Hello Mr. Marshall, how are you?
I've read your latest post 90 /9 /1, and I wanted to wholeheartedly thank you for doing what you are doing! Thank you for GSV, for your blog and for answering to emails. It means more than you probably realize. Also I wanted to specifically thank you on your consistency. Pushing out new volumes of GSV every Monday, updating your blog daily with high quality content and fast email replies - that's something definitely rare to find these days. And because of that your blog because sort of a sanity stronghold for me. It's funny, whenever I get off track, lose myself in some places or activities that I don't want to be doing but end up doing anyway, when I lose my mind - I just come to your blog and find myself again, see my visions and get the needed motivation and inspiration to do the right stuff.
I'm telling you, what you started as a blog became much more. And I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one thinking like this.
And no, that was not meant as some serious ass-kissing. You deserve all the awe you get!
Why I started this email with a 'thank you' is because I like the way you interact and contact people via email and I was thinking on doing something like that too. To connect with a lot of people across the world and to help in someway became appealing to me, and I was wondering if you had any ideas where to start of, how to do that? Just brainstorm some ideas.
One more thing, how many emails do you get daily on average?
I wanted to ask you something else too, but I can't remember what exactly so I'll leave it at this.
Thanks V, that's awesome of you to say. I'm doing well.
How many emails per day do I get? I don't know exactly. I've been around 40-60 emails in my inbox when I wake up the last few days, but I haven't emptied it all the way in a while... I get down to 15-25, but then I also answer some throughout the day. So, umm, math math, hmm, maybe between 15 and 50? Some of them only take like 10 seconds though. (The ones I put off are the good questions where I want to give a thorough reply)
"To connect with a lot of people across the world and to help in someway became appealing to me, and I was wondering if you had any ideas where to start of, how to do that? Just brainstorm some ideas."
Well, the way I see it, there's exactly three basic ways -
1. Get introductions
2. Reach out to people
3. Do something prominent and solicit people to reach out to you
#3 is the easiest once you get it going, but it can be hard to get going. What could your #3 be? A blog, a magazine, creating a student or youth organization in your area, creating a charity, joining and becoming a main member of a charity, contributing to open source projects, joining a discussion forum and becoming a top contributor...
All of those take a while. I did lots of #2 before people were reaching out to me. The reply rate is much lower. You just have to realize it's worth doing and do it despite the low reply rate. It does suck if you write a few letters/emails in a row and get no replies, and that does happen. But just remind yourself that it's a required part of doing stuff and keep going.
On #1, I refer you to the book "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi, who covered all of this much better than I could. He's got all kinds of great insights in there, highly recommended.
Hope that gives a jumping off point. Cheers,
Want to get more replies to your emails?
Keep them shorter. A paragraph max.
A lot of times I get really interesting emails that contain 3 or 4 different themes and are many paragraphs long.
I usually don't say, "Oh, this is too long, I'll never reply to it." Instead, I say "I'll get to this later."
But then I don't get to it later.
A common question, indeed - "I don't know what I'm doing with my life, can you advise something?"
Well, perhaps I can. I got a nice email from a reader, and I wrote a long reply. If you're in a hurry, skim down to "Okay. So here’s my thoughts" which is where the pragmatic guidelines start - I'll bold it so you can start there, if you like.
First, I'd like to say that I've really enjoyed reading your blog. It has so much insightful and enlightening material that I've gone back to reread and try to really absorb some of the ideas you have. I've been meaning to contact you but I felt a bit intimidated, to be honest. I'd really like to hear your advice.
I'm about a year removed from high school, attending community college and I've just been floating around, doing general education courses and I've yet to really decide on a major. I don't really have any particular talents or strong interests in one field or another.