How to Track Someone Down

What up Survivors?

You honestly cannot write that title without feeling like Liam Neeson from Taken. Jokes aside, there are times in life when you need to find someone to get into contact with them either for business purposes or just for personal reasons. Although it’s easier than ever before thanks to the internet, it’s still not an easy task.

Let me share a little from my personal experiences in just the past 24 hours. I’m attempting to track down my old head of schools from when I went to boarding school, the ever elusive, John Buxton. The reasons for my search are several; every interaction with this guy is valuable beyond measure. However, the main reason is to express my thanks. Good ole’ Johnny B. had an extremely profound impact on my development and education. He truly served as a role model that I could aspire to be more like. And, I have a strong belief that people should spend time giving thanks to those that mean something to them. It helps the world keep spinning. I could write a whole other blog post just about that belief, but I’ll try to stay on topic.

Anyways, hour after hour of solid searching has led me to this humble collection of tips, so that you can hopefully start off better than I did. How is my search coming? Well, no luck yet. Yet is a keyword though, I’m committed to finishing what I started (gives best Liam Neeson stare*).

1. The Power of Who
There’s a belief out there (coined by a book of the same name) that you already know everyone you need to know. This could not hold more truth. There’s even that saying that everyone is only five degrees from Kevin Bacon. Meaning that your friend knows a friend who knows a guy who is married to the daughter of Kevin Bacon’s cousin. Small world, huh? So the question becomes, how can use this power to your advantage. It’s pretty simple, but not necessarily easy. You have to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. Tell your friends and family and the guy pumping gas next to you about your story (Becoming proficient at telling your own story is a skill unto itself so it’s always a good time to practice). The more you share your quest to hunt down so and so, the higher your chances are of finding that person.

2. The Internet/Social Media
There’s really no trick to this. Google search, Facebook stalk, Tweet, Snap, etc. Whatever it takes. If you’re really desperate, there are even methods like scrolling through public records or things like that. As you get further down the rabbit hole (aka the big bad web), doorways will start to present themselves to you, like a snowball effect. A single name will take you a long way, especially if you know the state or city of your person of interest.

3. Person(s) of Contact
This is similar to Step 1 but much more strategic. Honestly, out of all three pursuits, this one is the most intelligent and will produce the fastest results. It’s also the hardest. Hey, everything in life has a trade-off. If you do this right, you should be in contact within no time. The other two methods will work for catching up with an old friend or colleague but if you’re wanting to get in touch with someone from the big leagues, then you need the big guns. Examples could be: celebs, CEOs, and the guy or gal you thought was cute but never texted you back. The plan of action here is to create a layout/roadmap of contacts that can refer you through the chain to your desired person. For example, if you wanted to get into contact with Eric Schmidt of the esteemed Alphabet Inc. (Google), there’s a series of steps you could take to dramatically increase your chances. First, a little research would tell you that he is one of Princeton’s hardcore endorsers. As such, the head of that department (doners/benefactors) at Princeton has his personal e-mail and phone number on record. Now, use Step 1 to try and get into contact with someone, either a student/professor/faculty member/ alum from Princeton. With that person, after being referred by a mutual friend, be brutally honest. Tell them your goal and the reason behind it. Treat it like a game. Figure out a way to give them incentive. Then, the chain could be Student -> Head of Department -> Eric Schmidt. I know, a lot of work and what ifs, but at least it gives you concrete goals and tasks to aim for. This method definitley has the highest chance of success.

And there you go, three strategies to track down that person you need to talk to. Remember, Liam had a very special set of skills and now so do you. Go get em’

Your Friendly-Neighborhood Best Friend,

KC ❤

If you wanna check out the book mentioned above, The Power of Who by Bob Beaudine, click on the link below!


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