Am I the LinkedIn Lover?

I love LinkedIn.  I lots of LinkedIn connections, and my LinkedIn profile is extremely open and revealing.  My connections consist of people that I have long-term, meaningful relationships with, and others that are more short-term and random.  Further, my most intimate and personal life stories are also fully exposed on LinkedIn and my personal blog for anyone to read and engage with.

So, am I the LinkedIn Lover?

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I do genuinely enjoy connecting with people, it’s just who I am.  I am a true lover of all human beings and supporter of what you want to accomplish in life.  I believe everyone I connect with is for a reason, and it doesn’t matter if I only met that person for a minute.  The Internet gives us the ability to maintain an eternal connection with that human being, and only time will tell the true reason for any connection that I make.

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But, it didn’t always be this way, and I wasn’t always like this.

When I went into the corporate world after college, my public persona was very private, especially since I worked at a very formal, global investment bank like Lehman Brothers and a hedge fund like Aurelius Capital, that barely even has its own website.  I was also cautious about my own personal image and the image I would give to my employer.

But then when I became an entrepreneur in 2010, it became very important to connect with others, and for everyone to know what I was doing in life.  I remember the moment when I started flirting with the prospect of being open on LinkedIn.  I found LinkedIn to be an excellent and efficient tool to connect with others and communicate that message.

And, over time, I continued to become more open to what I would share and post.

In 2012, after my first entrepreneurial venture failed, I was put in a very difficult financial situation.  I didn’t want to go back to the corporate world, I wanted to make sure my entrepreneurial dream would be a reality.  I also felt quite disgusted about the prospect of having to put together a resume, having to put on a suit and sit through an interview and explain to others who I was and why I did it.  I never ever wanted to be in this situation.

So, as an offensive and defensive move, I spent a lot of time building my LinkedIn profile.  I knew investing in LinkedIn was investing in myself and it was key to my success.  And now, many years later, LinkedIn has been and continues to be a vital tool.

Everyone I have ever met, including probably you, I have asked for and saved their business card (see a photo of my stack below). I make sure to also connect with them on LinkedIn, as even though I might not see you, my contact with you is forever.

I love connecting people with each other.  This is the reason why I put myself out there by organizing awesome events in NYC.  I have also learned that making connections isn’t necessarily easy.  Communicating effectively with others and building relationships take thought, practice, and time.

I also learned that with everything in life, what you want to achieve for yourself is how well you do it onto others.  For instance, if I want to get rich, make other people rich.  If I want to be happy, make others happy.  If I want to make connections for yourself, make connections for other people.  That’s what I always think to myself.

LinkedIn also just turned 15 years old just a few days ago.  Happy Birthday LinkedIn, and keep up the good work.  You have achieved a lot of greatness for your members, and your key to success will always be predicated on treating your members #1 first and your advertisers #2 second.