You will meet 80,000 people in your lifetime

September 23, 2021
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Yesterday, we met a magician.

We had planned to send you a different intro this week—one that we’ll save for a later date. But when we heard Brian Miller speak at the NIO Summit yesterday, we knew we had to make a quick pivot and give you a few key takeaways from his powerful presentation.

First, some background: Brian is a magician. He is an incredible storyteller. He recorded a TED talk that went viral. And he is really really good at helping people connect with one another. 

And if we know anything about successful fundraising, it is all about connection. 

So in the spirit of sharing what we’re learning as we’re learning it, here are three takeaways from Brian’s presentation yesterday afternoon: 

  1. You will meet 80,000 people in your lifetime. That’s three people a day. Every day, you come across new people, and you have no idea how those people might change your life—or how you might change theirs. How can you be more kind, thoughtful, strategic, and engaging with everyone you meet today? 
  2. The concept of sonder changes everything. “Sonder” is this great word that essentially means “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” Wow. That means that in any given interaction, every person involved is experiencing it differently. Every person is bringing their complex human self to the table. Every person has a full set of opinions and thoughts and feelings. And yes, the world does not revolve around you. How might experiencing sonder change your interactions?
  3. It doesn’t take a lot to make a connection. In his talk, Brian shared a story of a life-changing connection that started with one innocuous comment: “I like your hat.” What a great reminder that your first interaction doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. We get so caught up in saying the right thing that sometimes we miss the opportunity to say anything at all.  

We’re at NIO again today—and continue to be inspired by the speakers on stage. We’ll keep sharing what we’re thinking about—and would love to hear the same from you. What is one thing you have learned recently? What is something you heard that struck your interest? Let us know by replying to this email!

And this week, why not test out Brian’s ideas and make some connections? Who knows? Your next life-changing/business-growing/paradigm-shifting relationship could start with “I like your hat”…

Allison Kooser

Allison is Chief Storyteller at Swell+Good, where she partners with amazing organizations to help them bring their stories to life. She is an avid traveler, an expert takeout orderer, and a big believer in curiosity and kindness. She tries to learn something new every day, and she reads, writes, and paddleboards more than the average human.
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