Monday, February 17, 2020

Lesson from LinkedIn

This year, I vowed to expand my network in savvy, professional ways including attending South Tampa Chamber luncheons and accepting everyone (with a profile picture) on LinkedIn. Making connections on LinkedIn seems like a solid approach to enhance my contacts for learning and idea-sharing. With that, nearly 200 invitations have been accepted so far as of this update.

Of those 200 "connections", I have received 29 solicitations. And, when I say solicitations, I mean true solicitations...and nearly all of them were sent immediately...

What a lesson learned!

That lack of true interest in learning about me or one another and the attack on my senses was a huge turnoff. These messages ranged from insulting the number of connections I have to insisting I probably "needed" to take a workshop on Public Speaking since that person said "you seem like you want to be a speaker", and others offered to get me my "1st Gig". Really? That's the approach people are taking? Wow! Does that work? I wondered, and yet the thoughtless messages just kept coming.

In fairness, a couple of them had some business approaches that could work, meaning they addressed that we hadn't met yet, and shared a little about themselves. Still, not one of them did any research. I am not sure if more than one or two even read my full LinkedIn profile! I feel 100% confident that nobody Googled my name!

Imagine if we saw an ad for spending 5 minutes to be doubly productive - most of us would listen or even buy-in, right? Googling someone after seeing a potential business match is a way to productively attempt to really connect business-wise.

So the lesson learned about LinkedIn is that while I will still accept connections, I do, and will also continue to send the following response to the impersonal messages:

Hello Name!

Thank you for your outreach.

Since we have not met, and you may or may not have fully read my LinkedIn profile, please consider a message such as yours, in particular, so quickly after my acceptance of your connection, comes across as a cold solicitation.

Respectfully, I am not interested.

Here's wishing you the best in your business pursuits,

And then, I remove the connection. While technology and being linked are both important, being truly connected is even more "In"!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

For the LOVE of Love!

Since it is the month of LOVE, how do we embrace love instead of being lonely if love doesn't serve us well, find us on the 14th of February, or if love simply doesn't seem as romantic as in books, on other people's social media, or the movies?

It's not easy, rather here are four simple (easy and simple are very different) approaches to fill your heart and mind with loving approaches to life.

For the LOVE of love, and for the best way to embrace LOVE please consider the following:

L - Look at people and situations for what they are, and not what you want them to be, or wish they would be. Seeing individuals and circumstances in the eye of reality means approaches can be taken, plans can be made, and expectations can be set in a way that will likely not disappoint in the future (even if you are a bit disappointed at the first true view of things and folks). Looking from a place of "right now" means you can set the stage right for love!

O- Open your eyes, mind and heart to possibilities. Be aware, yes, and be willing, too. Openness can create challenges and discomfort, and yet through openness comes opportunity and through opportunity comes growth. Opening your horizons to new activities, new people, and newness overall can create new hope! Hope springs eternal when we are open to love!

V - Vulnerability-ize yourself, meaning instead of protecting yourself from the unknown, take chances in words, actions, plans, and outreaches. Push yourself to do something different, something that dares you to explore. It doesn't have to be big first, and yet that can grow into many more explorations. Through being vulnerable, there is a risk that you can get hurt, and yet with vulnerability can come a love...a love for a new hobby, place, person or more!

E - Embrace all you already have. Sometimes the feeling of a lull in love or lack of love means a slight shift away from appreciation. Embracing life, friends, family, your home, your health and more, allows for a warm heart and an opportunity for more gratitude. And, embracing the idea of loving what you've received and created is embracing the idea of more love!

So, Valentine's week or not, consider the look, the openness, the vulnerability, and the embracing of you and your life...for your LOVE of love!