Networking Into Your Next Opportunity

In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Dan Bigger. Dan is the Senior Manager of Sales Business Development at Optessa and the Co-Founder & Host of USAMfgHour Twitter Chat.  Dan recently went through an unexpected layoff.  Dan used his extensive network of professionals to connect with companies that needed his skills to land a new & better opportunity in a few weeks.  Dan shares how he did it and gives people advice to improve their job search activities by using their networks.

Your next opportunity is yours if you put in the right work.

In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Dan Bigger. Dan is the Senior Manager of Sales Business Development at Optessa and the Co-Founder & Host of USAMfgHour Twitter Chat.  Dan recently went through an unexpected layoff.  Dan used his extensive network of professionals to connect with companies that needed his skills to land a new & better opportunity in a few weeks.  Dan shares how he did it and gives people advice to improve their job search activities by using their networks.

The conversation of the episode started with Dan introducing himself. He said that he was a business development officer but then he suddenly lost his job. This is when he started looking for a job along with his job of working at the USAMfgHour.

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After this, Dan explained the whole concept of the Twitter chat to Damon. Furthermore, Dan talked about the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. He said that even today many people don’t know about MEP.

In addition, Dan also said that even high school children should know about MEP and other manufacturing-related stuff. Moving on, Dan talked about your next opportunity. He said that if you think you are limited to some extent while working, that is because you want to stay limited not because you don’t have the opportunity.

Moving on, Dan talked about his experience of getting laid off. He said that it was his first experience and he did not even wait 2 hours before posting about it on Twitter and his network as well. Moreover, his connections because of the USAMfgHour are what got him many job offers. He also got a job offer from England.

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Further, into the conversation, Damon and Dan talked about networking your way into your next opportunity. Dan said that when he started posting on his Twitter, he got 9 interviews and 3 job offers in a short span of time. Whereas, he did not fill a single job application here.

After this, Damon asked Dan about the difference between his process of applying to jobs and the conventional process. To this, Dan said that there are a few things you need to keep in mind before jumping to your next opportunity.

Dan said that his brother has been laid off since covid started, which is why he did not want to go that route. After this, Dan said that all he did was write down all the things that he want in a job and all the ones that he doesn’t want.

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Moreover, Dan said that when you send a traditional CV, it’s also just things written on paper. But when you talk to people through text or call, you are actually communicating and they either get you something, or they get you in touch with someone who is hiring, so it’s a sure process.

The conversation ended with Damon thanking Dan for his time.

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people, talking, company, manufacturing, job, resume, opportunity, network, post, interview, extrusion, marketing, sales, work, usa, change, week, started, good, relationships


Dan Bigger, Damon Pistulka


Damon Pistulka  00:05

All right, everyone, welcome once again, to the faces of business. I am Damon Pistulka, your host and with me today? Well, first of all, today, we are going to be talking about networking into your next opportunity. And then with me today, I have none other than Dan bigger. Dan. Thanks for being here today, man.


Dan Bigger  00:24

Hey, man, I appreciate it, man. That’s how I met networking.


Damon Pistulka  00:29

I am so excited about this dude, this is this is gonna be fun as heck, because I think you’ve set some records almost in, you know, in unexpected unemployment in back into employment. So that’ll be good to talk about. And let’s just so for people that don’t know you, Dan, tell a little bit about what you do.


Dan Bigger  00:53

Well, I was in business development for a company in extrusion and then suddenly lost my job. So started looking for a job, but I’m also co founder of USA manufacture hour, which is manufacturing Twitter chat every Thursday. We just had it today. Yeah. And you know, I just talked to a lot of people manufacturing.


Damon Pistulka  01:14

Yeah, yeah. And you’ve been in you’ve been in the in sales for quite a while. And so go ahead and explain some of your sales experience.


Dan Bigger  01:24

Yeah, I was in I’ve been in sales, basically ran out of college. I started with enterprise rent a car then I went to work for Budweiser, then I worked for a family business for 15 years. Yeah, I worked in labels, and I went to plastic extrusion, and then no, sorry, plastic injection molding, and then plastic extrusion. But it was all good. It was all custom manufacturing.


Damon Pistulka  01:45

Yeah. Yeah. Good stuff. Good stuff. Well, so let’s just start. So you explain a little bit you started the USA manufacturing are your co founder that let’s talk a little bit about the Twitter chat and your thoughts behind the Twitter chat. Because I think this is going to be a good build up into networking into your next opportunity. Because how long ago was it when you guys can you started with somebody else? Correct? Yeah,


Dan Bigger  02:12

we, we started the manufacturing our group in the UK was doing it. Yeah, they were having two a week they had one on Tuesday, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday, I believe. So one was UK manufacturing hour, the other was made in Britain. So I got invited to that. So I got up in the middle of night and went to their chats and and saw it and a couple other people on our group.

I mean, the group’s changed over on the leadership team of the manufacturing hour. But yeah, we saw the idea. And and really, it’s it goes back to the foundation of what I do, which is bringing people together. So that’s that’s basically what the the Twitter chat does. As we bring manufacturing companies, groups, vendors together to talk about a specific topic each week and allows them to share knowledge with each other. And to network with each other. And, you know, we just hit, we’re going, we’re in our third year now. Nice.

And, you know, it’s been, you know, of all the original founders, you know, I just talked to Jen Wegman, last week. And she said, and I agree with her, it’s one of the, one of the proudest moments of my career. And it was one of the proudest moments of hers, because it’s still going and, you know, now everybody on that group are solid friends, they’re solid friends on LinkedIn, they’re solid friends on Twitter, you know, their work and outside of, of social media, because everyone’s got to know each other. And they’re, they’re connecting in real life. So that’s, that’s really what I do. And whatever we do on that group does,


Damon Pistulka  03:37

yeah, yeah, that’s cool. And if people haven’t seen or experienced that they should get on Twitter. It’s like, it’s two o’clock Eastern on Thursday. And it’s USA MFG. hour, right? Correct. Yeah. And if you haven’t seen this, even on Twitter, it’s like, don’t you have six questions or 10? Questions and, and then there’s people, fire and answers or comments all the way through


Dan Bigger  04:05

  1. It’s as many questions you can jam in an hour. So it all depends on how fast you want it to go. So So post some host, Jim and seven, some, some do five or six. It all depends.


Damon Pistulka  04:14

Yeah. Yeah. But if that and you guys will get you’ll get 2030 people in there doing comments and stuff.


Dan Bigger  04:22

Yeah, I want to say there’s about 20 or 30. Today. Oh, yeah. Yeah,


Damon Pistulka  04:25

good stuff. And it’s, it’s the topics are good. They’re relevant, and you get some really smart people in the room that give great input. So


Dan Bigger  04:33

yeah, again, it’s, uh, you know, like, I did one on MEPs. Last year, and no one and I still talk about the MEP network, because no one knows what it is. So. And I’m shocked at that, you know, it’s like not knowing what the capital of the country is like. Yeah. How do you How are you not? Are you in manufacturing? He doesn’t don’t even know this exists? Yes. I mean, there’s a group across the country that in each state that helps manufacturers do things so if you’re having a problem, go to them


Damon Pistulka  05:00

Yeah, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Yeah, most there, it’s, it’s amazing how many manufacturers don’t even know that they exist. And then second of all, you look at the manufacturing extension partnership, there’s a lot of free programs or partially funded programs that you can get help in a lot of different areas with your businesses.


Dan Bigger  05:19

Yeah, I ran, I ran an injection molding, you know, marketing team of me with zero budget. And I work with every MEP I could find. And they were super helpful. And I learned a lot from them. And you know, I got a lot done for no money.


Damon Pistulka  05:34

Yeah, that’s awesome. We got John McLean, who is in here today saying hello. Hi, John. How are you? Yep. And then he’s talking about the USA manufacturing hour.


Dan Bigger  05:44

Yeah. That’s true. They are. And there’s, there’s some of my closest friends. You know, I’m in many circles, but the manufacturing our group is one of my favorite group of people.


Damon Pistulka  05:54

Yeah, yeah. Good stuff. I had somebody I’m trying to remember what it was, it was this week, they were talking about manufacturing and how to keep keeps the us strong. And I always liked it. When I hear people talking about it. You just don’t realize that until you’re in it.


Dan Bigger  06:15

Yeah, no, you’re right. No, all the different things that we make. And how it’s changing. evolving. Yes. You know, and if you really dig into it, when it changed, and why it changed, a lot of it was political. You know, but I watch a lot of history stuff and how the country was really formed and how manufacturing was really formed in World War Two. I mean, that’s, that’s such an interesting story. You know, how out of need, and necessity, you know, companies like Ford and Boeing, and all these other companies got together and they started doing amazing things quickly. Yes.


Damon Pistulka  06:47

Yeah, the things that happened in World War Two to build the planes and the jeeps and every other thing they needed on to the, the boots is, is absolutely incredible. And and you that built our foundation to be able to do what we’ve done since really


Dan Bigger  07:04

well, and we’re not quite there now. But I mean, really, you know, I keep hearing like 2 million jobs in the next 10 years or something. We’re gonna be short on robotics and things like that are gonna make some of that up, but we still need people and y’all how you can’t find a job. Yeah. And there’s 2 million jobs available. I don’t I don’t that doesn’t match up in my and I’m not a genius in math.


Damon Pistulka  07:25

But no, I think it’s I think a lot of it is in talk about this with with people a lot his kids in high school don’t get told about the opportunities not even mentioned. Yeah, it’s like, oh, you’re gonna go to college? Oh, not going to college? Well, we really can’t help you that as well. And I’m


Dan Bigger  07:43

going to bring up David Chrysler today. Yeah, he was in the way where he was in a chat today. And he’s actually mentoring high school kids doesn’t talk about I’m like, why don’t you talking about exactly what you should be talking about? Yeah, you know, but he’s out there after work, you know, driving 45 minutes away to me with a bunch of high school kids to help them see the possibilities that are out there. Because again, nobody’s talking about it.


Damon Pistulka  08:03

Yeah, that’s That’s great. Yeah, he and then Megan Zimba somebody else I know that she helps a lot of high school kids, like you said after work going out seeing the kids explain to them that there’s these opportunities out there. And as as we are talking it was Kurt and I were talking on Monday about this with our guests on manufacturing.

Motivation. Yeah, manufacturing Motivation Monday, it’s a tongue twister for me. But we were talking about that it’s not just a a, you know, somebody that’s going to work on an assembly line or welding running a CNC machine. I mean, you need you need accountants, you need marketing people. You need salespeople, you need people that are working in the office doing purchasing,


Dan Bigger  08:49

maintenance, plumbing, electricians? Yeah. All the way down line.


Damon Pistulka  08:53

Yeah, everything in it’s not just one and, and I always, and we were talking about it there too. And I talked about often. These are career kind of places where you can come in and you can work your entire career and move up and continue on and continue expanding your knowledge base your value to the company, and and they’re good jobs.


Dan Bigger  09:14

Again, it comes down to simple, simple fact. What are you willing to do? Yeah, that’s actually one of my favorite quotes. You know, it’s not what you’re capable of. It’s what you’re willing to do. So what are you willing to do?


Damon Pistulka  09:25

That’s awesome. Because it is it honestly is, if anyone thinks they’re limited, it’s just really it’s not that you’re limited is What are you’re willing to willing to put you know, what kind of work you willing to put in to do what you want to do. And I think that’s, that’s a great that’s a great segue into this. I want to say real quick, Mike O’Connor, a mic, a mic and the segue into network into your networking into your next opportunity. So you’re out there right you’re you’re already on social media USA manufacturing our and you’re selling stuff in the plastics industry, which you probably were kind of a unicorn. They’re doing that Correct. Correct. And that was pretty successful for you though.


Dan Bigger  10:12

Yeah. No, I had when I left my last company, I had a three or $4 million pipeline. I can’t number. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, million in sales, three to four, three $4 million pipeline. I did that in six months contacted 188 companies and 1200 people.


Damon Pistulka  10:28

Yeah. Yeah. And it was he would start out relationships on on through USA manufacturing our social media, sound source and work through them and, and do the process that way. And I think that’s really pretty unique in how you did it. And I think that, really, when we’ll talk about the next thing, you moved into another position, and then a few weeks ago, you you went into work, and they decided decided things were going to change?


Dan Bigger  10:57

Yeah, it was unexpected. I didn’t expect it. Yeah. You know, I sort of noticed some change within the company, but I you know, with supply chains being what they were, we were backed up and things were happening. So I mean, yeah, no, looking back. I understand it now. Well, yeah, I didn’t at the time.


Damon Pistulka  11:12

Yeah. No, no, it’s it’s it’s understandable that things like those are frustrating and stuff.


Dan Bigger  11:19

Well, the first time it’s ever happened to me, first time I’ve ever been let go off. Yeah. Yeah. That’s I didn’t know. Didn’t know what to do.


Damon Pistulka  11:27

Yeah, yeah. But what you didn’t do is, let’s tell about what you did. What did you do that the the next day?


Dan Bigger  11:34

I didn’t even wait the next day? I think it was like a two hour. I had to go tell my wife. Yeah, no. And then it was really I just started posting and talking and talking to people and get my name out there. And most of the, I want to say the last, the last three jobs I’ve gotten have all been referral jobs. Yeah. You know, it’s just now I have a platform because I’ve worked. I’ve worked in networking for the last six or seven years now. I’ve built up a network of people that know me. And you know, and I wasn’t looking for a local job.

I live on Hilton Head Island, there’s nothing here other than service jobs. You know, it’s all hotels and restaurants and things like that. I don’t fit that mold. At least that’s actually I do, that’s what my degrees in. But you know, there’s no manufacturing jobs here. So yeah, with me working remotely from my last two jobs. I didn’t want to I didn’t want to consolidate my search to a local, even a South Carolina region. I was I was almost searching worldwide. And I got contacted by companies even in England.


Damon Pistulka  12:36

Wow. Wow, that’s something. So you got they decided to make a change that day, you started to go out, talk to your network about hey, I’m, I’m on the market. I’m, I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. So let’s talk a little bit about that. You and how you really networked into this opportunity?

Because you’ve been it’s about three weeks is about how long? Over Yeah, a little over. But in that time, you generate a nine interviews and got three job offers, correct? Yep. I just want people to know that. And how many job applications Did you fill out? Not a one. There you go. This is what I want people to understand. So when when you when you started doing this, kind of explain what your what your process was, and what you why you think it’s so different for you compared to somebody else trying to do what they find a job?


Dan Bigger  13:38

Well, there’s, yeah, there’s a couple things. You know, first of all, my brother, you know, I’ve been talking to my brother, my brother has been laid off since COVID. Started. So he’s almost two years now. He’s been doing the finding jobs or filling out applications and all that stuff. And he still can’t find anything, he still gets the rejection letters or no responses. So that really, you know, after talking to him, I didn’t want to go that route.

Yeah. Um, and, you know, so basically, what I did versus I just wrote down, you know, what I wanted to do and what I didn’t want to do, you know, I didn’t want to didn’t want to relocate, Mike, you know, I’ve just relocated my kids twice during the third school in three years. Yeah, wanted to work remotely, was leaning towards manufacturing, but not constricted to that, because, you know, so basically, my goal was to talk to anybody in anyone I knew.

Because, you know, you can go on a website, and you can look at a website and try to figure out a company, but, you know, talking to people inside the company really gives you an idea of what’s actually happening there. You know, so now you get to know the company in and out. And, you know, having an end of the company because, again, you know, you can submit your resume, but it’s just a piece of paper. Yeah, no.

Now, I was actually talking to a recruiter last week and I said, you know, people, people are missing the boat because you can look at a piece of paper and discount somebody until you actually talk to someone and understand their passion and what they’re willing to do. You know, what are you willing to do? You know, you can ask some simple questions. And, and to get a real feedback from them as opposed to a piece of paper. So that’s what I did. You know, I started talking to everybody I could, you know, people were sending me, you know, job posted jobs people were recommending me other people to talk to.

So basically, it was just a series of setting up meetings and talking to everybody I could to see what they knew. Did they know of any companies out there that were hiring? You know, what did they know about those companies? Did they have an end at the company? Could I get information about the company? You know, I consider it a couple opportunities that were outside of what I normally did, because they sounded like something I would enjoy doing. So I went down a couple different paths, some of them, some of them I didn’t get interviewed for.

And actually, you know, one company up in Rochester, New York was a greatest interview I’ve ever had Hantec. And in Rochester, New York, I had an enemy meeting with them through two connections. So my connection hooked me up to somebody else, they hooked me up someone else in the company. I met with the head of sales there. And he was honest, right? I mean, flat out honest. He’s like, this is what we’re doing.

This is where we’re going. And, you know, I told him what I was looking for. And he’s like, Well, you know, so he’s like, you know, I’ll take this conversation back to my team, and we’ll discuss it. And they came back. And I said, Well, right now, we’re just too busy to add somebody, but we’ll keep you on the list for future but the honesty in the interview interview, you know, not promising me anything, you know, and I told people, I said, I don’t want to come into a situation where I’m going to be going after gungho selling for you. And now all of a sudden, we can’t fill orders or do anything. So your supply chain was another issue that I brought up in a lot of interviews.


Damon Pistulka  16:42

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Cuz you didn’t want to get into a situation. I mean, because this is one of the things that I thought and we talked a couple weeks ago, you were talking about, you are going to be picky about the opportunity, you really wanted to make sure it was a good fit, because you wanted a longer term opportunity for yourself and your family. And you really wanted to make sure it was the right fit. And how many of these people are these companies that you looked at? Are these opportunities that you go, Oh, this looks kind of interesting. But once you peel back the onion a little bit, it just wasn’t right.


Dan Bigger  17:17

I had a couple interviews where I could just tell they weren’t. They weren’t right. But again, it’s I wasn’t willing to again, I wasn’t willing to discount anything, you know, my my door and my phone and my email and LinkedIn conversations. I mean, everything was open. So I wasn’t really discounting anything. But at the same time, I was going to be very choosy. And you know, I’m 45 years old, I got four kids, and, you know, I’m, this will be my fourth, fourth job since 2017, October 2017. And I’m not I don’t want to switch. I don’t I don’t want to move around.

I want a career, I want to be in a place where, you know, I understand the product better. And I understand the processes better. And I understand everything better, because the more I know about the product, the better I can do my job. Yeah, yeah. And marketing marketing was a huge decision, you know, because, you know, a lot of manufacturers don’t market themselves. You know, so having a marketing team behind me someone that was willing to put money behind the company, not only to buy machines and make processes better, but actually talk about the company and, and promote the company.


Damon Pistulka  18:24

Yeah, cuz you you’ve had to do that yourself. And a lot of places that that kind of hamstrings Yeah.


Dan Bigger  18:29

Or well, it, it divides your time. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  18:33

Yeah, you can just be devoted to selling you have to, you have to market and sell. I think that’s, that’s, that’s you brought up, bring up a good point there. A lot of manufacturers are still trying to, you know, figure their way through that struggle. And, and sometimes they expect the salespeople to market, but it’s really not the same thing.


Dan Bigger  18:53

I’m going to go back to when I worked for an injection molding company, you know, so when I got there, I really wanted to get LinkedIn Sales Navigator, I wanted to work that process. And my owner came up to me and said, you know, justify it, you know, I want to see what companies are on LinkedIn, and what companies aren’t on LinkedIn, and our current, you know, customer profile.

And I looked at him, I said, I don’t really care. I said to me, if they’re not on LinkedIn, and not posting and not doing anything, they’re missing out. So they’re, they’re a dinosaur. Yeah. So that was my response to him. He didn’t like it. But you know, it’s true. It’s, it’s, you know, manufacturers tend to get in their own little niche of the world and they don’t get out of it.

And I was damned if I was going to do that. And and some of my best customers, you know, when I was working for the injection molding company, I worked with a silicone injection molding company, and we built up a really good relationship. You know, they traded jobs with us, we send stuff to them, we were doing work for them. And that’s really how it should work. So you got to find you got to you got to get out of your comfort zone and get the hell out of what you do. and start talking to people. I mean, you go to meetings and network with people, you know, build a bridge and start working together.


Damon Pistulka  20:06

Yeah, yeah. And I think that’s the big thing is, is that, and that’s what marketing really helps you do is to get out and get your name out enough so that you can start to meet other people, even if they’re not in the same specific industry or something, but they sure certainly can, like you said, build relationships that help you over time.


Dan Bigger  20:29

Yeah, and, you know, again, I’m not an expert marketer, I’ve learned everything myself, which is good, hard way. Yeah. So, you know, but a lot of a lot of the comments that I got were, you know, I was just honest with people, this is what it is, this is what we do, you know, so I peel back the curtain, and I tried to show every employee that worked there, what they did, how long they’ve been there, you know, because those are the people that are actually doing the work and employees at that company loved it.

You know, when I first pitched it to the honorees like i They’re not gonna do it, they’re not, and they they absolutely enjoyed, you know, the company talking about them and what they do and what their role with the company is, and and how they handle themselves on a daily basis. And, you know, that’s really what it’s about. It’s, you know, every year, a football team takes a picture of the team. Yeah, well, now there’s other people behind the scenes that are doing things, but they’re included in the team. So everybody on the team is part of the team. And if, if one person isn’t doing doing their job, everybody can fail.


Damon Pistulka  21:26

Exactly. Exactly. If you’re if you’re a person that’s doing the maintenance on the equipment doesn’t do it. We kind of have problems. Yeah,


Dan Bigger  21:35

it means sales. I gotta call my customer and say, Hey, Mercy has been down for three weeks.


Damon Pistulka  21:38

Yeah. Yeah. It’s a problem. Yeah, everybody. Everybody has trouble front. So you when we’re talking for about this, you had mentioned that while you were looking for a job, you were helping other people find find new opportunities as well.


Dan Bigger  21:55

Yep. I got multiple calls about that. And multiple emails. And I don’t know how many I had three or four meetings, three or four weeks, something like that. Yeah, I got I got a, someone got tagged in one of my posts. They were looking for a job. He’s been through, I don’t know how many revisions of his resume and hired a coach and done all this stuff. And he’s doing everything he can to switch jobs, he has a good job, he has a good, he has a really good job.

So I basically said to him, I said, you know, everything you’re doing isn’t worth it. Be honest with you, you know, because I asked him, I said, what company you want to work for? And he told me a couple companies, I said, Why don’t you find someone in there and your network and message them?

And he’s like, Well, how do I phrase it? I’m, and I would say, you know, hey, I’m looking to switch jobs. I’m interested in working for your company. This is what I like to do you have 15 minutes to talk to me about the company just Yeah, it’s that simple. And it’s amazing. When you again, when you get out of the comfort zone, you message someone you actually have a conversation with somebody of the doors that it opens up, because again, it shows that you really want to be there. And now you have someone that in the company that knows you so they’re willing to go to bat for you in most cases.


Damon Pistulka  23:05

Yeah. Yeah. Yep. And, yeah, because I think that’s the one thing that people are, don’t really understand the power of doing that. And, and just like you said, if you know, somebody, or somebody that you know, know, somebody in a company to ask them, Can it can I talk to, can you introduce me to that person, so I can talk to him about it?


Dan Bigger  23:29

Well, even most of the interviews I had, most people didn’t even ask me for a resume because I knew who I was. Yeah. Or, or I was referred by somebody. So the interview happened. And then you know, if it went forward, I’m assuming they want my resume for some kind of paperwork. But most of the time, I wasn’t even asked for one.


Damon Pistulka  23:43

Yeah, yeah. Yep. And that’s when you do it that way, in you are referred into place, it is a much different experience. I mean, you don’t have to worry about an ATS scan in your resume. You don’t have to worry about am I going to get to the top of the resume pile you You’re, you’re having a meeting with somebody there?


Dan Bigger  24:05

Well, it’s preparing for the storm. You know, it’s it’s building a good foundation and it took me years of building up contacts and people I talked to because I’ve been going out of my way and doing everything I can to help everybody, you know, people were asking me marketing questions.

Again, I’m not a marketer, you know, as far as an expert trained and all that kind of stuff, but you know, I did things that people enjoyed and I told them how to do it. I hope people think the navigator I help people, I help people the whole bunch of different things. Yeah. Because I’m not afraid to spend five minutes 10 minutes with somebody to try to help them because again, people remember that stuff. Oh, yes.


Damon Pistulka  24:37

Yeah, yeah. 100% it comes back around and I think that’s, that’s part of why when I mean, when you went out Did you ever were you ever set out a point going well, I’m just what am I going to do? I just feel like nobody’s nobody’s responding. Nobody’s doing that kind of stuff. You had pretty much A flurry of activity around you didn’t.


Dan Bigger  25:02

I had a full schedule every day? I had? Yeah, I had what 1600 profile views. I built up 141 new connections. I was on the phone 111 times 32 meetings. It was just it was a full day. It was like a workday.


Damon Pistulka  25:18

Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So the you, okay, I’m just gonna stop hemming and hawing here. I’m actually gonna say something. So you had an unique Daily Post that you’re putting out while you were doing this, talk a little bit about that. It was just kind of a summary of your day. What kind of response did you get to


Dan Bigger  25:40

those going to help us I don’t know, I was laying in bed at night, you know, or something, walk on a walk or something. I’m like, I’m gonna post about this. And I started posting on the first day, everybody loved that. And they’re like, you know, this is great. And this is what people should do. And, you know, people were applauding me for my efforts. And I think it helped me too. It helped me to stay on track.

It helped me to keep notes of all the people that I was talking to, you know, but it helped me just sort of get through the moment of, you know, oh, crap, I don’t have a job. Yeah, it was, it was sort of like, you know, a sort of a little bit of stress relief and things like that. And it was, it turned out to be fun. Because now I’m sharing with other people, you know, so I’m basically giving people the path, this is what I’m doing.

This is how I’m going about it. You know, I lost my job, I’m done for two hours to sort of tell my wife and get over it, and then I’m on to the process. Yeah. And, you know, and I just, I enjoy talking about it. And as I would pose people would comment, and that would lead off into side conversations, or, you know, like, a couple of people that are looking for jobs or other things like in the in the middle of the process.

You know, one of my connections reached out to me, they needed a domestic hat supplier, so hooked them up with a domestic cat supplier, that led to another person that asked the same question. So, again, it’s just, it’s it’s who you know, yeah. Again, my people, people on my network, know that I know, everybody, so they contact me about whatever they think they need. And usually I have a good answer for him.


Damon Pistulka  27:07

Yeah. And I don’t know if we said this, but you your very first post, yet, when you did when you lost your job, that same day, you posted something, and a lot of people responded to it. And you got an interview out of that post.


Dan Bigger  27:24

Yeah, so I posted within hours. I think that post got like 23 or 24,000 views. And I got a call, I got a call or a message or connection request. I can’t remember which one. I’m someone that saw the post. And they were just they couldn’t believe that I had just posted I lost my job. And how many people were literally rushing into the conversation to help me and that was, I thought was pretty funny. But actually, I thought was funny that they’ve never seen it, but I didn’t expect it. But I wasn’t surprised either.


Damon Pistulka  27:59

Yeah. Yeah. Well, it I mean, it comes to when when people don’t understand the power of building relationships in a place like LinkedIn or Twitter like you’re doing. And then taking that into video in person meetings, phone calls in and really helping people and helping them through difficult times. They don’t understand how you can make that work the way that you have done.


Dan Bigger  28:27

Well, I still remember the first phone call with you. It was like nine o’clock at night. Yeah, I was at my kid. And I was at my boys hockey practice. Yep. So I went outside and sat in the car because it was too loud in there. And you know, a stone like crazy and talk to you. And that was three years ago, four years ago, something like that. Yeah, yeah. But I still remember that comment. I remember where I was, or I remember where I parked and everything. I remember the whole conversation.


Damon Pistulka  28:50

Yeah, yeah, it’s in, in the the, you know, we’re in similar industries, when we’re talking with people or, you know, we all live, we all live lives. And we have these things. And it’s great to see that and that, you know, when someone doesn’t understand, like that person that interviewed you from that post, they probably aren’t active on on a social media platform or active in networking. And if it’s in person, however you want to do it, and don’t really see the power in it. But when you see the power, it’s it’s really all inspiring. Yeah.


Dan Bigger  29:25

Yeah, it’s, again, another story. So another friend of mine, again, this is all tied to the sales looking for a job. You know, I had a friend of mine that I worked with in the past. And another connection of mine was doing marketing for wineries. So I’m like, how many wineries Do you want to know? So I sent my friend a message, he sent me a list of, I don’t know, 40 wineries that they work with, and I sent it to her and I go, here’s your sales list. Yeah.

So yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s it’s, it’s amazing the things that I’ve done and accomplished And again, not all of it for me Kurt’s another example. You know, I talked to her last week. And I connected him with Wesleyan. Apparently they’re doing very well. So again, when when I get reports back about someone that I connected up, and that they’re having a good relationship out of it, and everything’s working. Well, that’s, again, that’s a win for me. I don’t get to put on my resume. You know, it’s personal. It’s personal credit, and it’s a feel good. Feel good thing.


Damon Pistulka  30:25

Yeah. Well, it makes it just like you said, it’s helping people feels good. When you help people. You want to help more? Yeah, that’s the way it is. So you talked about a book he said, The Go Giver? That’s it. i That’s one new to me. I’ve got a we were talking about earlier, I’m gonna have to, I’m gonna have to give that one a given that when I read. Yeah, it’s a really good book, actually. Yeah. Yeah. Cuz I think that’s it.

Because it again, it’s when people start to see this and start to see how, by helping other people, you’re going things come around, they come around new opportunities open up and getting outside of your comfort zone and talking to these people, as you were trying to find this new opportunity, really. You said 100, and some new connections on LinkedIn, how many Connect, you know, calls and emails and the things that you had do this? Where you’re strengthening relationships, in profits as well. Right? Yeah. So what what did you learn that you didn’t know, before? This? They just said, I would have never thought?


Dan Bigger  31:33

Again, I think it’s you don’t know, you don’t know what you don’t know. Yeah. You know, and I know, one of the things again, I didn’t want to go into with an open mind, I don’t want to go into and saying and narrow minded and saying, I’m going back to manufacturing, I’m going to do business development, I’m going to try to stick in plastics. You know, just because you don’t know what opportunities are out there until you talk to other people.

So you really, you know, I was I was open to the fact that I was willing to change and I, I have been through a ton of change. Like I said, I’ve been in law combs, labels, to different plastic, you know, manufacturing, you know, so I’m not afraid of change. You know, even this year, we moved here from New York, I got two sets of twins. I’m not afraid of anything anymore. Because I’ve been I’ve, you know, I’ve been through good times and bad and I had a lot of crap happen. And, you know, so just be willing to change things and look at other opportunities and and consider things.


Damon Pistulka  32:31

Yeah. So if you are going to tell somebody that that was sitting here today, and just their their, their job search is just not going well. What do they need to wake up and do tomorrow?


Dan Bigger  32:44

Don’t Don’t freakin put in an application. I wouldn’t do I’ll never do that again. In my life. I refuse because again, I you know, I got I got tagged into a post today. Gentlemen, one of my connections, tag me into a post of a gentleman. He was a VP. So he’s trying to get into VP level. They ran him through the ATS and the ATS rejected him. And he got some kind of automated rejection response. I mean, this is a VP level job.

Yeah. So if you’re not willing to reach out to a VP level and say, hey, look, you know, but again, what the hell does a resume really tell you about a person? You know, you can’t you can’t you I mean, you can see all the numbers and all this kind of stuff. And that’s all well and good. But, you know, I’d rather interview more people. Yeah. Spend and spend the time there. Yeah. And actually looking at resumes.


Damon Pistulka  33:35

Yeah. Well, I think that that you said it well, there. Quit just applying to jobs. Yes, you need a resume. But you that can be after you’ve interviewed with somebody if you do it, right.


Dan Bigger  33:50

Yeah. Like, again, you laugh at me all the time about my dating. Everything is dating. Yeah. You know, so I’ve met my wife through a friend of mine. We’ve been married for 17 years. So yeah. You know, do you have a better chance of finding your wife or husband through a friend of yours? Or, you know, going to the bars every weekend and trying to wade your self through 1000s of people that are half drunk? Yeah. What’s the best scenario here? Damon? Yeah. So again, you know, there’s always a way to accompany and if you’re willing to, to get out there and talk to people, which I do all the time.

And some people may have a problem with that, but, you know, creating a conversation and then creating a relationship and, and building on it to the point where they’re willing to back you know, because again, if I if I talk to something, you know, I refer a lot of people out, you know, but I will refer you out if I don’t know you, and I won’t refer you out if I don’t bet you because again, I’m looking, you know, when I respond or refer someone to another company or a person, you know, essentially my reputations on the line, so yeah, um, if you’re not going to treat a customer like I would treat a customer you’ll never get a customer from me.


Damon Pistulka  34:55

Yeah, yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome because cuz it’s how you build relationships here. We got Michelle Gutten said she finally joined in was glad to see you, Michelle. I know she’s busy down there in Houston, we got Bob Bob’s out by you.


Dan Bigger  35:10

Hey, yeah, yeah. Bob was very active in my posts.


Damon Pistulka  35:14

Yeah, Bob, I tell you what he is arguably one of the best cooks. I’ve seen. The dude can cook stuff. Like, I mean, I’m lucky to cook. I can cook burgers, you put me on a grill. I’m okay. That’s all. So Michelle’s guy this, my husband through a friend of my sisters. 32 years. There you go. Yeah. That’s awesome.


Dan Bigger  35:39

Again, why go the hard way? Why fight? Why fight through all the getting to know you process which takes forever? Yeah. If if someone’s willing to go to bat for you. That’s the best. Yeah, yeah, that


Damon Pistulka  35:51

  1. And that’s why you make a good point, too. And this is why I think the biggest reason people should be networking, or reaching out learning, learning about more people seeing how they can help more people all the time, not just when you’re trying to find a job or a new opportunity. I mean, you because you were doing this for so long as part of what you were just part of what you do. It was much easier.


Dan Bigger  36:23

Yeah. Well, and actually, you know, when I started my last job, you know, it was a new industry, and I didn’t know very well, yeah. So I had sort of cut myself off from social for a little while, because I wanted to get, you know, again, I want to get up to speed as quickly as I could.

So I and I got back to the networking. And the fascinating part to me is, it’s all sales. You know, I’m not necessarily selling to everyone I talked to, but I am selling because I’m selling myself when I’m also listening to what other people are selling and storing it. Yeah, you know, someone don’t you know, someone does this, or they do that, or whatever. And I talked to a lot of people in a day. I mean, a lot of people. Yeah. And, you know, hey, you got to talk to you know, you got to talk to this guy, they do this, you know, and that’s, I do that all the time.


Damon Pistulka  37:11

Yeah. Yeah. And that’s it, like you said, you’re talking to people talking to people talking to people, because you never know where the next, you know, person that you’re really going to want to meet, just be meeting people, or the next business opportunity is going to come from?


Dan Bigger  37:26

Well, and you don’t know, again, from the job search. You know, I talked to a couple people like you, you got to talk to this guy, and you got to talk to that guy. And, you know, cuz they, they, they heard me talk again, it’s not a resume, it’s a piece of paper. They heard me talk, they talk about what I you know, how I do what I do, and all that stuff. And they set me off for three or four people to talk to.

So yeah, you don’t know, you don’t know what the other person on the end of the lines does, to really understand what they do and how, what they’re going through and all that kind of stuff. But you also don’t know what they what you what you can take from them to help other people that you know, and you don’t know who they know, and what they might have needs for?


Damon Pistulka  38:05

Yeah, yeah, it is. It is a big, big, wide web of opportunities to help people and really build those relationships. And Bob, Bob said to blind date, 20 years.


Dan Bigger  38:18

Well, actually, my wife, my wife, my friends, were trying to hook me up on a blind date for about a year and a half. And I turned it down, and I finally met her out. So I’m working out.


Damon Pistulka  38:27

There you go. And Michelle’s making fudge said dating through Damon. Yeah, no one wants to do that. I’m gonna tell you right now. And and she said to building relationships is essential in all aspects of life. It really is. I mean, because just think of how many people you met doing this kind of network. And now you’re friends with him. You’re talking about, you know, their family, their kids, you’re seeing them outside of work and doing all kinds of things like that. I almost


Dan Bigger  38:55

Yeah, I was actually going to do a post. I never got to it. But I wanted to put a post up that says who is willing to be a reference for me? And I just want to see the response I got. Yeah. Because now I can go into an interview. And someone could say, Hey, do you have you know, where’s your references? I can I can say, how many do you


Damon Pistulka  39:15

want? Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And that’s that that’s the thing that’s nice about it. And it really, really would. It’s a powerful statement. It really is. Yeah.


Dan Bigger  39:27

Because again, it when you have that many people that are coming to bat for you. And I would go to bat for everybody. That I know personally.


Damon Pistulka  39:34

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So, last words of advice for somebody that’s trying to find that new opportunity. Just get out there and do it.


Dan Bigger  39:46

Think outside the box. Don’t Yeah, don’t don’t get yourself into a corner, have a plan. You got to know what you want, what you what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. What you don’t want to do is a really good indicator to start crossing things off the list. And then Like, you know, like I said, think outside the box and Don’t. Don’t do everything. Don’t do everything everybody else does. Yeah, that’s what I take pleasure in. I don’t do anything, you know, I don’t do anything the way anybody else does.


Damon Pistulka  40:12

That’s awesome. That’s awesome, man. So, you know, I never I haven’t asked yet. So So can you tell us where you’re going to work? What you’re going to be doing?


Dan Bigger  40:21

Yeah, I’m moving to the sales as a service industry, which is new for me. So I have a lot to learn. And, you know, I like learning new things. But I’ll be working with Tessa and John mogliano, who was my contact there. John is the marketing manager. So yeah, right off the bat, you know, multiple problems are solved for me, I have a connection in the company. I know, he runs marketing, I’m going to be the sales department. And, you know, I think we’ll work well together. And, you know, and communicate well with each other to the point where we can take the company and go far with it.


Damon Pistulka  40:53

Wow, that’s awesome. They really have a good thing going there, dude. Because honestly, this is from people listing I didn’t know before now we’re here to go into it. But our tests we’ve we’ve had John on on the Friday manufacturing ecommerce show talking with John about our tests, and they do some neat stuff. Right? Really neat stuff.


Dan Bigger  41:15

Yeah. And like you said, but you know, they’re up Tessa had the culture I was looking for, you know, they want long term relationships. They don’t want you in and out. So they want Yes. You know, and, and knowing John and talking to John about where they were in the process, you know, I was able, I was able to go into, into the, you know, one of the meetings with the CEO and basically lay out a sales plan, because I knew where John was, and I knew what they were doing.

And I knew what they had going for him. And I knew the companies that they’re working with, you know, and we’re working with some big automotive manufacturers and big name. So. So again, looking at my list, culture was a fit, having someone in the company that I can rely on fit, having marketing behind me fit, and, you know, huge opportunities, because now I’m able to sell worldwide, not just North America, which is what I was doing in my extrusion job.


Damon Pistulka  42:08

Yeah, yeah. Well, that’s crazy. Cool. That’s crazy. Cool. Well, Dan, this is this is very exciting to be able to share this. I’m gonna drop a few of the comments here, because Michelle makes a good point. You got to share it, share that uniqueness of ours with the world. And, and Bob said this to you, you figured this out right away. What you don’t want to do is is really important. Yes. Because you don’t just you don’t want to just walk into a bad opportunity. It’s better to walk and not have an opportunity that I think in a lot of respects,


Dan Bigger  42:38

I’ve been in plenty of bad situations. Yeah, I can identify them quickly. Yep.


Damon Pistulka  42:43

And of course, Bob says he’s in SAS now too, so that’s good. And he’s in the insurance industry and SAS. And I know that because I know Bob from our case. Just like I know, you just like it all ties together. Yeah. Everybody knows everybody. Yeah. Yeah, this one that John, I met you those big things are coming. He’s excited for you to bigger things are coming. Yeah. Yeah. That’s good. That’s good.

Well, Dan, I’m super excited about this. I’m glad that we were able to take this time why we had a little bit of downtime before the things start to hit the hit the fire really fast hear cuz you’re, I’m assuming, you know, the pedal is gonna go to the, you know, to the floor, and you’re gonna be out there again. So, thanks for stopping in. It’s all in or not in? Yeah. Yeah. That’s good, man. That’s good, man. I’m so happy to see it. And, and for those of that they’re listening here, you know, take a look at the USA manufacturing, our Twitter chat Thursday, two o’clock Eastern.

If you haven’t, take a look at it. It’s well worth your time. You’re gonna meet some good people and doing that. And if you’re sitting here and you’re listen, you go I don’t know how to network or I don’t want to know if I want to share myself. Hey, look at the crazy old dude like me, I’m out here doing it every day, Dan, you know, he’s good looking young guy like that. He’s out there, you know, being it. But I mean, it’s, it’s really just put yourself out there, everybody. I mean, it’s, it’s you will be amazed at how people will open their arms, welcome you into the groups. If you’re in there with good intentions and try to come and help people and just be a good person.


Dan Bigger  44:21

While you’re doing it everyday already. You’re out in the world. You’re doing it already. So you’re putting yourself out there to a certain extent. It’s just a matter of going a little further and as far as you say manufacturing are you know, once you join us and are steady with us, you’re one of us.


Damon Pistulka  44:36

Yeah, yeah. Yep. It is. It is. It’s an awesome group and so thankful for you to be here today. And for that group, and everyone that was listening tonight, thanks for being here. We’ll be back again next week. Oh, oh, I can’t put that up. Michelle. Thank you. But she she put in a nice comment in there. I don’t need that. I just like doing what I’m doing. Thank you so much thanks everyone for being here and we’ll be back against Dan I’m so excited for you I’m excited for you and John to be working together adopt Tessa man go out and kill it That’s our plan All right thanks everyone we’ll be back again next week.

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