How to network with A-Listers in any industry webinar recording

I recorded this webinar recently on “How to network with A-Listers in any industry.”

The video is about 46 minutes long so get comfortable. But I think it’s packed with very practical advice on how you can use relationship networking to build deeper relationships with key people who can help you in your journey – whether you are an employee or own your own business. Enjoy!


How I Got Rob Lowe to Play Me on TV

Rob Lowe 2

How @JohnCorcoran got Rob Lowe to play him on TV (Click to tweet)

Have you ever heard anyone say this? When they make a movie about my life, I want to be played by Brad Pitt. Or George Clooney. Or Rob Lowe.

In my case, that actually happened.

Here’s the story. Many years ago, when I was working at the White House, a friend who I had worked with in Hollywood called me up.

She knew a guy who was working on a new TV pilot about the staff at the White House. Would I mind talking to him about what it was like working at the White House?

I said sure.

It turned out the guy was Aaron Sorkin, and the TV pilot was for The West Wing.

Sorkin had a couple movies called The American President and A Few Good Men under his belt so I knew exactly who he was.

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New Free Ebook: “10 Ways You Can Use Political Strategies and Tactics In Your Business”

10 Ways to Use Pol Tactics 175px wideIn The Tipping Point, author Malcolm Gladwell made a very unorthodox comparison – drawing the connection between the spread of sexually transmitted disease in inner city Baltimore and the dramatic resurgence of the Hush Puppies shoe brand.

It sounds rather odd. What do the spread of venereal disease and an unexpected and sudden business turnaround have to do with one another?

It turns out they have a lot in common.  New Yorker writer Gladwell produced a wonderful, practical and engaging read which leaves you engrossed, or at least not questioning the wisdom of making such an unusual comparison.

But The Tipping Point got me thinking more broadly about what other kinds of unorthodox comparisons could be made that would prove useful to the business world.

Too often business comparisons rely on tired clichés – analogies to war, to athletics, to coaching. It’s all been done before.

Then I started thinking about my background in politics. And I realized that the political world – both campaigning and governing – can serve as a great model for business.

Campaigns are very similar to businesses, in that they have a product to sell and a very competitive environment to sell it in. They also have to recruit, train and motivate large forces of inexpensive labor on a shoestring in a short period of time and need to get this cheap workforce to work together, over long hours, in an endeavor that could very easily end in total and abysmal failure.

The comparisons go on but you get the idea.

As I researched it further, I found that there were actually dozens of examples of people who have worked in politics – like me – and then turned around and taken their experiences and knowledge and employed it in the world of business – whether on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley, in a small business or in service of a startup of their own making.

This was really interesting to me. How are these people using what they learned in the cutthroat world of politics in service of the cutthroat world of business?

I finally decided to put all my thoughts in a new 19-page 100% free ebook I’m releasing today titled “10 Ways You can Use Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business.”
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Why Politics Does Not Have to be Dirty

Before you download the ebook, I want to share what I believe.

“Politics” does not have to be a dirty word.  Too often political strategies and tactics are considered shadey, unethical, or underhanded.

I disagree. Of course, there are always bad apples. In my opinion, those folks are always ferreted out sooner or later, just like a rotten business.

I am not advocating a bunch of under-handed tactics. I am advocating looking at the best political tactics and strategies – those employed by those who have achieved great success in the world of politics – and using them in similar ways in business.

Here’s a quick look at what is included in this ebook:

  • the story of how I got Rob Lowe to play me on TV (you’ll want to hear this)
  • how one veteran of the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign took the software he used to help that campaign break fundraising records and created a software startup with over 50 employees
  • how Senator Ted Kennedy’s hopes of becoming President were dashed by his failure to identify his greater purpose – and what this means for your business
  • how campaigns implement discipline across the board – and how businesses can too
  • the importance of social proof in politics and business
  • what the “Master of Disaster,” a Clinton White House veteran, can tell you about communicating effectively in a business crisis
  • how getting your customers to buy is similar to getting your supporters to the polls on election day

Enjoy! You can download it now here:
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Life In a Hurry: Love, Life and the Birth of my First Son

John Corcoran, Smart Business Revolution,, NOTE: I recently published this article in my wife’s Mothers’ Club newsletter. Why am I publishing it here? Good question. Although it has nothing to do with business, it does show a different side of me and my purpose in doing what I do. What is your purpose? Share it in the comments below. Enjoy.


The early summer evenings around northern California remind even the most jaded Californian why we live in the Golden state.

It was just May but the unseasonably hot weather that evening meant it was still in the low 90s, even though the sun was rapidly fading.

It may have been the heat outside, or the lack of air conditioning inside my apartment, that inspired me to go out for a run that night, back when I was prone to do such a thing.

I was nearing the end of my run when I noticed an attractive woman running in my direction. As she got closer I realized I knew her.

We had been coworkers once. Her name was Nicole, and she left before I had the chance to get to know her.

I waved her down, and my heart jumped as the look of recognition crossed her face. She flashed the bright-eyed ear-to-ear smile which had so attracted me when I first met her.

We ended up talking for 20 minutes as the sun slipped behind the trees. The conversation was seamless and effortless.

It was almost completely dark by the time I finally got up the nerve to ask if she would meet me for a drink later that evening.

“Sure,” she said, smiling. “Sounds like fun.”


Nicole and I married four years later, and by that point I had followed her to Marin.

Life wasn’t easy but it was fun, and free. We were busy: first graduate school for Nicole, then law school for me.

We could take off on a last minute weekend getaway, or eat out at a moment’s notice.

It’s easy to think back on your life before kids and wonder why you didn’t do more. Why you didn’t dart off to Venice on a moment’s notice. Why you didn’t hop in the car on a Saturday morning to go skiing in Tahoe, without having planned it weeks in advance.

Life has a funny way of speeding up on you.


Ten years had passed since that chance evening encounter, and we were expecting our first child. The due date was still weeks away.

It was a Sunday morning, and I was settling in to watch a football game as Nicole was getting in the shower.

The hospital bags remained unpacked. Piles of baby clothes were covering every surface of the baby’s room.

Then my wife’s voice tore across the house. “I think my water broke!” she said.

Moments later we were in the living room, my wife dripping wet in a towel and me fumbling with my phone, trying to call the hospital for advice.

We left our home in a hurry, and by the time we reached the Golden Gate Bridge the contractions were coming on nearly every 60 seconds. Nicole started pushing the minute we got to the hospital.

It soon became apparent that this was a kid who wasn’t going to wait.


Perhaps it is appropriate that two parents whose destiny together hinged on one fateful run would give birth to a kid who lives life in a hurry.

The funny thing is, Mason has never slowed down.

From the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to bed, he’s constantly on the go.

It’s enough to make you want to hold him squarely by the shoulders and tell him to slow down and enjoy the moment. If he would only listen.


Looking back, our 12 years together seem to have gone by as quickly as that drive to the hospital.

One day you’re falling in love. The next you’re having your first child.

I look at my son now and all I can do is slow down and sit and appreciate the little moments. He’s two now, still moving at warp speed and picking up words every day.

He looks up at me now and flashes that familiar ear-to-ear grin. I recognize it instantly. He has Nicole’s smile.


Want to Win a Free Business Strategy Session?

Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 4.19.09 PMWhen was the last time you heard of a lawyer giving something away for free?

Well, pigs must be flying because it’s happening.

I want to give away two free sessions of my Business Critique & Evaluation. I normally charge $295 for these sessions.

The Business Critique & Evaluation is a 60-minute strategy session aimed at helping entrepreneurs get gnawing legal questions answered so that they can get “unstuck.”

Why am I giving these sessions away? I was inspired by Chris Guillebeau, who is the author of The $100 Startup and organizer of the World Domination Summit which I’m attending this July. Chris recently published a blog post encouraging his readers to help others by giving something away for free.

So I thought: why not?

What Is the Business Critique & Evaluation?

The BC&E sessions focus on legal & business fundamentals, like legal entity structure, making sure you have the right contracts in place, employee and independent contractor issues, etc.

I focus on things like:

  • do you have a separate legal entity set up for your business? If so, is it right for the type of work you do?
  • do you have a separate business bank account? If so, is it titled in the name of the separate legal entity?
  • do you have any joint ventures or partnerships with others? If so, do you have a written agreement between you?
  • do you have written contracts with clients/customers, vendors, etc.?

My clients have said that I’m as much a business advisor as a lawyer, so you can expect that we may also talk about things like creating good systems, branding, focusing your marketing efforts, etc.

Who is it for?

Most of my clients are small business owners or entrepreneurs, with companies in the $50K-$2 million range of revenue. They are solopreneurs all the way up to entities with 15 or 20 employees.

Why Are you Really Doing This?

I want this to be as useful as possible for the biggest number of people as possible, so I want to record our discussion and make it available for others so they can benefit from the answers. Of course, we wouldn’t cover anything sensitive or of a privileged nature during the recording. But you must agree to allow me to publish the recording to quality for these sessions.

Here’s how the 60-minute session goes:

  • the first 15 minutes we cover a few basics and I get a sense of your goals and anything we shouldn’t talk about.
  • Then we do 30 minutes which I record via Skype video.
  • the last 15 minutes we do a wrap-up and I can answer any questions that you have remaining. You’ll still get 30 minutes of my time off-camera to ask any legal questions you didn’t want to ask on-camera.

How Do I Enter?

If you are interested in entering, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Join my Email List, which you can do in the right column or on the main page of this blog. (You can unsubscribe at any time after this contest.)
  2. Enter a comment below saying you’d like to be considered. To make things interesting, feel free to tell us a little bit about your business, but that’s optional.

I will pick two winners at random within two weeks of posting this blog post. Good luck!

Boring Legal Disclaimer: I’m only licensed to practice law in California. Therefore I can only advise on California law. If you do not live in California, then we’ll discuss business strategy and general legal principles rather than the specific laws of your state (for that, I’ll suggest you talk to a lawyer in your state.)

5 Ways I Benefited From the New Media Expo (Seven Weeks Later)

New Media Expo, NMX, BlogworldIn mid-January, I published a fairly long blog post summarizing the results of attending the New Media Expo January 6-8 in Las Vegas.

The New Media Expo, formerly known as Blogworld, is a conference for “new media” types – i.e. podcasters, bloggers, web video producers, etc., as opposed to the New York Times or NBC (otherwise known as “old media,” although they probably wouldn’t be too fond of the term.)

In case you didn’t read it, my last review basically said that I had a blast and I had met a ton of interesting people. And that I wanted to go back next year.

But I also said that what I really wanted to know was would the conference be worth my while in the long term? In other words, would the conference make sense from a financial perspective in addition to a personal perspective?

I’m a strong believer in tracking the time and money you spend on your business so you know (a) if you obtain any results, and (b) whether it’s worth continuing to spend time and money on particular efforts, such as conferences or advertising or networking groups.

Personal gratification is great, but we don’t take on the many inherent risks of entrepreneurship unless there are financial rewards as well.

My hunch was that attending NMX would be a wise investment that would pay off in spades, but I didn’t know if that would be true when I boarded my Southwest flight to McCarran airport in Las Vegas.

Since that time, I have been very curious how much business benefit or “payoff” I could actually directly trace back to my attending the conference.

Recently, I sat down to write down all the “benefit” I got out of the conference. I highly encourage you to do the same thing for any conference you attend regularly. You can also do it for other efforts such as networking gatherings you attend regularly.

Before I get to the five ways I benefited from NMX, here is the system I use for tracking money and time I devote to my business:

How I Track Marketing Efforts

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