From the Vault #13 | How to Move to a New Town

Our From the Vault series examines episodes from The Art of Charm’s past more deeply; we invite you to revisit them — or discover them for the first time — with us. This From the Vault provides a brief overview of some tips and strategies shared by Jordan, AJ, and Johnny to help you succeed in moving to a new town. [Image by Paul Joseph]

Episode 400: Moving to a New Town was recorded in May 2015 and was the collection of lessons learned by the guys in their multiple moves around and across the country. It’s for those guys who want to have a plan of attack as they plot a move to a new town or a new country. It’s full of strategies to help you create a vibrant social circle instead of waiting for one to be magically bestowed on you.

First, Figure out Where You Want to Live

One of the lessons that Johnny, AJ, and Jordan learned about living in the Financial District in NYC during the early days of AoC is that while all the trains went there so it wasn’t hard to get to, no one wanted to go there in the evenings or weekends. It was dead.

You need to be in a great part of town, and that’s most easily done by simply doing research in person and online. You can go on scouting trips before you move, you can talk to locals, and you can even look on Yelp. “Do a search on Yelp in the neighborhood you’re thinking about living in,” said AJ, “and if you see a lot of red dots for restaurants and clubs and bars, you’re in a good spot. If everything is twenty to thirty minutes away, realize the obstacle you’re putting up for yourself, not just for hosting people, but for getting away yourself.”

Then, Be Open During Every Interaction

“Everyone entering your life on a social level is an opportunity to grow your network,” noted AJ. It’s true. You never know who can introduce you to whom and as people come into your life, always be open to adding value to their lives and they may do the same to yours.

Four Different Groups

The guys talked about four distinct groups you could enter (or create for yourself) which help you develop different groups of people that make for great cross-pollination.

  • An all men’s group. This could be a peer group or one focused on entrepreneurship, or even personal development. AJ mentioned that he and Jordan, when they first moved to L.A., were part of a “hookah group” which was just a group of fellow business owners who discussed entrepreneurship issues.
  • A coed group. The classic example here is a Meetup group in various interests you might have. The dynamics are different from the all-male group and this will help vary the types of people you are meeting. You might also consider taking a class — either at a local community college or even something less formal.
  • A show-off group. This is a group you can invite to a platform in which you can show off your skills. If you’re a coder, invite people to a hackathon. If you’re a musician, like Johnny, you can invite them to shows you play. Maybe you go to open mic nights. Ask people to join you. When we say “show off,” we also mean “showcase.” You’re giving people in your social circle one extra way they can connect with you.
  • A charitable group. This could be sitting on a board for an organization or simply swinging a hammer at a Habitat for Humanity event. Just as in the other three groups, this group is providing you with a new and diverse set of people with whom you can interact.

Now, Time for a Platform

You’ve taken the time to enter and/or create these four different groups, so now you want to take things to the next level by creating a recurring event that will allow these different groups to cross-pollinate in quantities and means that you can control.

AJ emphasizes keeping it easy and simple. If you don’t have a great venue to host the party yourself, find a cool restaurant or bar that will be okay with having a group of you come together for a soiree. Once you’ve come up with a sustainable day/time and location for your platform (e.g., the third Thursday of each month) then you want to invite not just people from all your groups, but any new people you have met as well.

Now you may not want to invite absolutely everyone you meet. Social media can provide you with a bit of background on potential invitees. By taking a quick look at Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you can glean what they post about on a daily basis, where they spend their time, and even what kind of food or drinks they like. If you see any kind of drama or ongoing negativity in the posts, save everyone a lot of trouble and don’t invite such people.

Ask any of the girls you invite to bring their friends. They may only bring one or two at first, but when they see that you have a vibrant social life, they are going to feel more comfortable bringing more of their social circle along.

You’re the Pace Car

People are going to be looking to you, especially if they have never been to your event, for how to act. So start eating if there’s food set out. Pour yourself a drink if no one is drinking. Mingle. Start introducing people. People will follow your lead. It’s your party, after all.

Being a great host means focusing on the people who took the time to come to your event, not the people who didn’t end up showing. It’s important not to make people feel guilty for missing. Your event needs to be something for which people feel safe showing up whenever they can. People have busy lives and you should take it as a great compliment that they are willing to set aside some of it to spend with you.

From the Vault picks out a few concepts developed in a given episode, but there’s lots more to hear — like how your platform can be a way for your social circle to help you vet the people you’re dating, why you should consider buying a round for everyone when you’re out with friends, and the number one mistake guys make when moving to a new town. Get this and and more by listening to the whole episode.

Do you have anything you did to make a move more successful and want to share? It may make it into a future article. Send it to [email protected]

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Stephen Heiner - author of 36 posts on The Art of Charm

Stephen Heiner was born in Singapore and moved to America just before his ninth birthday. He's stepped foot on every continent except Antarctica, served in the US Marine Corps, and is living the charmed life of a writer in Paris. He has a passion for running small businesses and storytelling. More than anything he enjoys getting people to think differently about the things they take for granted. Here at The Art of Charm, Stephen matches his life experience to our content to extract key points in written form for our students and clients to ruminate and act upon.

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