Last updated: November 1, 2023
You may have just received a message from me with my phone number and saying to “call me any time.”
Why do I try to get people on the phone, and why do I prefer random calls instead of scheduling something?
In short: Because it’s free, fun, and builds my network of interesting people. All while helping me maintain a flexible schedule.
This article will explain more about why I do it and what I mean when I say “anytime.”
I’ll also include some tips and tricks to make it a great call.
But first, let me tell you a story about the time someone did this to me when I was in college and how it backfired.
Meeting a Famous Investor
When I was a junior at Wake Forest University, I started a software project called BuddyGopher.
It turned out to be a very popular project with students on college campuses. We got a lot of users and some excellent press.
There weren’t a lot of venture capitalists or investors at that time. But there was one famous guy in North Carolina named Andrew “Flip” Filipowski.
Flip had bought and sold many companies. He was a mega-millionaire!
One day I had a meeting with him to get some advice. When I followed up on email, he told me something:
You have a great business. I would love to help you with it. Call me anytime. Here’s my number: 336-999-9999.
This was great! He sent me his phone number and said he wanted to help me.
But I was terrified.
Because he said to “call me anytime,” I didn’t know what that meant.
- What time should I call him?
- What should I talk to him about?
- When is a good day to call him?
- Should I wait to call until I had an agenda?
All of these questions and the vague ambiguity of his words meant that I never called him.
He sent me his number, but I never called.
Perhaps I missed a great opportunity. I’ll never know.
Now I’m here writing this article so that this hopefully doesn’t happen to you.
You can also just skip reading this and call me now!
Why I Tell New People to Call Me Anytime
There are three main reasons that I tell people to call me anytime.
1. To Maintain My Flexible Schedule
One thing I value above almost everything else these days is my freedom.
I’m lucky that since I sold my last company, I don’t have to work a normal job.
Because I don’t work a normal job, I don’t keep normal office hours. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility to travel spontaneously, go on new adventures with friends, and connect with readers of my book about their upcoming parties.
That freedom and schedule flexibility means I am very hesitant to schedule calls on my calendar.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to talk on the phone!
In fact, I love to talk on the phone. Many days I have a dozen calls and spend up to five hours on the phone.
But I really don’t like scheduling stuff. I prefer spontaneous phone calls that allow me to keep an open schedule.
2. To Meet New People and Build a Network
I love meeting people. Sometimes I even give strangers rides from the airport.
It feels fulfilling to get on calls with people I just met. A phone call is more personal than an email or texting.
In fact, a 2020 UT study showed that people felt significantly more connected when they communicated by talking than by typing.
Often my calls are short: perhaps just two or three minutes. I can usually answer most questions then.
Sometimes I have longer phone calls. The longest one I can remember with a stranger was a couple of hours.
But usually my calls are super quick. I can answer your questions or we can make a plan to talk more later.
It is also much easier for me to figure out a little bit about you and how I can help you on a quick phone call, versus texting back and forth.
3. I’m Good at Phone Calls
Finally, I think I’m pretty good at phone calls.
Even if you’re shy, or introverted, or nervous, I’m happy to carry the weight of the call.
I’ll ask you questions, tell you about my day, or even try to make you laugh to help you feel more comfortable.
So don’t worry if you don’t have an agenda, specific questions, or don’t feel prepared! We can figure it out on the call together, and usually quickly.
When’s the Best Time?
Now, you might be wondering: I have Nick Gray’s phone number, but what time of day should I call him?
Here are some tips about when to call me:
- Afternoons and evenings are best.
- I’m usually based in Austin, Texas, USA, in the America / Central time zone (GMT-5).
- You can generally call me anytime between 11 AM and 9 PM. That is a good bet of when I am available.
- You can also call me 7 days a week. Don’t worry about the weekends: I love to talk all the time.
- For bonus points: Check my Twitter or my Instagram Stories to see if I am traveling. But even if I am traveling, you can still call me because I have unlimited free global roaming.
One thing I do not like is a text message where you are asking me whether now is a good time to call. Like this:
PERSON: Hey Nick! Would love to get your input on XYZ. I’d love to connect with you.
NICK: Sure! Here’s my number XXX. Call me anytime.
PERSON: Thank you! Would Tuesday at 9AM work?
Instead of doing that, just call me at that time. I’ll answer if I’m able.
If I don’t answer, or if I send your call to voicemail, just text me then. I’ll try to call you back.
Then call me again a few hours later if you still haven’t heard from me.
That is my preference. It is easier for me to answer a phone call than it is to check your message and make a plan and a schedule and then write you back.
And don’t worry about calling from an unknown number. I usually accept most phone calls, including from blocked and unknown numbers.
If you’re calling internationally, feel free to do a voice call on WhatsApp or FaceTime Audio. I love WiFi calls!
When You Call, Remind Me Who You Are
So you decided you’re going to call me. GREAT!!
When I answer, please quickly remind me who you are, what you are working on, where we met or from what platform, and what we were speaking about when we chatted.
For example, you could say:
NICK: Hello, this is Nick!
CALLER: Hi Nick. My name is Mary Jane Francisco. We talked on email after I emailed you from your website. I was reading your article about XXX and had some questions on XXX.
That’s perfect. I’m notoriously bad with names, but I am pretty good at remembering people and what they are working on.
So please just help to refresh my memory.
I love phone calls and I love meeting new people.
When you call, please:
- Remind me who you are,
- Don’t try to schedule unless absolutely necessary,
- Just call and don’t overthink it (LOL)
I’m excited to chat with you about what you’re working on. I’ll try to answer your questions or give you resources to help.
And finally: If you insist on scheduling something on the calendar, you can try reaching out to my assistant, Ash. Her email address is [email protected] and maybe she will be able to schedule something for us. My friends are also always invited to schedule something, if for some unknown reason they would want to do that. Or if you want to pay me thousands of dollars for something, I’ll probably be happy to schedule. But call me casually first.
Good luck! This will be fun and a good call, I promise.