On March 8, Rick Younger celebrates his birthday by debuting his new piece in the One Man Talking – Emerging Artists New Works Series. “I Am My Father,” which he wrote, will be directed by Phil Burke, who can be seen on AMC’s “Hell on Wheels”. Show begins at 7pm and $10 tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets.
Despite his best efforts, Rick Younger is turning into his opinionated, wisecracking father. But maybe that’s just what he needs to help him raise his son. “I Am My Father” reveals the rollercoaster ride of fatherhood.
Rick was last seen on stage in his wife Vanessa Shealy’s “One, Two, Whatever You Do…” in last summer’s Fringe Festival. NYTheatre.com stated, “And in a nifty cameo near the end of the play, Rick Younger, as a publicity-seeking doctor, threatens to steal the whole show. Younger and Shealy both possess presence and charisma to spare. It’s exciting to see their work in a space as intimate as the Fourth Street Theatre.”
Actor/comedian Rick Younger, can be seen every month with Kathie Lee and Hoda on The Today Show‘s “Guys Tell All” segment. He appears in the popular State Farm, Walmart, Dunkin Donuts, and NY Lottery commercials. In 2010, he played a morning show producer in the film, “Morning Glory,” with Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, and Diane Keaton. He was awarded the 2009 MAC Award for Best Male Stand Up for his one-man show, “The Rick Younger Show.”
What do you do with those business cards you’ve collected over the years? Do you scan em? Send them off to CloudContacts? Throw em out?
I put mine in huge binders. Years worth of contact info. I still have my very first rolodex from my admin asst days in the music industry (1990). I refer to them often. A few years ago, I was looking through my binders trying to find a printer I could invite to my BNI chapter. I came upon a guy’s card who was quite memorable. I met him in 2004, when I used to belong to Ryze and happened to attend one their networking events. For some reason, we got to talking about Jersey and its hip-hop stars. It was a great conversation.
So in the spring of 2007, I found his card and sent him an email about being my guest at a BNI meeting. While it was not his primary email, it was forwarded to one that he checked regularly. In a few hours, we were on the phone catching up. Now mind you, it was a Tuesday late afternoon and my meetings are Wednesday 7am. Guess who showed up on Wednesday morning? And shortly after that, he joined. And then 3 years later, in one of his last acts as a member, he brought a guest that became a business partner in another venture of mine.
So, don’t throw your old biz cards away. Three to six years later, they can still turn into something. Not to be cliche, but there is a reason they are called business cards.
My notes from the BNI meetings are called the Kool-Aid Kronicles. BNI is an acquired taste – it’s very regimented and orderly. It’s also 7am every week. If you are going to do this 45+ times a year, you have to be maybe a little crazy or very devoted to networking or to a networking guru. In other words…sippin’ that Kool-Aid.
For the last thirteen years, I have been a member of BNI. This networking group relies heavily on word of mouth marketing and has kept many a company afloat. Many of the professionals in my chapter have dispensed weekly nuggets of wisdom for years on how to become a better entrepreneur. It’s a little rough out there, so it’s good to hear about everyday folk who are keeping their heads and making things happen. Here are a few things I heard and learned the past few Wednesdays from my colleagues:
Even though the photographer wasn’t at the meeting, his substitute let us know that he was shooting someone for Inc. magazine.
The graphic designer is getting lots of print/paper work, because there may be a “backlash against the backlash.” I love it.
The image consultant changed her tagline to “saving the world one outfit at a time.”
If you rent an office in Manhattan, hire a commercial real estate firm to negotiate the terms of the lease, because as the owner rightfully pointed out, most tenants to not keep the details of their lease handy.
Please give my BNI colleagues a look. And of course you can check out the full roster here.
As the incoming president of Manhattan BNI 7, I was trying to think of ways to help my chapter and remembered what BNI Assistant Director and former Manhattan BNI 7 president, Lauren Simpson said at a Leadership Training session about LinkedIn and using it as a tool to connect with other professionals.
In the upper right hand corner of a LinkedIn page to the right of the “people” search tool is an Advanced search button that if you click it, it brings you to another page with greater search capabilities. There you can enter key words and further limit your results by a radius of say ten miles from a certain zip code, thus localizing those results.
At one of our Chapter 7 meeting, a member, an image consultant and personal stylist said she was looking for Matchmakers as referrals and possible power partners, (power partners being people who can be an ongoing source of referrals). This prompted me to search for Matchmakers within a ten mile radius of zip code 10022 in Manhattan.
Once the information was entered and the radius filter set, I saw that there were several pages of results, the first results being those people within the first few degrees of my personal LinkedIn network. This can be handy if there is an immediate connection or link between you and your prospective referral. If there is, you can ask your connection for an introduction and go from there. If not, you can try an e-mail or a phone call assuming you have that information available. In my case, out of a list of about 6 potential prospects, none were within the first degree of my LinkedIn network so I came up with this simple e-mail asking not only if my member can contact them, but I also invited the prospect to learn more about BNI and even come to visit the chapter:
Hello (first name):
I found your profile on LinkedIn. I am the president of Manhattan BNI Chapter 7 and one of my members who offers image consulting and personal styling is looking for an introduction to someone in your profession. Perhaps you would be able to help each other. In any event, her name is (full name of member). Please let me know if I can provide (first name of member) your information and have her contact you.
As well, let me know if you would like to learn more about BNI 7 and/or visit as my guest. http://www.bni7.com/
Notice I don’t give out my members’ info but ask if I can have her contact them as this shows their seriousness and willingness to receive the call and it also confirms that this is an actual referral to my member.
Of the e-mails I sent out, three did not respond and the other 3 responded favorably that they would like to be contacted and one of those also checked out our BNI 7 website, found another member she wanted to speak with and then visited the chapter as my guest the following week.
As well, Chapter 7 like many other BNI Chapters, is always looking to grow so I thought why not do a search for professionals that are not currently represented in our group. In this instance you can do a similar search to the one above and use an e-mail or phrase like this when you speak with them:
Hello (first name):
I found your profile on LinkedIn. I am the president/member of Manhattan BNI 7 and we are looking for a (their profession) to refer business to. Please let me know if you would like to learn more about BNI 7 and/or visit as my guest.
Again, Lauren Simpson was kind enough to suggest the idea behind this simple, but very effective phrasing which she would use at networking events and cocktail parties. And from this technique alone this year I’ve had 5 or 6 visitors to my chapter.
I don’t mention that we meet every Wednesday at 7 a.m. in the morning or give any further details unless they express a real interest in visiting and then if the seem hesitant I say “come for a visit, I can’t guarantee this will be for you but I can say you will like our group and you will have a good time and then you can decide if it’s something you want to do. There’s no obligation to join and it won’t hurt to visit once.” This gives them an out but it also piques their interest that they should at the very least, check out the scene.
This networking technique does take a bit of time to sift through the search results, and in some instances there is limited contact information available, but many LinkedIn profiles do have company or personal website links which will provide the contact info you’ll need. Try it, and feel free to use and personalize the e-mail templates provided. If the prospects don’t respond, move on, if they do, great! But remember, if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. Keep at it, it will work eventually and the time you invest will benefit your fellow BNI members which in turn will benefit you. For as we all know, Givers Gain!
Networking is a must for all entrepreneurs. If we don't get out there and shake hands, kiss babies, or join a group, it will be rough sailing. My goal is to inspire you to do as much schmoozing as you can. And there are some great new tools to help you do your job, do not be intimated by them. My stories and tips are simple...we all can and must do this.