LinkedIn Connections Bring Unexpected Opportunities

LinkedIn connects us to people and ideas that grow our business and enhance our lives with interesting people. My recent LinkedIn connection request was from a teenager.

I received a connection request on LinkedIn recently from a young man from Bulgaria who said he has a podcast where he shares learning for people 18-35 and he asked to interview me.
I looked at his profile, was really impressed by his mission statement To Be the Best At Spreading Learning And Curiosity. I messaged him back asking the purpose of his podcast to which he replied, “Provide unique and free education to my listeners without them having to spend 100s of thousands of dollars for degrees! And I do support college!”

Be curious about people

I’ve always been a curious person, that’s why I love networking and getting to know people from all over the world. I’ve made LinkedIn connections with colleagues from New Zealand to the Netherland, and Asia.  I have worked with customers outside the United States in Saudi Arabia, Europe, Canada and beyond.

But having the opportunity to speak with a teenager who wanted to talk about business ideas was indeed intriguing to me so I set-up the interview.  

The interview with Nikola was an experience I will never forget.  The questions he asked and the conversation that ensued was well beyond his years.  His emotional intelligence leads me to want to follow where he goes in the future because he will transform people’s lives.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Because so often I get asked “Should I connect with people I don’t know?” or many people will not get curious enough to ask questions and take the time to get to know others. Honestly, that’s a shame to be so busy that we miss opportunities.  In a recent article, I wrote about the difference in gaining attention or being ignored and one mistake people make is not making any effort to engage with new people.

“By growing your network, opportunities arise, business partners appear, connections are made and trust is garnered in the local community” as noted in a Huffington Post article.

Every interaction is not a transaction

My life has been enriched by so many people I have never done business with!  Every person I connect with online and offline is not transactional, but it is relational. I’m curious, and so I have been blessed by meeting so many truly interesting people.  I encourage you to get curious, expand your network and take the time this week to reach out to someone new that is interesting to you and be open to a conversation. You never know how enriched your life can be.

Curiosity is such an invaluable attribute; you can’t be innovative unless you’re curious.

Bob Iger

Make a difference: Engage with connections

I spend about 15 minutes every morning engaging with posts and responding to invitation requests with a personal message. This makes all the difference in making a great first impression and starting a conversation. There are many connections that simply don’t know how to start a conversation or ask good questions, so I take the lead.  In the long-term, this has resulted in new advocates and business opportunities.

I challenge you to be curious while building your network, you never know where it might lead.

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If you’re interested in my short interview with Nikola Ivanov – The Successful Network, you can access it by clicking HERE. I know you will be impressed by the quality of questions and dialogue from this young man.

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JoAnne Funch

Helping business owners and corporate leaders use LinkedIn and relationship building strategies to gain more exposure for their brand so they have more impact, credibility & income.

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