in and it was part of a franchise model, so I felt that it was the franchise owner’s responsibility to– you know, I've been doing this for 9 years, as an entrepreneur, most of us are restless, so the fact that I didn’t do anything for 9 years was a big deal, so I decided to either sell it or close the doors down. I said 9 months from now, we’re going to sell 9-month programs, 8-month programs, whichever comes first. Either 9 months we’re going to stop calling people to come back in for their sessions because people, they dwindle off like in any program, so we stopped doing lovey calls, just let them wither away, from coming in regularly, and then we would only sell programs until—but we ended up selling it within about 4 months, so that’s how I ended up coming into the online marketing space. After I read Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week and I was like, “Hey, my buddy, Michael Lovitch just doing an online business like he’s talking about here and I should learn how to do that.” I think that’s the reason that the whole networker super connector label I didn’t like for the longest time is because when I decided I wanted to do what Tim Ferriss had done and showcased in the 4-Hour Work Week I figured I would either create an information product or I would be a media buyer or I would do something in the online scene.

Chris: Some kind of muse that was passive or—

David: But every time I try to do one of those things, it was a blessing and a curse that I was a super connector because I connected immediately with people like Ryan Dice, Mike Dillard, Perry Belcher, Eric Louviere, people that were already doing multiple million dollars a month.

Chris: All the heavy hitters in the internet marketing—

David: Yeah, the big heavy hitters because I had money, I had time, I was intelligent. It wasn’t like I was a desperate dumb guy that was just grasping for something. I had money. I had time and I knew the right people because I had been introduced by the right people and so it was a blessing and a curse because I had them to compare against what was the way to do things and they already had multiple hundred thousand size lists and I was just getting started and I felt like, well I should be like them because I'm hanging out with them. I'm going out on a boat and getting wasted and having fun and going to all the parties. I felt like I should be one of them but it was like I was hanging around a bunch of black belts but I was a white belt but no one’s wearing belts and I could just fake it because nobody knows what you do or how much money you have and one day I woke up and realized I had over $140,000 worth of unsecured debt.

Chris: So you sold the hypnosis business, you got into the internet marketing and you're hanging out with a lot of the heavy hitters. How did you go into debt? Were you just living the lifestyle without the income or did you sink cost into building a new business.

David: We didn’t sell the business for an enormous amount of money. There was a part of me that just felt like, I've always been— Michael Lovitch the buddy that introduced me to this whole industry says, “Dave’s a hustler, he hustles. You're scrappy, he’ll make shit happen.” And so, I just knew that I would figure something out and I wasn’t paying attention. Every once in a while I would introduce two people that would make a lot of money and because they were just good solid people, they would pay me a second tier override on that introduction and so sometimes I’d get an $8,000 check, a $12,000 and I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that I was spending more than I was earning, so I was like, “Whoah! I just made $12,000” and all I did was introduce them and I didn’t think about the fact that that wasn’t sustainable or replicatable, it was just a one off. That wasn’t happening every month.

Chris: Right. ….  regular checks from the sales from that business but this was one off and you were still living up here.

David: And because I had money in the bank— there’s a book called Money Drunk/Money Sober: 90 Days to Financial Freedom by a woman named Julia Cameron that I was introduced to a couple of years ago and that transformed my life and it talks about the five different types of money addicts just like there are food addicts but not all food addicts are fat some of them are skinny because they're anorexic or bulimic. There are different ways that addiction shows up. And in a money addict’s type of way, one of the category that I fell under was the big deal chaser which is the next big deal is going to solve everything, so a big deal chaser does not ever look at their finances because why should they? I'm doing this thing with so and so and that’s going to make me $300,000.

Chris: Yeah, why worry about a budget today when tomorrow I'm going to strike it.

David: Yeah and so based on that, I never looked at my finances. We had a quarter million advertising budget for the hypnosis business. I had 5 or 6 credit cards. I had a $75,000 unsecured line of credit with Wells Fargo because we ran all of our advertising on credit cards so that we could get the airline miles bonus points, but at that point, we were paying it at the end of every month, so we did not have any interest. But then when I sold the business, I was like, “Oh, I’ll come up with something” and 1 month became 1 year, 1 year became 2, 2 years became 2-1/2 with no consistent income and no eye on how much revenue was coming in or how much expenses were. So it wasn’t either of the things you suggested it was slowly boiling the water.

Chris: Slowly boiling the frog. You're just sitting there waiting for the next big deal.

David: And I wasn’t paying attention at all until one day literally we were on the way to visit a friend who was having a house warming party and I know he loves beer. We brewed some beer together, and I was like, “Hey, let’s stop and get him a couple of six packs or some good light craft beer” and she looked at me as I got out of the car to the convenience store and she said “use the business card.” We didn’t even have a business. The business card was the one that we still had from the previous business and I didn’t even ask her why but I knew and it wasn’t until we were coming home from the party that I said, “Why did you tell me to use the business card?” She goes, “Cuz the personal ones are all maxed out.” And I remember—

Chris: Done, wow. Was that like a wakeup call?

David: Yeah. I felt like crying. I felt scared. I felt angry. I felt confused. I felt like someone had punched me on the chin, the belly, and in the balls all at the same time.

Chris: Oh man.

David: It was horrible.

Chris: It’s a bad combo. So what did you do from that point? Did that kind of snapped you back to reality?

David: I got kicked in the balls, punched in the stomach, and on the face. Yeah.

Chris: Oh man, so what happened from there? Did you change your ways?

David: I spent a lot of time in depression. It’s probably 6, 7, 8 months. There was a point where I started actually feeling suicidal and ended up coming out of that by focusing on nutrition using a lot of superfoods. A good friend of mine named David Favor who’s kind of a superfoods guru who brought me out of that slump. I’ll always be grateful to him because at one point I was going off to a conference to be a connector someone had hired me to be an affiliate manager for a big event and I was dead broke. All I had was enough money for the airfare. I didn’t know if they were going to pay for my hotel and he cut me a $5,000 check, and said, “You pay this back whenever you want. No interest. I just want to be a support for you.” And I didn’t cash the check and I remember bringing it back to him about three months later. I invited him to lunch and gave him back his check unchashed and told him how much it meant to me. There were tears in that conversation just letting him know how much that meant to me, that he had believed in me more than I believe in myself and that gave me […] that plus focusing on nutrition helped me get more of a semblance of making the gear spin the wheels.

Chris: Yeah, that’s great. So you were down your lowest point, almost suicidal sounds like—

David: I was thinking suicidal thoughts. It wasn’t like I was actually planning it out or thinking “I'm gonna do this.”

Chris: You got depressed where you were just in that state, that flow.

David: Yeah. I was having really low quality questions run through my mind. Let’s put it that way.

Chris: So you attribute some good friendships and nutrition to helping you get a grasp on that. How did you work your way out of debt and maybe let’s fast forward a little bit to what your business looks like today.

David: Sure. The way that I worked my way, well, just full […] I'm still building out some of that, getting rid of some of that because I was blessed to have my father-in-law consolidate all of that because some of them were 28%.

Chris: Just nasty.

David: I'm just like totally open book here.

Chris: Yeah and I appreciate it.

David: And we went to go see a debt counselor person and they were like, have you ever considered maybe asking one of your parents if they would consolidate this for you. My last name is Gonzalez, so I'm Latino so the bravado and the machismo, I was like “No freaking way I'm gonna do that.” But they were like,” Have you ever considered that maybe you would be bringing immense joy to either of your parents for allowing them to help you.”

My father-in-law had just recently retired and he had a really really good job and he had a long career in the military and so he had a really good retirement package and a lot of equity in his home outside of DC, in Vienna, Virginia and so we mustered the courage of […] pay close attention to our finances for about 6 months, every day we’re tracking our income, our expenses, and I asked him if he would be willing to do that and he said, “Absolutely. How much and when?” And he wrote us a check and so now we just pay him like a ridiculously low percentage rate but there is still some debt there but it’s not like—we don’t use credit cards, any of that stuff and man, I hope this isn’t too open book for you—

Chris: No. This is great, man. I appreciate you sharing this because a lot of people, they hear all these stories of success, people that just kind of went from—

David: And there is a bright side, like, were getting to that.

Chris: Yeah.

David: The only reason I mentioned that because I feel life just gets better—it would be an implied lie when you said having gotten out of the debt, that would imply that I no longer have any but it’s a managed debt. At this point, I believe it’s about $40,000 or $50,000. I should look at it but it’s at 3% and every once in a while when we get a windfall, I have attempted to just pay it off but then it’s like my father-in-law is not in any hurry for us to make that $1500 payment.

Chris: And if you can use that money in other ways. We recently did an episode talking about paying down debt and how goal number one is to stop the bleeding by getting your interest rates down no matter what. It sounds like that was a great move for you because imagine if you still had 28% interest, it wouldn’t make sense to save anything. You just got to get rid of that debt.

David: And we did that for a while. We did the whole Dave Ramsey snowball thing and that—by the way, for any of you that are listening, if you have any debt, do look into the snowball thing because that changed the game for me. It turned my debt into a fucking video game.

Chris: Nice.

David: It did.

Chris: It was like a game, how fast can you get rid of debt.

David: Because now it was like me against them. You put in an additional $100 to $200 over what your debt is and you apply it towards the debt with the biggest finance rate and then you pay that one down and then you take that same amount and apply it towards the next biggest one and so the amount that you're paying, It just felt like that made it fun because before it was just a dread to pay any of my debt and I was doing it but I was making the minimum payment which is slowly killing myself.

Chris: Yeah. If you're paying over 10%, 15%, 20% interest and you're just making minimum payments, that is a life sentence. That’s terrible. So it’s great to hear an alternative way that you guys stop the bleeding and that you got that under management and you're still working through it but you’ve come out the bad end of it. Now, you're working on building your business.

David: And I think we had this conversation offline but I have enough equity in our home now from just being there for enough time that—actually, now that I think about it, I'm no longer in debt because the equity in our home surpasses the amount that I owe my father-in-law.

Chris: Nice.

David: Boom! So I just want to say really quick that this feels kind of crazy because there are probably people that tuned in to see how to be a better superconnector or how a connector monetizes and here we are talking about debt resolution, plans for–-

Chris: Well, it’s a part of life and I appreciate you going taking this conversation to where you did because there are a lot of people that are in that same situation that might be at their lowest point in their life and this show is called Pathways to Wealth, right? It’s not called we’ve all arrived at wealth and everything is pretty. It’s, let’s talk about the down and dirty shit and the reality of getting out of debt.

I mean, I was 95k in debt, I had to work my way out and talk to people every day that say “Chris, I don’t know how I'm going to make these payments. I don’t know how am I going to do this…” and my goal is just to show people real—like they have gone your path and show them that there are ways out of it and you don’t have to go the traditional route. You don’t have to have a masters in business. You don’t have to be a doctorate to make 100k or a million bucks, there are so many ways to do it, and so I appreciate you showing that. And on that note, let’s talk about where you're at today. What’s your business look like? Because you’ve got a couple of businesses, you’ve got the internet marketing party and your affiliate management business.

David: That’s called Simply the Coolest.

Chris: Simply the Coolest.

David: Simply the Coolest generates about $30,000 a month in revenue but it’s a service business so we have affiliate managers that manage the relationships between publishers and advertisers and the advertisers are our clients. They're the ones that have the products, the info training courses that they hire us to find affiliates and publishers to put their products in front of so that they’ll put it in front of their audience and they do a rev share deal. We get a percentage of that plus we get our monthly management fee.

Based on that, it has really helped a lot. To kind of back track a little bi, to how I ended up from being in that much debt and being in such a low place in my life to this, I had a windfall. One of these windfalls happened in my business where I finally had money and a friend of mine pulled me aside and he said, “Dude, you seemed really upbeat. Everything is going your way” and I was like, “Dude, I'm finally not broke.” I knew I had all the debt but I didn’t feel broke.

Chris: You could breathe a little bit.

David: I have so many amazing friends that 90% of the time when we go out to stuff they’re always like “I got you Dave. I got you Dave” people always had me. I was never the guy that—I’d reach for my credit card just as a courtesy but I think my dear friends at that time knew and they just like hanging out with me.

So what ended up happening was one of them pulled me aside and says “Dude, could you go like 6 months without working right now with how much money you have?” I said, “Yes” and he goes, “Okay, do this” and this I recommend for all the connectors out there that are listening. His name is Hollis Carter that gave me this advice, he said, “Do not make any outbound calls, emails, texts, just stop and pay attention who calls, texts, Skypes, Facebook messages you and that’s how you’ll know. Just pay attention, do this for 2 weeks to a month, just meditate, journal, go inside and get more clear on what it is you really want to be doing and pay attention to who is reaching out to you.” Because as a connector, we’re usually extroverts and we’re like “Hey you, hey you, hey you” and he helped me understand that I was the one doing most of the outreach and in that moment, it was really really confronting because I felt like I was popular but I wasn’t as popular as I thought I was. I was always the one—

Chris: You're the initiator.

David: Yeah, the initiator. And so at that point, I reached out to another friend for mine, you probably know him, Adam Lyons who is just one of the most brilliant strategic business minds I know. He’s just ridiculously smart on the strategic side of things. Every part of his life is a strand that weaves into the other and strengthens the entirety of his life and I said, “Dude, I want you to help me make my life more strategic” and he said, “Let me buy you lunch.” I said, “Let me buy you lunch dude.” “No, no, no. Let me buy you lunch.” So I’ll ask you one question and that question was real simple. He said, in 30 years, I want to imagine you're at a big beautiful black tie dinner gala event and there some dude that’s got a beautiful blonde bombshell date. It’s their first date. He met her on Tinder or something and at one of the music breaks you overhear her like two tables down say, “Who’s this Dave Gonzalez guy? Why are we celebrating him? What did he do? How does he make his money?” He said, “How do you want her to answer?” and I said, “Wow.” That’s tough because at that time I was 42. I was like, man, I’ll be 72 years old. It was such a random number and I was like, “Man, I want him to say Dave made his money doing high-level corporate joint venture deals with companies that were founded by hippies.” People that really want to have a positive lasting sustainable impact on the world, not just—

Chris: Not the old stuffy corporate types but—

David: Yeah, not for shareholders, the people that say “fuck you” to the shareholders. I'm doing it this way because it’s the best for the planet. Like they don’t ever let the greed monster get the best of them kind of thing.

Chris: But they do big things anyway.

David: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like the guy that started 5-hour energy. If you haven’t watched the documentary called Billions in Change, watch that. I want to joint ventures at 2% doing $100 million dollar deals stuff like that and influencing change at that level. And he said, “Great. So what’s something you could do right now?” he said “Because if you were to tell me that you wanted to do a sustainable version of McDonald’s then I’d say go get a job at McDonald’s today. You need to get your ego out of the way and do things today that will finance and subsidize where you want to end up.”

Chris: Kind of like begin with the end of mine and then start at now.

David: What he masterfully did was allow me to get my ego out of the way. Because I had been an entrepreneur before and I had lived the lifestyle and I have been a man of leisure, being an affiliate manager is kind of like an entry level position. It’s not something that you have to have doctorates or years and years of experience. All you have to do is be good with people and somewhat smart. And so it felt like a step back but when he said that, I realized a guy named Tomlin Knudsen had been calling me for about three or four calls in a row over the course of a few days saying he wanted me to be his affiliate manager.

So all of a sudden, the light bulb switched on. I was like, I could be his affiliate manager and bring on other clients. Sure enough he called me about 20 times in less than 2 weeks and we struck a deal. I told him I needed to have other clients. He said, “You're not going to have time for that” and 3 years later I've got 13 clients, I've got a team of 5 and—

Chris: So you have 5 affiliate managers that are doing the day to day launches and promotions and you focus on the high level structuring the deals?

David: Yeah. There’s actually me and four other people on the team, so there’s five of us. That’s that side of the business and then Internet Marketing Party something I've been doing for 7 years. I kicked that off because I live in Austin where there’s a ton of big serious online marketers and there wasn’t a real community for that at that time and so it was a timing thing. I said, “Hey, all these marketing events I go to, there’s the speakers sitting and standing in front of a big conference room in a hotel or convention center.” There’s all the people sitting there but where the real deals are being made is at the bar, so I was like, “Why not bring that speakers straight to the bar so they can do a little more less.” They can let their hair down and be cool and share.

Chris: Less network event-y type feel and more like hanging out at the bar sharing stuff that’s working, right?

David: Yeah and so—

Chris: You’ve had some of the biggest names in the industry. There’s a ton of great people and let’s talk about how you start that. What was the inspiration to start that?

David: The inspiration was that I wanted to be—it’s kind of the like the Tony Robbins about you’re the five people you spend the most time with. So after a while, I noticed that, I have told you, I've sold and I have money at that time but there were only so many opportunities that hang out with these people that were doing online marketing without it feeling like I was always going to their thing. So I've noticed that there were an increasing number of people that were doing internet marketing in Austin and wanted to be doing it so I talked to Eric Louviere. I went to his events that he was doing locally. At that time, he had about 40 people working at his company. One of them was Henry Fuentes who is now one of the co-founders of Six Pack Shortcuts and anyway, I said, hey man, I know this is kind of like your turf, your town, you don’t mind if I, like, put on a networking event. I think I brought it up to Ryan Dice as well and maybe Mike Dillard I was a yeah I'm put on this thing and there he goes, “Are you kidding? That would be awesome.” And there’s this online forum that, I don’t know how active it is anymore, it was called the Warrior Forum and he posted in there, “Hey Dave I […] you're in Austin or want to come to Austin, Dave Gonzalez is putting on an internet marketing meet-up. Come on down. It’s going to be in September” and he pushed me over the edge. He was like, “Hey Dave, look at what I just posted in the Warrior Forum.” And I was like, “Oh shit.”

Chris: You're like, “I guess this is real now.”

David: Yeah.

Chris: And 7 years later, I mean, so you’ve been doing this every month and it seems like the last one, there was just a ton of people and it just continues to grow.

David: We have 250-300 people there.

Chris: Nice. That’s awesome man.

David: Yeah and now we’re having people like Ryan Moran that put on Freedom Fast Lane live saying like, “Hey, I'm going to put on this event in 7 months. Can we make sure that your internet marketing party happens the Thursday before we kick off? So it’s just taking a life of its own. I created a cool new community of people beyond Austin. We do them in San Diego right before traffic and conversion a lot of times and it’s just a ton of fun and it gives people an opportunity to network with people that they normally only see online and that they're making money with as an affiliate joint venture deals. I've had people at the party go, dude, thank you so much. I just met so and so, we made $3 million dollars last year and we’ve never met in person, and they’re like “Shots! Shots! Let’s do shots!”

Chris: It’s amazing the conversations that you have at those events and the connections. I know personally, I mean, I've absolutely gotten 7 figures worth of revenue from the relationships from there, so my advice to any entrepreneur is get plugged in with something like that. it’s amazing. Don’t be a hermit. Get out there.

David: And by the way, is it cool if I do like a subtle plug here, Internet Marketing Party, we have an online community. When I say new, recently started, because there’s a membership component to it and I'm starting to really add a lot more value there, so—

Chris: Yeah, we’ll link it up in the show notes. Absolutely man, go check it out if you guys are interested in building an online business. You absolutely need to connect with everybody there because everybody in the industry goes to this thing.

Okay, so Dave, what advice would you give to somebody that’s sitting there thinking, “Well, I feel like I'm a connector. I'm always the social one or I have a lot of friends and I feel like I could make connections that make people money. How should somebody go about monetizing that or how should somebody go about thinking about how to monetize it because it’s an intangible thing. It’s not like create a product and launch it, it’s, you’ve got to kind of massage it don’t you?

David: Right. I think the first thing is to determine whether it’s something you want to create as a business or something you want to have as some secondary passive income because if you want to turn it into a real business, that changes the dynamic and the model and I think there’s more work involved as opposed to having it be something more you do just kind of a one-off or two-off which I think would probably be the best way and probably the best way of thinking of it is whoever it is that you think would be the person that would pay you for your connections, add enough value for them outside of connections or with some lower hanging fruit connections that might not bring as much revenue to the dynamic just to show them what you can do. Almost like a little taste test, make a little sample, but be really genuinely interested in building a relationship with that person.

So if I knew 75 of the best real estate bird doggers in town, they're really good at it, so I would probably find one that’s pretty good and two that are okay at it but I really like you Chris, I genuinely like you as a friend. Even if I didn’t know those guys, I’d still want to be your friend, I’d still want to go take walks around Town Lake, I still want to go have dinner, have beers, talk about finance, ask you more about trading—

Chris: –so start by doing business with somebody you like.

David: Somebody you like. I mean, this is my way. Because then that way, I could then say, hey Chris, I got some guys I want to introduce you to and I’d invited them to drinks or to a dinner or a lunch or something and I’d either introduce you to them one by one or we’d all connect together and let them be a little competitive to  […] dude, that one guy brought me 3 deals, I invested in two of them and sold one to another investor of mine in Houston and you're like, man, if you know anybody else–  I want to create an environment where you’d say to me, I’d even be willing to cut you in on these deals.

Chris: Yeah.

David: Now, real estate is so blatantly obvious but let’s say you worked in an environment where—if you're a connector, chances are you’ve got a community of some sort. You’ve got a trusted rolodex. Identify what it is that they have the most in common and who is it that would want access for you to just basically lob them over the fence one by one, so maybe lob over one or two to the right person and then when they see the value, if they don’t make the offer like, dude, I pay you for more of these, that’s where you want to make them your friend first and be like, “Hey man, I think I would probably be able to bring you a lot more business. Do you think there’s a deal we can strike that we can put in writing?” and put in writing because a lot of super connectors are just such nice trusting, just genuinely down home good people that they would think like, “Oh, I don’t want to put it in writing because it implies that I don’t trust them.” You want to have the conversation about putting it in writing just say, “I found over the years that money makes memories get weird and it is for your sake, for the sake of clarity. It’s just so that we both remember exactly what we understood.”

Chris: Yeah, just write down what we talked about on paper and lay it out.

David: And it could even be in an email because email is admissible in court, just like a random, “Hey bro, so we talked about today over beers you're going to give 10% of any deals I bring you. Cool? Oh, by the way, is that gross or net?” Just talk like that. Actually, judges appreciate when things are written like that in plain English because laws based off of the spirit of the agreement. I learned that from Michael Lovitch.

Chris: Interesting. So for anybody that doesn’t understand the mechanics of what you're talking about, you're talking about second tier affiliates and referral relationships, so if somebody’s thinking, “Well, I don’t really know how to monetize my friendships. I don’t think it’s about that right? It’s about connecting people that are strategic that you know this person has this skill set or these assets that this person could benefit from or together they could generate revenue. How else would you describe that or how else would you define that type of business?

David: First of all, I think what I was trying to get at is just be able to have an authentic, genuine, very frank conversation with somebody that’s a friend and say, “Hey, I find that more and more people are calling me a super connector, do you have any insights for me on how I can monetize my relationships and you’d be surprised, if they're a good friend they’ll probably say, “Dude, I've been trying to think about how I could pay you because I think there’s a lot of value in your relationships that would make my business more money.” Make it seem like ask people that you think you connecting them with the right people for advice and let them tell you how to monetize it but the way I would describe what you said is, to think through people in your network that— oh, here’s another thing you could do, ask people in your network that you believe who could be good people to pay you for your monetizing relationships, how much they pay for leads in their business whether it’s selling e-books, whether it’s getting speaking engagements, whether it’s a mortgage broker, whether it’s a freaking landscaper. I'm just doing my best to come up with the widest—

Chris: Yeah, those are completely unrelated things but everybody needs leads.

David: Yeah, every business. Even Amazon pays for leads. They're the ones that started the affiliate program. I don’t know if you knew that.

Chris: I didn’t know they started it. I think they have the biggest one and that’s before—

David: –before Amazon, there was no such thing as an affiliate program. That’s where it got started.

Chris: Interesting, okay. So go back and ask people how much do you pay for leads and then that’s where you can gauge what value you could bring them in a dollar sense?

David: Yeah and then if it’s not so tangible, if it’s like you just have a hunch that putting two people together will bring money, that’s where it can get tricky and that’s where it gets sticky. I don’t know that much about trading and if I knew another guy that seems pretty clear that he lives in a $12 million dollar mansion and drives a Bugatti and he’s also a trader, I don’t know much about trading but if I put you guys together, if I was to be like, “Hey man, I'm going to introduce you to a guy. If you guys make money, can I get a piece?” Does that feel douche-y? Because I need to understand the business and the industry, so that way, it’s like I'm curating not only the relationship but I'm making it easy for you guys to link up and make money and not just a random social connection that you guys then figure out how to make money because that would be saying if you met somebody at the shopping mall, that now you owe Simon Properties money, you met a fellow investor and you're both shopping at the Tesla showroom for your new Tesla and they guy’s wearing a Scott trade thing, I don’t know what the right logo would be, and you all end up doing a ton of business together, like now do you owe Tesla Simon Properties money for that connection?

Chris: So don’t try to monetize all your relationships. You don’t want to get a bad reputation.

David: I told you [crosstalk].

Chris: Basically, it sounds like you monetize the ones, like you personally, if you have a clear play in here like, I want to specifically introduce you to this person for this specific product or something and hey if you want more I can bring more people to the table then identify that relationship but if it’s just a casual, hey, I'm just going to connect you and maybe you just let that play its course. Is that right?

David: Yeah and know that would be a great way to kick that door open. Kick open the door where you want to be. If there’s just a feeling you have about why two people should connect that might be the one even if they end up making millions of dollars. And then it also depends on the people that you're connecting. Some people are just noble good people that want to see you win. This might be for people who are struggling financially as connectors go to the noble people in your network and say “Hey, I've got a handful of people that I want to connect you with. I'm not sure how you guys are going to make money but if I make an intro would you be open to exploring some way to cut me a piece of the deal?”

Chris: Nice.

David: Yeah, then that way, you're not asking for it, you're asking whether they’d be willing and you're making it clear that you're not exactly quite sure how and they're either going to say “yeah” or “hmm…let’s see how things work out” and let their conscience be the guide.

Chris: And then just let it play its course.

David: Yeah and don’t feel resentful if they don’t. The way you want to think about this is, anytime you want to connect two people, chances are good that both of them have done their hard work to get to the point where you want to connect them, so wanting to connect two people just without knowing why is an insult to the work that they’ve done to become bad assess. Does that make sense?

Chris: Yeah, exactly. You want to have a plan and know where each person is at so when you make the intro, it’s worth something.

David: We’re less than two blocks away from the flagship Whole Foods, my daughter goes to school with a partner for John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods. I know John Mackey and then I also know Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos, and if I'm like, “I know these are two bad assess. I'm not really sure if or how they could make money but I want to connect them” and I connect them and I'm like pay me if they end up doing a billion dollar joint venture, that’s disrespectful of me to have just connected two amazing brilliant minds and not told them in advance—

Chris: Aas a super connector, the plan starts with you. What I'm getting from this is the more clear you can make it for both people specifically why you want them to meet, the better the chances are that they're going to profit from the relationship and that you're going to be cut into the deal.

David: Yeah, otherwise, it’s the equivalent to a bird dogger in real estate saying like, hey, I know of a big giant suburb just outside of Austin and I saw a bunch of for sale signs there. Come on, let’s go drive over there and any deal you do there, you got to pay me.”

Chris: Versus here’s a deal with a motivated seller—

David: Yeah, the guy just got divorced, he wants to move back to Canada. He wants to do this in the next 24 hours. I told him about you. I told him you're the most noble, honest real estate investor he’s ever going to meet. We already had drinks. We’ve known each other for four years. How much you're going to cut me in on it. In fact, I already have it.” You know what I mean? That’s night and day.

Chris: That’s great. Alright, so David, it’ time for five to thrive. Five questions that can help people that are watching this or listening to this thrive in what you’ve done or what you’ve learned over the years. Step one is, if somebody is thinking like, I want to be a super connector, what’s the first piece of advice that you would give them or the first thing that they should do?

David: Identify what assets you bring, what capital you bring without getting stuck on financial capital. There’s social capital, there’s intellectual capital, there’s network capital, like what networks do you have access too. There’s even resource capital, so identify what assets you have that you can bring to the table so that when you go to start connecting, you show up with value first.

Chris: Awesome. And I want to ask a second part to that same question because I'm sure there are people that are saying, “Well Dave, I don’t have a network yet but I feel like I'm good with people and I'm good at connecting.” How does somebody start to become a good connector?

David: If somebody isn’t already good that way, that they probably should go to your next podcast. What are you already good at? Do more—

Chris: Right. So it’s like you can't teach entrepreneurship. It’s either you got it or you don’t.

David: Yeah. If you aren’t naturally a connector, that there are probably better ways for you. It would be different if you're not naturally an investor, that’s worth learning, but being a connector, there’s not a clear path where like “I know 75 multimillionaire connectors.” That doesn’t mean they don’t exist but it’s not a known—

Chris: it’s either in you or it’s not kind of thing.

David: I don’t think that that’s true – true but I just think that— one day my dad said, “You know, I've never liked liver” and he was kind of mad and I was like, “And?” he was, “I just never liked it” and I’m like “But dad you make that sound like you're talking about Brussels sprouts or cauliflower. Liver is not necessarily is not bad for you…” He said, “I’ve never liked fried liver.” Like, so what?

Chris: Okay, move on.

David: You can learn it but I think if you don’t have it in you naturally, find out what you do have and use it. What if people in your family, your friends from high school, your friend from college, or people in your environment say, “Oh my God. Chris is just so good at…”

Chris: Boom. Perfect. Second question. Do you think there’s a book on connecting or relationships that’s required reading for people?

David: Yes. It’s called To Be or Not To Be Intimidated by Robert Ringer.

Chris: Got it on the bookshelf over there.

David: And you know why right?

Chris: Oh yeah. It’s great. We’ll link that up in the show notes too. Do you have a quote or a mantra that you live by?

David: I don’t know that I have a quote or a mantra. My Facebook quote is one by Richard Bandler and the quote is “Remember, life gets better when you're sure enough to be unsure about but never unsure enough to not do it.”

Chris: Beautiful. Dave, are you in the camp that everybody should focus on one source of income and go all in on one thing or diversify and build multiple sources of income?

David: I recently read Essentialism and I'm a big fan of MJ DeMarco’s The Millionaire Fastlane and it’s a yes and be business monogamous until you have a big exit and then be business polygamous.

Chris: Beautiful. What does true wealth mean to you? Final question.

David: Actually, I'm standing on the shoulders of giants for that one and that’s Buckminster Fulller and these are the definitions of wealth that I've learned from Bucky and Warren Buffett and that’s how many days into the future you can live without having to work or without having to put energy into a relationship. It’s having what you want and not having to actively work at it. Does that make sense?

Chris: Absolutely. So building something that doesn’t require effort every single day.

David: Yeah. So if I give, give, give, give, give to my wife, to my daughter, to my family so much that I can go a year without giving and if they still adore me and want to be there for me, that’s wealth. If I give, give, give, give, give to my startup and my business so much that I can go a year without giving any attention to it and it still more than pays me, that’s wealth. If I give, give, give, give, give to my health so that if I went a year eating shitty and not exercising that I'm still relatively in shape, that’s wealth. Does that make sense?

Chris: Absolutely. Dave, thank you so much for being here man. Where can people reach you if they want to connect with a super connector?

David: [email protected], my Facebook is facebook.com/idavegonzalez or /davidgonzalez, I don’t know.

Chris: We’ll link it up. Go to InternetMarketingParty.com. Awesome Dave. Thanks for being here man.

David: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

 

 

About the Author

Chris Dunn is the founder of Skill Incubator. He is an active investor and entrepreneur with the mission of helping people learn Skills to thrive in today's economy. Chris spends his time testing and building multiple streams of income and investing the profits. Read more here.