Episode #18 – Judy Robinett, Author and Power Networker

Judy Robinett

Judy Robinett, Author and Power Networker

In this episode number 18 of the InnovaBuzz podcast, Judy Robinett, author of “How to be a Power Connector”  and a Power Networker herself is giving out some great tips on networking.  She is the “woman with the titanium digital Rolodex” and has been profiled in Forbes, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Business Week just to name a few. Don’t miss out on this interview!

Listen to the Podcast

Watch the Video

Judy has very kindly offered to donate FIVE copies of her book today as the prize “How to be a Power Connector.”

Leave a comment under the video and tell us about your struggles with networking or any great lucky stories of what one door being opened, what one person did for you, that changed your life.

Show Highlights

Some of the highlights of this episode include:

  • Judy has vast experience in the entrepreneurial work world. She’s been CEO of several companies. She’s an expert in getting financing for startup ventures and other venture capital and of course she’s a power networker.
  • To grow your network you need to take risks and embrace fear – everybody needs help and if you discover how you can create value for someone, then you have created a new business opportunity.
  • If you build twenty-five to fifty quality relationships you can make anything happen.
  • The 2 golden questions to ask when meeting people are: what other ideas do you have for me? – and who else do you know I should talk to?   Just get post-it notes, do mind maps and get down who you already have. Meet with some of those people, share where you’re at, where you’re going and ask what other ideas do you have for me, who else do you know I should talk to and just watch the magic happen.
  • Most of the networking events everyone goes to are a waste of time – the wrong “room”.  Strategic networking requires you to determine where the people you need, who you can help or can help you, spend their time.
  • One of the most powerful ways to create immediate value for someone, is to make an introduction to another person. That’s the currency of this whole new relationship era.

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Judy’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Watch the interview to get the full scoop.

  • #1 thing to be more innovative – Get out of the box, read widely and diversely.
  • Best thing for new ideas – Read voraciously and talk to a lot of people.
  • Favourite tool for innovation – Not just one system:Outlook, Evernote and Dropbox.  Vipor and Orbitz are great too.
  • Keep project / client on track – Transparency and communication
  • Differentiate – Follow up and give back – it can be something simple, it’s not hard to do! Be real. Be you. Be real.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Judy via Judy Robinett’s Website or her Email and LinkedIn. Note that upon signing up on Judy’s website, you will receive her Top 10 Networking Tips and a contact spreadsheet to get you started on your 5+50+100 groups.

Suggested Guest

Judy suggested I interview Jack Canfield who is the author of the book series called “Chicken Soup for the Soul ” and “Success Principles”. So, Jack keep an eye on your Inbox for an invitation from me, for the Innovabuzz Podcast!

Competition Hint

Hint: To enter the competition, leave your comment underneath the video. Tell us about your struggles with networking or tell us about a great lucky story of how one door being opened, what one person did for you, changed your life.


Full Transcript

Click to Read…


Hi, I’m Jürgen Strauss from Innovabiz. Welcome to Episode No 18 of the InnovaBuzz Podcast – designed to help smart businesses with an interest in innovation and the Internet of Things become even more innovative.

In this episode, my guest is Judy Robinett, author of “How to Be a Power Connector” and herself a Power Connector of the highest order.  On today’s interview, we speak about networking, being in the right room, creating your own luck, a whole range of great books to learn from and help give you inspiration for new innovation and a whole lot of other cool things.  This is a high energy interview with an inspiring lady, so strap yourself in and enjoy the episode!

This podcast is sponsored by Innovabiz, where we help smart, innovative business owners save time and money and grow their business by making their websites achieve more.  Of course, at Innovabiz, we do more than just build websites – we provide solutions to our clients’ needs by leveraging the power of the internet in innovative ways. If you want to learn more, then go to innovabiz.com.au or if you are ready to find out how our magic can help you, then apply for our Website Accelerator Session at innovabiz.com.au/wac.

Before we meet Judy, a quick competition announcement – this week’s competition prize is a copy of Judy’s book, actually five copies –  “How to Be a Power Connector”.  Judy has very kindly donated five copies of her book, so stick around for details on how you can enter the draw to win that competition prize later on in the interview.

So let’s get into the Innovation Hive and get the Buzz from Judy Robinett.


Jürgen:  Hi, I’m Jurgen Strauss from Innovabiz and I’m really excited to have with me today on the InnovaBuzz podcast another wonderful guest and that’s Judy Robinett. I believe you’re from Utah but where are you right now?

Judy:  Yes, yes. Right now I’m in Idaho.

Jürgen:  Idaho so all the way from Idaho in the USA, Judy Robinett. Now Judy is an author and a power networker and we’ll hear a lot more about that so welcome to the podcast Judy.

Judy:  Thank you. Delighted to be here.

Jürgen:  Yeah, it’s great to have you here. It’s a real privilege to have so many wonderful people sharing their time with us on this podcast. I really appreciate it. Now Judy is known as the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex so we’re looking foward to hear about that. I’m sure that’s all about power networking. She’s been profiled in Forbes and Huffington Post and a whole lot of high profile magazines – Bloomberg, Business Week, just to name a few. She’s cited as an example of one of the new breed of super connectors and she’s already in the introduction before we began recording today, identified a number of people she wants to connect me with, which is fabulous.

Judy’s also got vast experience in the entrepreneurial world. She’s been CEO of several companies. She’s an expert in getting financing for startup ventures and other venture capital and of course she’s a power networker. It’s going to be really exciting to talk to her today. Now before we talk about networking and all the things that Judy has been up to, Judy has very kindly offered to donate a copy of her book today as the prize- the book is about power networking called How to be a Power Connector. It talks about the five, fifty, one hundred rule which I’m sure we’ll hear more about on this interview.

She explains in that book how to combine specific skills that you have and talents that you have with a clear and workable strategic way to do networking so that you can tap into a power grid of influence as she calls it. Stay tuned later on in the interview for how you can enter the draw for that prize.

Now Judy before we talk about networking and all that kind of thing let’s go back to when you were a child, were you always somebody that liked to connect people? What were goals and ambitions did you have when you were young?

Judy:  Oh, my God. I grew up in this small town Franklin, Idaho. At the time, they had three hundred people. I was so shy. I was bullied in junior high. It still makes me wince when I think about it. I didn’t know anybody of wealth, power, or influence and even if I would I wouldn’t have dared asked them anything. Research I’ve just learned, shows that if you’re raised lower to middle class you’re taught keep your head down, get a great job, work hard and people will notice. Well that’s a fairy tale! I learned that the hard way, so no, I was very shy.

When I finally started telling people, when I turned about age thirty-eight, that I was shy they laughed at me. I had to rethink my assumptions and research shows half of the people in the world identify as shy, but if a psychiatrist interviews them it’s only about ten percent so they were like me. It’s like, oh my gosh, what could I possibly have to offer. I don’t have any self worth. I fit that category.

It’s amazing how many people come up to me and say that, so no I’m the last person on the planet you would have ever thought would write a book on strategic networking, but I learned the lessons the hard way and it turned out it was so simple and so important for your success, I decided I had to write a book.

Jürgen:  So when did you get to the point where you realized that you were doing some things and it was all a strategic pathway?

Judy:  Probably in my forties, so when I got brave and started talking to people I found out, jeez, most people did like me and most people will help you if you ask. I just slowly started taking baby steps and started taking risks. I found out that all around of us everything we need is there. There is no lack of resources. There are seven billion people on the planet. The Credit Suisse projects by 2019 the private global wealth is going to be three hundred and sixty-nine trillion and countless opportunities, so much information, it’s doubling every six months. Those are the building blocks to achieve anything that you need.

When I figured that out is when I went – this is a lot simpler. I remember being shocked when I met my first millionaire and then being shocked when I met my first billionaire. What happened, I just took a few risks and found out that everybody has got problems. Everybody needs help at one level or another and we all have gifts and so you just be a little scrappy and discover how you can create value for someone and you’re home free.

Jürgen:  Yeah, that’s fabulous advice. There’s a whole lot of gems in that. I like you saying you took some risks and then you started to see things happening and recognizing opportunities. I recently met a chap by the name of Tom O’Toole. He started up the Beechworth Bakery which now runs four different bakeries. He actually spends most of his time speaking. He’s a very inspirational guy. One of the things he says is, “Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone,” so basically he says you need to take some risks.

Judy:  Absolutely. Absolutely. Everything is attached to another human being. They write the checks. They have the funding. They know about the job opportunities. Everything is attached to another human being. Research for years has shown that your network equals your net worth. It’s just incredible that you get out of your comfort zone. I recently learned, and if I would have known this when I was younger it would have been so helpful, that in Hebrew there’s two words for fear.

Number one is that gut wrenching fight or flight fear, your adrenaline is revved up. This is when I head to a cave with dark chocolate. The second one is the good fear when you’re starting to assume your power to get to a new level. That’s always a little bit fearful, but if I would have known there was good fear versus bad fear that would have helped me. How startling I’d been taught to make everybody else rich, get a job and work hard, keep your head down. It was so startling to me to start running around with people of significant wealth and to find out they’re around everywhere, that I was stuck in this little box.

Jürgen:  Yeah, it’s fascinating isn’t it when that life goes on. Tell us a little bit then about the five, fifty, one hundred rule and the strategic paterns that you identify in the book.

Judy:  I found Dunford’s Law which says groups fall apart at a hundred and fifty so even Roman armies were grouped in groups of less than a hundred and fifty. That’s the upper limit and then research shows that we surround ourselves with family and friends and that’s roughly five to fifteen is that next orbit. Those people give you love and support capital but that next layer out twenty-five to fifty are quality relationships. If you have that group as diverse and wide as possible – people that exhibit number one warmth because you don’t want sociopaths or narcissistic me, me, me, people. Number two a level of competence. Then I add number three generosity because, just because people can help you doesn’t mean they will.

Jürgen:  That’s right.

Judy:  If you find really good people and you get twenty-five to fifty quality relationships you can make anything happen. It’s really fruitless to have, you can have a gazillion people on Facebook or LinkedIn but how many of those people will truly help you. I used to say I’d only have people in my network that had a good head, a good heart and a good gut and I finally boiled it down to: is this person Oprah or Martha Stewart.

Now they’re both billionaires. They’re really good at what they do, but if I had to trust one with my back and my future, it’s Oprah. That’s what my values are so I say make sure that people will be warm, that they have a level of competency, they can and will help you and they share your values. Just twenty-five to fifty people. It really is magical.

One of the secrets that I teach people, probably the most important thing for you to remember is, I call it the two golden questions. You meet people and you tell them your story, say this is where I’m going, what my goals are, what my obstacles are. Then question one what other ideas do you have for me? Question two who else do you know I should talk to?

If you repeat that with the next person, they tell you and pretty soon you’re like me, you’re surrounded with celebrities and billionaires and you’re wondering how did this happen? It’s happened because you were brave. You let people know where you are and then you ask for some advice or some ideas and it’s startling. I must tell you.

People will meet with me and they’ll say for example my book agent last year called me and she said, “I want you to meet Mike Mooney. He is the co-founder of ACT Software, father of the CRM kind of world, built himself that company for forty-eight million. Now he has one of the top apps for contacts and connecting and you guys could probably do something together.”

He flies to Salt Lake City and we meet and I said, “Mike this is brilliant. You’re rated number one, but I’ve never heard of you. What on earth are you doing for marketing?” Then he told me and then he seemed really sad and he said, “If I could just get an article in Success Magazine.” I said, “Mike when you go home I want you to pick up the phone call Wendy my agent that I’ve known for six months who you’ve known for six years, one of her friends is Darren Hardy the owner and publisher of Success Magazine.” He literally almost fell out of his chair.

This happens almost every week. Most of us don’t even communicate with the network we already have. I tell people how critical it is. Just get post-it notes, do mind maps and get down who you already have. Meet with some of those people, share where you’re at, where you’re going and ask what other ideas do you have for me, who else do you know I should talk to and just watch the magic happen. If folks are listening to this write and tell me. I love to hear the stories because it’s always startling to people.

Jürgen:  Yeah, that’s great Judy and there’s a competition hint already. I saw a mind map that you drew and I’m a big fan of mind mapping, so I was attracted to it straightaway, but it was fascinating because you actually drew out a connection to one person who you had a relationship with, who was a friend of somebody else and it just built on that. You had a Nobel Prize winner in that chain that you got connected to. You had photo of you with Gina Davis having lunch, so it was really fascinating.

Judy:  Yeah, I moved to Salt Lake. I didn’t really know anybody in Salt Lake, so I tracked from the first person I met out to where I had gotten to. The first it took about ten people, someone introduced me to someone to someone and then someone said, “You know you ought to think about joining this group.” The person who suggested I join the group is a well known connector, but I went to that group and then I realized the power of being in the right room.

I’ll tell you frankly that ninety-five percent of the networking events you go to are a waste of time. Charlie Munger who’s Warren Buffet’s business partner said out of a hundred people he meets five are keepers, twenty he doesn’t care to see again as long as he lives and the seventy-five others are opt-in let’s wait and see. I decided you can really stack the deck by joining the right kind of organization which is in the right room.

My basic formula is quality relationships plus strategy to a specific outcome. You have to think about where are the people you need hang out. It turns out I help people raise millions of dollars and all the people with money their big problem is they’re looking for a deal. This other group they don’t think there’s any money out there.

Well last year I had a guy call me with a billion dollars looking to invest. Trust me there’s people who need you, want you. Where do these people hang out? They hang out at the incubators pitch events because they’re looking for a deal that’s already been vetted so absolutely critical to get in the right room.

Just a short story – in Salt Lake I was introduced to an individual who had been recruited to a top wealth management firm and he came to town, he’s black and he’s gay. He’s not the typical Salt Lake City Mormon white conservative guy. Within two years, he had built this significant book of business. I said to him, “How did you do this? You show up from back east. You don’t know anybody.” He said, “I joined the symphony.” He got tickets before the event and went and was able to hob-nob, talk with the people of influence, power and money. He said to me, “That’s where all my clients were.”

It was a way to connect the dots through an organization. Many people go to the same type of networking events, but I have people look at the Association of Corporate Growth which has existed since 1950s, they’re global. They have CXO leaders that are diverse across different industries. They have built in networking at lunch time and they do it structured so even if you’re shy you don’t feel uncomfortable being there.

If you’re from outside the city of New York, you can join the Harvard Club or the Yale Club for about eight hundred dollars a month, if you ever come to the US and you want to have a hotel room on the cheap in Midtown and last time I was there I ran into Timothy Geithner (Former United States Secretary of the Treasury). Just a little thinking about getting in the right room. I didn’t know these places existed.

Jürgen:  Yeah I think that’s … I was reading some of the background on you and some of the information that you’ve published and listening to some of your talks and I thought that one piece of advice – getting in the right room, is just magic. A lot of the networking advice that’s out there ignores that. It talks about how to work a room and how do you quickly engage with somebody. There is some advice around how do you disengage if you feel that either you can’t add value to them or vice versa so how do you disengage and move on.

It doesn’t really talk about are you in the right place. You might be wasting your time completely because you’re in the wrong place. They’re all totally unrelated to the audience that you need to be talking to.

Judy:  I’m sixty-one so when I was younger in the corporate world I’m working as hard as I can and I’m reading this quote, “If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got.” I thought what do I need to do different. I was puzzled. I needed to get out of my comfort zone like your friend taught you. I didn’t know where to go. One of the things that I did in Salt Lake is I volunteered to be on a finance committee for a political race. That’s where I met my first two billionaires out of Park City, Utah.

Rosie Rios who is the United States Treasury, I met at a group event. She always says like a lot of other people “Follow the money. Follow the money.” Where do those people hang out? I volunteered once for a not-for-profit called United Way just so I could pick up some budget skills because I had never studied accounting. You can volunteer. You can learn about those and they’re very helpful, very helpful.

You’re right, I met Myron Scholes, Black-Scholes formula, Nobel Prize winner through that one person. Another person Heidi Roizen a partner at Draper VC one of the best known VCs in the world. Lesley Jane Seymour the publisher of More Magazine. That was the right room.

Jürgen:  Yeah. That’s great. If somebody meets you for the first time and they ask you what do you do Judy? How do you describe what you’re doing?

Judy:  I usually just say I love to make things happen. I mean at the core I’m a teacher. I love to teach, but I literally love to make things happen. If people can tell me, this is where I want to get to, I can get them there. Just like before when we started taking before you hit record I said, “Where are you going? What are your goals?” Because I love to hear that. Because I really like creating immediate value. You can do that easily. You can share information. One of the most powerful is to make an introduction to someone. That’s a very core, that’s the currency of this whole new relationship era.

People are sick of the old school networking. When my agent suggested I do a book on networking I said, “Not me. I hate the word. I think it’s icky, manipulative. I’m not going to do it.” Most people I think we’re moving into the age now that people want to know you, like you, trust you and they’re looking for long term relationships. Just twenty-five to fifty is really all you need.

Jürgen: Right. That’s great. What do you spend most of your time doing now then when you’ve got a book running?

Judy:  Since my book came out I’ve spent a lot of time doing media interviews. I love being interviewed. I love giving speeches. I just started giving speeches. Now I’m thinking about book two. I mean much to my surprise people started writing and saying, “Wow that book was great. When are you going to do book two?” It’s like, “Oh no. Do I want to do this again?” I spent a lot of time, but I’m also developing a short, it’s an eight week training program, it will be webinars on how to get funded, because day in and day out people are writing to me and I can’t do everybody that reaches out, but I’ve spent fifteen years on venture capital boards. I’m an advisor to SpringBoard. We’ve raised six point six billion, had eleven IPOs and a hundred and forty-five strategic cells. I serve on several boards. I serve on a couple of private company boards to help them grow their business. I write a fair amount.

Jürgen:  So it sounds like you’re really busy. I know we were talking before we started recording that you like biking.

Judy:  Yep. Yep, got the exercise clothes on. Yeah, I like to bike, love to hike, go to the mountains and I love to garden, but also I read recently that if you really want to understand human behavior you need to study the Bible or learn Shakespeare and I found this great little book called How to Teach Your children Shakespeare and I’m actually having fun learning it.

Jürgen:  It’s been a little while since I read Shakespeare, but I always loved doing that at school. It was so different because I guess my focus is very much on the science and math area so to me that was out of a totally different world. I still enjoy watching Shakespeare plays.

Judy:  Yeah, human behavior and I worked at the Idaho National Engineering Lab, I think we had forty-two nuclear reactors, so I rubbed shoulders with ten thousand nuclear engineers and physicists and all kinds of scientists. The CEO one day called me and said, “I need you to go out to the site, interview some folks. We’re kind of in trouble with the Department of Energy. We’ve had some nuclear leaks.” Not a good thing! I will never forget sitting across the table from these young, they called them experimental power reactor operators, XPROs, and they were twenty-eight-year-olds and this one kid said to me, “I don’t need to follow the manual. I used to run a nuclear sub.”

I remember thinking I need to get out of here, move to another state! I met with the CEO and he said to me, “Should we shut it down?” I had this dagger to the heart thinking, “You know sir you’re the engineer, nuclear physicist, I would have hoped you would have known the answer.” Engineering only takes you so far and the one denominator that you can’t really figure out all the time is the human factor.

I love math and science as well, but really decided if I was going to get on in the world I’d better figure out human behavior a bit.

Jürgen:  That’s a fascinating story because I’m very process focused even in business processes. I always faced the challenge of well we don’t need to follow the process. We know what we’re doing. It’s good to tell that one about the nuclear reactor. Yeah.

Judy:  Yeah, and who solved the problem with that was the janitor. It was the janitor! It wasn’t the high-powered consultants. It just shows how important it is. I mean Jack Welch says, “Get better reality.” The way for us as individuals and businesses, you’ve got to talk to people because we all have this blind spot. Finally when you get a little older in life, you get brave and ask people for some criticism or to help you get better, realizing you need to make that a smaller blind spot so you can grow.

Jürgen: That’s great. Yeah. Is there something that worries you and keeps you awake at night?

Judy:  When I was younger I worried that the world was going to come to an end. I’ve worried a bit about the Middle East. I’ve finally given up and decided the world will never have peace because of humans. I think Thomas Jefferson said, “We won’t be angels until we sprout wings. I worried a lot about poverty and trying to make things better in the world and I’m actually thrilled with Web 3.0. I mean you and I talking on Skype across continents. With Web 3.0, crowd-funding which is making money available and this new movement towards relationships and strategic networking, I think we are going to see an unleashing of innovation like we have never seen.

I’ve been watching this for five or six years, so I’m very excited about that. I think it will solve many of the things that have kept me awake at night.

Jürgen:  Well hopefully that will, with the technology, the pace of innovation is increasing exponentially. It’s quite amazing as you say. Let’s hope that some of those problems there actually will be a positive change, accelerated as we move forward.

Judy:  Yeah, yeah.

Jürgen:  Yeah, because I read a post this morning and it’s frustrating like you say, you worry about these things but you feel a little bit helpless. I read a post this morning about the young school girls that were abducted, it must be eight months ago now, in Nigeria and how the world has put that on the back burner.

Judy:  Back burner.

Jürgen:  It’s gone out of the news which is unfortunate – that things like that can happen today are just awful. You think how can we affect change so that sort of thing isn’t happening.

Judy:  Yeah that sort of thing – it always troubled me the Holocaust. I mean I was horrified. I remember as a kid watching those things on TV but I finally figured out, I couldn’t save the world but I could do the best I could with the gifts I had. I think we all come to the Earth with gifts. I think if we all do our best we end up helping one way or the other. I mean it’s just like networking. You never know that string of paying it forward of just helping one person or doing a book, helping grow a business that I think it all helps.

Jürgen:  Great advice. What do you see as the biggest challenges in your business?

Judy:  The biggest one for me, honestly, is trying to figure out how to get the message out. Here I am. The publisher said I was from the Midwest, I’m from the west. I turns out if you’re not on the east coast or the west coast you’re kind of in the middle. It’s been a bit of a challenge to build a platform. I didn’t know what a platform was. After I signed the contract with McGraw-Hill I’m like what’s a platform and then I had to do media interviews. I didn’t know anybody.

I was so tickled, the first blogger that interviewed me, I made homemade fudge and sent it to him as a thank you and now I have the candy list. It turns out, and I don’t know whether you studied Buckminster Fuller but he had what was known as the corridor principle that you see this long hall and all these doors and the ones you go and try to open of course won’t open. It’s like another quote that “You must shake the apple tree hard to get the apples but it’s never the tree you shake they fall from.”

It’s been a little bit of a challenge for me to get the word out, but thankfully I’m blessed with people like you who will interview me and help get the word out about my book.

Jürgen:  Yeah, that’s great. Glad we can help. I’m sure the audience will be fascinated and looking forward to reading your book, if they haven’t already done so.

Judy:  Thanks.

Jürgen:  Some of them may well have read it. Talking about books, have you read any other interesting books lately? You’ve quoted a lot of different things here. Is there something else that is on your reading list right now that you want to recommend?

Judy:  I had the pleasure of meeting Adam Franklin from Australia, well not meeting him, like we are, and he has a great little book out on e-marketing everything to do with marketing on the web. The one that I’m still reading is How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare. I’ve found that one really fascinating. Those are the two. I try to do one that’s really related to business and what I’m doing and then something else that’s just totally out of what I would normally read.

I find those on C-SPAN. I watch The Book, the new authors and books coming out. Then the other thing that I do is I hang out frequently at the bookstore and I always go look at the new books and just browse serendipitously looking for something that I probably wouldn’t have found.

Jürgen:  Yeah, so you still have physical bookstores in the US?

Judy:  Oh, yes.

Jürgen:  I remember going over there and I was fascinated by these large bookstores. I used to spend hours in there. Here, unless you go right into the middle of the big cities they’ve kind of vanished.

Judy:  Yeah, really?

Jürgen:  Those bookstores. Yeah.

Judy:  A lot of them have shut down here because of Amazon, but Barnes & Noble is still very much alive and kicking. I probably know where all the major ones in all the major cities are, but particularly New York, Boston, D.C., and San Francisco and LA. They’re even in Maui. I went to Maui to give a speech in December and sure enough there’s actually a Barnes & Noble in Maui which is a pretty small town.

Jürgen:  Like I say I always love to go into those big bookstores and I go, wow this is huge and spend, if I had a day off on the weekend, if I found a bookstore early in the morning, that’d be a day gone for me.

Judy:  Yeah, me as well.

Jürgen:  All right well let’s move on to what I call the Buzz which is our innovation round. It’s a series of six questions, that hopefully you’ll have a very quick answer for, to inspire our audience. The first one is what do you think is the number one thing anyone needs to do to be more innovative?

Judy:  Get out of their box, read widely and diverse.

Jürgen:  Yeah, that’s great advice so get out to their comfort zone and start learning.

Judy:  Yeah.

Jürgen:  Yeah, all right. Now what’s the best thing you’ve done to develop new ideas?

Judy:  I’m a voracious reader so I do that on purpose to develop input and then I talk to a lot of people. I also get a few top newsletters. I like to read McKinzie. I like to read Quartz which is something that comes every day. I’ll send you one so you can post it in the notes.

Jürgen:  Yes. That will be good. We’ll link those to all of the things we spoke about anyway, but yes that would be great. What about, I think I might know the answer to this, favorite tool or system to keep track of things, productivity and innovation?

Judy:  I’ve struggled with that one and I finally talked to a woman who’s an expert on organization and she said, “Judy there isn’t just one system.” I was relieved because I kept trying to find something that I could keep my notes and my calendar. I typically have contacts on Outlook, but I’ve got an iPad, I have a Mac and I have a Windows-based system to trying to sync them all.

I actually use Evernote. I use Dropbox. I have folders so I’ll go the bookstore, write notes or take a picture with my cell phone and tag things so that I can find them because ideas are important to me. People are important to me so I’ve got some systems. In my book and it’s on my website, I’ve got some free downloads that you can do just an Excel spreadsheet that are pretty simple.

Jürgen:  That’s great. So a combination of systems and yes, Evernote is great. I love Evernote.

Judy:  Yeah and Vipor, the little contact manager, Vipor is great and has pictures of people and you can put people in your Orbitz and so you can search and saying, “I’m going to Chicago.” Send out a message, “Hey I’ll be in Chicago, want to go to dinner?” It’s a pretty slick little system.

Jürgen:  I’ll have to have a look at that one. I don’t know that one.

Judy:  Yeah.

Jürgen:  Yeah, all right. What do you think is the best way to keep a client or a project on track?

Judy:  For me, it is being accountable, realizing that I need to stay on top of things and talk to them, be as transparent as I can. If I anticipate or I feel I have an intuition that there may be an issue, it’s important for me to find out, to make sure that everything is on track.

Jürgen:  Transparency and communication.

Judy:  Yes, yeah.

Jürgen:  All right. What do you think is the number one thing anyone can do to differentiate themselves?

Judy:  That would probably depend on what you’re good at, but I’ll just tell you probably ninety-eight percent of the people don’t get back when you call them. They don’t respond to emails. They’re just things that are really simple. I mentioned my candy list when I sent the candy to the reporter she called me on the phone and said, “Ninety-five percent of the people don’t even bother saying thank you let alone doing some small gesture,” so now I have the candy list.

I mean you do something simple. I spoke at USA Today’s headquarters in D.C. on Friday and Politics and Prose which is a very famous independent bookstore in D.C. – President Obama shops there. They ran out of my book. My book sold out and I was really tickled. I went up afterward and just thanked them. The woman said to me, “What are you doing on May 16th?” I knew the right answer was nothing. She said, “Would you like to be our featured business book at the Gaithersburg Independent Book Festival?”

I say to people be gracious, say thank you. Go out of you way to do some little things. Give back to people. You’ll be in the upper five percent.

Jürgen:  Yeah, that’s great advice. Somebody I know once said, “The fortune is in the follow up.” I don’t know who that quote was actually original from, but I thought that’s great.

Judy:  Yeah, sometimes I find that people are just afraid. It isn’t so much that they’re procrastinating. People will say to me, “What do I say?” I just say, “Thank you for taking time to meet with me. It was wonderful to talk to you.” We always connect on a personal level. Talk about the dog, the cat, the kids, your health. Be real. Be you. Be real.

Jürgen:  That’s great advice. Thanks. All right so what’s on the cards for you then in the future. You talked about a second book perhaps?

Judy:  Yeah, and I don’t know what’s that going to be. I’m going to develop this training on funding. I meet people all the time. Just a short story, I was introduced to a woman in Park City, Utah who developed a medical device, brilliant, very simple. She had tried to find funding for eight years. Within six months I had helped her find a half million dollars and the company sold for millions. That’s a project that’s near and dear to my heart.

I just became friends with Jack Canfield. He spoke where I did. I may be doing something with him. Then I was asked to be an advisor to a new TV series called Girl Starter, that will be about teen girls starting companies. I’m just real excited about that. Mark Burnett endorsed my book. His production company is going to take a look at it, so knock on wood that they’ll do that. I just love to teach, love to help.

Jürgen:  Some exciting things coming up. We’ll keep in touch and stayed tuned.

Judy:  Yeah, when I come to Australia I’d love to meet. Adam Franklin who interviewed me sent me a box of Tim Tams oh, my gosh, where have they been all my life. I mean we talk about how we love Germany. Tim Tams are right up there.

Jürgen:  Yeah, right well you’ll have to call in our neck of the woods when you are in Australia because it’s quite beautiful down here as well.

Let’s move on to our competition now. As I said earlier the prize is today courtesy of Judy. She’s offered to donate copies of her book, How to be a Power Connector. It’s subtitled The 5, 50, 100 Rule. You can read a lot more about what Judy has spoken about today and shared with us and I just read a quote down here and I’m going to read it. It’s from no less than Ivan Misner who’s the founder and chairman of BNI – Business Networking International. I thought if somebody like that is endorsing your book it must be really good.

He said “How to be a Power Connector is like an MBA in networking. It can make the biggest difference in your professional success.” That’s our prize today. Judy what do we want our audience to do for that, leave a comment underneath the video?

Judy:  Yeah, I mean I’d love to hear your struggles with networking or tell me of some lucky break. Most things in life happen because we work hard but the second one is luck. You can create luck – how you position yourself. If you’ve got any great lucky stories of what one door being opened, what one person did for you, I would love to hear those too. We’ll incorporate them into my talks.

Jürgen:  That’s great. Thanks Judy so leave a comment under the video and I’ll get Judy to come by in a few weeks time and take a look and award the prize to the contribution she thinks is most worthy.

Judy:  Yeah and we’ll do five of them.

Jürgen:  That’s fantastic. So leave a lot of comments. Lots of people leave comments. Judy what’s the number one piece of advice you’d give anybody that wants to be a leader in their business particularly in the area of innovation?

Judy:  It is stay out in front. There’s a lot to be said for keeping track of trends, but there’s also a lot to be said of scenario planning out and one of the best things I learned when I worked at the Idaho National Engineering Lab we had to take this program called KT – Kepner-Tregoe. Kepner-Tregoe were two consultants that went to RAND corporation when they were almost bankrupt and they found everything they were doing was wrong.

I had never thought of this, but something happened in the past time frame, it’s a mistake, it’s problems which requires different tools than a decision that’s made today in the present which is very different than planning in the future. We had to do this thing called a trip-wire like when would we anticipate a problem coming up and we actually had to just brainstorm all the wild things that might happen and put a column of the probability of it happening just low, medium and high. Then the seriousness, low, medium and high. Then pick where it was and so I found out that it was important to build in those scenarios. Some of them you can’t tell like Black Swan but many of them you can and this is from getting insight from advisors and asking people.

A great new book out is called Anticipate and actually I think it’s written by an Australian that I like. I think it’s important to keep on top of trends, really good get good input. Look at best practices, but also go with your gut. I can’t think back in my life how many times particularly when I was younger something doesn’t make sense there or maybe we ought to do this. It turns out it was right and I don’t know how it was right, so listen to yourself.

Jürgen:  Yeah, that’s great advice. Yeah I’ve done a lot of Kepner-Tregoe work in my corporate life so I’m quite familiar with that tool, so we’ll put a link to that under the show notes as well. Also what’s the book you mentioned?

Judy:  Anticipate.

Jürgen:  Anticipate. Who’s the author?

Judy:  You know I don’t know, but I’ll look it up.

Jürgen:  We’ll find out.

Judy:  Brilliant. I just glanced through it. I’ve ordered it. Brilliant. I think it’s from a fellow Aussie.

Jürgen:  All right well we’ll dig that out and put a link to that one in the show notes as well. Judy this has been fascinating. Where can people reach out and say thank you for what you’ve shared with us today?

Judy:  Feel free to reach out on Twitter. It’s just @judyrobinett no E on the end. I’m on LinkedIn. I have a website, www.judyrobinett.com and you can email me judy@judyrobinett.com. I love to hear stories and happy to answer questions and to be helpful.

Jürgen:  Well there you are. There’s a lot of places where you can reach out to Judy and again we’ll post all those links in the show notes. Finally who would you like me to interview in the future on the Innovabiz podcast and why?

Judy:  I would say Jack Canfield who I would be happy to introduce you to.

Jürgen:  That would be fabulous.

Judy:  He is remarkable. I mean he changed, talk about innovation, the book publishing his series on Chicken Soup for the Soul have sold five hundred million copies so he works with some of the top companies out there, great guy, Success Principles is one of the best book I use to read. It’s its tenth anniversary. I think he would be great for you and your listeners.

Jürgen:  That’s great. Yeah.

Judy:  I’ll do that within five minutes.

Jürgen:  I really appreciate that Judy. Thank you. Now you notice that I’ve actually taken your advice on that question. That’s the second one of the questions you’ve proposed, but I was doing that before I had read about your advice. I must have inherited that from somewhere through osmosis.

Judy:  Could be. Could be.

Jürgen:  All right well it’s been a real privilege to have you on the podcast Judy. Thank you so much for your time and sharing your information and insights with us. I’ll keep in touch. We’ll look at the contributions and all of those prizes and I look forward to keeping in touch with you on an ongoing basis.

Judy:  You as well. Thank you.

Jürgen:  Thanks very much. Bye-bye.

Judy:  Bye.


Well, what an inspiring interview with so many valuable insights and tips!  I hope you enjoyed meeting Judy as much as I did, and learnt lots from her interview.

All the show notes for this episode will be at innovabiz.com.au/judyrobinett, that is J-U-D-Y-R-O-B-I-N-E-T-T, all lowercase, all one word, innovabiz.com.au/judyrobinett, for all of the links and everything we spoke about in this episode – and there are a lot of resources there for you to look at.  Remember, leave your comments underneath the video for your chance to win a copy of Judy’s book “How to Be a Power Connector”.

Leave your comments and tell Judy about your struggles with networking or tell her about any stories of how one door being opened, what one person did for you, changed your life or business.I’ll get Judy to swing by in a few weeks’ time and award those prizes.

Judy suggested I interview Jack Canfield who is the author of the book series called “Chicken Soup for the Soul ” and “Success Principles”. So, Jack keep an eye on your Inbox for an invitation from me, for the Innovabuzz Podcast!

Thank you for listening or viewing the InnovaBuzz podcast.  We’d love you to review this podcast, because reviews help us get found and your feedback helps us improve.  You can review us at iTunes or Stitcher and while you’re there, please subscribe so you’ll never miss a future episode.

Until next time, I’m Jürgen Strauss from Innovabiz.

Remember, if you don’t innovate, you stagnate, so think big, be adventurous and keep innovating!

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  


  1. Michael Killen on May 19, 2015 at 19:50

    This was really fascinating, cheers for sharing this Jürgen(:

    Coming off our talk on the forum, my biggest network struggle was that I could fill my week with lunches, breakfasts and evening events but it hardly changed my inbound leads amount.

    So I decided to cut back almost entirely on building new networks at fast events, and started developing the relationships I had with the handful of people already in my business network. I have to say, it totally changed my business.

    I started having deeper and stronger relationships that turned into profitable business. Lot’s of local networks started using fear and guilt tactics (you’re missing out Mike, you don’t know who could be there) and that fear of missing out was tough to overcome. But now I hardly attend events like that at all, and my business frankly has been better off. Quality over quantity!

    • Jürgen Strauss on May 19, 2015 at 19:53

      Great to hear, Mike. That’s entirely consistent with Judy’s message.

  2. Bill Baylis on July 28, 2015 at 07:40

    Jürgen… Great job interviewing Judy Robinett! I have been watching all of the video’s I can find about her insights. Networking can be a time waster without having a strategy to deepen relationships and helping others solve problems. Judy gets it!

    • Jürgen Strauss on August 3, 2015 at 18:30

      Thanks, Bill. Yes, Judy has a lot of insights, it was a privilege to have her as my guest – I learnt a lot too!

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