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Serial entrepreneur Joe Mindak is the Founder of The Connective. The Connective is a high-level networking community of purpose-driven connectors helping open doors for entrepreneurs and subject-matter experts through warm introductions. Joe has started and grown several businesses, including a magazine, a beer company, and a marketing company. His latest venture is Nolodex, a software company that powers The Connective and is available for public use.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Joe Mindak shares the idea behind The Connective’s business model
  • Joe explains the community’s invite-only selective process
  • What makes The Connective a powerful platform?
  • How do networking groups benefit from using The Connective?
  • Common mistakes people make when trying to form connections
  • How did Joe get started in the sales and marketing fields?
  • Joe discusses his business exoduses
  • Steps to starting a business

In this episode…

Are you someone always looking for recommendations? Or, maybe you’re the person everyone calls for a recommendation or connection. The trouble with being the connection liaison is that sometimes people can be unreliable and ruin your reputation. What if there was an elite networking community where the entire group was connected and vetted?

Look no further! Thanks to business leader Joe Mindak, a community of this caliber exists for echelon executives, founders, entrepreneurs, and experts. The piece de resistance? You can get paid for making connections! Intrigued?

Tune in to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with host Dr. Jeremy Weisz as he sits down with the Founder of The Connective, Joe Mindak. Learn more about the backstory of this innovative networking community, including why The Connective is such a powerful platform, the selective process it takes to get a network invitation, and the common mistakes people make when trying to form a connection.

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:01  

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz  0:22  

Dr. Jeremy Weisz, here, Founder of Inspired Insider where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. Today is no different. I have Joe Mindak of The Connective. Check it out. Before I formally introduce Joe. Joe, I always like to point out other episodes, people should check out the podcast. And since I know you have owned agencies and sold an agency, there’s some interesting episode I did with Jason Swenk where he talks about how he built his agency up also how they’re buying agencies and how he evaluates them. Todd Taskey episode also talks about he helps agencies kind of connects in agency to private equity, and he’s got the Second Bite podcast so you can check that out and some other amazing connectors when when I think of you Joe and, I was checking out what you do you we’re going to talk about how the model works and what you do there, which is pretty cool. I had interviewed Jayson Gaignard a long time ago who runs Mastermind Talks, and I also had Kevin Thompson on who does events as well. So check those episodes out. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25 and at Rise25, we help businesses give to and connect to your dream 100 relationships and how do we do that we help you run your podcast. You know, we are an easy button for a b2b business to launch and run your podcast. You know, for me, Joe, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I know you’re the same because I’ve watched your videos online and I found no better way to give to my relationships and you profile their company, what they’re doing, and the people I admire on the show over the past decade. And you know, shout from the rooftops and share what they’re working on with everyone else. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions, go to to learn more. And before introducing today’s guest, I want to give a big thank you to Niki Fielding, you know, because if it weren’t for Niki, I would not have met Joe. So thank you, Niki, and she’s CEO of digital brand expressions. And she’s been doing this for over an acre. But over a couple of decades, she has been doing this and she has services like SEO paid search. And she works. She’s worked with brands like Mitsubishi Aleve. The Ritz Carlton Wall Street Journal. So I’m excited to have Joe Mindak. He’s founder of The Connective and he’s helped to assemble a community of purpose driven connectors, subject matter experts, entrepreneurs, and what they do is help open the doors for each other and create value for one another. And he’s started seven businesses, probably when you’re listening to us, maybe there’s over seven businesses, but includes a marketing agency, a magazine, a beer company, he has a software company as well called Nolodex, that powers The Connective and you can use it also. And he’s going to talk about that. Joe, thanks for joining me. Yeah, Jeremy,

Joe Mindak  3:12  

Yeah, Jeremy, thanks so much for having me and appreciate Niki making an introduction here. So excited to choose gray. Yeah. So

Jeremy Weisz  3:18  

Talk about The Connective shows where the original idea come from.

Joe Mindak  3:24  

So you know, it’s something I had kind of slowly worked on over the years, I had an agency and we used to, you know, we used to broker print. And then I said, you know, I don’t want to do that anymore. And I just said that, uh, print agencies and companies said, Look, when I send you a lead, how about, you know, send me a commission, and they were like, sure, you know, I’m happy to do that. So I didn’t want to leave money on the table. So I got out of the brokering of the printing and just sent it to people. And I would make a little couple bucks here and there. And then when I sold the agency, I was always a connector. I was always a guy opening doors for people making introductions to people. So when I saw my agency people still call me like, Hey, Joe, I need a website, I need a video I need whatever I said, Okay, well, I don’t do that anymore. But tell me a little bit about what what it is that you need. And then based on what they gave me, I said, alright, you know what, Jeremy, this agency will be perfect for you. I know this group. I’ve worked with them before the best WordPress agency I know. And I make the introduction and they were happy because they got an introduction to a great resource that could do a good job for them and do it well. And agencies are happy because I just got them $100,000 project and just by making an introduction. So I started taking that same model and saying to agencies, listen, how about I bring you some more business and when I do that you pay me pay me comfortable commission that you feel you know that with your margins, what you can give and the agencies were more than happy to do that because they had no overhead as far as pay me a salary or you know, taxes benefits any of that as far as what you would have to pay a salesperson. If I brought them piece of business, they close the deal. They pay me a commission. So everyone was happy. So I did that the first year. And I kind of did it you know, as I was growing the beer company, I was working on this wedding a site I had working on. And I did it kind of as a side gig really. And I brought in $84,000 in commissions. So it wasn’t a bad little side gig. And I said, Well, what if I got a bunch of other people like myself that just love to sell, love to get out there and connect people love to network? And you know, let’s bring them all together and figure out how do we bring in business, help each other get business and then split up the Commission’s that come in. So that’s really how The Connective was born.

Jeremy Weisz  5:28  

I know, when I was researching this, you have a selective, a bit of a selective process, how do you decide as far as membership goes?

Joe Mindak  5:38  

So originally, I wanted to, you know, everyone wants to build their own networking, right never wants to build a better mousetrap. But you know, we’ve all been in networking groups over the years, and BNI groups are great right there. I was in them for 10 years. And those are great, too. There’s certain point, but what I found was I wasn’t getting the caliber of the people that I wanted to make the introductions that I was looking for, right, I was getting leads for a website for $1,000, where I my agency was doing websites for $100,000. So it just wasn’t the right caliber for what it was, I think BNI is great for local, really local stuff. And I would always tell people to join a BNI group, or le tip, whatever it might be. So I really wanted to bring in a different caliber of people that bring in a different caliber of business. So so we really wanted the vetting process to be, you know, companies that were really kind of b2b focused, and really bringing and bringing us into entries into you know, that mid level, you know, size company that a couple million dollars plus company up to $100 million, or so that, really you’re talking to the CEOs of the company, or the CFOs CMOs and they have some money to spend, and and they’re looking for a solution, not not the cheapest person on the block. So originally, I said, I’m going to invite you know, 20 people that I really hold near and dear to my heart that I’ve dealt with, I’ve been in business with, I know I can trust these people, they do a great job. And I’m going to be happy to introduce them to somebody, and they’ll be happy to introduce the other people. Because if you’re gonna introduce somebody to your client, you’ve got to make sure they’re going to make you look good, right? So so I brought in those original 20 Something people to join this and said, Look, guys, here’s what we’re doing here, we’re going to introduce each other, we’re going to share commissions, when those things come in, and then we’re going to grow this group, you know, organically by all of us bringing other people in so, so connected has only grown by people, members, inviting other members. So it’s an invite only type group. And then even when you’re invited, we’re gonna vet you out, right? So we’re gonna bring you to a couple of meetings, we’re going to put you in a room with other members, you know, they’re going to talk to you and make sure that, hey, let’s check this Jeremy guy out, make sure he’s really legit. And and you know, how people act right? A lot of it’s just a gut call from the beginning, you know, we have the members really say, you know, I’m vouching for this person. But then it’s a gut call to say, you know, I had a really great one on one with this person in a breakout room, or, you know, this person just dominated conversation what, let me get a word in edgewise. We don’t want that type of person. So so we go through, you know, a couple phases of of vetting people out. And we’ve had people call after a meeting, say, Listen, I know this person, I’ve dealt with them in the past, I don’t want them in the group, and that the members are the ones I call that out. So we’re, we, you know, we’ve turned down probably a lot more people than we let in over the over the years.

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