Read your LinkedIn Messages
Have you ever left a LinkedIn message unread and unresponded to? Me too, and I want to encourage you to go check their messages right now to make sure you’re not passing up any amazing opportunity like I almost did.
About two years ago, I received a LinkedIn message from someone who works in financial services and who was “referred to me” by a friend. Typically the individual who he mentioned referred him would make an email introduction, so I was a little skeptical. I was also going through this weird phase where I was screening the heck out of people that I interacted with – I do suggest that you keep yourself guarded in some form, but at the same time you never know what is going to come out of any organic relationship. You never know when or how the right people are going to enter into your life, so take some chances.
The crazy thing about this way of connecting with people is that sometimes the results don’t come to fruition for years, but if you had not taken that phone call or agreed to that meeting, nothing would have ever happened. So, the moral of my intro is to take the call or the meeting. Long story short, we exchanged a few messages, he informed me of some recent tax modifications as it pertains to athletes, and then he let me know that he was going to be in town and wanted to know if I would like to connect….I never responded.
I was not intentionally trying to ignore him, but at the time that he sent the message, I was dealing with some crazy MLB and social media issues, and the last thing on my mind was to check my LinkedIn messages (I’m human, and I’m sure you can relate to some degree). In a final effort he ended up reaching out one more time letting me know that since he never heard back he would leave me alone. Luckily I saw this message come through and set up a meeting while he was still in town.
As we walked into my office, the first thing that this gentleman noticed was the Bible verse on the back wall. For those who haven’t seen pictures, three things lined the wall on in our Chicago office:
1. Good Vibes Only
2. A list of all of our current, former, and prospective clients, along with a long list of what makes a client “ideal” – that they are: Future focused, Faith driven, Family oriented, Articulate, Respectful, Teachable, Successful, and Self-aware.
3. Psalm 139:14 – “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I shared with him about how someone tried to tell me that I couldn’t put a Bible verse up in my office, to which I respond: first of all, it’s my company, but second of all, I ama firm believer in establishing your values and then sticking by them – and these are our values. When my company initially went through an entire re-brand, we spent a LOT of time defining our core values and amongst these is faith. Obviously I can’t hire or fire people based on religion, but I can make it clear as to what we stand for and believe in. And with that, we proudly had a Bible verse on our wall in that office. To say that this set the tone for our meeting would be an understatement. He went on to quote one of his favorite verses, 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”.
The meeting itself consisted of an amazing conversation about impacting the lives of professional athletes. You could sense the deep sincerity that he spoke with, and I don’t believe it was just because he loves helping athletes, I believe it’s because he loves helping people; Love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34). It was very clear by the way he conducted himself even in the short time that we met, that he lives out his faith.
Our meeting ended in prayer. I’ll be honest in saying that I was caught off guard when he asked if we could pray, but needless to say it wasn’t just my face that smiled, but my heart as well. This relationship has led to introductions with some of the top people in the world of sports that I would have never had a chance to cross paths with otherwise–people who keep their cards close to their chests and inner circles small; however, because this individual made the introduction, these contacts now respond within minutes. One of them even told me, “I don’t know much about you, but it says a lot that you were recommended to me. He typically doesn’t refer anyone.” I didn’t realize the magnitude of this one simple relationship that began with a random LinkedIn message and ended our first meeting in prayer. Apart from my challenge to you to get to the root of the values that you hold to be true in your life and in business, I also want to emphasize that LinkedIn connections are no joke; I now make them a high priority in where I give my attention.