Saturday, March 29, 2008

Promote your work, not yourself

Use Linkedin to promote your work, not yourself. “Self-promotion” is a misleading concept. “Work promotion” is better.

In other words, the reason why people seek you out is that they are interested in your work, not in your person. Given this economic truth, it is surprising that more than 98% of Linkedin users do NOT promote their work on Linkedin.

For instance, if you read the profile of most Linkedin users, you will notice the conspicuous absence of blogs or websites where people can download work samples of the person. Work samples include articles, blogs, websites, books, ebooks, white papers, etc.

What I'm saying is this: work precedes network. If you don't have something to show people (e.g. work samples), then networking will be much less effective than it could be.

Concretely speaking, you will introduce yourself to people (online or offline), and they will politely say, “Oh, nice to meet you!” And then, in the next minute, they will completely forget you. You had a unique opportunity to showcase your work to someone else, but you did not have work samples to show them.

Some people try to circumvent that absence of economic substance by highlighting the fact, in their email invitation to others, that they are connected to gazillions of people. Yes, that's nice, but it doesn't compensate for the fact that the person doesn't have any value to offer.

In fact, the more a person mentions his great number of connections, the more loudly he is saying that he, himself, does not offer any economic value.

It pays to know people

  • A group of market research consultants came to me: they made $40,000
  • A Web development firm came to me: they made $20,000
  • A marketing student came to me: she made $250
  • Two marketing/information systems students came to me: they made $3,000
  • A graphic designer came to me: he made $12,000
  • A bookbinder came to me: he made $3,000
  • An IT consulting firm came to me: they made $27,000
  • A Web designer came to me: he made $3,000
  • A training firm came to me: they made $100,000
  • An IT professional came to me: she made $40,000

The only person who's not making money is me!

I'm just kidding. In most of the cases above, I made a bit of money via the finder's fee of 10-30%. But my record, honestly, is quite insignificant, especially compared to the professional headhunters out there! And what about the real estate people? These folks make a huge amount of money!

My point is, it really pays to know people and build trust-based relationships.

Am I saying that by multiplying your connections on LinkedIn, you can make extra money too?


Now I know that most of you do not have a product to sell. If you did, you would promote it on your Linkedin profile the way I promote my products and companies on my Linkedin profile.

But even if you do not currently have a product to sell, it is wise to start multiplying your connections on Linkedin. I've begun over two years ago and today, I have over 800 connections in about 22 countries. (I plan to have a connection in every single one of the 192 countries listed in the United Nations!).

Most people join Linkedin and still view themselves as employees. That's a mistake.

It's a mistake because if your self-concept is that of an employee, then your mind will NOT be open to business opportunities. I'm talking about opportunities that can generate passive income for you, or even turn you into a millionaire.

To change your mindset from "employee" to "entrepreneur", I recommend the two books by Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad and The Cashflow Quadrant.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Networking is either about meeting people or generating leads

Someone asked a very good question on Linkedin about networking, and observed that many people seem to engage in "mindless networking" without having any objective in mind or considering the cost in time and effort.

Here's the answer I gave.

Note: I will write more about Clarity & Execution, two principles for achieving success at anything in life. Let me just observe for now that the overwhelming majority of Linkedin users are unclear about what they want from their career. Indeed, if the Linkedin profile of a person provides any indication as to the person's career goal or objective, then unfortunately, over 90% of people don't know what their career goal is. I know it's not easy to set a goal, but just remember that without a goal, all the hard work you do every day is just helping someone else to reach his goal. The good news is that setting goals can easily be learned, and can even be done slowly, one step at a time. For example, to borrow a traveling metaphor, you might not know exactly in which city of the world you would like to live in, but at least, it would be good to decide on which continent you want to live: Asia, North America, Europe, Africa, etc. Next, you can decide which region or province, then which city, and even which part of that city you'd like to live in.


"Networking" is a very ambiguous word and concept.

It's better, I think, if people are clear (at least to themselves) whether networking is, for them, 1. meeting new people or 2. generating leads.

Isn't success at anything in life based on CLARITY and EXECUTION?

That is, by being clear about what the (measurable) objective is, one can execute impeccably in order to hit that target.

Your question is excellent because a great many people, I suspect, will begin to think seriously about WHY they network.

The good news is that every person has something good to offer to the world, so even people who have been "mindlessly networking" did not necessarily waste time. All of one's connections CAN be useful in some way or receive benefits from oneself.

In other words, a person who has networked without a clear goal, is like someone who has built the second, third, fourth floors of a big building.

The only thing missing is the first floor, so that one's network can, so to speak, be grounded in reality and can provide useful benefits.

Peter Nguyen
Principal and Editor in Chief

Your fortune will come

Great wealth is inevitable and is indeed your destiny, but only if you learn how to use the Internet strategically and with foresight.

For instance, if you believe that you will have a product of your own one day, then you should start right now to multiply connections via Linkedin. 500 connections is a good number to aim for.

It's not that these 500 connections will become clients of yours and buy your product, although that is a good thing. More importantly, they might become resellers and distributors of your product in many countries.

It doesn't even matter how much your product sells for. For example, you could create an eBook selling for $1.00 and you could sell it to thousands of people via the Internet.

Often, a lot of very smart professionals and managers think of a book as something that should be priced at $20 or $50. And they can't imagine themselves writing a book (or eBook) that would have such value.

But that's like people who don't know how to swim, and then go to a swimming pool and refuse to jump in because the water is too deep and, therefore, they will drown.

Yes, there's a part of the swimming pool that is deep, but there's ALSO a part that is shallow. So a person should enter the swimming pool from the shallow end, NOT the deep end.

Next, you start to learn how to float and how to swim. Eventually, you can go swim in the deep end of the pool.

Same thing with writing a book that captures your (valuable and hard-earned) knowledge. Try to write a book that's worth $1.00. Then, sell it. And then try to write a second book (or perhaps a second, beefed up version of the first book). Then a third book, etc.

Bottom line: Linkedin is not useful financially unless you have a product to sell to a critical mass of people. Sure, you can feel great that you have many connections, but money will only come to you if you have a product to sell.

And a real fortune can come to you in the next few years if you start to multiply your connections starting today, and start writing down on paper all the valuable knowledge in your head so you can sell it to the 18+ million users on Linkedin (and this number keeps growing every day).

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Age of Talent


"We have entered an exciting era where the logic of enterprise will bow to the magic of talent."

A brilliant intellectual wrote the above. Wait, I think I wrote that yesterday!

My supreme point is that companies today are ONLY looking for talent. They can get labor, including virtual labor, from other countries like China or India or Malaysia.

If you've got talent, you will win. If not, companies will spend no more than 5 seconds reading your resume and immediately throw it in the waste basket.

Most Linkedin users seem very smart. They are also very experienced. The average Linkedin user is 39 years old, and has a household income of $140,000.

Unfortunately, most Linkedin users are also unaware of their special talent. This is a risk because without knowing one's talent, then proper career management is not possible.

Companies only love talent. They don't love people per se. If you've got talent, companies (and headhunters) will love you and seek you out.

The clearer your talent, the greater their love for you.

The key therefore is to somehow browse through your connections and find people who can help you to discover or develop your talent.

Think of your talent as a HUGE reserve of oil under the Earth, and your career as the lifelong exploitation of that huge pool of underground "black gold."

Once you find your talent, the world is your oyster. You become the sovereign master of your economic life and your creative career.

I recommend Tom Rath's book, Strength Finder 2.0, if you wish to find your special talent.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A powerful secret to getting ANY job you want


I'm no longer working in Corporate America since I became a serial entrepreneur on June 20, 2000.

But here's a powerful trick that will land you ANY job that you WANT.

Are you ready to hear this secret which I received from the gods? It almost felt like a biblical revelation to me!

Here it is:

If you WANT a job, START RIGHT NOW to work like as if you had been hired ALREADY and start producing the deliverables expected of you.

Resumes, cover letters (cover what, exactly?), job interviews, etc. Nice, but not really gutsy. Everybody is doing all of that.

The person who gets the job is the person who already got the job. In other words, the winner is always an unstoppable person who has already started to DO the job for which he EXPECTS to be hired.

Another way to put it is, "Don't get dressed for the role you currently have, but for the role you WANT to have."

Why does this ploy work?

That's because of the HUGE difference between a PROMISE and an ASSURANCE.

Most candidates send a resume, a cover letter and go to the job interview. Whatever they say, no matter how well or eloquently they say it, is just a PROMISE. Not a performance.

The smart job seeker, however, delivers a performance and does not just promise.

By delivering a performance -- that is, he produces to the best of his knowledge and ability the deliverables that he would be expected to produce in the job --, he moves from PROMISE to ASSURANCE.

Every HR director wants assurance, but only gets promises from candidates.

The cool thing is this: If you produce the (unsolicited) deliverables before being hired, and the targeted employer STILL doesn't recognize your superiority over other candidates, then that is a sure sign that you do NOT want to work there!

Indeed, in such a case, what is in question is NOT the fact that you are a highly motivated and talented professional. What is in question is the employer's lack of appreciation for a talented person's initiative, drive, determination and focus.

So there you have it. My secret to getting hired every single time. Good luck!

Create a product to get rich on Linkedin


Here's a little secret that will make a BIG difference in your bank account: If you want to get rich by leveraging the Internet, remember just one thing: create your own product.

Most people are still in "job" mode and that is not good. Economically and financially, that is.

A job does not and will never belong to you. It belongs to the employer.

A product which you create and constantly refine, however, belongs to you. And once you have a product, you can sell it to a huge number of people through Internet and/or Fedex.

A lot of people make a big deal out of China and India emerging as economic powers that offer cheap labor and low-cost knowledge workers to North American or European employers, but this trend (outsourcing knowledge work to other countries) can actually be a blessing in disguise.

For instance, it can create a paradigm shift in the minds of professionals and managers in developed countries. Specifically, it can signal to everyone -- especially the knowledge workers on Linkedin -- that the age of "labor" has come and gone.

We are now entering the age of (creative) talent.

Capitalism, indeed, is slowly but surely morphing into a strange economic system that I call "talentism." I will write more about this phenomenon later.

For now, let me share with you the surprising idea that without a product that you legally own, you will be vulnerable in the knowledge economy.

You will also not be able to profitably leverage social networks like Linkedin.

Indeed, what's the point of having 500 connections on Linkedin if you have nothing to sell to them?

Most people might object that they don't know how to create a new product. It's true that it's not easy, otherwise most Linkedin users would have a product to sell.

However, the good news is that you CAN create a product out of your knowledge and professional experience.

You probably never thought about this, but in your head, there are millions of dollars in unrealized economic value.

The problem -- and this applies to all Linkedin users who are employees -- is that this valuable knowledge only comes out once you are hired by an employer, and you are put in a "working environment" that elicits knowledge and knowhow from you.

In other words, you only make money if you're in an office environment and your name appears on an employer's payroll.

That's ridiculous.

Your value should come out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In other words, you could be 20 times richer than you are today.

The trick is to simply turn your tacit (i.e. in your head) knowledge into explicit (i.e. in the world) knowledge that anybody else -- provided they are literate -- can read, use, implement and get value from.

In fact, they don't even have to be literate since you can produce an audio book!

Stay tuned for more.

Are you king, knight or serf?


In medieval times, a prince would build an army to levy taxes while also set up trade routes protected by hired mercenaries.

Linkedin enables you to act in such a princely manner. Yet, most people do not know how to do this. They use Linkedin as a virtual Rolodex when it can be so much more.

What is most important, before we even get into how you can economically and financially leverage Linkedin, is how you view yourself.

Who do you think you are?

Usually, this question is meant to challenge a person because he or she seems to have too big a self-concept.

But in fact, you cannot think of yourself highly enough. Your very self-concept is the receptacle of everything that life offers.

If you believe you are a millionaire, you shall become one. If you believe the maximum you can make is $80,000 a year, you will make that amount of money. If you believe you can retire financially rich before age 40 (and this is my belief exactly concerning my esteemed person), then you will retire before age 40 with loads of money and a recurring stream of income enabling you to afford your favorite lifestyle.

Remember the Spanish proverb: "After the game of life is over, both the king and the pawn return to the same box."

Your Linkedin profile shows, rather tellingly, your self-concept. Most people are not aware that the self-image they project onto the world, is also the image (or filtering apparatus) they have of themselves.

By "filtering apparatus," I mean that a person will ONLY perceive information or accept ideas that are congruent with his/her self-concept.

If you think you're a millionaire, you will naturally have ideas popping up in your head about how to make a million dollars. If not, you might still get those ideas but they will be so quickly filtered OUT of your conscious frame of mind that you will never be aware of their existence.

This blog is about Linkedin, so why all this talk about becoming a millionaire?

Because that's what Linkedin ultimately enables you to do.

I have over 700 connections. Yet I never invited anybody. I just created a profile that is interesting enough for people to want to have me in their network.

More and more people also want to become licensed affiliates of my proprietary products and intellectual capital so they can sell them in their home countries. I have 22 countries being targeted on my entrepreneurial dashboard.

The sky's the limit. But first, you have to ask yourself: "Who am I? Am I king, knight or serf?"

Whoever you think you are, you are 100% right.

So be careful before you decide, for decision is destiny.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Do you know what your talent is?

I often receive invitations to join Blue Chip Expert (see their sales pitch below) but I don't join for a very simple reason: my goal is to become the best at what I do so I don't need to network.

I've been featured in several newspapers already and also on national television, so I think I'm on my way to becoming known worldwide. This is not to brag because my ego is quite small, but to drive home the point that the essence of economic security lies in BEING THE BEST -- not in being connected.

For instance, I receive a LOT of invitations from Linkedin users stating bluntly that they have gazillions of connections. I ask myself, "So what?" The person always fails to mention what's so special about him (women never "brag" about their extensive connections because unlike men who focus on "agency," women focus on "relationships").

Linkedin and Blue Chip Expert are just "radio broadcast stations." Success requires MORE than a worldwide radio broadcast station. You've got to have a good song!

In other words, as a professional, executive, entrepreneur, etc. you've got to know what you talent is and how you can use it to benefit your connections or employer or clients.

Developing one's talent is the hard part. Connecting on Linkedin or Facebook or Blue Chip is the easy part.

Do you know what your unique talent is? If not, life will be hard since you will be considered by employers to be a mere "human resource."

Talent is the new name of the game, and in an increasing number of cases, it is even more powerful than capital.

If you have talent, you will earn top dollars (as an employee or free agent). If you don't have talent and only have education and skills, your job might soon be outsourced to other countries like China and India because education and skills are fast becoming cheap commodities.

The best-seller by Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, tells the whole story in case you want the details.

I will write more on how to use Linkedin to discover your talent and how to ask your connections for help in validating or refining your talent. Indeed, clarity of talent means security of income in the new talent-based economy.


Blue Chip Expert is a new kind of networking service - created to connect top-tier executives, professionals and consultants with the most sought-after opportunities from leading companies in every business category.

There are a few unique benefits that make Blue Chip Expert different from any other networking resource you may have tried previously:

* Membership is by invitation only - so it's limited to the best companies and the best people. This makes it a perfect way to expand your network to include top contacts in every field.

* The search technology is cutting-edge. Blue Chip Expert uses a proprietary engine to connect the right specialist to the perfect opportunity. It's the easiest way to build a team on a moment's notice, or locate other professionals to complement your capabilities.

* Members can actually earn recurring fees for introducing professionals - and the potential annual revenues are considerable. Once you register, make sure to check out the Referral Fee Calculator to project potential earnings. I think you may be in for a very pleasant surprise.

There are a lot more member privileges - but the easiest way to get the details is to accept this invitation and register at Blue Chip Expert.