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GiveIn: How I'm using my LinkedIn network to pay it forward

Since joining LinkedIn 10 years ago, I've always, like probably many of you, looked to connect with someone that could possibly help me penetrate a market or company -- to get a sale! Do you have the word CISO or CIO in your title? Awesome! InMail or connection request and 10 mins later, can I have some time on your calendar to introduce myself and my company? Something I think we've all been the recipient of, even me, most commonly recruiters and product salespeople.

I'd be a hypocrite to say anything at all.

I remember about 16 years ago when the movie Pay It Forward came out. I remember thinking to myself, "gee, I wish I was in a position to do something that big." The mistake I made was two-fold, (1) thinking that benevolence was only meant for big things and (2) not realizing all this time that the opportunity to start a pay it forward movement was right in front of me with social media.

And then I found the book "Give and Take" by Adam Grant, which has completely transformed my thinking of who I am and who I want to be. For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, and givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.

Using his own pioneering research as Wharton's top-rated professor, Adam Grant shows that these styles have a surprising impact on success. Although some givers get exploited and burn out, the rest achieve extraordinary results across a wide range of industries. Combining cutting-edge evidence with captivating stories, Grant shows how one of America's best networkers developed his connections, why the creative genius behind one of the most popular shows in television history toiled for years in anonymity, how a basketball executive responsible for multiple draft busts transformed his franchise into a winner, and how we could have anticipated Enron's demise four years before the company collapsed--without ever looking at a single number.

Give and Take highlights what effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills have in common. This book opens up an approach to success that has the power to transform not just individuals and groups, but entire organizations and communities. It's transformed me.

The fact of the matter is, I'm tired of looking to build my LinkedIn connection list simply based off of a person's current title or company they work for. Today, I'm no longer asking what can you, my connections do for me, I'm going to ask what can I do for you with no expectations of being paid back -- just that you will pass it on and do the same for your connections. This giving tree can start with me, right now with all of you.

So, for those of you wondering how I can start, here are the areas I'd like to offer any of you help in. While I don't claim to be an expert, many of you know my CV and the success I've been blessed with over these past few years since I sold my first start-up.

So if any of you are needing help in any of these areas or if you're simply out of a job and need help with circulating your resume around, please contact me.

My areas of expertise where I can offer you free guidance and offer myself as a mentor:

  1. Business: Leadership, entrepreneurial guidance, writing proposals, Responding to RFPs, marketing, PR, project management

  2. Personal: productivity, growth hacking, capacity building, time management

  3. Finance: small business accounting tools, book keeping, budgeting (personal and small business), investing

  4. Information security: penetration testing, vulnerability management, incident response, forensics

  5. IT: cloud apps/productivity tools

Here is my kindle list of books I've read for those of you wanting recommendations for books in these areas:

  1. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition) - John C. Maxwell

  2. The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content - Tim Ferris

  3. 42 Rules for Building a High-Velocity Inside Sales Team: Actionable Guide to Creating Inside Sales Teams that Deliver Quantum Results - Lori L. Harmon, Debbi S. Funk

  4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People -Stephen R. Covey

  5. The ABCs of Money -Natalie Pace

  6. BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing - Shakeel Ali, Tedi Heriyanto

  7. Bookkeepers' Boot Camp: Get a Grip on Accounting Basics (101 for Small Business Series) - Angie Mohr

  8. The Buddha's Three Jewels - Susan Brassfield Cogan

  9. Cash Flow For Dummies - John A. Tracy, Tage Tracy

  10. The Consultant's Manual: A Complete Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice -Thomas L. Greenbaum

  11. The Consulting Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Expand a Seven-Figure Consulting Practice - Alan Weiss

  12. Delivering Project Excellence with the Statement of Work, Second Edition -Michael Martin

  13. Dhammapada, a collection of verses; being one of the canonical books of the Buddhists-Various

  14. An Easy Guide to Meditation -Roy Eugene Davis

  15. Financial Statements: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Creating Financial Reports -Thomas R. Ittelson

  16. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity -David Allen

  17. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In -Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, Bruce Patton

  18. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success -Adam M. Grant Ph.D.

  19. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge ( PMBOK® Guide )-Fifth Edition (ENGLISH) -Project Management Institute

  20. Hacking Sales: The Playbook for Building a High-Velocity Sales Machine -Max Altschuler

  21. How I Raised Myself From Failure -Frank Bettger

  22. How to Get a Meeting with Anyone: The Untapped Selling Power of Contact Marketing -Stu Heinecke

  23. How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People -Leslie T. Giblin

  24. How To Win Friends and Influence People -Dale Carnegie

  25. Incident Response & Computer Forensics, Third Edition -Jason Luttgens, Matthew Pepe, Kevin Mandia

  26. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials) -Robert B. Cialdini PhD

  27. Leaders Eat Last Deluxe: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't -Simon Sinek

  28. Linux Forensics -Philip Polstra

  29. Managing The Professional Service Firm -David H. Maister

  30. Metasploit: The Penetration Tester's Guide -David Kennedy, Devon Kearns, Jim O'Gorman, Mati Aharoni

  31. Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win More Customers, Clients, and Contracts -Tom SANT

  32. Professional Services Marketing: How the Best Firms Build Premier Brands, Thriving Lead Generation Engines, and Cultures of Business Development Success -Mike Schultz, John E. Doerr, Lee Frederiksen

  33. The Profitable Consultant: Starting, Growing, and Selling Your Expertise -Jay Niblick

  34. A Project Manager's Book of Forms: A Companion to the PMBOK Guide -Cynthia Snyder Stackpole

  35. Relax, You're Going to Die -Tai Sheridan

  36. The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales -Trish Bertuzzi

  37. Secrets of True Happiness -Tai Sheridan

  38. Security Analysis: Sixth Edition, Foreword by Warren Buffett (Security Analysis Prior Editions) -Benjamin Graham, David Dodd

  39. Selling the Intangible Company: How to Negotiate and Capture the Value of a Growth Firm (Wiley Finance) -Thomas Metz

  40. Shipley Business Development Lifecycle Guide -Larry Newman PPF.APMP

  41. Smart Sales Manager -Josiane Chriqui Feigon

  42. Smart Selling on the Phone and Online: Inside Sales That Gets Results -Josiane Chriqui Feigon

  43. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action -Simon Sinek

  44. Strategic Planning Kit For Dummies -Erica Olsen

  45. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln -Doris Kearns Goodwin

  46. Technical Analysis For Dummies® -Barbara Rockefeller

  47. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness -Dave Ramsey

  48. The Trusted Advisor -David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, Robert M. Galford

  49. Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders -L. David Marquet

  50. Up the Organization: How to Stop the Corporation from Stifling People and Strangling Profits (J-B Warren Bennis Series) -Robert C. Townsend, Warren Bennis

  51. Value-Based Fees: How to Charge - and Get - What You're Worth -Alan Weiss

  52. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings--and Life (A Penguin Special from Por tfolio) -Laura Vanderkam

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