Nick Gray is an entrepreneur and best-selling author who started and sold—not one—but two successful companies: Flight Display Systems and Museum Hack. Over 75,000 people have watched his TEDx talk about why he hates most museums.
He’s also the author of “The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, a step-by-step handbook” that teaches you how to build big relationships by hosting small gatherings.
He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine called him a host of “culturally significant parties.”
Listen in for some great takeaways about Nick’s journey of building and selling successful companies and using his love of cocktail parties to help make friends and grow businesses.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- Learn more about entrepreneur Nick Gray [2:25]
- How Nick become the Founder of “Museum Hack” [3:58]
- Successfully growing and selling Museum Hack [6:09]
- Learn to “hook” your audience in just three seconds [11:05]
- Learn more about Nick’s book, “The 2-Hour Cocktail Party” [15:43]
- Check out our book, “Financial Planning Made Personal” [17:37]
- Can you share why you wrote the book and what its message is?
- How someone who sucks at networking becomes the life of the party [19:53]
- How can growing your network of “loose connections” help you succeed? [23:42]
- What hosting a 2-hour cocktail party entails [26:00]
- Renting an entire indoor waterpark for his 40th birthday [31:33]
- What Nick did today that put him in the right mindset for success [32:48]
Successfully growing and selling Museum Hack
Nick grew up in an entrepreneurial household. His father owned fried chicken restaurants. Nick helped his dad grow his company. Because of that, he moved to New York City. That’s where his company, “Museum Hack,” was born.
A woman took Nick to the Met on a third date and talked about the art in an easy-to-understand way. Nick thought it was really cool. So he continued to go back to the museum whenever he had time.
When his friends visited, he’d bring them and show them the cool stuff he’d found. Then he started to host non-traditional meet-ups at the museum. He’d give “renegade” museum tours where he’d show people 10 things he’d like—and three things he’d steal if he could.
Nick knew he had to hire people to focus on growth. Eventually, they grew to 2.8 million dollars in sales and Nick sold the business in a seller-financed transaction to his CEO and Marketing Director.
Learn to “hook” your audience in just three seconds
Audiences today don’t watch long YouTube videos or listen to 50-minute webinars. They’re scrolling on social media and looking for short-form videos. That’s why you have to hook them quickly. What is the “hook” that you can use to capture someone in just three seconds?
The reality is if you don’t capture someone in three seconds, they’ll keep scrolling. Messaging used to be about a 90-second elevator pitch. That doesn’t work anymore.
When Nick was leading tours, they wanted an engaged audience that asked questions and participated. But they couldn’t accomplish that until the audience received value in the first few minutes. They showed them something interesting or made them laugh. Too many museums are focused on education first, which causes people’s eyes to glaze over.
Learn more about Nick’s book, “The 2-Hour Cocktail Party”
Nick moved to New York to meet people and build a network. But he’d go to networking events and leave disappointed. The events were usually held in loud, crowded bars. Introductions weren’t made. It wasn’t set up for an introvert to be successful. So he learned how to host his own events.
He experimented by inviting 6–7 people he knew and 6–7 brand-new connections, friends of friends, etc. He led activities so everyone received value from attending. You never know where your next deal, employee, business partner, relationship, etc. could come from.
Nick’s book is a practical and tactical guide to help you learn the skill. He shares scripts, what to buy, how to structure the event, etc. Now, Nick’s on a mission to get 500 people to host their first event.
The goal is to build relationships and friendships that may or may not lead to business relationships. As you get older, it’s harder to build friendships. Everyone needs community. These gatherings help advance relationships in a scalable and easy way.
He believes the best relationships in life come from your extended network, weak connection, or friend of a friend. That’s what you’re trying to nurture and develop through these parties.
How can growing your network of “loose connections” help you succeed?
As you meet interesting people, how do you get them to trickle down the funnel toward a relationship? The reality is that most people are too busy. They can’t have time with every new person they meet. Why not filter them into a happy hour?
It’s far easier to invite a busy and successful person to a happy hour where they can meet numerous interesting people like them. You’re more likely to get a “yes” because it will be valuable for them. You can also build a connection and “warm” them up.
If you’re hosting the gathering, the purpose is to add value to others. If your guests are meeting and having interesting conversations with other people in your town, it’s successful. Make that your first priority. Friendships will grow out of it.
Resources & People Mentioned
- Check out our book, “Financial Planning Made Personal”
- Nick’s Book, “The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: How to Build Big Relationships with Small Gatherings”
- Museum Hack
Connect with Nick Gray
Nick Gray is an entrepreneur and best-selling author living in Austin, Texas. He started and sold two successful companies: Flight Display Systems and Museum Hack. Nick is the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, a step-by-step handbook that teaches you how to build big relationships by hosting small gatherings. Over 75,000 people have watched his TEDx talk about why he hates most museums. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine called him a host of “culturally significant parties.”
Nick Gray is an entrepreneur and author. He started and sold two multi-million dollar companies: Flight Display Systems and Museum Hack. Nick is the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, a step-by-step handbook that teaches you how to make new friends or build your network by hosting small gatherings. Hundreds of people have used his “NICK party formula” to host their first happy hour or networking event. Nick has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine called him a host of “culturally significant parties.”
Connect With Mitlin Financial
- podcast*at*mitlinfinancial(dot)com – email us with your suggestions for topics or guests
- If you would like to learn more schedule a call: https://mitlin.us/FitCall
- Follow on Twitter
- Follow on Instagram
- Subscribe on Youtube
- Follow on Linkedin
- Follow on Facebook
Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.