How Anyone (From Anywhere) Can "Influence Millions" w/ Selena Soo
Selena Soo - Deconstructing Success with Chris Winfield - Episode 6

Selena Soo: How Anyone (From Anywhere) Can “Influence Millions”

My friend Selena Soo is a “super connector”…or as best-selling author Lewis Howes puts it:

She’s the go-to expert for teaching people how to create authentic, powerful relationships.

But here’s a little “secret”…

She’s actually a (self-described) introvert who spent the first part of her career holding back from putting herself “out there”.

Back in 2012, Selena was working long hours for a non-profit in New York City, earning $42,000/year. She loved the work but was burnt out and felt like there was more she could do.

So how did she transition from someone completely behind the scenes into a publicity powerhouse running a 7-figure business?

In the latest episode of Deconstructing Success, I asked Selena to give us the full story PLUS the tips, tactics, tools and systems she used…

…to change her life, grow her business and connect with (+ get endorsed by) people like Marie Forleo, Danielle LaPorte, Derek Halpern…and tons of other influencers in online and mainstream media.

In this interview you’re going to get the full story and so much more…

Selena Soo - Deconstructing Success - Episode 6

I had heard about Selena’s work for the last couple of years and knew many of her clients and students who raved about her but I didn’t know her personally until a few months ago at a dinner she co-organized with another “super connector”, Dan Martell.

We spoke for over an hour that night and I finally saw first-hand what everyone had been talking about.

Since that time, we’ve had many conversations and I’ve come away from each one with big ideas, a fresh perspective and many, many AHA moments! And that’s exactly what you can expect from this interview.

Some of the things you’ll learn in this “jam-packed with awesomeness” episode are:

  • How (and why) Selena plans out her days two months in advance
  • Exactly how you can connect with influencers in your industry (even if you’re shy, just starting out, have no connections, no “name” or time)…
  • The importance of not trying to hit multiple goals all at once…
  • The biggest takeaways that she has learned from Marie Forleo, Adam Grant, Ramit Sethi, Derek Halpern, Danielle LaPorte and other influencers…
  • How she overcomes perfectionism and uses it to her advantage…
  • Discover the books, tools, experiences and people that have had the greatest impact on her business and life…

We’ll cover all of that (and so much more) in this exclusive interview with Selena Soo in Episode #6!

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5 Big Questions I Ask Selena in Our Interview:

  1. What were the biggest factors in going from basically NOTHING to a seven-figure business?
  2. How do you decide what you are going to work on each day?
  3. How and why did you start connecting with influential people?
  4. What’s one thing (that you have observed) that prevents people from becoming successful and living up to their potential?
  5. What’s your process for setting and achieving your goals?

Selena Soo - Deconstructing Success with Chris Winfield - Episode 6

5 Big Things You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  1. Selena’s step-by-step process that will help ANYONE connect with influencers in their industry (even if you’re shy, just starting out, have no connections, no “name” or time).
  2. Exactly how Selena did this (in her own life) to create her own relationships with influencers and what this has meant for her own business.
  3. The two books that have had the greatest impact on her career…and the one productivity tool she couldn’t live without.
  4. Why Selena plans out her days two months in advance…and how this helps keeps her focused.
  5. The most valuable lessons Selena learned from each of these influencers (and how she connected and grew the relationship):
    – Adam Grant (Wharton Professor and NY Times best-selling author)
    – Ramit Sethi (Bestselling author, featured in ABC News, CNN, and the WSJ, has taught thousands to manage their personal finances)
    – Derek Halpern (investor & founder of Social Triggers & Zippy Courses)
    – Danielle LaPorte (inspirational speaker, author and entrepreneur)
    – Marie Forleo (founder of MarieTV & b-school)
    – Lewis Howes (former pro-athlete turned life-style entrepreneur and host of one of my favorite podcasts, The School of Greatness)
    – Rachel Hofstetter (former editor of O, Oprah’s magazine)
    – Ryan Levesque (#1 Best-Selling author of the book “Ask”)

5 Fast Facts About Selena Soo:

  1. Selena Soo is the founder of the S2 Groupe, a business strategy + publicity company for visionary entrepreneurs, experts, and authors.
  2. Before Selena started her (now seven-figure) business in the summer of 2012, she was earning $42,000 a year living in New York City and working for a nonprofit.
  3. She believes that in order to be more successful, you don’t necessarily need more experience but rather, more courage.
  4. Selena has relationships and friendships with editors at Fortune, Forbes, Entrepreneur, O – The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, Whole Living, Fitness, Shape, More, Seventeen, People, NBCU, and ABC News along with numerous influential bloggers in the personal and professional development space.
  5. Selena is truly international! She was born in New Zealand, grew up in Hong Kong, moved to Tacoma (Washington) to attend an all-girls boarding school in high school and then moved to New York City to attend Columbia University for undergrad (and then NYU for grad school later on).

Selena Soo - Deconstructing Success

Complete Show Notes:

  • What Selena tells people when they ask her what she does…and what it actually means :) [4:50]
  • Learn why Selena always thought of entrepreneurs as people with a completely different personality than hers. And discover who [and what] helped her change this perception. [6:22]
  • Selena went out from business school to work with top influencers and develop a successful seven-figure business. Get a great step-by-step guide from Selena, based on her extensive experience! And find out how (and why) she connects people together and how this has helped her in turn. [12:37]
  • Selena’s advice on the issue of knowing that you cannot help everyone and do everything for free. Find out what questions Selena asks herself that help guide her decisions. [15:20]
  • How Selena decides if something is going to be worth her time and money (like in case of joining a $27,000 mastermind when she was just 6 months into her business!) And how her decision to invest in a business coach and the mastermind moved her business forward to six figures…and pushed her own personal limits. [18:09]
  • How Selena learned to see value in her work and then realized she needs to show this value to other people. [26:03]
  • The mastermind that inspired Selena and helped her visualize her future and establish BIG goals. [27:39]
  • Selena is an extremely detailed person and she establishes her goals looking three-five years into the future. Learn the importance of not trying to hit multiple goals all at once and how to know when to cut some sources of revenue in order to actually grow. [28:45]
  • Selena walks us through her process of developing goals and refining plans with her team. [31:48]
  • Find out how (and why) Selena plans her days 2 months in advance. Learn how this helps with resource planning and builds in accountability with other people and around their schedules. [36:10]
  • Selena has a simple system of dealing with e-mail that centers around delegation. Find out how her team helps Selena with e-mails, meetings…and parties! [40:21]
  • How “understanding the big picture” helped Selena fight her perfectionism. [43:28]
  • Get a step-by-step process from Selena on how to connect with influencers in your field (even if you have no “name” or connections). Some of the biggest influencers in your life are people you actually already know (they are who Selena calls your “superfans”)! [45:35]
  • Learn how to send GOOD e-mails that will make your outreach efforts much more successful. [50:38]
  • Learn simple ways to to deepen relationships with influencers (for example at conferences or at your own events). [54:45]
  • Find out the most valuable lessons Selena learned from each of these influencers (and how she connected and grew the relationship):
    • Adam Grant (and Arianna Huffington + Sheryl Sandberg)  [58:21]
    • Rachel Hofstetter (former editor of Oprah’s magazine) [1:01:22]
    • Derek Halpern (investor & founder of Social Triggers) [1:05:35]
    • Danielle LaPorte (inspirational speaker, author and entrepreneur) [1:07:05]
    • Marie Forleo (founder of MarieTV & b-school) [1:07:58]
    • Lewis Howes (former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and host of one of my favorite podcasts, The School of Greatness) [1:11:16]
  • Selena explains what the most successful people she knows all have in common. [1:09:01]
  • The one productivity tool that Selena cannot live without. [1:12:09]
  • Find out how Selena defines success and all the different aspects it comes down to. [1:12:29]
  • Selena shares a great guide on meeting people at events. [1:14:14]
  • Selena shares the best advice she has ever received (from her mentor and entrepreneur Ramit Sethi). [1:15:27]
  • Selena shares the two books that have had the greatest impact on her career and her clients. [1:16:15]

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Free Bonus: Click here to download Selena’s gift for Deconstructing Success listeners, The Ultimate Guide to Meeting People at Events. 24 expert tips to turn strangers into friends, clients, and high-leverage connections!

Learn More About Selena:

One Question for You to Answer Right Now:

What influencer would you like to connect with? Why? Leave a comment below with your answer.

One Last Thing…

If you enjoyed listening to this episode of my new podcast, then please support the show by leaving a subscribing on iTunes. It’s easy and takes about 30 seconds to do!

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26 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Patricia Landon

    Thank you so much Selena and Chris for this amazing and inspiring interview! This is the first time I have ever listened to an entire podcast episode and I actually wish it was longer :P You two have a really great way of talking with eachother and helping people.

    You really made my day and motivated me to reach out to someone in my business who I have been putting off contacting for way too long!

    • That means so much to me Patricia! Thank you for letting me know =)

  • Great interview, really enjoyed it.

  • Hi Chris and Selena,
    This is jam packed podcast full of so many valuable nuggets.
    I am proud graduate of Selena course Get known Get clients. And it had completely changed the course of the way I run my business.
    When Selena shares about how to add value to influencers and giving for the sake of giving – I truly resonated with this point.
    This is something Selena talks about all the time and I’ve truly taken it to heart and it’s made a huge impact on the relationships I have.
    I also loved the part when Derek halpern told you about focusing on your readers
    And how you got stuck in the scarcity mindset or horsetrading. Making sure you have the same amount.
    I loved that point and made note of it for myself on areas where I find myself stuck on that mindset
    Thank you again selena for offering so much value in this interview and to Chris for asking great questions as you deconstructed Selena success!

    • Thank you for listening Chanie! Yes, that advice from Derek was so valuable to me.

  • Carolien

    Dear Chris and Selena, this is a wonderful podcast session packed full of actionable tips and advanced insights. It’s such a delight to learn from your experience.

    In fact, when you talked about how to plan 2-3 year goals and act upon them, I opened up Evernote and started to take notes on how I can apply this to my business.

    To answer your question: I would love to connect with influencer Ramit Sethi and his team. I met him once (thanks to Selena!) but it was kind of a “celebrity meeting” experience. I’m dying to find out who planned his upcoming Forefront event.

    • Hi Carolien, thank you for listening! Loved that my goal-planning tips were helpful. =)

  • What a great and thoughtful interview – it’s over 1 hour of listening but it all worth it!
    Selena, you truly act from the place of mindfulness and generosity!
    My key takeaways:
    1) Greatest definition of success ever: to be able to overcome any challenge as we work towards creating our ideal life, with the right mindset, focus on relationships and having that personal drive.
    2) Approach to longterm planning (awesome!): successful people plan their success; you spend lots of time planning your actions and anticipating failures ( = having plans for black scenarios)
    3) It takes time and focus to do things ‘wow’ – better to do 1 thing and do it exceptionally well (that’s one of the things I struggle the most)
    4) Influencers maintain their status as industry leaders & impact millions of people because they stay true to values of excellence and true giving – this is what helped them to go from 0 to where they are now. True givers, getting there throught commitment & don’t giving up.
    5) Success is hard when you do it alone.
    Surround yourself with inspiring people… and build an awesome team to support you. Loved how Selena endorses her team and points out their important role to her success.

    Thank you Chris for getting this amazing interview for us!

  • Hi Selena and Chris,
    I loved this interview! Selena you truly inspires me in the way your desire to help others improve their lives, make others feel important and how you so strategically grows your business.

    My favorite insights are that you have to fight for your dreams and the advice Ramit Sethi gave you about doing what feels right for us in creating our business.

    I currently have a program that I am trying to fill and I can’t wait to put into action your advice about contacting my email list and getting them on the phone.

    Thank you for offering such quality and valuable content.

    • Thank you Kendra! I’m so glad that what I said about fighting for your dreams resonated. Good luck with your launch!!

  • Linda Brogan

    Do you know what was interesting about listening to this podcast Selena Soo I’m not sure who of us has grown.

    In one way you are not saying anything I have not heard you say before. You are always clear. But either you are saying it with a different force or I am hearing it with different clarity.

    I suppose it is a mixture of the two. A lot of the action you put in place are instinctual to me too. I like to give value. I believe relationships grow. I understand that truly great ideas take time to grow. I actually enjoy planning and find it very creative. When you pin something down, a great idea can suddenly burst forth like a fire breathing dragon who’s tail you have to grab hold of.

    What I adore is having all this verified from someone at the top of the mountain, going yes, just put that foot in front of that, now use your fingers to grab on that bit.

    In a nutshell what I loved about this interview it was like meeting you again, but me now being a handsome prince too and walking around the ball. And you Selena Soo are the person who removed my rags and gave me the bath and the new outfit and told me which knife and fork to use.

    • Thank you Linda! This is so poetic. I cherish every word. =)

      • Linda Brogan

        You are welcome Selena. I have been phoning like a madman since listening to your interview. Having taken courage in your sprint to sell your first programme, that would be embarrassing if you didn’t. I have been feeling the same; what if I can’t market my project. But instead of scared and worried I am taking action, inspired by you.

  • What a dynamic and articulate interview. Super inspiring, Selena, thank you (and Chris). I so appreciated in particular the 18 month plan, to 3 year plan, and the approach of polishing and refining one’s business services and offerings.

    I’ve been slow and steady in my own business growth, adding what’s right for me to be of the greatest service and build a great income at the same time. I just love the description of planning, and placing it into the calendar. I find this is exceptionally important for me as well, but it’s so fantastic to seriously consider the steps for any project or creation in the future and hear your suggestions about this and how it works for you.

    Thankyou!!

    Grace Bell (coach for The Work of Byron Katie and mindfulness)

    • Thank you Grace! I really appreciate you listening to the interview. So glad the project planning tips were helpful.

  • This was a fantastic interview! Selena always brings it in her interviews- she provides massive value and leaves super useful “success clues” all over the place.

    Thanks so much for this Chris. great job!

  • This podcast was gold! Selena shares how to really set yourself apart from everyone else, and catapult to a different level. My biggest takeways were:

    1. The biggest names in business create true quality. They put excellence into everything they do, and make so much excellent content freely available. It was really realistic when you gave exact examples of who the online stars are, because it’s so relatable how they are consistently on the top.

    2. Developing relationships with influencers is a long-term game. I really loved the story of how you developed your relationship with Farnoosh, and now you’re going to be in O, which is not even something you were ever thinking about. You wanted to help her and that was your priority, and it comes back around.

    3. How you create blocks of time in advance to plan your business. Hearing your organization was very inspiring. I would love to hear more from you about these specifics, such as an example calendar or list of tasks. This is a big challenge to some business owners like me!

    Chris, you did an incredible job digging into Selena’s answers to bring out golden nuggets of advice! This was one of my favorite interviews!

    • Thank you Nagina! And yes, Chris is an incredible interviewer and great at digging into important details. =)

  • Selena, I just heard your podcast last night and WOW – it was one of the best interviews I have ever heard. SO much value – I loved what you said about 1) Working hard for your dreams 2) Success is not an accident – influencers like Ramit and Marie have been there hustling for over a decade 3) How to be a good leader – by respecting your team’s capabilities and taking their counsel to go to the next level (so incredible to see a humble entrepreneur who thinks so highly of her team) 4) Realising that many of us think we are doing everything we can – but we don’t truly push ourselves to the limit. Thanks for being open and sharing your story about that. I ordered both “Get a Grip” and “Built to Last” immediately after listening to your podcast and intend to read them this week. Thanks again for all the awesome you bring into this world – I’m super inspired! :)

  • I’m currently in one of Selena’s programs (GKGC) and it has been a game changer for my business. Selena truly has a passion for building success in a sustainable and fulfilling way. Her stories and insights always inspire me and Chris did a great job of bringing it all out. Awesome!

    • Thank you Susan! I so appreciate your kind words, and it’s an honor to support you in GKGC!

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