About a year into my first business, I noticed an uncanny trend.

The vast majority of my new customers were people I’d connected with through email.

At the time, I was trying automate as much as possible. I was obsessed with funnels and scaling and whatnot.

But the thing that matters most to a business—customers—wasn’t coming from my fancy systems. It came from me taking a few extra minutes each day to reply to emails.

Do things that don’t scale.

Fast forward five years, and the same thing is happening as we speak.

I’m in the process of launching a coaching and consulting program for creators. (The idea for this came from replying to my emails, by the way.)

Every single person who’s enrolled is someone I’ve jumped on a Zoom call with over the past few months.

These weren’t sales calls, mind you. They were “let’s get to know each other” calls.

There was never any expectation of selling something. It was about connection and service. It was about making a new internet friend.

And now some of those friends are customers, and likely fans for life.

Do things that don’t scale.

Your business is an ecosystem of touch points. And while all of these interactions matter, some pull more weight than others.

The more you connect 1-on-1—whether through email, social replies, Zoom calls, or anything else—the more meaningful that interaction will be for your fans.

In these moments of connection, you’re signaling two powerful things.

  1. That you’re a real person
  2. That you genuinely care

You can’t really fake your way into these things. And you can’t automate it.

Do things that don’t scale.