Leaving Money on the (Coffee Shop) Table


CTO Rick Manelius is stepping in for this week’s newsletter on the controversial topic of…

...Money. But let’s start with a Contact Mapping story that powerfully illustrates this week’s theme. My (soon to be friend) Brandon was an incredibly hard worker, but life as a police officer took its toll on his health while he struggled to financially support his wife and 4 young kids. To make ends meet, he had to work nights and weekends as a line cook. Years of double shifts later, he found himself still living paycheck to paycheck without any time to spend with his kids.

This was not the life he wanted or deserved. Can you relate? Brandon didn’t need charity. He just needed a chance to build a better life.

6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon

The joke goes that anyone in the US can eventually get linked to Kevin Bacon in 6 hops. I personally think I can get there in 4-5. Example: my thesis advisor in college (Craig Carter) had a brother that was the writer of the X files (Chris Carter). From that point, actor David Duchovny is either one or two Hollywood hops away from Kevin Bacon.

But let’s get back to Brandon and count the hops in his story to this new opportunity.

  • One day Brandon (0) took his daughter (hop 1) camping.

  • His daughter brought along a friend (hop 2) from school.

  • Along came her friend’s father (hop 3) to chaperone.

  • This father had a colleague (hop 4) in a tech company.

  • This tech company (5) was looking for new developers.

In case it’s not obvious, I was the person that extended Brandon the job offer to join as a Jr Developer at the company. It was a fairly risky hire because he needed a lot of training, but Kevin (hope 3) was adamant that he had both the fundamental technical background, the right attitude, and a hell of a lot of determination.

It turns out, Kevin was 100% right.

Over the next three years, Brandon absolutely crushed it. He leveled up from the junior position to senior within two years, doubling his salary and crossing 6 figures. Best of all he was able to successfully move his family into a newer home in the mountain, where he’s continuing to succeed in his career.

He had ALL that potential inside of him for years. However, the opportunity didn’t present itself until the right relationships had formed to give him that shot.

Everyone Needs a Shot

We all hit ceilings in our career path or income, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Still, most people don’t know how to generate their own opportunities and luck, so they stay stuck. However, the way forward is obvious. People keep saying “things would be different if it wasn’t for this one thing” but they don’t have access to a solution. Our relationships and our networks are usually full of these opportunities (anywhere from 1-3 hops away) IF we just knew how to see them and take action when they appear.

Let’s get back to the topic of money.

When trying to get a job at a company, who you know matters a ton. LinkedIn’s 2017 report shows states that 70% of all hires in 2016 had a direct connection within the company. That means that if 100 people apply, only the handpicked few (might be 5 or less) will even get the interview. I know this from first-hand experience. Over a 4 year period (2013-2017), I interviewed over 200 candidates for 50 positions. I can say without a doubt that a direct referral almost ALWAYS resulted in an interview. It also was a major factor in deciding between multiple candidates.

What’s the takeaway? If you find you have maxed out room for growth at one company, networking can establish connections at other companies that may come in handy if/when you are looking for that next opportunity. In some industries (tech/software), it’s not uncommon for each move to come with it a 10-33% raise in salary. This is why many people in that industry move every few years to improve their earning potential.

Are you ready to get after it?

Contact Mapping could be the key to unlocking the value that exists all around you in your relationships. Now is the time to time to take action!

One Tweet, Multiple Jobs

Another colleague of mine was well respected in the industry but lost his job do to a company downsize. Overnight, he and 20 of his teammates were looking for work. He wrote up what he was looking for and posted it to Twitter. Within hours he had multiple interviews lined up. Within a day, he had multiple job offers. In addition to finding opportunities for himself, he used that platform to help get some of his other colleagues interviewed and placed. I was one of the many people that reached out to him.

This is so powerful. Consider that most job hunters spend days to weeks just to find the opportunities. Worse, not all jobs are posted publicly. As another friend noted when I was searching, “We have a ton of internal postings that you won’t find on the main corporate site.” But when you have a strong enough network, the opportunities can come flooding towards you. In fact, when one colleague found out that I already joined Contact Mapping, he begged me to reconsider and felt cheated that he didn’t have the chance. While I’m certain that Contact Mapping is the right company for me, it was a huge relief just knowing I have my network as a safety net if things didn’t work out.

Are You Leaving Money on the (Coffee Shop) Table?

People hate being sold. And we at Contact Mapping really stress the importance of The Coffee Shop Interview, which teaches people the mindset of giving first and to put the other person as the priority in your conversation. Drop your agenda. Give first and be helpful. Not only does this become a reward in itself, but few things create a strong connection faster than showing and demonstrating to someone that you care deeply about them, even if they are a stranger. Everyone deserves a daily dose of humanity, and unfortunately, that is in short supply in today’s attention-grabbing world.

Still, it’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to see and go after opportunities that show up as a result of these relationships. After all, friends want to help friends. Who wouldn’t want to help a person change jobs and get a better title, better salary, and go home feeling like the hero to their family? I gotta tell you that this type of feeling is amazing in both directions.

So how do you do this? First, read The Coffee Shop Interview and start using the Contact Mapping app. If you haven’t tried yet, it’s a free 30-day trial and we tried to make it Sesame Street Simple to get started. Still, if you need any help getting it to work right, we’ll happily sign you for a free 30-minute onboarding to get you successful and answer any questions.

Next, start changing how you show up to people at the table.

  • LISTEN. Try to do less than 50% of the talking in every conversation. Really listen to what the other person has to say. Look for clues and get interested in more details. People love it when they have a captive audience and you may discover lots of opportunities the more they share.

  • SEEDING. When it’s your turn to share, be direct about the challenges you are facing but more importantly the type of solution(s) you are looking for. The more specific, the better! You never know when someone may “know a guy” or a woman that might be able to help.

  • DROP EXPECTATIONS. This is the long game. Sure, you might have a very very urgent problem to solve, but the minute you go into a panic and start coming off as needy or salesy, people close off. Play the long game and help without expectations. Some will not reciprocate and that’s fine. But those that do will more than compensate for giving to those that won’t respond.


There is so much more to cover on the topic of money, the seven areas of life, and how Contact Mapping can really be a huge boon to improving your results through your relationships.

If you found this topic helpful and are struggling to find the next step in your career or finances, let us know and we’ll continue on this topic series next week. Until then, we appreciate you ❤️🙏🏻