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FisherpricephoneI've been saying all along that accomplishment - in its various forms - is a team sport.  Rarely does any individual who accomplishes something great operate in a vacuum.  Sure, there are some egos out there who think they do, but there's always somebody behind the scenes who is helping them along.  You can't Carpe Factum alone.

In that same vein, there are some tools I've been exploring recently in my quest for building relationships that can help achieve mutually beneficial accomplishments.  While I was at the Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference last month, I met Derrick Sorles, who has become an excellent (and that's being mild - if there was an adjective beyond excellent to describe his help, I'd use it) mentor in managing LinkedIn.  I'm still getting my arms around what networking through this form of social medium can can do, but it has been almost as fascinating as blogging as I've been building my network.  The tool I've found most fascinating and useful has been the Questions & Answers section.  Through it, I've been able to meet some great individuals I would never have met otherwise.

Recently, Rodney Rumford, that sage of social media and prince of the platform, has persuaded me (as well as other bloggers) to set up profiles on Facebook.  Now I know what some of you are thinking:  "Facebook is to networking what Myspace is to blogging:  A teenage fun fest."  Rodney claims that there is benefit behind the acne-and-hormone-laden facade of Facebook, so I'm going to take him at his word.

However, while we were having this discussion at Liz Strauss's open mic night a couple of weeks ago (OK, OK, ignore the jokes about pirates and the horrible pun about cats), folks like Mike Dewitt and Chris Cree were voicing what I was thinking:  blogs (for some of us, multiple blogs), LinkedIn, Facebook, multiple email accounts... where does it all end?  How much can one person manage?  I'm not sure what the breaking point is.  I think the issue here is that there is a much larger world out there for bringing out thoughts and ideas together.  The tools are there for us to make this a truly phenomenal world to live in.

This leads me to three questions:

  1. Whom can you leverage to accomplish something great?
  2. What tools can you use to build that relationship?
  3. How can we manage all of these tools without letting them overwhelm us?


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Chris Cree

Timothy, I'm curious to know some pointers on the LinkedIn front. I know I'm not using that resource anywhere nearly as effectively as I could.

Karin H.

Hi Timothy

IMHO tools and 'social' media forms are indeed plenty and a never ending form also, it seems almost every day there is a new form being developed that promises to be THE ultimate tool to network or to profit from.
If you want to check them out properly you have to 'dive in deep' (i.e. spend time and effort on it to really understand how it works best), but as you say: we're overwhelmed already.

My best bet is always to see how much 'noise' is being made about it by bloggers I know and respect, but also how long that noise is being made: a week, a month, for ever?

Indeed, I'm not a real 'fore-runner', that would costs too much of my valuable time (running a business properly takes up time, doesn't it ;-)) so I just 'lurk' around these new 'trends' to see if they develop into a proper, workable and for me profitable tool.
Then I 'dive in' ;-)

Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

April Groves

Like Chris, I am sure I am not using all these resources to their full potential. I feel like a kid in a candy shop...gotta get to all the candy real fast before I get left out, little bit of everything and it's okay - but at the end of the day, all I'm left with is a belly ache.

Derrick Sorles

Hi Tim,

You are so kind (blushing), Thank you for the mention and nice compliment. As a coach, it is always helpful to have a stellar player and you have made me proud with your progress on LinkedIn. I actually have generated real business revenue (checks have been cashed!) from the site since March. But I too don't want to become too diluted by developing too many networks and communities so I am committed to my LinkedIn presence. All the best to you and thanks again! e-HUGS, Derrick Sorles

Timothy Johnson

Chris, Karin, and April - LinkedIn and Facebook are tools... they should never replace the common sense that goes behind relationship-building and networking. People like Derrick and Rodney can certainly tell you how the tool should and can be used, but it's up to you to make the tool your own and make it work the way you need it to.

Derrick... what can I say? You rock! Your assistance has been great! And you're just one heckuva guy on top of all of it. Thanks again for everything!

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