I was a good kid. I kept my nose clean and stayed out of trouble for the most part. This year I am turning 40 though, and have discovered a new drug. The buzz is short but a feeling of accomplishment comes over me every time it hits. You have probably experienced it without even realizing. I am of course talking about the notification that someone connected with me, read a post, or mentioned me in passing on social media.
Just Try It, You'll Like It
I had avoided being really active on social media until earlier this year. It didn’t make sense to me how two people could be having a perfectly good conversation over dinner with their heads down, staring at their mobile phones.
I don’t know what made me want to avoid it. I had managed to dodge the peer pressure for a few years, even while owning a smartphone capable of these connections. Then one day I thought “What’s the big deal anyway?” I decided to start light with just a little sampling of Facebook. A small taste if you will.
Don’t be fooled, that little taste quickly mounts into a perceived need. Seeing the highlight reels of people's lives; the highest highs (We just had a baby) and the lowest lows (Lift prayer, Mom just got diagnosed with XYZ) was interesting for sure. But that is not where the buzz really hooks.
The buzz hooks you when low and behold, someone tags you in a post or graciously acknowledges you as a friend. That was the light stuff for me anyway. I understand that there must be a stronger version out there that’s laced with more hooks since this is many people's drug of choice.
Now You're Hooked
For me, the hard stuff came in the form of LinkedIn. I know what you’re thinking, “LinkedIn, that’s for business connections and finding a job.” Well, you see, like many of you, I have a bit of a competitive streak. Being very goal-oriented I like to check off accomplishments. I take pride in getting a job done, doing it well and doing it efficiently. So, how does this relate to being on LinkedIn? The connections.
It all changed on June 17, 2017. I had a LinkedIn profile for a number of years, but I had never seriously utilized it. It had only one connection, which I had never reached out to. I am a leadx.org contributor and on one of the podcasts that Kevin held had learned that I could post articles on LinkedIn. On that fateful day, the decision was made to share my article about my son buying a cow and see what kind of traction it could gain. But then I had a problem. What good is posting my article if no one can see it? Enter the connections. “Would you like to request a connection from your contacts?” LinkedIn asked. “Sure,” I thought. “That won’t be a problem.” Boom! Within two days 99 people were now connected to me.
Here’s the interesting thing: these people know people who know people. This platform allows me to meet other folks, and see what they do. I have met actors, politicians, CEO’s, CFO’s, inventors, authors, and entrepreneurs. A whole host of wonderful people who with the clicking of a button open up a fraction of their lives to me.
My BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal
Enter June 20, 2017. I have a growing list of connections, and one day I had to come home at lunch to let the dog out. While I was walking him a thought flew into my funnel. “Can someone with no platform reach a million connections on LinkedIn?” So I thought, “Why not?” Well, being on this drug for only a few days, I didn’t understand all of the restrictions that people smarter than I had put in place. It turns out that you can only have 30,000 connections. Everyone else becomes a follower. So I had to revamp my quest. 30,000 connections, 970,000 followers. To make it a bit more challenging, as if this isn’t a daunting task, can it be done in only one months time? So my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) was born. I must rely on the kindness of strangers.
The addiction has set in. The phone started buzzing so much I had to turn off the notifications. I watched the numbers grow. Doubling each day the first week. 200, 400, 800 now four days in and over 1600 connections. Wow! What a rush. I am bound to come down sometime… Reality rears its ugly head. 1600 connections took 4 days. Can that happen in only one day’s time? What about even greater numbers?
So what can I do? Create more content and rely on the kindness of strangers to read it, share it, and follow me. So there it is my selfish request. Help me on my self-made quest. Can it be done? 1 million connections without a platform of TV, Radio, Podcast or even a website? Can a regular guy working a regular job, probably very much like most of you reading this, achieve something this big?
I can’t wait to find out, but right now I must go, the phone is buzzing.
Are you a kind stranger? To Follow me on LinkedIn and see if I can reach my goal please share this post with as many people as possible and then follow my LinkedIn profile. I appreciate your support in advance!