Nick Gray on Creating Great Networking Events with a 2-Hour Cocktail Party – EP 350

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One of the best ways to grow your network, find investors and make deals is networking. And today’s guest has mastered the art of putting on a great networking event.

Nick Gray is the bestselling author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: How to Build Big Relationships with Small Gatherings. I’m a big believer in face-to-face events to help grow brands, recruit partners, and find deals, and Nick’s unique strategy makes these events even more powerful and productive.

In our conversation, Nick and I dig deep into how to host a successful networking event and how to market a great party that connects you to private capital. You’ll discover how to bring the party to you instead of going to a boring party, why saying “no sales” makes it so much easier to sell to great people, and the beauty of sitting back, listening, and asking questions.

Key Takeaways with Nick Gray

  • Nick’s proven formula for becoming super connected in any city–even if you’ve just moved there.
  • How to raise $2 million from two-hour cocktail parties (and why you don’t want to only invite real estate people).
  • Why so many networking functions are boring and unproductive.
  • How to be seen as a super-connector and an expert.
  • How the NICK method for 2-hour cocktail parties gets people excited, organically inspires conversation, and can boost your career–whatever it is.

Nick Gray Tweetables

“For somebody to truly appreciate you as an investor, as a leader, as a syndicate of these deals, you need to be seen as a super-connector and as an expert.”

“One of the biggest mistakes that people make is they try to host a client event and they only invite real estate folks.”


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Josh Cantwell: So, hey, welcome back to the show. Hey, this is Josh. And listen, let me ask you a question. Have you ever wanted to grow your network? Have you ever wanted to raise more money? Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever felt like, “You know, I really haven’t made a new friend in a long time?” Have you ever asked yourself like, “Hey, I’d really like to buy that $15 million, $20 million apartment complex and I need to raise $4 million. Like, how am I going to do that exactly?” Well, on today’s show, I have the answer to all of those questions. Today, I’m joined by Nick Gray. Nick is the author of the book called The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: How to Build Big Relationships with Small Gatherings. Nick is a best-selling author, and his goal is to help people be more connected through what’s called a two-hour cocktail party. And I found that this interview is specifically and exactly lines up with what I teach my members, which is what I call our brand syndication system. It’s our system for syndicating our brand out to the world through face-to-face events and also through social media platforms to basically recruit JV partners, recruit more capital, more cheerleaders, more people we can buy real estate from, sold real estate to, and recruit capital from.

And Nick has taken this concept of the face-to-face networking event, and he’s put it on absolute steroids. You’re going to love this interview with Nick Gray, again, the author of the 2-Hour Cocktail Party. And in this interview, we talk about, number one, how to become super connected. Number two, how to raise $2 million from two-hour cocktail parties. Number three, what are the problem with existing networking functions and why they’re so freaking boring? And number four, what are the best practices for running a very effective, highly productive cocktail party using the Nick Method? So, whether you’re a brand new investor, whether you are a real estate investor, whether you’re a real estate agent, whether you’re just looking for more clients or more friends, a bigger network, or whether you’re looking to raise $100 million, you’re going to love this interview on the Accelerated Investor podcast with myself and Nick Gray. Here we go.


Josh Cantwell: So, Nick, hey, listen. So excited to have you on the show today. Welcome to Accelerate Investor.

Nick Gray: Hey, great. I’m excited to talk about hosting parties and networking and how we can grow that possible investor base.

Josh Cantwell: Yeah, absolutely. So, let’s talk about what’s going on in the market today. If you want to talk about some of the things that you’ve taught, some of your clients, or some passion projects that you’re working on, as we kind of introduce you to our audience here and get the show rolling, tell us a little bit about some of the things that you’re most passionate for that you’re working on that you really get excited about.

Nick Gray: Okay. So, the focus of my work is in teaching people how to host either a well-run networking event, a meet-up, a client event, or just a happy hour for your friends and neighbors. In my day-to-day, literally what I’m working on today and this is so small and silly, but I had one of my virtual assistants get sniped. Somebody found her on LinkedIn and hired her for three times what I was paying her. And while I could afford to pay her that, I said, “Damn, then I have to raise the salary of everybody else on my team.” And so, we had to let her go. Hired somebody new. She’s working out. So, I’m in a good mood. It’s her eighth day with us. And so, that’s building and growing. My support team is really helpful. So, that’s what I’m like in the weeds of.

Josh Cantwell: Got it. It sounds great. I know you’re working on some really big stuff with your clients and they’re hosting these cocktail parties, these client events, these networking events. And as Nick, as we talked about getting ready for the show, a lot of our listeners are real estate investors and they rely on private capital. They rely on private money to recruit private money into their deals, the more money they have. I teach our group like funding equals freedom, and funding comes from your network, and your network is built multiple ways but one of the ways is by face-to-face events, whether it’s Zooms, whether it’s face-to-face client parties, whether it’s networking functions, and those kinds of things. You’ve kind of become an industry expert on just how to create a party, market a party, and run a party. So, why don’t we just jump into that? Why don’t you tell us a little bit about the book to start and then what would they learn if they bought the book, downloaded the book? Let’s just jump right into it. So, tell us first of all, first question is, why did you write the book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party? What were you hoping to get from it? And then we’ll jump into some of the teachings around it.

Nick Gray: Great. And I’m happy to share all the stuff that’s in my book. I’m not hiding back any secrets. I’ll tell your listeners today exactly what they can do to make their next client event three times better than anything that they’ve done in the past. Why did I write the book? When I moved to New York City, I didn’t know anybody. I wasn’t outgoing. And I don’t do well at nightclubs and loud networking events. I’d go to these and I’d leave feeling frustrated, single, and alone and like it was my fault. And I realized that instead of going to bad events, I would learn how to host a good event. Instead of going to crappy parties, I would bring the party to me. And that changed everything for me. It put me at the center and I became known as like a super connector, and that happened over a period of about ten years and I hosted hundreds of cocktail parties, dinner parties, other things. And I found a formula of what makes a successful event. I never wanted to write a book but I made a Google doc to teach some friends how to do what I did as they moved and left New York, how to build a network in a new city. And that Google doc got passed around and shared among people and I kept adding to it.

And then after a couple of years, I was like, “All right. I think I’ll release this as a book.” I’m passionate about teaching people how to run a good event because I’m tired of going to crappy events myself. And that’s the big purpose of what I do.

Josh Cantwell: Yeah. Fantastic stuff. So, what did you find? Let’s start with the negatives or the bad parties, right? And the things they do, they go to a party they leave alone, kind of dejected, like they didn’t accomplish anything, and that was their fault. So, let’s kind of describe that, like what do typical parties look like and what’s wrong with them in your eyes? We’ll start with that and then we’ll talk about how to make it much more appealing, like the way you’ve done it. But what’s wrong with a lot of the things that you see now with networking parties, client parties, and why don’t more people do them the right way?

Nick Gray: So, let’s think about the typical client event, which is the assumption that if I provide food, drinks, and a venue, that that’s enough, that that’s all I need to do and people will just show up, right? That is fine, I guess, but you can make it so much better. Here’s what’s wrong with that. For somebody to truly appreciate you as an investor, as a leader, as a syndicate of these deals, you need to be seen as a super-connector and as an expert. And the way to do that is when people come to your events, they want to meet new people. And when you don’t step up to the plate and make it easy for them to meet new people and have new conversations, you’re actually showing a lack of leadership. You’re showing that, “Oh, I’m just going to coast. I’m going to be that chill host who’s not going to provide introductions, who’s not going to do things.” And so, that’s one of the biggest problems. There are other things that happen at a lot of events and parties such as the lights are low, the music is too loud, there’s no structure, no facilitation, there’s no icebreakers, the host neglects to send reminder messages.

All those things are kind of like table stakes for how a lot of events are. But even as simple as hosting a client event on a Friday night, that’s a socially competitive night. In fact, I tell people you should only be hosting on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights and then just set a two-hour time limit. That two-hour time limit, by the way, makes it easier for people to say yes and it improves your attendance rate. So, that’s some of the stuff that’s wrong. There’s so much more that can go right, actually, to make it a win for everyone who attends.

Josh Cantwell: Yeah. Let’s talk about that then. So, we’ve identified the problems. You moved a few times. You had friends that were moving. They were experiencing these terrible events, these terrible kind of experiences. A lot of the things that you just mentioned, I’ve been to those kind of events many times. It’s like, “God, why am I here?” Like, I’m not meeting anybody. It seems like there’s like those clique of people over there and I can’t get into that group because they all know each other already. I don’t want to just barge in like back when I was in my twenties and I’m a single guy and there was a group of girls and I wanted to barge into the group of girls and start talking to some of them. They’re very close. They looked very like a closed group. That’s what a lot of people are experiencing at these networking functions. And so, now we look at, okay, Nick, let’s take me for an example. If I’m looking to buy my next $20 million apartment complex and I’ve got some clients already that I’ve already raised money with, but I want to grow that network and recruit more money and I want to host. One of my strategies is to host some sort of two-hour event.

What kind of things would you suggest? What are things in your book that, “These are some must-dos, Josh, if I was coaching you, Josh, to do your next event and do it really, really well.” Let’s talk through that.

Nick Gray: So, here’s what I did in the past and it’s what I would recommend. If you’re raising money for a multifamily deal, know that many people are interested in multifamily investing and yet they don’t even know where to begin. So, I would think about hosting an event that was more like an informative seminar or a salon to discuss about real estate investing and to explicitly say there will be no sales, absolutely no sales. I’m going to invite people who work in the industry, but there’s absolutely no sales. This is more like a knowledge event. By the way, you will suddenly be selling. By being the host of the event, you will be top of mind for all of these people and it is an easy layup for you to follow up to them the next day and say, “Hey, thanks for coming so much. Do you mind like can we chat the next day for 10 minutes? Ten-minute phone call, that’s all I want for your time just to tell you about the deals and what I’m seeing flowing through in my network.” When you host an event that’s informative, when you add value first, that’s the biggest thing.

And so, the way that I would structure an event like that would be that I would ask some other people who have experience. I would say, “Hey, would you be willing to talk at my event? I may get 15, 20, 25 people together. Would you talk for 2 or 3 minutes? No slides, nothing but just about your experience, how you came into investing in multifamily. I don’t want you to sell for me, I don’t want you to sell to them, but just share about your own experience.” And I would have a couple of those people talk and I would seed the room with a couple of questions. And trust me, you want to seed with the dumbest possible questions first because while it may seem dumb to you, people are thinking it, but they’re too afraid to ask the question. Even a simple question, “What does multifamily mean?” You will be shocked. People don’t know these simple words and definitions. So, I would think about structuring an event a little less like a happy hour and a more like an informative session to think about your deal flow and the top of the pipeline. There’s a lot of people with a lot of money out there who don’t even know how to get involved in multifamily.

What do you think about that, by the way? You’re a pro at this and so what do you think on the advice? How would you modify what I just said?

Josh Cantwell: No, I love it because when I’ve done mine, like everybody kind of assumes because I have a lot of experience that I’m going to sell something, that I’m going to invite you and I’m going to pitch you on my deal. And I’ve realized that one of the pieces of advice I give my mastermind members and my audiences when I speak is you want to slow roll as much as possible because the more you slow roll, the more people will get comfortable, the more they’ll kind of convince themselves that you’re someone of credibility, you’re someone of authenticity, and they will convince themselves that they like you and that they want to invest. They’ll actually invest more money more often if you take it slower at the beginning. So, your advice around 2 to 3 minutes of somebody just getting up and sharing like that’s like the icebreaker, right? And then a couple more people to share and then a couple of kind of seeded questions from the group kind of gets the sharing going. So, it kind of gets the goo, the goo that people feel when they walk in. They’re like, “How is this going to go? Is this going to be weird? Am I going to meet anybody? Is somebody going to sell something?” It kind of removes all of that and the ice is broken to allow people now to network with each other.

And ultimately, yeah, if you have 20 people there, you don’t need all 20 people to invest. As a matter of fact, none of them, Nick, might invest at all but they might be so excited about you and the way that they were treated that they’ll refer you. They’ll become a cheerleader for you. So, no, I love the advice that you started with for sure.

Nick Gray: And that’s exactly right. You’re top of mind for people. And so, we host these client events. And what I’ve come up with, by the way, is an easy, repeatable formula because I find the people that have the most success with growing their network, their investor base are those who can make hosting a habit. They think about their sales funnel completely differently because the secret is everyone wants to be invited to a party. Do they want to get on the phone with you? I don’t know but everyone wants to be invited to a party. And when you set this up in the way of saying, “Look, I’m involved in real estate but I meet all these interesting people in town. I’m just hosting a little happy hour to get some of those people together. We’re going to talk a little bit about real estate, but there is no sales involved. The purpose of this party really is just to meet, connect, and network with other people in a little bit of a structured way.” And so, you will be most successful. By the way, one of the biggest mistakes that people make is they try to host a client event and they only invite real estate folks.

You need to recognize that it is very hard for adults to meet new people and make new friends, and you will be successful when you can mix up people that are not involved in real estate at all. It makes your party feel less transactional and more authentic. And the last thing I’ll say is you can turbocharge your relationships when you host this event at your home. It completely snaps people out of the mindset that this is a business networking event. Now, many people may be listening to say, “Look, I’m raising these $10 million deals and I don’t live in a place. I’m very frugal. I don’t live in a place that’s representative of myself as a business.” That’s a limiting belief. I’ve talked to people about this a lot. They will respect you more for the vulnerability of inviting them into your house. And I guarantee you they’re not going to show up to your house, look around, and say, “This party sucks. I’m going to go start a rival party.” They’re not going to leave. That doesn’t happen. They respect you more and it turbo charges the relationship when you invite someone into your home. It’s incredible.

Josh Cantwell: I love it. Nick, one of the things that you said that I wrote down right away was, “Be the host but you don’t have to be the main speaker,” because like you said, you have maybe somebody else for 2 or 3 minutes actually get up and speak and somebody else, another person get up and speak about their experience. Maybe then having some questions that you see in the group where you’re asking a question of the group because a lot of people, when they get into multifamily, they’re like, “I want to buy a $10 million apartment complex. I want to buy a hundred units.” And out of that, the rule of thumb is you’re going to need to raise about 30% of the purchase price in private money. So, that’s about $3 million to $3.5 million. And they’re like, “Yeah. I know I need to raise this private capital to be able to buy the property, but private capital revolves around me being a speaker or somebody. If I want to do this kind of networking, I’ve got to be the face. I’ve got to be the one in front of everybody. I get to keep everybody’s attention for 2 hours.”

And what I heard you say is they don’t have to do that at all. You have to be the host and create a great environment, but not be the speaker, not be the person that’s in the front of the room like standing, keeping 20, 30, 50 people’s attention for 2 hours. That’s what I love about where you’ve gone already. Do you have any comments on that as far as follow-up for people who are maybe more of an introvert that don’t want to be the main speaker?

Nick Gray: Yes. You’re speaking at the whole party less than 10 minutes in total. Your role is more of an air traffic controller and you’re just keeping these other conversations. Look, here’s why people are going to love your events and why you’ll become famous as a super-connector because they will meet new people at your party. The whole purpose and the structure that I’ve set up is to encourage a lot of new meet-ups and meetings and conversations amongst people who attend. It’s very hard. We underestimate as salespeople, as thinking about leads and deals, we are on the extreme end of the sociability sector of society. The average person has not made a new friend in the last two or three years, and the idea to host an event for the interesting people that you’ve met in town, a lightweight happy hour, come and meet some new people is such an incredible offering that you get to give them the gift of that, “Oh, and by the way, I do real estate. We’re going to talk about that a little bit if you have questions.” But there is absolutely no selling. This is the purpose is to meet some new people. Okay. This is the long run. What’s the word that you said? It’s the slow roll.

Josh Cantwell: Yeah, exactly. If we slow roll people, I found that when it comes to raising capital specifically for multifamily, the faster we talk about our deal, the faster we talk about raising money, the more we’re talking, the more we’re losing. And so, there’s a quote I actually have downstairs. I worked out this morning in my gym. I have all these mirrors up. And one of the quotes that I wrote is that, “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.” That’s one of the things I wrote.

And so, I will look at that every morning. And when I work with investors, I want to control the conversation by asking questions, which also means that I don’t have to be the main speaker. I’m the one just asking the right questions. A lot of other people like to be the ones that are speaking, talking, networking. I’ve just got to kind of inch them around, inch them forward by asking good questions, right? And like you said, I could imagine if you’re hosting one of these events and you know someone, you’re just kind of then introducing them to somebody else, asking them some questions to get them talking. And as that leader connector, which also ultimately is going to result in more relationships and more money raised.

Nick Gray: That’s exactly right. It puts you on a pedestal. You don’t talk. You’re not talking at the party. Everybody else is talking. You’re the one that’s asking questions. People are mixing, mingling. By the way, what happens at these parties? There will be two or three moments of structure, and the rest of it is what a typical client event is, is that mix and mingle. But in those two or three moments of, hey, let’s hear from a couple of people, let’s do questions, let’s do around the icebreakers, it breaks up the party so people can have new conversations and the excuse to end their existing conversations.

Josh Cantwell: Yeah, sure.

Nick Gray: Because how many times does that happen, right? You go to an event, you’re like, oh, God, I’m stuck with this person. I want to be rude. Well, when you as the host lead a couple of these structured events, it gives them all an excuse to end. By the way, setting the two-hour time limit is incredibly helpful. You may think it’s a negative. You’ll actually get thanked for it afterwards. People will thank you for running a well-run, tightly structured event where they got to meet a lot of new people.

Here’s the thing, if you’re thinking about your sales process, your funnel raising money from investors, I guarantee you that 10 times as many people simply want to be invited to a party than are receptive to a call. And the beauty is that after they’ve attended one of your events, they will be 20 times more receptive to you simply saying, “Hey, real quick, can we have a five-minute call so I can just explain what I do, some of the deals I’m looking at, some things that are coming across?” However, you suggest they have that sales call, know that after you’ve invited someone to your party, the door is wide open for that.

Josh Cantwell: I love it. I love it. And we’ve been very fortunate that we started doing training events a long time ago. And so, we’ve seen the benefits of this for years because we are hosting essentially a large seminar for maybe two or three days. And we’re also the host, the main speaker, the leader. And that’s resulted in people coming up to me and saying, “Hey, Josh, I’ve got half a million dollars. I’ve listened to your podcast or I’ve been to one of your seminars. I know everything you guys do already. I’m ready to invest. Let me know when you have a deal coming.” So, that’s like what you’re talking about, kind of on steroids?

Nick Gray: Yes.

Josh Cantwell: Let’s bring that back to the basics. And Nick, so why don’t you walk us through best practices? Obviously, everybody can get your book. It’s available on Amazon. It’s available at, These are all places you can go to get Nick’s book. You can get all the detail in the book, but let’s talk through, Nick, some of the best practices or the highlights in the book.

So, let’s say I don’t have a big digital marketing presence. I don’t have a podcast, but I’ve landed, I maybe just recently moved in a new area and I know I want to invest in multifamily and I’ve got a few contacts that I’ve already made in that area and I’m kind of starting from zero, but I’ve got some contacts, some friends I’ve made, some maybe business colleagues that I’ve already met, and I’m thinking, okay, I want to expand my network quickly, one, because I want to have more fun. I want to meet more cool people. But also, because I want to raise some capital.

Take that person. What are the best practices? What are they going to find in the book? Where do you think they should start? And what are some things that they should start doing to actually do their first party and execute that?

Nick Gray: So, the first thing that somebody like that needs to know is that they need to build a warm list. And so, for their first party, we want it to be a low-stakes affair. I do not want them reaching out to their top shelf of desired contacts. Your first party needs to be an easy win for you. You’re going to invite a mix of your friends, neighbors, work colleagues, people you went to college with, something like that. It is not going to be a real estate-focused event. You are simply building up your list and learning how to run an effective happy hour.

Now, what happens at that effective happy hour? What are the best practices that anyone listening can use for your next event? Think about my name. My name is Nick, N-I-C-K, each of those letters stands for one of the key points I’ll tell you about. N stands for name tags. Now, I know what you may be thinking. That sounds too corporate, too formal. No, I will die on this hill. Even for your neighbors and friends, you need to have name tags because exactly what you said, Josh, it looks like it’s a party of clicks. And when everybody wears name tags, it creates a safe space. It’s the visual unifier that everybody there is to meet new people, this is not a party of clicks. So, N is for name tags.

I stands for icebreakers. You’re going to lead two or three rounds of icebreakers that are very quick. They’ll go fast. I think icebreakers get a bad reputation because people run them incorrectly and they make them awkward. I’ve led thousands of icebreakers myself. I’ve learned the questions that work 100% of the time. Two of those questions are as follows, one, at the beginning of an event, I will ask this. Let’s go around the circle. Say your name, say what you do for work, or how you spend your days, and tell me one of your favorite things to eat for breakfast. What’s your go-to?

Now, you may think that’s stupid, childish, or silly. I’ll tell you why it works. The answer is fast. It doesn’t take a long time to think about. People with social anxiety don’t get locked up. There’s no judgment. And everybody shares or expresses a little piece of their personality in the answer to that question.

Later on, at the party, about an hour later for your last icebreaker, you will ask them what I call a value-additive question that will make the room feel smarter so that you, as a host, look better. Everyone will share their answer to a question such as what’s one of the greatest purchases you’ve made over the last year for $100 or less? Could be an object or an experience. It could be a kitchen gadget or a massage. That’s one question.

The other one that I use at most of my parties is what’s a great piece of media that you’ve consumed recently? Could be a documentary, a book you read, a podcast you love listening to, a YouTube channel, just what’s something that you’ve consumed that you would recommend to the room. Why does this work? Everyone is going to be going around the room sharing these value-additive things, and they’re going to leave your party feeling smarter.

When you go to a party and you get all these recommendations for awesome stuff, this is why your party will be successful and you will sell without even having to sell. I’ll take a pause there because I’ve been talking for a long time.

Josh Cantwell: Yeah, yeah, no sweat. So, first one, N, name tags. I totally got it because it’s tough to walk into a group and just kind of introduce yourself and put your hand out and then, as opposed to, hey, I see that person’s name, hey, I see that person’s name, at least I know their name. I can break the ice a little easier by starting with that.

And then number two is I as icebreakers, one kind of at the beginning, I love the favorite breakfast because some people are going to say coffee, some people say eggs, oatmeal, some people like steak and eggs. It reveals a little bit of your personality. Maybe some people are on intermittent fasting and they don’t eat at all. So, that reveals something about them and the way that they start their day.

And then you said, a value-add purchase, like who doesn’t want to know about one cool new gadget that somebody bought for 100 bucks or less? Because it doesn’t matter if you’re the super high-powered attorney in the room, it doesn’t matter if you run a family office and you’re in the room, or it doesn’t matter if you’re the property manager making $50,000 a year in the room. Everybody wants to buy something that is a good deal. It’s a good value.

Also, consuming media, right? So, for me, consuming media, I have to use this one with the podcast. I just started going through and I’ve already finished the show on Netflix called Full Swing. So, if anybody in here like sports, but in particularly golf, it’s actually a docuseries on last year’s PGA Tour and some of the upheaval that the PGA Tour is experiencing because of the new Saudi Golf League.

Nick Gray: I’ve heard about that. Wow.

Josh Cantwell: So, Full Swing is just eight episodes. You could get through it in basically a day or a weekend. I loved it. The other one is The Monster of Wall Street. It’s, again, a Netflix docuseries about Bernie Madoff and how he defrauded $69 billion worth of investors. It’s also a great series. So, I’ll share mine. There are a couple of easy things of media that I’ve consumed that I think are fun and easy to watch.

Nick Gray: Notice, by the way, how excited you got to share those things. When you do an icebreaker like this at one of your events, people get excited to share the things that they love and it gives them another access to connect on. What we want to do is we want to position you as the expert, as the super-connector, and when you start to host parties and you bring out that energy in people, notice this isn’t a rocket science question, this isn’t like curing cancer. It’s like, what’s something good you’ve watched on Netflix? But by adding a little bit of that structure, you set yourself out so far above the average client event where there is no structure because the host, oh, I just want to be a chill host, I just want to be cool. I’m just going to have food and drinks and just mix. No. You can do a few little things that will make you look so much better than everybody else in town.

Josh Cantwell: Yeah, I love it. So, you mentioned, I think there were four. N, I, we’ve gotten through. So, how about C, K? Tell us about those.

Nick Gray: So, C stands for cocktails only. Now, this isn’t a budgeting thing, but it’s to add a restriction to show you that you don’t need to serve food at your party. I’ll tell you why. Many people use budgeting and expense time as an excuse to not host a client event. They say, “Oh, you know, well, they do it around the holidays, we’ll do whatever.” You need to be hosting these client events at least once a quarter. Some of the most successful people do them once a month.

And I’m trying to remove any resistance or hesitation by saying cocktails only. This is not a dinner event, it’s cocktails only. Now, you can have finger food. Okay, so there are snacks, there are nuts, there are chips. But I’m showing you a formula to make it as easy as possible for you to gather and to change your mindset on what’s required. See? I’d rather have someone leave my party hungry than bored because hungry, they can handle, but if they come leaving bored, I can never recover from that.

Josh Cantwell: Yeah. And they’re thinking like, God, that was such a waste of time.

Nick Gray: Yes.

Josh Cantwell: Like people, amazing food, but if it’s a waste of two hours with amazing food, it still is the two hours.

Nick Gray: It’s still a waste. They can get a great meal anywhere, people. What they can’t get is this conversation and meeting new people. And that’s what’s special. So, that’s C. C is cocktails only. K, and this is important and you might have trouble with it, K stands for kick them out at the end. Your party is only two hours long. Now, why is that? Well, we want to end it when things are going well. Have you ever been the first to leave? Yes. So, they want more. So, they recommend it. So, they can’t wait to come back to the next one. Have you ever tried to sneak out of a party that’s dying? You feel guilty. You’re like, ooh, that’s so awkward. When you give people the excuse to leave, in fact, when you kick them out, they will be shocked and they’ll be thankful and they can’t wait to come back.

Josh Cantwell: Yeah, fantastic stuff, man. Way to put this in. Let the little N-I-C-K, cocktails only, kick them out at the end. And to add to that, from my practical real experience, when I get on a Zoom with a one-on-one investor, it’s usually the first meeting, I absolutely limit that to a half hour. Now, I might be meeting a whale, somebody who’s just loaded, somebody who’s a tech executive or an attorney or just sold a business for $50 million. I’ve had all of those conversations before. And you don’t want to just give those people more time just because they’re a whale or just because they’re loaded. That’s not going to help you.

What’s actually going to help you, as Nick just talked about, is when I set my Zooms for a half hour and I say, “Oh, I’ve got a half hour, let’s get started, let’s get going,” and then at the end of that half hour, even if we’re in the middle of some really good cool conversation, I’ll still say, “Hey, I’ve got to go. I’ve got another meeting about to start. Sorry, I got to cut this off.” What does that do? It actually creates a reason or an excuse to set up the next Zoom.

So, this is kind of a mini example using the same psychology that Nick is talking about of hosting your party. “Hey, sorry, but everybody’s got to go. I got to keep you guys out of here in 10 minutes. I promised my team I would close up the doors. I promise I’d be able to send everybody home.” And then people are like, “No, no, no, I want to stay.” “No, no, no, you have to leave.” It’s going to make people want more from that. So, I love the psychology that you’ve built into that.

Nick Gray: Thank you. Thanks very much. I’ve thought a lot about this and I’ve worked with hundreds of people to help them host. My whole goal is to help 500 people host an event. And while there are so many business benefits, I think personally, there is a loneliness epidemic that’s happening not just in America, but in a lot of the developed world. Now, post lockdowns, it’s harder than ever for adults to make new friends. And that’s my core. That’s my why.

I read a statistic that said 19% of American men don’t have a single close friend. And so, when we host these parties that help our friends meet other people, that help our business connections connect with others when we add value before we ask for any investment, it comes back to us 10x.

Josh Cantwell: Yeah, that’s fantastic stuff, Nick. Well, listen, as we kind of round third and head for home because we’ve got to kick everybody out and wrap this podcast up, Nick, fantastic stuff. I know there’s so much more that our audience can learn from your book and from you. I know your book is available on Amazon. We mentioned Again, are there any other pieces of advice or places they can go to engage with you as we kind of wrap up here?

Nick Gray: I recorded the book myself on Audible, and if you’re someone who only listens to audiobooks, buy it. I can tell you something interesting. I’ve been talking to hundreds of people who read my book. The people who read the Audible retain much less than those who read it physically, but the ones who retain the most buy both because they’ll listen to it in the car, and then they’ll buy it on there. But I’m not trying to sell multiple things of the book.

My one request, my one ask is that if this is interesting to you, if you think I would love to host a client event, please buy my book. Send me an email. My email, my phone number, they’re all over the internet. I’m @nickgraynews on social media. The number one goal that I’m obsessed with is trying to connect with 500 people who host an event like this and to talk to them and get their group photo afterwards. I keep a whole list of them on my website.

And by the way, you can use this formula to host a networking event, a happy hour. You could even host a clothing swap or a book swap, all of these types of events, I’m giving you an operating system to host well-run events. I’ll include some of those links in the show notes as well on how you can apply this to other gatherings that you may use for your business.

Josh Cantwell: I love it, Nick. This is fantastic stuff. It’s a core piece of what we do with multifamily investing, recruiting, and raising money, building our network. These are some fantastic nuggets in today’s interview. Thanks so much for sharing with us today.

Nick Gray: Thank you very much.


Josh Cantwell: Well, guys, listen, I have to tell you, after I got done with that interview with Nick, we stayed online for about another 10 minutes after we stopped recording and just really getting to know Nick and what he’s up to. And I’ve invited him to speak to my mastermind group, my Forever Passive Income, my Maverick Masterminds to specifically help them all raise more money through this two-hour cocktail party concept. And I’m definitely going to be implementing this. I host networking functions, meetups, whatever you want to call them, for the purposes of joint venture partnerships, and also, for the purposes of being a thought leader in my market, and also specifically to raise more money.

Now, I have all of Nick’s specific strategies and ideas in order to be able to do this more effectively. So, that interview, this last 40 minutes or so, to me, was hugely important for my future cocktail parties, for my future business. And I’m going to be working with Nick to optimize those. If you like this interview, please like, subscribe, rate, and review, and if you are interested in being involved in our Mastermind program, involved in being one of our partners in our multifamily investments, go visit There you can apply and go through the interview process. You must qualify through an interview. There you can go through the interview process to be invited into the mastermind. All right. So, hope you enjoyed this episode of Accelerated Investor, and we’ll see you next time.

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