How to Connect With Your Heroes in 3 Short Steps

It’s not as hard as you’ve convinced yourself it is

Danny Forest
5 min readOct 19, 2020


My badass friend Kim Bauman, of One Love Movement, on a Zoom call with her hero, Michelle Obama.

Take a short moment to think about the people you admire from afar; the people who inspire you and whom you’d like to connect with. Do they seem unapproachable to you?

Most people think their “heroes” are out of their reach; that there’s no way they would ever give a minute of their time to them. For the most part, it’s not true. People are more approachable than they seem. You just need the right approach to get their attention.

I remember when I started reading on Medium. I was looking up to the top writers and wanted to befriend them. I didn’t believe I could, so I did nothing towards that. I had pages of notes about who I wanted to connect with but kept procrastinating reaching out to them.

Today, I’m friends with every writer I wanted to connect with. For some of them, it happened through reaching out, for others, it happened using Steve Martin’s “Be so good they can’t ignore you” rule.

The 3 steps I’m about the share works way beyond the writer world. My friend Brian Pennie used it to connect with Ireland’s top CEOs, important book publishers, TV producers and stars, and more. That led him to publish a solid memoir and star on a TV show about it.

When I asked Brian about his approach over a year ago, he told me:

“Danny, it’s simple, really. I just sent them an email and they replied.”

You think this is overly simple? Think again!

The majority of people don’t reach out to people ahead of them because they think they’re unreachable. If you reach out, you’re the exception. Legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky said it best:

“You miss every shot you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky

I used the same process to connect with the CEO of Upwork. You’d think he’d want nothing to do with a “regular” guy like me, but you’d be wrong.

So, is it really only just about reaching out? No, but it’s one of the steps. Here are the three steps:

Step 1. Do your research



Danny Forest

Polymath. Life Optimizer. Learner. Entrepreneur. Engineer. Writer.