A Primer: How to meet influential people

Matthew Robinson
Nov 18, 2016 · 2 min read

Each month I meet with five influential people in business, community, or the arts. I ask them five simple questions…

Each month I meet with five influential people in business, community, or the arts. At a rate of about one individual per week, I’ve met some of the most influential (and particularly unaccessible) people in Chicago’s communities. At the time of writing this primer, I’ve met with 13 rainmakers in Private Equity, various Law disciplines, Crowdfunding/Equity Investments, Community Organizing, UX Design, Contemporary Art and exhibitions, and Publishing — quite the array of industries.

When answering the questions, “What do you do?” this is often one of the first activities I tell people about because it gives a glimpse into a key tenet of my belief: [that] relationships are everything.

Relationships are the ultimate harbinger to success for so many, in almost every industry. And, this is a common theme expressed among people I meet. It’s also the reasoning for why I dedicate a large portion of my time each week just for this activity.


HOW I meet them is an important part of this story. The contexts of my meetings with influencers is just one variable in this equation, but one that happens to imbue the most flexibility and return the max value — a mutually meaningful relationship.

The five questions I ask are very simple questions.

  1. What is the most important factor?
  2. Who was most influential?
  3. What skills did you pick up?
  4. What would you do differently?
  5. TBD

More on this coming soon.

Thanks for listening.

Matthew Robinson

Written by

Connector + Catalyst. Community builder. Software Developer. GA Grad — Chicago

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