Hand Shake

This post is written by GrowthX Academy students, Dylan Max and Jae Ro

As students at GrowthX Academy, we have been exposed to so much new knowledge, it can be difficult to retain everything.

What we’ve learned is that success in the startup world relies not only on what you know, but also who you know.

Justin Clegg, an entrepreneur and mobile messaging expert, dropped by our class to give a talk about the importance of relationships and establishing rapport.

So, how do we do this? Justin laid out 4 simple steps:

  1. Find common ground
  2. Build people up
  3. Always be introducing & create win-win situations
  4. Make front page news

He used a mutual love of sports to connect with a co-worker who didn’t even speak the same language as him, had us all compliment each other, and touched on how he created a partnership between two companies just by being friendly and asking the right questions. Finally, he spoke about a dirty chicken dance he created that went viral!



We were inspired by his presentation which included personal anecdotes of how he had applied the above steps. The greatest compliment we can pay Justin is to show him that we took his advice to heart.

Find Common Ground

We get to listen to all kinds of successful people at GrowthX Academy and sometimes their vast success can act as a hurdle when trying to relate to them as people. That was never an issue with Justin.

When he came in, wearing a t-shirt, jeans and a huge smile, we could immediately relate to him like we would any of our friends.

Build People Up

We could tell that Justin truly believed in his teachings. He thoughtfully answered any questions and made us and our classmates feel like we were each the most important person in the room.

So much so, we wanted to see if there was anything we could do to help him out. Before Justin left our class, we asked him “what can we do that would be beneficial for your future projects?” He mentioned that he was trying to get in contact with universities. So we kept that in the back of our mind.

Always Be Introducing & Create Win-Win Situations

In Dylan’s collegiate days he was very active in student life through his fraternity. Anyone who has been in a fraternity knows you always have a built-in community to welcome you back to campus whenever you want.

Dylan immediately thought of reaching out to a younger fraternity brother who worked as a columnist at the school’s newspaper. He told him about an opportunity to get exposed to a growing influencer in Silicon Valley which could prove to be a valuable connection post-graduation. WIN!

Meanwhile, Justin has the opportunity to bypass the yellow tape of reaching school administrators by connecting with an active student, whose influence might be just as great as that of an administrator. WIN!

We also feel great that we were able to orchestrate a mutually beneficial relationship between two well-deserving individuals. WIN!

Make Front Page News

If all goes well, Justin might literally make front page news at Dylan’s university’s official student-run newspaper!

Stay tuned for an update on what happens next and ask yourself today: What will you take from our story AND what are you going to do about it? Let us know how we can help by emailing us.