USE IT OR LOSE IT, the mortifying experience of having completely ignored my LinkedIn profile
Last week I had made the impossible happen: I had gotten a sitter to watch my 3 kids so I could attend a speaker session at the local chapter of the National Speaker Association. For a year and a half I had been “trying” (albeit half-assedly) to attend one of their meetings but work, kids and apathy continuously got in the way. However when I saw the description of the October meeting I knew I would get there, no matter what.
You see I have been baking an idea for a few years now and have made headway on it and recently I obtained the trademark for it. Divorce Glow, a business in which I use my knowledge and consulting skills working with startups in marketing, branding and planning and apply it to women who are emerging from divorce and in need of a clear new brand of self, a mission to make the most of the often painful and underused opportunity that divorce can bring to a woman. I have been quietly growing this for 2 years now.
So I saw the post on Facebook for the session and it simply read: “Anyone interested in learning about how to launch an on-line course?” and below it was this woman with short hair and an enormous smile and me, having little attention span but being highly intuitive, saw this women and thought, “I can sit for an hour and listen to her. I will go.”
And I did. My darling boyfriend watched my three little girls and off I went to learn, with unreasonably high expectations. I arrived to the hotel meeting room. A few familiar faces were there which was nice and the speaker was seated directly in front of me facing the audience.
She was tall, thin, wore a purple fur shawl and I thought, “she looks European,” based on her bold fashion sense.
Each of the maybe 35 people in the room had to stand in 10 words or less say what they did.
I was immediately scrounging for a pen to write on my napkin. “What do I do?” I thought. You see when you wear many hats as they say and have a lot of irons in the fire that question is not always an easy one to answer. But that night I was there for Divorce Glow, I knew that much.
“I teach women how to start fresh after divorce.” 9 words. I felt like I should win something.
Anyway the introductions were done and the speaker began to speak. I was right. She was a wonderful mix of all nationalities non-American. She was also smart, funny and compelling. I am often so bored at sessions and lectures because they lack the practical hands-on “do this, not that” details. She delivered.
I took notes that I promised myself several times during the night that I would not lose. I nodded in agreement, I made eye contact, I smiled at her slides. I was a legitimate and authentic ass-kisser because I was so honestly happy that she was so good.
At the end of the night things went a few minutes over and all I could think of was I had to get home and make sure baths were done and homework was done and pjs were on for my kids.
I said a few quick good-byes, ran to my car ( a loaner because mine was in the shop) and threw my body into the drivers seat effectively crushing my $16 Target sunglasses. I drove home too fast.
Fast forward to 6 days later. Deep in procrastination of writing an article for my site I decide to dive into the abyss known as LinkedIn.
***Audible GASP!!!!*** Followed by “NOOOOOOOO!!!!” as I crouch down to my kitchen floor and cringe. There she was; short hair, big smile — right there on top of the “Viewed Your Profile” category: Sylvie di Guisto.
I whimpered. I have not updated my LinkedIn profile in God-knows how long. It is a jumbled mess, a look into my entrepreneurial mind with a nod to my practical real estate business and dash of my love of photography. You see all these things earn me clients. All these things make me happy. But none of these things is what I would say to Sylive di Guisto if I had 2 minutes of her time.
The worst part, she did not send me a connection request. Deep, unreasonable sadness is all can do to explain this moment. My procrastination had caught up with me. I have been FOR MONTHS saying “I really need to update my LinkedIn profile or just take it down.”
And there it was smack in my face: Today’s business lesson: Use it or Lose it
Don’t self-sabotage by leaving dated, half-baked, forgotten social media profiles floating around on the internet with posts from so long ago that people who happen by your information quietly wonder if you are deceased.
Don’t update your profile after a few glasses of wine with what you want to do or think you can do or feel like you might do. Don’t, don’t do that.
Don’t pretend like just because a certain social platform doesn’t quite do it for you that you can just leave yourself out there like a rusty, splintered clothes pin forgotten on a clothes line.
Either USE your profile or LOSE your profile.
Maybe Sylive looked me up because she looked the entire audience roster up.
Maybe Sylive looked me up because she wanted to know why I was creepily smiling at her through her entire presentation.
Maybe, just maybe, she loved my 9 words and wanted to know more about what I was working on, but my profile was so schizophrenic she bailed.
I may never know. I do know that I have set up a time next week to work with a women who specializes in helping people like me, people with a lot of talent and skills and ideas who can write about so much but who can’t seem to simply articulate themselves succinctly enough to satisfy a social media profile without feeling like we are leaving the best part of ourselves on the cutting room floor.
Sylvie — I loved your session. I am sorry if I creeped you out. I’d love to work with you someday but I can’t do that indoor stair running thing you do because I’ll probably collapse a lung. I would love to be a LinkedIn connection of yours, once my profile is updated.
Thank you so much for being the kick in the ass to updating my profile.