A few months ago, I read a book called Love Does by Bob Goff. Goff is a self-proclaimed ordinary man who lives an unbelievable life. Fascinated by his book, I finished it in a little more than one afternoon.
After I finished the last chapter, not wanting to put the book down, I continued to read on into the acknowledgments––typically an uneventful portion of a book. Following the very last line of his thanks, he wrote something to the effect of, “If I can be of any help to you, please give me a call,” and then he listed a phone number. Suspicious that he had actually included his number in this book (which would soon become a New York Times Bestseller), I decided try it. Just in case it was an actual number—surely it couldn’t be a real number—I decided to send a text to it. My text was brief, simply requesting a response to some questions I had about his life.
As a few hours passed by, my cynicism was slowly confirmed; it was a hotline-style number—and then the phone rang. In disbelief, I answered to hear a jovial voice bellow, “Hi Austin, this is Bob Goff! How are you doing?” Immediately, I broke out into a sweat as I stumbled for something to say. This man had actually put his personal phone number in his book? Following our call, I could only sit in pure shock. This fascinating person had just taken the time to call me!
Looking back to nine months before my call with Goff, I had the opportunity to hear a guest speaker give a great lecture on market research in one of my classes. At the end of her presentation, she offered up her email address and told the class to contact her if she could be of any assistance. Immediately, after I walked out of the classroom, I sent her an email with some questions.
Fast-forward to today, this woman has been a massive influence to helping me begin my career! She has connected me with countless individuals in the advertising industry, and one of them turned out to offer me a summer internship. What’s stunning is that when she introduces me to people, she explains how, out of 35 students in a classroom, I was the only one who reached out to her.
What’s the point, here? If someone offers something you want, take them up on it! Start small. Go to your professor’s office hours and talk with them about their career. Shoot an email to the guest speaker you heard last week, they’d love to hear from you. College is the perfect time for this, as people are often more than willing to help students gain traction in the “real world.”