On the HBO series The Wire, a man named Cutty was trying this damndest to open a boxing gym in his Baltimore neighborhood.
Someone informed Cutty that he couldn’t just open a building and start training — he’d need city permits and licenses and such.
Cutty would need to go to downtown Baltimore and do some paperwork.
Simple enough, right?
Now, Cutty wasn’t your normal entrepreneur/businessman.
Cutty was a former street thug who’d done solid prison time for murder and was now trying to turn his life around.
But he still had some rough edges.
From his street experience, Cutty was accustomed to conducting business in a certain way. When he went downtown to the city offices, business was done in a different way.From his street experience, Cutty was accustomed to conducting business in a certain way. When he went downtown to the city offices, business was done in a different way. Click To Tweet
Every office Cutty visited, he was handed another stack of paperwork that he was, according to the desk attendants, required to fill out completely and submit to — maybe — get his necessary licenses.
By a certain point, Cutty seemed to be ready to give up on starting his first “legit” business. There was way too much red tape to sift through.
Curry eventually connected with a neighborhood church pastor, a man well connected in the community who knew all the right people.
The church pastor took Cutty back to downtown Baltimore, but to a different office: that of a city councilman.
The pastor introduced Cutty to the councilman, and informed the councilman of Cutty’s permit and licensing challenge.
“Well, how is that going?” The councilman asked with a smile.
“Not how I thought,” Cutty replied sheepishly.
The councilman laughed.
“Well, did you use my name?”“Well, did you use my name?” Click To Tweet
Cutty looked at him, perplexed.
The councilman grabbed one of his business cards off his desk and scribbled something on it.
“Here,” the councilman said, handing Cutty the card. “Take this to (some person) in (some office) and tell her I sent you.
“See how things go then.”
The next time we see Cutty, his legit boxing gym is up and running.
The saying is, “It’s not WHAT you know — it’s WHO you know.”
Here’s a better saying: It’s Who Knows YOU.
Being next to the right people — through blood relation, strategic alliance, or even downright luck — will do more for you than all the hard work you can muster on your own.Being next to the right people — through blood relation, strategic alliance, or even downright luck — will do more for you than all the hard work you can muster on your own. Click To Tweet
Put as much time into relationship building as you do skill-building. You can’t do it all by yourself.
The Leadership Bundle is my 3-book set on connecting with people and building those relationships that pay off 10X on the back end.
Order the Leadership Bundle here: http://WorkOnMyGame.com/LB