Here's a bit of inside information on me… I like animals. RELATED: Need some job search advice? Watch these tutorials! But my wife LOVES them. So last night, we watched We Bought a Zoo. And I have to confess... I loved it. Matt Damon is one of my favorite actors, and I'm a fan of a good heartfelt story now and then (when I'm not watching Mr. Damon kick butt in the Bourne Identity or something of course). There was one line in that movie that was just pure genius, though. Here it is:
"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."This line really gets me because 20 seconds of bravery is exactly what I needed to send the most terrifying email of my life... The email that would help me land my dream job... And open all kinds of doors. (You can check out my short 3-minute video with the full story here...)
My 20 Seconds Of Insane CourageBefore I tell you about my embarrassing bravery, I first must tell you about the reward I was seeking. I was at a conference in Hawaii, and one of the speakers on stage was a millionaire CEO of a rapidly growing online education company. At the time, I was really trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life… And everything he said on stage that day resonated with me… so much so that I knew right then that I had to work for him. I would do whatever it took to get a job with him and his company. Not only was he a millionaire (so I’d learn how to get rich), but I knew that working with him would be in alignment with my strengths, values, and passions… And within 2-3 years of learning from him and his rockstar team, I’d be able to do pretty much anything I wanted.
My Irresistible (And Insane) Offer…Knowing that working for and learning from this millionaire was worth almost any cost, I calculated my odds of getting a job… I had a degree… but so do many people. I had somewhat relevant skills and experience, but not enough that I’d be able to guarantee a job for myself with the traditional job seeking approach. I knew what I had to do… but it terrified me. Finally, I worked up the courage to send the scariest email of my life. It started out like this:
Subject Line: I AM THE ONE YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR Hi Robert, I would like to offer a 3 month unpaid internship working for you in whatever "seat on the bus you feel I fit in best". I am a recent marketing grad; I'm driven to succeed, have an intense desire to learn, insane self-initiative, and I want to make a difference in the world. I am passionate about entrepreneurship, education, and internet marketing, and I KNOW that I could make a serious contribution to your organization given the chance.
Living On Instant Noodles…I knew that if this offer was accepted, I’d be flat broke and living off instant noodles the entire three months… But like I mentioned earlier… I had to get the job. It’s been a few years now, and I’m happy to say that my crazy, radical approach to getting my dream job worked. After some persistence and a couple of phone calls, I got the job… AND I was even lucky enough to start out as a paid employee! (and now I have ALL KINDS of doors open for me)
You Don’t Have To Be Young To Do ThisFact: The secret sauce to this approach is not the “offering to work for free for three months” part. That’s a great strategy if you’re starting out… However, the real key is to:
- Find a person or organization that resonates with you so much that you know you HAVE TO WORK FOR THEM.
- Evaluate what you bring to the table
- Make them an irresistible offer