"Will you sleep with me?" I'm taking the phone off the hook

How many emails or LinkedIn messages do you get each day from someone who wants ten minutes of your time to tell you how they can help your business? How many Facebook and Instagram influencers want to connect with you to take you to the next level, only to unfollow you later?

These are the 2020 versions off the cold call telemarketing calls my grandparents got.. They took the ringer off the hook so any incoming calls would get a busy signal - the analogue version of a spam folder.

From someone who is building a business, here’s my humble suggestion: Find a better way.

Sure, some may have found a measure of success with this, but if you’re in the relationship building business, it’s not your plan A.

I knew a guy in college (no it was NOT me) who stood outside the clubs at 1 AM and asked the girls coming out, “Will you sleep with me?" As they walked by.

They’d say, “No!” He’d move on to the next girl.

Will you sleep with me? No

Will you sleep with me? No

Will you sleep with me? No

Will you sleep with me? No

Will you sleep with me? No

Will you sleep with me? Okay

I sense this eerie, shallow, self-centered approach to some LinkedIn messages I get.

Maybe you don’t have to go to bed alone, but it’s still a rather lonely, disconnected, shallow attempt at a relationship.

Here are the business messages that get my attention:

“Hi David, how’s the weekend?”

Um, no, that won’t work either. If I don’t know you, why do you care about my weekend? What are selling? This is not a dating site.

Try again:

“Hi David, I resonated with your last post where you talked about forgiveness. I had a similar experience when I last went home to visit my sister…….”

Now you have my attention because I connected with you and reached out. Even if you’re faking it, you took the effort to get to know me.

There are countless of life coaches, online marketers, assistants, and lead generators on the planet. What makes you stand out is our connection.

There are countless numbers of speakers, agencies, schools, and entrepreneurs that are my people. None of them became customers because I asked, “Will you sleep with me?’ Hypothetically speaking!

All of them from around the world are my partners and clients, because we both connected as humans first. We built relationships with no ulterior motive. We offered to help each other, encourage each other, and support each other.

They all started as a “cold” connection, but not a cold call. We focused on serving, not selling. It has made me an international speaker and coach and didn’t have to ask anyone, “Will you sleep with me? I’m an Instagram influencer and I can help you generate more leads in just ten minutes.”

Figuratively speaking of course.

If you make an effort to truly connect, we may or may not do business, but I won’t take the phone off the hook.

Will you sleep with me?


Get to know me first.

Figuratively speaking of course.

Revelations at 33,000 feet and remembering my Dad

The pillow of my Dad’s grave - sunglasses hiding the tears

The pillow of my Dad’s grave - sunglasses hiding the tears

Somewhere over Saskatchewan at 33,000 feet, after watching Bohemian Rhapsody, I find myself at a loss for words, yet an intense desire to reflect on what has happened over the last six days. Fittingly, halfway through the trip, was my emotional ascendance - visiting Dad’s grave for the first time in over two decades. The museums, the food, the tours, in Halifax all led to this moment of staring and standing over where my dad has been since I was five years old. Pine Hill Cemetery in Chester, Nova Scotia. I’ve outlived him and it’s strange.

My whole family on my Dad’s side is there, lying in peace or torment or nothing at all. I rest my head on Dad’s simple headstone like a pillow and stare up at the pine that watches over him. His eternal view. To my knowledge, no one has visited his grave since I was there last burying his dad, my grandfather, when I was fifteen. I brushed off the pine needles and dirt as best I could. His only company, I suspect, has been birds and squirrels. I actually think he likes it that way.

Let’s pretend for a moment that he is somehow with me,  talking with me. I do that and we talk as a father and son should - At first, I blame him for leaving me and fucking up my life. For several moments there is crying and sobbing and weeping.

I tell him he’d be proud of his grand-kids.

I know he’s proud of me too. I’m an awesome father. I never had one and I want my kids to connect with me in a way that I never had.

But I did have it for a short time. That connection. For five wonderful years. I  told him that five years with him was better than fifty years with someone else. I understand now why my mom never looked for anyone else. My dad was irreplaceable. In the end, there was more crying and weeping but no longer anger. Just uncomprehending love. I walk away.

I won’t look  back. I will remember the short time we had together, but he can no longer be my excuse to keep me in that horrific moment when he went to sleep one night and never woke up. That little boy is still grieving. It’s time to move on. Not to forget, but to let go. It’s time to move  ahead with confidence. It’s what he wants me to do. He told me. Move ahead in love and strength, even if it’s scary. The little Davey inside of me can grow up now. 

Five years is all we had together and it causes me to ask, if I only have five years left, how would I live? I used to be afraid of death. It’s not so much death, but the fear of no longer living (I do plan on living forever - although the odds are slim). Now however, I have a different fear. The fear of being forgotten. 

I don’t want to end up in a forgotten grave.

The journey ahead is not easy. But fuck it. It never is. My dad impacted my life profoundly for five years. I have a chance now to stand on his shoulders and impact the world.

The only word written on his grave other than his name was, “Peace”

How can I live out his final word in the time I have? His message is echoing beyond his death, and beyond my life.

Hm. I guess I did have something to write. My Dad was a writer and a teacher. My brother is a published author and I’m a public speaker that teaches storytelling. Thanks Dad. Your impact is evident in the lives of the children you never saw grow up. I am proud of you too Dad. I love you.