Since January 1, 2018, we’ve received 272 applications from people who want to speak at Hustle Con.

33 came in March alone.

And while every person on that list has accomplished extraordinary things, the Hustle Con speaker lineup almost never includes any of them.

Why?

Because, before we even have a date for Hustle Con, we have a wish list of founders we want to invite.

Founders who are almost certainly beyond our reach…. but who we’re gonna go after anyway.

We don’t have budget to pay them

So how do we convince the founders of startups worth hundreds of millions of dollars to fly to San Francisco and speak at Hustle Con?

For James Freeman, it was a cold email.

James is the founder of Blue Bottle Coffee, a boutique coffee company that was acquired by Nestlé at a $700m valuation.

Here’s how the email exchange went down:

And then, 6 days later, this appeared in my inbox:

Let’s be honest

Not every cold email results in a response this quick, helpful, or humble.

But sometimes… it does.

And now you know my secret sauce for getting speakers to come to Hustle Con.

When we asked James what his secret sauce was for building a massive, iconic brand, he had two words: do less.

James will explain this strategy at Hustle Con 2018, happening on June 22 in Oakland, CA.

Follow The Hustle on Facebook or Instagram to get updates on speakers. Or grab yourself a ticket to Hustle Con and see these founders in person.