The Proximity Principle: Don’t Ask, Attract, Your Dream Boss
Not long ago, someone approached me for a job opportunity, and regrettably, I had to decline. I’ve come to realize that when someone reaches out and says, “Hey, I admire you — let me work with you,” it can be flattering. However, more often than not, it leads to disappointment or even severe consequences.
You see, my background isn’t rooted in the corporate world. I didn’t hire people — I simply did my job well. So when I was given the chance to hire, I saw it as an opportunity to assist those who sought my help. But experience has taught me that when people have to ask for help, they may never fully appreciate it. In fact, they might even grow to resent you, as they joined your team during a vulnerable moment in their lives, which creates an unbreakable connection.
Yet, I do provide job opportunities. When I notice someone excelling at their work — despite facing challenges — I make a point to approach them. I’m confident that I’m the kind of leader people want to work with; my systems are effective, and my team is exceptional. I hire individuals who can directly support my team because I’ve witnessed their capabilities and believe they can achieve more when presented with the right opportunity.
I understand the paradox: if you don’t know me or showcase your talents in front of me, how can you join my team? Regrettably, as my father puts it, you have to “pay your dues.” Invest in something sustainable and position yourself around the people you aspire to work with. When you’re prepared to be seen, they’ll notice you. But you must earn it.
People often emphasize the importance of hard work, polished resumes, and job tenure. However, I beg to differ. Proximity plays a crucial role. The person who recommends you, the one who introduces you to your dream boss — that individual is your gateway. People attend Ivy League institutions and participate in $10,000 charity events to gain proximity to opportunities.
Embrace the game and play it wisely.