o1. Start by adding anyone and everyone that you already know; whether they’re acquaintances, past colleagues, or the Starbucks barista that aspires to be the next Meg Whitman. Whoever has the gold makes the rules. Apply this methodology to your number of your LinkedIn connections and you too may end up with the perfect client in your 2nd or 3rd level contacts.

o2. Determine how you want to use LinkedIn. If you are looking for a new job and want to land that prime McKinsey interview then work on building up your references. If you’re a prodigy you probably won’t have to beg for references. For the rest of us you can take a colleague out for coffee and offer to write them a reference in exchange. If your primary goal for LinkedIn is to generate leads then position your profile in a way that doesn’t scare off potential clients. Put yourself on the other side of the fence; would you want to do business with someone who has “Cut Throat Sales Tyrant” on their tagline? Neither would I.

o3. Tweak your LinkedIn profile settings. Click on the Accounts & Settings link. Activate the OpenLink Network and ensure that My Public Profile displays your full information. Take Step 2 into consideration and craft your settings around whatever you want to get out of LinkedIn.

o4. Build up your elite clientele. After adding people that you already know you can start adding perfect strangers. Many people advise you to add as many 500+ LinkedIn gurus as possible for the sheer viral effect but I would rather add key industry leaders in my niche and tap into their small network than take the shot gun approach. Quality over quantity folks (after you get past the 30 contact milestone of course).Sometimes it is difficult to get your contacts to forward a referral for you, especially if you want to add someone who is in your 3rd level of contacts. I ended up upgrading to professional and using the InMail feature. You might be able to land lunch with just the right person potentially resulting in a huge account. The $200/yr. price tag doesn’t look so bad after all. You can also search for the individuals e-mail address via Google and make a few guesses if you have to. Add the user to your network and when it asks how you know the individual click “Other” and paste their e-mail address. I have had people e-mail me back asking how I know them. This is the perfect opportunity to strike up the initial conversation which will typically lead to a beautiful business relationship.

o5. Sync your LinkedIn account with Outlook. What many people don’t realize is that once a contact accepts your invitation, you have access to their e-mail address. Go figure! The free LinkedIn toolbar automatically syncs you r Outlook contact information with your LinkedIn account. It will also notify you if one of your colleagues changes jobs on you and leaves you sad and alone.

o6. Maintain your profile and contact requests! We’re all busy people running around like little chickens with our heads chopped off but networking has to be on purpose. Many contacts in my network never update their information. It can be for a variety of reasons but for the most part it is sheer laziness. Keeping your information updated and responding to network requests is a good indication that you’re an organized business professional. If you don’t want to add somebody for whatever reason then decline their request. Some executives won’t add you unless they have physically met with you in person. To each their own I suppose.

o7. Market yourself. It is the information age and we all want to have our information accessible 24x7x365. Everything is digital and if you’re still networking through a Rolodex you need to update your life. Place your LinkedIn profile’s URL on your business cards, in your blog, on your e-mail signature, and for thrill factor you can even tattoo it on your forehead. Other LinkedIn Nazi’s suggest search engine optimization techniques but I find that word of mouth and good ‘ol grassroots marketing does just fine.

o8. Use some common sense. Some LinkedIn users add everybody they can get their grubby little paws on. I’m all for a good amount of contacts but where do you draw the line? Some profiles come across as either severely unprofessional or borderline spam. You don’t want to be one of those guys. Guy Kawasaki only has 223 connections and I’m guessing he could easily be one of those “500+ contact guys”, but he isn’t, and unless you’re ridiculously famous then you shouldn’t be either.

o9. Take advantage of all that LinkedIn has to offer. Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. With the Answer’s section in LinkedIn you can easily ask anybody in your network a question and you’ll typically receive great answers. LinkedIn is a great place to post jobs as well. When employees use LinkedIn it gives an employer the option to check references as well as other people in the company that can chime in on the employee’s work ethic. I guess LinkedIn isn’t all smoke and mirrors after all.

1o. Enjoy yourself. So many people view networking as a chore or obligation. Yes, it is an obligation if you want to build a solid framework leading to great business relationships and accounts but it can be fun at the same time. After a few solid hours of productivity I’ll browse LinkedIn for a while and respond to requests and messages. Quit stressing about it, drink your Starbucks, and let LinkedIn seep into your veins.


There’s this feeling deep inside my spirit that I know can never be quenched fully. It’s very difficult to express but I would say it’s somewhere between a feeling of emptiness and a longing of apocalyptic proportions. It is my desire to win souls for Christ. I’ve always smirked at that coined phrase, “Winning souls.” As if they’re some sort of prize. Then I realize that there is a very real war going on between good and evil. When you pluck an individual from the clutches of hell there’s a reason to celebrate… because that is one less person living in eternal torment. One more disciple can mean a hundred, even a thousand for the kingdom. I’ve always been good at multiplication and the ripple effect holds true when you’re the real deal… a no holds bar type disciple. What does it take to satisfy this urge within me? My heart wrenches over the unexplainable tragedies in this world; poverty, disease, famine, war, etc.

I see a savior above a barren land with His hands coupled over every circumstance, every heartache, everything evil in this world, as if to say, “I have everything under control.” I believe in a just God who cares about every intricate detail right down to the hairs on our head. I believe in this so passionately that I am willing to bank my life on it. A God who lives. A God who died for me. A God who heals, covers, protects, and fights for my sake. A God who loves those who hate Him. A God who forgives those that sin against Him. A God beyond measure. Beyond human comprehension.

While the desire flickers in the storm, deep down inside of me lies embers that can never be extinguished. The flame becomes an inferno. The inferno sets the world on fire. Let it burn.

As I stare at an image of a child at the brink of death something inside me… an inexpressible stirring of pain and anguish was ignited. Perhaps it is because this child is the age of my youngest son. Maybe It’s because I somehow feel called to leave a legacy during my short lifespan to prevent similar atrocities from occurring. Even changing the life of one child would make all the difference to me.

I ask God, “Why Lord?” as tears drip onto my watch. The irony is that the $100 I spent on my watch could have easily fed an entire family for more than a year. What am I doing about this?

A $2 million dollar house on the lake, a $100,000 BMW, $200 designer jeans, and a $5,000 Breitling watch… and for what? I can’t do it. I refuse to… not like this.

I keep this picture as a reminder to myself. A reminder of the blessed life that my family and I have. A reminder that Capitalism can be used for philanthropy. A reminder that I am only a mere dot in the big scheme of things… but that If I fulfill my calling then my life has the potential to cause a ripple effect dramatically altering the lives of millions of people.

This is what I live for.

Something amazing happened to me today. I had an encounter with the creator of the universe. With the almighty God who crafted me in my mother’s womb. As of right now I am still enamoured by His presence and out of sheer reverence I am finding it tremendously difficult to find the right words to say.

How did I come to this point? What happened to the man I once was? Where are You taking me?

All of these questions have an answer that will be revealed in their season. I suppose I should clue you in on what happened to me. The past week or so I have really been pressing into God… being faithful in prayer and having an increasing desire to be used like I have never been used before for the kingdom of God.

I began the day reading a book called Intercession, Thrilling and Fulfilling by Joy Dawson and received a call from my dad. He wanted me to come to his house to get some mail I had at his house and I did so. My little brother asked me to watch the movie Norbit while I was over there as he claimed it was an awesome flick. About 1/4 through the movie my spirit was so discomforted due to the carnality of the movie that I had to leave and come home. Almost as if God was telling me… no son, come home, I have something better waiting for you.

As I layed down and began reading the book again it seemed as if everytime I turned a page, my desire to be used by God became increasingly greater. After finishing the chapter I turned on some worship music and began speaking in tongues. As the Holy Spirit began to enter my room I began asking God to place the desires and passions in my heart for this generation. Help me to love what you love and hate what you hate. And please Father… use me… no matter the cost. Suddenly a rush of His presence overwhelmed me to the point where I was overwhelmed and began interceding for other nations. In the midst of my awe of who God is I asked Him a simple question. Lord, if this is what you have for me please show me. Within a matter of seconds the scripture Romans 8:27 came to my mind and because I had never heard that verse before I opened my Bible and it read,

“Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God”

Revelation. Yes… this is the ministry my king has called me to. To be used as a conduit of the Holy Spirit to make intercession for the saints according to His will. I cried… because He never ceases to amaze me. Because He is just as much alive today as He was 2000 years ago. Because He doesn’t change. I am so honored to have been called to His throne of grace. To be used for eternal purposes. There’s not a feeling like this. Nothing else fulfills like You Lord. Nothing. Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere. I mean that, from the depths of my heart.

God is rising up a generation in Seattle and reclaiming the Pacific Northwest by force. There will be an outpouring of His spirit so intense that the entire nation will hear about it. It will sweep like wildfire throughout the region and the ends of the earth and God’s glory will be revealed in its entirety. Hallelujah.

I would say that SalesForce has always been good to me. As far as CRM tools I give the programmers their due. Why else would Google decide to create a strategic alliance with them? Anyhow I used to be a “lukewarm” SalesForce user. I knew how to do the typical functions such as import mass leads, breeze through AppExchange programs, and complete other mundane tasks but I was surprised when I was reading through some of the successforce.com tutorials and they said that senior level executives typically run the SalesForce program in its entirety.

The first question I asked myself is why? Why is this an executive level feat? Our VP of Marketing at my last company ran all of the functions of SalesForce to include compiling data, back end programming, and custom Dashboards. I suppose not all companies can afford to hire a SalesForce seasoned kid-whiz to administer this beastly piece of proprietary madness but come on now!

After my 2nd week at my new company I found out that I had the task of heading up the entire SalesForce and SharePoint programs for our office. Ackkk! As I began scrummaging through the disastrous SalesForce console (that the administrators in India wrecked) I realized that I was going to have to become a SalesForce Genie over night. It was almost like the feeling you had when you popped that Game Genie into your NES as you watched Mario fly for the first time and give a Goomba a wet willie simultaneously.

Anyway back to my story…

The administration side of SalesForce is an entirely different beast. Start off by determining where you want to go with the software. How will I get the best bang for my buck? I wrote out all of the metrics that were pertinent to our Marketing and Sales teams and began to build up the Leads, Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities around this. Note: This is not a trivial task but after playing around with the Page Layout anybody with a 5/10 level of computer wizardry should be able to build up a somewhat decent console. The hardest part is over! After completion you will want to build some reports. Mess around with the reporting functions and if you have any trouble swallow your pride and navigate to the SalesForce Help link… it’s amazing what one paragraph of jibberish can teach you nowadays. After building reports navigate to successforce.com and read up on building your Dashboards from the reports you just created which will include all of your metrics. Wipe off your sweaty forehead, write your SalesForce password on a sticky note (or your trusty Moleskine notebook), and polish off your 3rd double caffeinated Starbucks latte as you make your way to your boss’s desk.

I did it, so can you! Yes you too can become a SalesForce Genie over night. Schmooze your boss. Pretend like you majored in Computer Science, and eat Samoas Girl Scout Cookies to top it all off.

Being in the time-shift continuum and all, the journey of looking for a new job gives me shutters. Alas, this is where I ended up. After leaving my lucrative internship at Centeris Corporation I tried a couple positions that didn’t match what I was looking for. Either I didn’t like them, or they didn’t like me. As I really thought about this concept God started speaking into my life showing me pertinent things that I had never realized before.

My thought always was that the employer was there to benefit you. My entire work life I had this thought pattern: What can this company do for me? What am I getting out of it? How can this company advance me? The entire time I was so concerned about myself it was stunting my personal development.

While working I came to the realization that it wasn’t even about me. It was about what I can do for the company. Forget about the advancement. You are serving them. You’re getting paid for it so you better step up to the plate. This was initally a challenge because I had trained myself for so long that the “norm” was to act as if your employer owes you something. I used to read this scripture in Colossians 3 that states:

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

When I finally received the revelations that It’s not about me getting “this or that” out of my job but rather being a servant to the Lord rather than to men, my entire perspective shifted. God then quickly gave me this scripture in Proverbs 12 that says:

“The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.”

Could it be that God is giving us a glimpse into eternity? This verse obviously parallels our life on Earth but isn’t there a possibility that it could go deeper than that? I wonder if God is trying to tell us something… maybe that if we are diligent in all that we do being a servant to the Lord rather than to men, we will rule in heaven with Him? Just a thought. Regardless, I’m not taking the chances… I don’t want to be put to forced labor.

The last couple weeks God has put it in my heart to see that He is indeed the God of breakthrough. There’s times when we feel like all of our efforts and ambitions are in vain. The truth is… they are. When we get into this pattern of doing things ourselves we end up like water in a stagnant pond. We don’t go anywhere… we don’t gain any traction… we just sit there and are eventually taken over by our atmosphere. This isn’t how God intended it to be. Psalm 127:1 says,

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”

God is telling us, “How far did you get on your own? I told you that I would build your house. You’re building on the sand. When the storms come all the work that you thought you had accomplished will be washed away.” We look at Isaiah 66:1-2 and God says,

“Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” Says the LORD. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

God has already built His house! He made the universe down to every intricate detail of your life. He’s saying… what can you build that I haven’t already built? I will look upon those who are humbled. Those who are poor and of a contrite spirit. Those who tremble at My holy word.

When you realize that you are not the builder, rather a co-laborer, you become like a stream flowing into a raging river where there is so much life so much growth so much more than what you could ever imagine. You’re no longer a cesspool of your own muck stagnant in all your ways. You’re tapped into something living, something so far beyond you. Who will build God’s house? He will. Thank God He counted me faithful enough to join the ride.