Friends of Ben: Kai Chang

Name: Kai Chang

Network: Ben Casnocha –> Cold call to me — > Kai Chang

Google Search: "Kai Peter Chang"

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Within two minutes of talking to Kai Chang on the phone I picked up on how sharp he was.

For one, his listening skills blew me away. He asked terrific questions, responded thoughtfully, and engaged in a real two-way conversation. I was really impressed. I think good listeners are few and far between. We set up a time to have lunch the following week and I then got to witness Kai’s tremendous in-person charisma and energy.

Kai is a financial advisor here in the Bay Area. But calling him a financial advisor sells him short. He’s a life entrepreneur in the truest sense of the world. He’s an insatiable reader. Excellent impersonator (and humorist — see his Apple Switch Ad spoof). Thoughtful businessperson. Our conversation yesterday flowed smoothly from technology to relationships, from psychology to personal finance. Not only was I in the flow — an hour and a half felt like a couple minutes — I also had scribbled so many notes in my pad that later that night I thought to myself, "I could write 10 blog posts on all this stuff."

What can we learn from Kai? First, energy matters. In his about page he says, "I have…the energy of a nine-year-old on Christmas morning wired up on two liters of Coca-Cola and a box of Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs." Second, being a good listener pays. In his own words again, "[I’m a] freakishly effective listener/interviewer: people are unnerved at how easy it is to tell me secrets within days (or sometimes hours) of meeting me that they’ve kept from loved ones for years." Third, remember the T — go deep in one thing, but have broad knowledge. Kai’s deep point is financial advice — and nobody minds a good tip on how to manage their money — but his reading has made him an able conversationlist on many topics.

My relationship with Kai started from a simple cold call he made to me. Just goes to show that randomness can produce excellent connections. Extraordinary people are everywhere. Be open to finding them.

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