Networking, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Intercontinental contentment

In 2021 I greatly expanded my LinkedIn connections across the world.

It started with Australian Jurgen Strauss‘s InnovaBiz global meetup (and congrats to him on his 500th podcast, one of which I had the pleasure of being interviewed), where luck had me in two breakout rooms in a series of 2 meetups with Vancouver’s visionary who will connect the world’s great brains Maxine Cunningham. Max put me in a cohort together with three of the most wonderful people I regard as family: the most cerebral and philosophical web designer I ever met Gabe van Bergen (also Vancouver), and Johannesburg’s uniquely altruistic mentor to indigenous entrepreneurs Eugenie Drakes, and the colorful woman of vast wisdom from life experience bi-continental Yoka Brouwer, a library of insight unto herself.

I saw them interacting deeply (so I wanted in too) with Amsterdam’s multipotentialite oracle Perry Knoppert, who introduced me to Tel Aviv’s insightful and witty Inbal, and then Eugenie asked me to speak about LinkedIn to her cohort of South African and Zimbabwean budding entrepreneurs, and I introduced them to my inner entourage, and then…, and then…, and in my latest deskchair travel, last week I met Ghanaian William Plange, another entrepreneur with fire in his belly.

(And if I left anyone out, it’s unintentional! My heart swells when I think of my dozens of new colleagues around the world who comment on my comments and nurture my soul as I offer them a small piece of my brain daily.)

Look these people up on LinkedIn and you will see how fortunate I consider myself to be, as a result of learning from them. After all, where else in the world would I come across the idea of PechaKucha????

If you know me, you’re already aware I feed on interpersonal contact. Yes I miss in-person meetings. But zooming and whatsapp-ing with really bright stars across the world is equivalently fulfilling.

You will hear no complaints from me like “I’m zoomed out” and (did you know?) now you can zoom right from LinkedIn, so in a few clicks you can tune into the world’s best minds.

Connect to collaborate with these amazing friends.

Feed your own global conversation. It’s easy, if you want to, expanding your mental horizons, crossing time zones, leaping hemispheres, bridging national pride, respecting international date lines, even bumbling in second languages if you dare! And “todah rabbah” (thank you) to Inbal for tolerating my rusty Hebrew!

Readers, I say to you: be out and about, jump into the global idea exchange, get into the mix, even from your own desk!

Be LinkedIn. Don’t miss the mind-bending global opportunity available to you.

Networking, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

No entrepreneur is an island

Paul Simon wrote “I am a rock, I am an island.” in 1965. It was his interpretation of John Donne’s 1642 sermon, “No Man is an Island,” from which the first lines are:

No man is an island,

Entire of itself;

Every man is a piece of the continent, 

A part of the main.”

OK, first, the use of the word “man” above is not to be perceived as a gender statement, especially back from the less-enlightened 1600’s.

Second, I know I am getting deep here for a Monday morning, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how isolating entrepreneurship can be vs. working in a big company or corporation. You had people to delegate to, others and departments responsible for their specific area of expertise.

But fie! Not always so as entrepreneurs; we need to look inward, to ourselves, and when we come up deficient, to other entrepreneurs surrounding us as an cushiony entourage of respected, reliable, resourceful colleagues. Those besties to bounce off of, query our quest, pose possibilities, barter brainstorms, and confide conceptual comments.

No person, gender aside, is alone on an entrepreneurial desert island, now more obvious than ever before in our need to zoom connect in a pandemic: as we refer, coopt, collaborate, interrogate, interact with others; globally, locally; electronically, and face-to-face; streamed in real time and recorded.

So when I tell my clients to refer to themselves as “I” or “my” in their personal LinkedIn profiles and “we” or “our” in their company Pages, it’s not to fool the reader. It’s to differentiate between a personal narrative of their own individual career journey in the former, and the collaborative, inclusive description of what their company can do for the reader in the latter. Even, especially, if the person and the company are the same talent, as in a sole proprietorship, or a one person LLC.

But wait, has Marc gone anthropomorphic?

In the final analysis, your new client is buying your capability and accessibility to solve their problem, not caring what legal structure you formed to practice your craft or how or from where you accumulate the thoughtful solution. Customers are accessing your brain, and…sssshhh…indirectly the other brains you surround yourself with.

So I = we, my = our, as no entrepreneur is an island, and this blog post’s take-away from the ending of Simon’s song:

And a rock feels no pain.

And an island never cries.”

Be strong, tearless and pain-free fellow entrepreneurs, as we all know it can get lonely and challenging out there, but we have each other, via LinkedIn or other media, to draw on the support that carries us through good and challenging times to deliver the answers we are hired to derive.