Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Michael O’Neil
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Introducing Michael O’Neil
Well it’s not often that you read on a persons LinkedIn profile such bit of essential business building information such as “I’m interested in muscle cars, classic rock (Pink Floyd, The Eagles), vinyl records, the ocean, sunshine, Apple products and concerts. I’m known as ♫ The LinkedIn Rockstar ♫, but I don’t work for LinkedIn.”
And that, as we see time and time again on Join Up Dots is the profile of someone that is having fun, being authentic and rocking it bigtime.
Starting his career as an IT professional in Phoenix Arizona is seems to me that he was either a man on a mission or someone who got bored with roles quite easily.
As he moved every few years from one position to another, seemingly looking for his thing, but of course gaining experience as he went.
How The Dots Joined Up For Michael
But it was when he moved into the career of Event planning and Networking that it all came together.
He had found his thing, and now with his own radio show, a passion for Key Note speaking and motivational presentations and of course sharing LinkedIn best practices he is loving everyday.
He is being true to himself, playing to his strengths and earning a living whilst doing it!
So what was it about LinkedIn that really got him excited enough to build a whole business around it?
And why does he feel that we all seem to go through the same search at the beginnings of our careers?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Mike O’Neil, the LinkedIn Rockstar.
During the episode we discussed such weighty topics with Michael O’Neil such as:
How he remembers seeing Elvis Presley in concert, and can remember thinking that he was seeing someone very special and understands why he is so sorely missed by the world.
“How you can create something new so much more easily, if it based on something you already understand” Steve Jobs
How he would class himself as an accidental entrepreneur, and was forced to create his own income much to the chagrin of his wife, but it was certainly not of his choosing.
Why he can relate to people who have hit bottom, as he remembers hitting the same state in his own personal life, and knew that the only way was up from that point onwards.
How you really find out who your true friends are when things get tough, but the rest are like raindrops on a windscreen, they come together for a moment and then slip away.
How To Connect With Michael O’Neil
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here– enjoy
Full Transcription Of Michael O’Neil Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there, everybody and welcome to Join Up Dots, Episode 319. I’ve been getting a lot of emails this week from people that are really, really starting to do some amazing stuff and getting their booty off that sofa and just just doing stuff. And there’s some amazing changes that are occurring across the world, not only in our league coaching platform, but just for people listening to the show and and being inspired to do stuff. So keep them coming. Keep them coming. You can even send a voicemail by going over to the website and click on this little thing on the side of the screen, and we’re playing we’re playing here. So if you’ve got some stories of self motivation and movement, send us a voicemail and we’ll make you famous where you will put it on the show. Well, it is an absolute delight that we get to have a guy on who to be honest. It’s not often that you read on a person’s LinkedIn profile such a bit of essential business building information such as I’m interested in muscle cars, classic rock Pink Floyd, the Eagles vinyl records, be ocean sunshine, Apple products and concerts. I’m known as the LinkedIn Rockstar, but I don’t work for LinkedIn. How about that as an intro, right. And as we see time and time again on Join Up Dots. It’s a profile of someone that is having fun, being authentic and rocking it big time. Now starting his career as an IT professional in Phoenix, Arizona, it seems to me that it was either a man on a mission or someone who got bored of roles quite easily as he moved every few years, from one position to another, seemingly looking for his being but of course, gaining experience as he went But it was when he moved into the career of event planning and networking. But it truly all came together he had found his being, and now with his own radio show a passion for keynote, speaking and motivational presentations. And of course, sharing LinkedIn best practices. He’s loving every day he’s being true to himself playing to his strengths, and earning a living whilst doing it. So what was it about LinkedIn that really got him excited enough to build a whole business around it? And why does he feel that we all seem to go through the same search at the beginnings of our careers? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Mike O’Neill by LinkedIn Rockstar. How are you sir?
Michael O’Neil [2:40]
All right, David, thank you so much, Mike. You know, I really kind of went through through a little journey there with you. You know what, I did have lived an interesting life. You know, I did get to see Elvis Presley in concert as well. Hi, the highlight of all that little stuff. It was a turning point for me. Back in 72 actually
David Ralph [2:59]
What did you actually I wasn’t expecting to go straight into this. But so you saw fat Elvis or getting fat Elvis.
Michael O’Neil [3:07]
getting fat Elvis. He wasn’t fat. He died in 77. He probably put on 40 or 50 pounds after I saw him.
David Ralph [3:17]
And were you to do with that? Were you throwing sweets at him at the time or or candy?
Michael O’Neil [3:24]
Well, I, you know, I went with mom and dad and grandma and grandpa and my sister. It was a family outing. I was 12 years old at the time. It was the very first show I ever went to. And there were quite a few that you know, mom and dad took me to because it was cheaper than a babysitter at that time. concerts were cheap.
David Ralph [3:41]
Did you did you realise at that time that you were seeing Elvis or did you just sort of go because it was a night owl. Obviously, you look back on it now and you think wow, I saw I saw a king. But at the time did you kind of go well, this is a special night out or it was just going out with mom and dad.
Michael O’Neil [3:57]
So I knew exactly what I was seeing. Yeah. My mom and dad would go to Las Vegas to go see all of us play at the sands and other places in Vegas. They were they were regular seeing him every three, four or five years or so. Two big TV shows, you know, the live from, from Hawaii to the TV show that he did with his black leather jacket on. You know, I gotta say I really was an Elvis fan. And it has affected me. I’m a little bit like him on stage sometimes. Seriously.
David Ralph [4:27]
Did you do on his Elvis karaoke song because I, I do a few of them in karaoke, and he’s always literally the wonder of you. The wonder of you is the one that I hit.
Michael O’Neil [4:40]
I get a little hound dog ish. Yeah, I do. Go back
David Ralph [4:43]
and you swing the hips, do you?
Michael O’Neil [4:46]
Yeah, you know, I get a little bit as Apple and me too, you know, a whole lot of love going on that kind of stuff on. I actually performed at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in 2010. It’s an interesting story I’m up on stage. If you type in Mike O’Neill fantasy in Google, or even in or or in, in YouTube, Michael Neal fantasy, you’ll see what I mean. It’s the number one result there. I’m on stage at Rock and Roll fantasy camp with a band of campers and some professional musicians performing back in the USSR and I you know it I look rather athletic. I’ll just leave it at that.
David Ralph [5:31]
So it was it was sweat bands and tight trousers and stuff was it
Michael O’Neil [5:36]
you know, I I have leathers that I brought with but I did not put them on stage here. I thought I would upstage the other folks in the band too much. By the way, if you watch the video, it’s best to watch it with no sound.
David Ralph [5:50]
Michael O’Neil [5:53]
Well, I musicians are amateurs and I you know after three days of practising with you You know your voice really gets going after three solid days of belting out music and by the end of the third day you got a few little pops and crackles in there if you know what I mean like a record that’s been played too many times
David Ralph [6:11]
so so before we start taking you back in time Mike and actually sort of following your career through your career now was taken away but you could be a working musician as sort of journey man was musician so not like a Bon Jovi but somebody who’s you know, playing the stuff every night maybe a support musician or whatever, would would you do it?
Michael O’Neil [6:35]
Absolutely. In fact, that’s a there’s a little blue pill red pill point in my life where I decided not not to pursue music and I wish I had I, I pursued music from the side of a disc jockey, as opposed to a performer and a guitarist, keyboards that that way I, if there were one thing I could redo in my life And we may get to that later. I understand that, that that’s probably the thing I do.
David Ralph [7:06]
So let’s start taking you back and obviously move through that point to where you are now. It’s a journey that we see so many times I was going through your LinkedIn profile, funnily enough. And it seems more often than not that people will generally start in their career, maybe two years, move on to another job, move on to another job. And they sort of move through this this journey of not being able to connect until they find their thing. And you certainly seem like that you were still moving through it career and different sort of position. Were you somebody that was unsure of their path in the early days. Were you just working a job?
Michael O’Neil [7:46]
No, quite frankly, I had a very calculated career in the early days. Most of my career was was by plan until I hit some layoffs in the early 2000s. That wasn’t part of the plan. If you don’t work I mean, but I, I got the PC bug while I was in college. So we’re in the early 80s. The Apple two is out. IBM comes out with this thing called the IBM PC. And I’m a year away from graduating college. And somehow I was able to convince my parents to buy me an IBM PC with at that stage one floppy 64 K of memory, a green screen, dot matrix printer wordstar. And originally it was visicalc. I ended up getting Lotus 123 when I came time to write the check and still in college that really launched my career more than my engineering degree. I was an industrial engineer, engineering schools hard David. I mean, I was in over my head in engineering school, but when I found that computer, I took my industrial engineering engineering principles away from manufacturing, to office automation, which was a brand new thing that was happening, you know, companies were just implementing computers back then mainframes at that stage. And here’s this little IBM PC that comes along and I was an expert. The thing that got me My first job was the fact that I was the only applicant out of 200 people that there’s a recession going on and 80 and 8283. here in the States, the only one who’d actually opened up a computer IBM PC, there’s five screws and you slide the cabinet off. I could describe what was inside. And that was more important than five years of college education to that employer. Yeah,
David Ralph [9:45]
you somebody that likes taking things apart and he Are you somebody that likes to understand how things work and how the things come together somehow.
Michael O’Neil [9:55]
Yes, I am. And in fact, I had not only opened the cover, but I opened the car. Because I needed to put in a parallel printer card so I could attach a printer. So I actually had to open it up to put something in it not just a peek, what was peek of what was inside. And I’ve always been that way, you know, I picked, I picked LinkedIn apart the same way. I mean, I’ve got every little nook and cranny of LinkedIn figured out. Like I had every little nook and cranny of the IBM PC figured out. Back then
David Ralph [10:25]
Well, well, why don’t you think you like that? Because I’m interested in LinkedIn, because for many of us, it’s a kind of partial Rolodex. It’s something that just has our profile on there occasionally will tell us who’s looking at us. And that’s it. But of course, there’s so much more to it. I’ve had a few guests recently that are really delving into LinkedIn. And I quite honestly say but from the sales point of view, that’s where the money is. Don’t go on Facebook and do Facebook ads, go to LinkedIn and work the group’s fair. So what was it about LinkedIn that sort of appeal to you and why did you want to delve into every nook and cranny.
Michael O’Neil [11:02]
Well, I’m up. I didn’t realise it at the time. But I’m really a follower of some Steve Jobs principles. And when you can relate something new to something that you already know and understand. It’s that much easier. And LinkedIn reminded me of things that I learned previously. databases, data entry screens, searching. The idea of a profile was very similar to things that I’d experienced on bulletin boards when I had a dial up modem. It was just very familiar to me and my space was not that was the only other alternative at the time. I had a pretty good MySpace presence as well, but it just didn’t seem as familiar to me. It didn’t. Didn’t didn’t kind of have that. Welcome now. To me, because it was really geared towards people where if I taken that other route in life and gone down the music route, it would have been more like me. It would have been it cater to the side that I did not go after, rather than the one that I did.
David Ralph [12:15]
But But you’ve managed to kind of blend both sides of your personality remarkably well having you then the fact that you’re sort of Monica is the linked in Rockstar and if you look at any pictures of yourself, it is very much like, Am I looking at a businessman? Or am I looking at a musician? So you’ve kind of merged the two too easily? Was that something that you consciously did? Or was that something that was forced on you because of your background?
Michael O’Neil [12:40]
You know, that’s a really good question. I’m a very insightful, David, as many interviews as I’ve been on, it’s never really been put that way. I think that things sort of happen for a reason, even if we don’t control them or understand them. There’s a divine thing that sort of happens. And I think that was coming Uh, what happened here on, there’s a lot of people who use that word Rockstar to imply excellence. You know, he’s a, he’s a carpenter rock star because he makes great carpentry. They use that term to imply, you know, excellence and standout fitness within the field they’re in. But they never really realise that the word rock star applies to music originally. And they miss all of that. And in my case, it does apply into 1000 concerts. I have over 500 ticket stubs, I saw Bob Marley for $6 still got the ticket, by the way. So it kind of fits in a double whammy you know, they call it that back it up, sort of principle because the term is used out of context quite a bit. And that’s okay. I mean, I know I understand, you know, the Twitter Rockstar better be damn good at Twitter. And you don’t necessarily expecting to actually play guitar or sing. But wouldn’t it be great if you did?
David Ralph [14:00]
But but the the world Rockstar I think has a connotation of easy success somehow it’s like everything flowed and the person just became a rock star. But obviously if you look at it from the musician point of view, you only become a rock star by hours and hours and hours of practice and in the fret work and trying to do your scales and all that kind of stuff, which is exactly the same way with anyone but really rocks it in the business field, but we kind of shy against rock star because it almost sounds arrogant but it should be a badge of honour Shouldn’t it It should be a way to demonstrate the amount of hours that has gone in to getting you to that place where you are considered an expert
Michael O’Neil [14:43]
in today, but that couldn’t be better put in the way the way you said it. That the rock stars that are out there, some of them got there based on their just a virtual so I mean they were just God’s gift given. Most of them beat their fingers raw. and stayed up very late. And, you know, just they live this life of the journeymen. And you know, how many of them actually make it to I mean, they’re what step is that that whole concept like a professional athlete, you know, how many make it to the big leagues and how many people are trying to get in similar thing with with with bands and in that whole that whole music industry now, what happens along the way though, is some of these musicians find that there’s other jobs to take that other than being a musician, working for record companies working at in the in the music industry, but not as a musician, with that background as a musician, is a very good background to understanding these other jobs that are related to it.
David Ralph [15:48]
Easy, Bo, is it talent? Is it hustle, you know, I my second concert I ever went to see was Queen at Wembley Stadium. And I remember Freddie Mercury coming onstage and I was just blown away from the second he walked out. And he just had that. I suppose we call it X Factor. But is it but talent that has to be there first? Or is it the perseverance that fine tunes battalion until we see it?
Michael O’Neil [16:18]
I think it’s different things for different people quite honestly. There are there’s that God given natural talent that certain people have. And then there’s other things where, you know, they met the right people along the way, got a little boost and all the thing that really takes it to me is when you’ve got musicians to play multiple instruments, so they’ve really taken it to this next level. You’re talking about prince or Sheryl Crow. Or some Paul McCartney. You know, Paul McCartney was the best drummer in the Beatles, you know that?
David Ralph [16:56]
Yeah, I did. Yeah. We know couldn’t take time very well. polka he’s he hasn’t got the flourish but he’s telling me he spot on
Michael O’Neil [17:06]
get Lenny Kravitz is another plays all the all the instruments. Kid Rock plays many of the instruments in fact in concert, he plays every instrument including scratching on the on the vinyl in in concert every time I’ve seen him he did that there’s a song and he jumps from from bass to guitar, to drums to keyboards. doesn’t play horn. But he but he ends up scratching on the on the vinyl there.
David Ralph [17:33]
So I said do you love your life at the moment? Mike Are you in the place as I described it, but literally, the things have come together and you enjoy every day.
Michael O’Neil [17:45]
You know, I am living a little bit of Nirvana, but I’ve been humbled a little bit David. I’ve had to take on the role of caregiver for my parents and that wouldn’t be part of the Nirvana plan. It is one fearful to to experience this, but I would be out on the road a lot more than I am now, if I didn’t have to worry about my dad falling down, and my mom having spots on her lungs and the doctor visits and things like that I I’ve actually, as much as this big rock personality is out there. I’m a really humble man at this point in life, David, I’ll pick that up again, and, you know, go out and do my big stuff again, when things are more settled down here, but I, you know, I every day, I gotta wonder, you know, every morning, you know, how how’s the rest of these other people in my life doing and got a check on them. So it’s a it’s a humbling experience.
David Ralph [18:38]
And is it something that you have found easy to deal with? Obviously, nobody wants their parents to be ill, and I wish them the best. I certainly do. But but was that something that you naturally accepted? Or did you just play the son responsibility or Well, I’m the person that needs to do this. I don’t want to but I need to do this.
Michael O’Neil [19:00]
Um, you know, it’s kind of like when a crisis hits you, you don’t you don’t analyse or anything, you just you just, you know, you become a superhuman at some point in time. I’m literally I live in Denver for 28 years in a high rise living the life that you just described. And, you know, can’t walk into concerts I could I was right by Coors Field. There’s 81 baseball games at home happen all around the world, the wonderful life. Indoor hot tub in Colorado, no less indoor swimming bowl. Had I you know, that was that was the life there. And I had to get on the next airline to Minneapolis and rush straight to the hospital because my dad was in a critical state and might not have might not have made it through the night. I literally had to drive to the airport. I had 15 minutes to pack my bag and get there. And when I got here, things things were in a really terrible state. You know, no one knew anything estate planning hadn’t happened. We have some other relatives here. We’re able to help and jump in. Got things stable. But I really thought I was coming home for a little bit and I was going to head back to Denver. You know, that’s why I packed a small suitcase and I never never did move back. I basically had to bring it all out here and restart my business in another city. Now, fortunately, David, I’d already had a really nice footprint here in Minneapolis. Five years prior, I had done a series of LinkedIn trainings here in Minneapolis. I grew up in Minneapolis, this is my hometown. I know my way around, got got old friends from high school vendor, the vendor, the high school reunions. So if I could do this anywhere, this is where I could do it. And I now have, you know, at this stage 20 503,000 LinkedIn connections here in the Twin Cities. I have 4800 in Denver. So you see where you know, it’s my number two city here. By the way, San Francisco 1200 Dallas 15 Hundred connections. When I go into a city either to speak or train or to create a, you know, sort of a business presence there. I invite a lot of people on LinkedIn with a compelling message and frankly a lot of her kind of like, Wow, I can’t believe you’re inviting me, I should be inviting you.
David Ralph [21:18]
But wonder why my feel that thing because, well, why did they feel that they should be inviting you? How compelling is that message?
Michael O’Neil [21:27]
Well, there’s a little bit of lane, who’s the opening act and who’s the main act? I went after people in these towns on at the, at the time there, David, you could do a search on Dallas and you could sort by number of connections. Can’t do that anymore. In fact, you can’t sort it all your search results on LinkedIn, but at that time, you could. So I would invite the top 100 sometimes the top 200 people or I’d add us a filter that would say like manager or vice president or I pick an industry and then I’d sort by the connections within that subset. That’s how I sort of built that. And, and I frankly, I was I was known by, you know, a lot of people when you sort by search results, the people that are most aware of LinkedIn are the ones that appear first. And if you’re an early pioneer, and I am, you know, we got a little bit of star power there. There weren’t many pioneers. There weren’t a lot of people talking about it. The the list of experts was a pretty short list in those days.
David Ralph [22:34]
But But what’s compelling about your request to them? What, what moves them in to connecting with you?
Michael O’Neil [22:42]
Well, I was a LinkedIn trainer and coach and that was a concept that was really, really new back then. What, what people would say about me and about what I was doing was, LinkedIn is a website. You’re training people to use a website. How does that work? It still wasn’t really being used as a business tool, except by these people that had the larger networks. They understood it better. And I was hanging out a shingle of rock music and cars back then as well you know, I was one of the very first people to kind of lay that you know, personal business hybrid out there. And frankly, there’s a lot of folks that are you know, especially my age our age or are interested in those things. It’s become even more stylish to be into rock and cars nowadays than it used to be there’s other things as well so for some people, it’s golf or it’s football or it’s hiking or thrill sports is just that’s not me I’m I’m the concert in car guy.
David Ralph [23:44]
on LinkedIn, what what I can’t quite grasp at the moment from from what you’re saying is, why did you have to rebuild your business in Minneapolis with LinkedIn being global and online? Why couldn’t you be doing it on a beach? Why Why did you have to almost really Start again.
Michael O’Neil [24:02]
I was doing a lot of local speaking. So the Business Marketing Association, I was a regular speaking there, the American staffing Association, Chambers of Commerce, the local business community I was very involved in, I was hosting networking events monthly and then quarterly. And now I still host an annual networking event in Denver. So come to Minneapolis, I’m not doing any any events, that whole event thing just just is gone. I’m just not going to start doing events here. Although rethinking that a little bit now, David, but I had, I probably done, I don’t know 200 networking events and in in Denver, and I’ve done three here in Minnesota. So that just that ratio alone kind of sheds a little light on what and in fact, on May 6, I’m hosting an event with probably 200 people in Denver. In early December, we had 400 at a holiday party. that I did in Denver. And I still don’t do those here in the Twin Cities, I’m just just I just don’t have that, that that base. I’m not speaking in Minneapolis here at the BMA every year or, or at these other chambers of commerce every year. You know, frankly, that’s part of what’s going to change this year. Because I’m able to focus more now on myself and less on my family that you know, needs me a little bit less right now than they did in the year. your previous ease is not something
David Ralph [25:32]
that you could create online. Could you not create, like mass Google Hangouts or whatever is is not something that you can take away from the offline environment and bring it solely into online so it is transferable you can carry it wherever you want.
Michael O’Neil [25:50]
Well, certainly there is as much of that or more of that than there is in a, in a local basis. Yeah, you bring a great point. This isn’t it. This is an example of it. Here. How many? How many are we 10,000 miles apart?
David Ralph [26:03]
Probably more. I’m just outside London. So So yeah, we’re probably about my own way.
Michael O’Neil [26:09]
Yeah, about that. So there’s a lot of that when it comes down to making money doing it. In person is where you’re more likely to make money than doing something on the web. There’s this this principle that if it’s on the web, it should be free. If it’s in person, you know that that it should be free says, you know, much of it might be free, but you know, people get paid to go be in front of the crowd. And when you’re in front of a crowd in person, people come up afterwards, slip you their business card, they talk to you they go guy, I’d like to introduce you to my boss. You just don’t get that on a webinar too much. You might get a little email or a little chat here and there. But it’s a fraction I’ll bet it’s less than 10%. The add on business activity when you’re doing something web based, and when you’re pressing the flesh in person and meaningful Hang out as long as you want. Heck, I end up at the lobby bar, you know, having drinks with these people, no such thing and a webinar or a Google Hangout, things of such nature.
David Ralph [27:10]
But let’s play some words. Now that’s going to take us into the next stage of our conversation. And these are words but really emphasise what we’re trying to do with Join Up Dots. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [27:21]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [27:48]
Now, the interesting thing for VAT obviously, you were talking about the red pill blue pill scenario where if you could go back in time you might have changed, your journey might change the You chose. If you look at that now have you taken a risk on doing something you love? Or have you actually left behind the thing that you truly love?
Michael O’Neil [28:11]
I truly loved being an employee at the companies I work for. I really liked my work. I was doing really cool, neat things with a lot of security, nice income, all of those things, the industry collapse, and those that’s just not a possibility anymore. I became an accidental entrepreneur. I did not choose this by design. It grew on me. But I’m a little different than a lot of other people who really kind of had this, you know, I’m going to I’m going to go out on my own and all this sort of stuff. My wife at the time who I’m not married to anymore, would have killed me for that. It just was not not an option to take that off and stop my job and go become an entrepreneur. Had a new bike, we had a new baby, we had a big mortgage had two car payments, you know, the 401k for retirement, we’re going to buy a piece of property and build another house. All of that would have been out the window, had I chosen to become an entrepreneur at that time. But it was thrust upon me, David, I lost my job. And when I lost my job I had, you know, this opportunity to you know, I found a second job I got laid off a second time. And in between those two jobs, I did kind of what you described, I kind of realised I needed to take a little bit into my own hands. I didn’t realise all that I was doing at the time. It kinda was something that was happening, you know, as a byproduct of what I was doing. Let me explain. I’m in the telecom industry. And there was a big crash in the telecom industry in the early 2000s stuff. The bursting of the bubble as they called it, right. All these companies were were scrambling to No just shut down as much of their operation shed workers where they could shed cost. It wasn’t about if you wanted to survive, you didn’t survive by selling more, you survived by spending less. And that meant employees are gone. So I’m working at a telecom company called internet lab. Actually, we had a UK branch. They’re really cool company, great company, but our stock was trading at 19 cents a share. You’re going to get off the stock market pretty quickly if you don’t do some things. So I had to take it into my own hands to do some things. And here’s what I did. from my previous career working with computers and systems and hardware and software and and all, I decided that my telecom sales reps needed to meet my old friends from this other industry out here. Because when they were selling their stuff, we could sell ours with it. When they bought a firewall, they needed a circuit to go with that that was the principle and it worked pretty well. Is that whole bit of here’s the burger Would you like some fries with that? And I started doing networking events at a bar essentially just meet me at the bar from five to nine a little place called Earl’s and Denver and started with you know, five or six people and then about 10 came and then I asked my boss I go well, you know, boss, let me buy some appetisers and you know, people can buy their own drinks but I’ll let me throw some appetisers around and stuff and we ended up you know, free food at the event and I got a constant contact email list going and, and I provided an incentive for the first five or 10 people to came I created a CD with my favourite music on it. The a disc the beetus to see disc my favourite artists whose name started with a and that’s kind of how I got started and pretty soon you know, we got 30 4050 people piling into a bar that’s already full. No room for had to find a different bar and the different bar had a back room. So now I had a dedicated space. And when people came in, we could put a name tag on them and eventually started charging an admission five or 10 bucks to get in. And then I lost that job. So here I am creating leads for this company. And that company lets me go and I’ve still got all these networking events planned. So I kind of became accidentally that networking event guy that became the LinkedIn guy. Kind of long story short that I backed into this, that you have other people who join your show, who are much more calculated entrepreneurs who had grown up in an entrepreneurial family might have gone to business school. I’m an engineer, I was ill prepared for just about all of this. It was just thrust upon me. I had my personality and my knowledge about how technology worked and how different companies could piggyback on the successes. products of other companies to sell their stuff as part of an integrated solution. My company was named integrated alliances. It fits better today than it did then.
David Ralph [33:13]
I think no, Mike, I think that you are, you aren’t typical of the guest I have on the show. And I’ve had some a list of guests who had pretty much said, I didn’t know. And it’s the message I want to get out to the listeners. So many of the listeners, I know they sit in those cubicles, they sit in those boots, and they feel that there must be a straight path. But people who have had success and are really rocking it big time, have it planned out. But I can guarantee from my side of the fence and I can guarantee from literally 320 guests I’ve had on but you you do stuff and most of it is forced on us, and it’s how you react, but actually fine tune your skills until you finally find You’re thing, and more often than not, you start on the wrong path, because you just don’t know people haven’t got a plan. And I love that phrase of accidental entrepreneur because I think, more often than not, that’s what we all are anyone who goes into the entrepreneurial route. We haven’t got it planned out. We’re accidental. And I think that’s spot on.
Michael O’Neil [34:19]
I certainly, I have a radio show as well. And we’ve interviewed some people that really seem to have calculated this quite carefully. You know, at 14 years old, their their lemonade stand became a business that, you know, had a had an LLC, you know, by the time they were 16 and stuff. Thank you. Thank you for that. I know, they’re all over that. If you have so many guests like you’ve had, you get quite a sampling. You don’t have a small sample size. You’ve really seen it all day. But I’ve and I’ve looked at the guests you’ve had on the show, oh my god, the people you’ve had I’m, I’m just so happy to be part of that.
David Ralph [34:52]
No, he’s, you know, he’s great to have you on. It’s great to have everyone on because the whole thing is becoming a momentum now. When I started the on episode one, it was literally me talking to myself. And now we have thousands and thousands of people coming to us, we have more and more people emailing us telling us the things that they’re doing. And the thing that I love more than anything is people are trying, people are just trying, and they’re trying to do stuff, but in their heart of hearts like Bill would be fun. And that’s how I started. And I’m sure that’s how you started when you looked at that LinkedIn profile. I bet you thought I could do this, this this sounds like something that would be doable for me. I would be quite fun as well, and you’ve run with it and you’ve taken it to where you are. And it is a key message, isn’t it to the guests, like Jim Carrey was saying, take a risk on doing something you love. And if you spin that on the head, if you love it enough, is not that too much of a risk because you’ll make it work somehow.
Michael O’Neil [35:53]
Well, the idea of taking a risk is something where it makes more sense and certainly times and others because if you take a risk and don’t realise what the downside is, and the downside does happen as opposed to taking a risk and and having a little a little bit of a backup, let me explain. There’s a lot of people who take the risk and become an entrepreneur. But they’ve got a wife who’s got insurance they’ve got at least one income that they can live on for a little bit should something stumble or happen. I really respect the people that you know, jump out of the aeroplane with no parachute. I respect that a lot. But there’s a there’s a there’s a certain amount of risk. I’m a little more risk adverse than maybe some of the people that you’ve had on your on your show because I’ve experienced what it’s like to not have food on the table. I mean, literally, literally to to have I’ve been beaten all the way down and come back, come back up from there. So and I haven’t forgotten what that’s like. I know what it’s like to go to the food shelf and ask for food and And you know, that experience is something that Been a while for that. But it stays with me and it makes me feel very much one with people who are who are like that. I’ve helped a lot of people over the years who have no way at all to help me. Because I have this compassion for them, they lost their job, they’re down and out. I helped them on LinkedIn, they found a job on LinkedIn, they love me, they’ve recommended me but they’re not really in a position to pay it back. It’s a pay it forward and enjoy paying it forward situation as as opposed to where, you know, frankly, there’s quite a few people out there that kind of got to know what’s in it for them before they put their first toe in the water and, and, you know, those people are you know, they have their own their own world out there. It’s not a world I’m really part of when you hit rock bottom,
David Ralph [37:52]
can you sort of remember really what was was there a moment when you were sitting on the on a sofa you were looking around thinking how that Hell did my life come to this point? Did you remember the real bottom feeling?
Michael O’Neil [38:06]
I do. I do. I had a I had a friend who had an extra bedroom, and I was I was living there. My wife has said she wants a divorce. She’s moving to another state, taking my son with her my dog was going to go. I mean, I was down to down to you know, humblest of humble at that time. And I’m not an overly religious person. But I did turn to the church at that point. I had a really cool church and some friends who got me through it the person who I was staying with very involved in the church, they had a Bible in every room. I I was given a book, I wish I could remember the name of it a really famous book, and, and I read it and then it hit me and I helped the church I helped set up the band Tear it tear down the band at all. It brought me back to a central place. And I’m, I’m still not really related to it helped me out when I needed it. But it’s not something that I use as a crutch today. But that that experience really the Purpose Driven Life. That was the name of the book. And that that was my rock bottom. And the single part about the rock bottom for me was my son, who was six years old, brightest spot in my life was going to move from doubt from Denver to Dallas. And I I wasn’t going to get to experience baseball, you know, teaching math, the school place all that I wasn’t going to get to experience that unless I went to Dallas. So I did went to Dallas for a couple weeks and I just hated Dallas. I love visiting but I hated living there. I hated the idea of living there and I just couldn’t do it. And you know, there wasn’t anyone extending a job to me in those first two weeks, I was there. So I went back to Denver and decided you know, I guess it’s just Going to be that way but that was my rock bottom point
David Ralph [40:03]
looking back on it that the thing that comes out time and time again on the show is all their bad thoughts or on a good dots it was that one of the ones that at the time okay was terrible but you look back on it now and you kind of go well actually because of that I started thinking about my future and taking more action so it could actually be turned as a good thought in my life did you see with different eyes now?
Michael O’Neil [40:31]
Yeah, I would say that exactly when when there’s nowhere to go but up and it really did I really did feel that way. I didn’t get suicidal or anything like that. But I really have I had the option of moving home and living with mom and dad at that time when they were still healthy by the way that was on the table. And might might have done it. But but I chose not to I chose to try to do this on my own. And, you know, frankly, what happened I made a couple sales You know at this time there were some people who were writing the checks to teach them LinkedIn to teach a workshop and stuff you know, money really pulls you out of a down doldrum for a little while and and those were $50 checks my first workshop that I did was 20 $500 private workshop the first public one I did we had a $4,000 take after expenses and stuff I you know, I had half of that still with me um, you know, making a sale and having a little bit of money in your wallet really changes your attitude for a while. You can buy a little bit of happiness for a while there.
David Ralph [41:37]
Did you gain more from the darkness in life? I I haven’t had much darkness in my life, but I can certainly see things are being thank God for bad is that the is that I had a chap on the other day who had this analogy and I’ve never heard of it before. And he said, If you imagine all the bad things in a garden, they generally die and they go into the ground and the ground because was black and it’s the black dot and out of fat comes good and things will flow and grow and just move upwards because it’s the bad is the dark but actually allows for the light to come out and when he was explaining this in a sort of natural terms I thought to myself wow I’ve never seen that before but it does sort of make you think but everything in life you need the light and the dark but actually the dark is the moment that will allow the light to grow a little bit more can you see what he’s saying?
Michael O’Neil [42:31]
I do and I think that’s whoever that is is a very wise man. You have wise people on your show and that that couldn’t be said better because there’s a if you want to you know if you’re at rock bottom you know they’re like to say nowhere to go but up and also you make some really find out who your friends are. When you’re most needy and I really did I I still to this day. Remember who helped me the most and and I could start naming Me names here, but I won’t because I’ll leave somebody out. But those those sort of things that the wholeness the wonderment you know, frankly the you know, it was religious base back then I I had I had this religious experience that I’d like to say I’m not overly religious. But those are the people that are looking to help out people in need more than more than people who you know, maybe maybe don’t feel that way.
David Ralph [43:29]
Did you need to hit rock bottom to really start bouncing back because if you look at the demographic across the world, it seems to be the people that are in that middle ground of comfort, that they’ve got a job it’s not paying a great salaries, not paying a bad salary. They just sort of float from one day to another because they they’ve got what they’ve got, and they don’t want to lose it. But when that’s taken away from them, and I hit rock bottom, as you say, the only ways up and it seems to me that the real successful people at headband probably had that two or three times and you can see that with the Steve Jobs and the Richard Branson’s and, and all these guys will smith I know, Simon cow, they’ve all lost it and been reassessed and moved up learning from that first experience do you? Do you see that with yourself? Are you a better person, both as a businessman and personally because you hit bottom?
Michael O’Neil [44:25]
I believe so, especially when you start mentioning these other people, gosh, you know, those are people that I really aspire to. And and they’re, they’re mentors to me. And the fact that they’ve had this, you know, ramen noodle moment in their life. That that inspires me and I think it inspires a lot of other people and I hope people who listen to this message here realise that you know, 30,000 connections on LinkedIn and, you know, 90,000 Twitter followers, you know, all this stuff that I have going on for me here. You can be humbled pretty quickly and have those assets You know, no one could take them away from me. And I mean, I had many, many connections way back in those early days. But it really comes down to who are the people around you at your at your time of need that pick you up. And you’ll find that there’s other dots that come together like raindrops on the car, that they kind of come together as you’re driving the car, and then they roll off the car together. You find out other people along the way there and you combine together and you get out of it together. You don’t always get out of it all on your own. You get some help along the way. That’s where you find the brightest, too bright, who might be you know, either in the same situation as you or sensitive to that environment. They see the inside of you because you really take that shell that you have on the outside out. You really share yourself too squishy middle, it gets highly visible. At those stages in life.
David Ralph [45:57]
You seem somebody that you’re proud of is very big, very bold. But as you say, You’re a very humble man that that seems a strange connection between your profile and the mike O’Neill that we’re speaking to at the moment is the LinkedIn Rockstar is is it a way is it a protection from from the sensitive mic but we’re talking to at the moment?
Michael O’Neil [46:22]
Well, I’m on the rise again. So, you know, I’m I’m looking at things you know, the aeroplane can be landing or the aeroplane can be taken off and that aeroplane can now go up, you know, way high in the sky, nowadays and, and the environment that we’re in right now is one that in the space I’m in is getting saturated. When I stepped into my business operation, doing LinkedIn training and coaching, I was the only one out there and all of a sudden the people that I had trained last year are people that are saying they do what I do and competing with me this year, you know, friendly, but nonetheless, there’s some do That, you know, would have come to me, they’re now going to people who were in my class. So I’m always looking for where that new thing is to call it the blue sky or the green field. And I found them and I’m moving off on to away from this space that so crowded that I’m in right now into some new areas and those involved within the LinkedIn space as well as some things a little bit outside of it.
David Ralph [47:26]
And Did I scare you that movement into new areas? Does does that excite you? Or do you think Oh, here we go again.
Michael O’Neil [47:37]
Um, I get very excited by it. I won’t say that I’m bored doing the things that I’ve been doing. But I’ve taught 500 LinkedIn classes. In fact, that number is well over that that once you get to 500, you kind of stopped counting. That’s the LinkedIn space right 500 plus was kind of getting a little little more in the in the groove with that and kind of they weren’t at as special as they used to be, and now there’s some new things that have happened either in the LinkedIn space like with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, this function now called social selling that lets you take LinkedIn and combine it with CRM and content and even Twitter. And I even big push for me this year, is linking together and integrating LinkedIn and match.com. never been done before. I’m going into a new space there. I’m writing a book on it. Hundred and 40 pages into that book right now. And there’s 40 million single on attached LinkedIn users and in the states here, you know, that’s a nice market. And they
David Ralph [48:46]
when you say that kind of thing, that’s genius. Why isn’t somebody thought that before?
Michael O’Neil [48:53]
You know, I am rushing to market with this because it’s only a matter of time until someone kind of crosses two wires and see Besides, there can be a spark there. And on amazon.com, if you search on the word match, com, you’ll find one book and it’s a dating book for guys guys dating book. There isn’t what we described here. And the principles that won’t apply to the other. You know, I’ve been on match actually since 2008. But I was in, I’ve been in these relationships for years, and then another year, so you kind of go off and you come back and often come back and it just really hit me when I came back to come back on to match.com that I had just updated my LinkedIn profile. I had the cool little ski diamonds and the calls to action. And I had things worked out in a cool little format. And I actually took that, put it into Word, change it up to flip the business to personal kind of flip the top to the bottom, you could say, and there I had my match.com profile. And I go, wow, there’s more to this isn’t there. So I looked at other things. And the communication functions you don’t match up pretty good you can you can chat and email and like and favourite and, and all those sorts of things and many of those map back to LinkedIn pretty well they map back to Facebook and others as well as well you don’t you don’t create a network on match.com by inviting people but you create your network out there by favouring people. So that’s how they do it. That’s their little dialect.
David Ralph [50:29]
This is one
Michael O’Neil [50:31]
of those little things
David Ralph [50:32]
so what you’re doing you really in all aspects you you Join Up Dots you are joining up the dots.
Michael O’Neil [50:42]
Yeah, yeah, I’m nips. I’m like, like, Kid Rock, who’s mixing rap music with classic rock with with funk with r&b. I’m bringing things together to create a new sound. And that new sound just happens to have 40 million people that fall into the demographic Who named this? match.com is adding 25,000 users a day? 25,000 users a day? How many of those do you think are on LinkedIn?
David Ralph [51:13]
Well, you couldn’t even guess could you? Oh, maybe you could.
Michael O’Neil [51:18]
Maybe you could call it 25%. Perhaps. Okay, so there’s, you know, 15,000 people 10,000 5000 thousands and thousands of people a day that are joining and that doesn’t take into account how many million people are already there today. There’s about 25 million people on Match. com What that what the research said. And, frankly, they’re, they’re there, they’re single, they’re at this stage in life where they’re 40 5060 they put their career first. Get on then they wake up some day and they realise you know, the kids are gone or I never had kids or I spent all this time reading something out there that was sort of, for someone else and a little bit of me, I need to do something that’s more about me, I don’t want to go through another Valentine’s Day all by myself, I don’t want to go through Christmas with nobody here to share that with. You know, I want to do things with somebody. And by the way, you know, I want that person to, you know, be in this town, like these sorts of things to have this sort of personality. Well, gosh, a lot of that really. Maps Well, two things on on LinkedIn, you put it up zip code on LinkedIn, you put in a zip code on match, you want to find a business partner or a customer on LinkedIn, you say, well, I’ll give me 50 miles from within that, especially if you’re in a localised business. Want to find a date for Friday night? Guess what, put a zip code in and say, give me 25 miles from there. And in the LinkedIn space you put in a keyword to find out someone who might be no cloud computing you over match.com you put in a keyword that might say, you know, business owner entrepreneur or classic rock music? I mean, it’s more similar than different,
David Ralph [53:09]
what you’re doing. And I think this is a key thing to the audience as well, you are using something that we all use. And it’s so commonplace, we kind of don’t notice it, because it’s always there. And you’re just making sure that you know, more than anyone else. And that is a key thing, isn’t it that people can do. It doesn’t have to be inventing the new Facebook, it doesn’t have to be inventing something that is well changing. But if you can become very knowledgeable on something that people use, when there’s a new career in it for you.
Michael O’Neil [53:44]
Well, yes, it helps to have additional insight and an original point of view, because so many people out there that our experts have accumulated this information by collecting the tip sheets of others. They put the best tips together. And then that’s their programme. They haven’t come up with original thoughts. There’s nothing original. They’re playing cover songs. And they’re playing them really well, maybe from a lot of different bands. But they’re a cover band. And if you really want to be a rock star, you got to write your own music, you got to do something that’s different. That blue sky is got to be something you’re in there so you don’t get cluttered in with all the other people. Some of the things I’ve described here at a Sales Navigator world is an area where I don’t compete with very many people. And I know that better than the folks at LinkedIn do. I have been on tech support calls where we’ve put where we’ve done stumped the LinkedIn people I can’t imagine or, gosh, I never thought about that before. So for example, on on Sales Navigator, you have to inboxes you have your navigator inbox and you have your regular LinkedIn inbox. Well, which what I use and when there’s a whole strategy behind that. The strategy isn’t to say, here’s your two inboxes it’s the dive deep And say when should the message be sent over there versus over here? And what happens if I do it that way instead of this and how is that different and situation be than situation a, I’m that inquisitive person and I look at things from a user perspective, not from a tip sheet perspective that really comes out when people see me speak or train. That’s why my coaching packages that I do for people, they we don’t, we don’t pave the roads. We do all we get into all kinds of things. You know, I get into URL shorteners, and and remapping domain names, selecting simple domains that people can redirect like, rock the world fan is where you go to find out about my LinkedIn book and there’s a soundtrack there that plays 50 classic rock songs you can actually listen to it for three hours while you’re either reading the book or just enjoying life. These are YouTube videos. There at rock the world fan see those words you can remember That it’s not it, integrated alliances. com forward slash rock forward slash forward slash it’s rock the world fan. And when people want to schedule a time to meet with me, for example, gosh, it’s really difficult for two people to put their calendars together. I use a scheduling tool that lets people pick the time that they want to pick. I’ll send them a link for a 30 minute call. Some folks get the 60 minute link. But when someone wants to meet with me they go to schedule with mike.com how simple Can that be scheduled with Mike calm and they put their name in and a phone number and what they’d like to discuss on the call. These are things that are not part of that, you know, LinkedIn tip playbook. But if you’re doing messaging on LinkedIn, it’s really nice to be able to slip someone a link. So you’re not going back and forth without Tuesday attend Thursday at four only to find out they never got the message or they can’t do either one of those It’s the other things you bring to the table that show you that you understand your audience to provide more value sometimes than the meat in the middle of the plate. That’s really a bunch of tips that everyone should know. Anyway, everyone knows you should have a good profile. But does everyone know there’s a call to action with a phone number and an email address that should be in your summary? Or that you should mention some personal things like cars and concerts and where you grew up, and the fact you love the ocean in the sand, they are in your in your summary to kind of develop rapport and to have hooks for people to tie into you in ways beyond the business page. Those are original thoughts. That wasn’t the things that I bring to the table and I have other friends that do it as well. When they do their stuff. I go, Wow, that’s great. I learned from the best of them. But they mostly they mostly learn that stuff from me, quite frankly,
David Ralph [57:51]
when I play some words from somebody that you’ve already mentioned once in the conversation, but this guy was renowned for his original thoughts, Steve to
Steve Jobs [58:02]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference. Do you find those words Mike?
Michael O’Neil [58:39]
You I really I really resonate with that. I’m from the technology space. So let me kind of go explain a little technology in simple terms. Okay. For the most part when you’re driving in a hilly environment, you can only see the next hill when you get to the top of Hill then you can see where maybe the next hill is maybe you can see two hills down. But you know, I live in Colorado, you can really only go one mountain pass, and then you can see the next one and see the next one. And in the, in the internet world, if I’m going to send something to you, the route that that message is going to take is not predetermined. It goes from one router to another router to another at each point along the way, there’s this fork in the road. And it’s not a red pill or blue pill. It’s really a an algorithm that says, of the four roads that go out of my router, which one is the least congested, the highest speed, the one that I should put this particular kind of message on, and it sends it to the next router. And the next router makes that same decision and the path might not even follow the same path. Two minutes later. It’s a dynamic map to kind of his, his self healing and self optimising fact, that was Dunne’s for for resiliency purposes in case. You know, God forbid that the communication system comes down because a bomb goes off somewhere from a from a war that it’s a self healing network, as they say. And, and the way that you can determine where you’re going to go forward very often, though, is based on seeing where things came from the other side, where’s that momentum? You know, where’s the where, you know, what happened in the past is an indicator, very often of what’s going to go on in the future, understanding what happened before us, helps us see where to go. In the future. It’s an indicator doesn’t tell you, but it provides a sense of intelligence that lets you, you know, understand the roadmap a little bit better if you’re understanding how road maps work for exam.
David Ralph [1:00:55]
So do you have a big dump, like Steve’s talking about you can’t get The don’ts but do you look back and go Yeah, but that was it was it when you your wife decided that she didn’t wanna be with you and you ended up in that sofa or, or when you lost your job when did the real Mike start finding his feet?
Michael O’Neil [1:01:14]
Well, there have been big things that have happened that I have seen and been a part of, and I’ve seen them coming and I see where they’re going. I saw them coming they happened I saw the kind of the, the maturation maturity of them and kind of, you know, that whole bell curve, you know, it kind of went up and all. The first one was was mainframe computers. My first job out of college was in a at a hotel, Ramada hotels, and I worked in a mainframe environment, but I was the PC guy. But I was brought in to see the PC revolution come up. So hard drives come in, they were only floppy floppy disk back then. So networks come in there were no networks what i what i got in but I you know, I knew when I went to my Boss and I go boss, we should be connecting these computers together. They shouldn’t all hook to the mainframe, they shouldn’t all be individual. I know this thing called a network adapter. We can put these into computers. And they can connect to one another. We can put the files in one central place and back that stuff up. Instead of having backups handled by users out there that aren’t real good at it. We can do that for them or the IT department. We’re supposed to do that. And then, gosh, we can put this thing called a laser printer, and they can share a laser printer. And actually at Ramada hotels at the time, we had to write the software. We hired a programmer to write the software so we could share a laser printer. So that’s the computer industry came the mainframe and then the PCs and then networks and then the next big thing that that happened after that was Microsoft Office and Windows 95. I saw that coming, I was working with earlier versions of Windows. I knew how hard it was for users to understand different user interfaces. WordPerfect look totally different than Lotus 123, for example, and it kept people from doing both shift f7 to print on WordPerfect slash p to print over here on Lotus 123 very difficult for users to understand that it’s like speaking multiple languages. And along comes windows 95. And office 95 unites the user interface, so you can go File Open File, Save as click on the printer, whether you’re in a word processor or a spreadsheet, or even some other applications and users were able to master something that, remember reminded them of something they already knew. They already started on word processing, and they already knew a few things and they’re able to go over here now and do spreadsheets because it reminded that Something they already knew. So beyond that bought that same time as when the internet came around, saw that one coming. And that was that was predicted by bulletin boards that I’ve been part of a dial up modem I, I was always able to convince my boss to let me have a moment my desk and that’s a high cost. You had to string an actual phone line to your desk, your boss had to say, you know what, Mike, I’m going to, I’m going to spring for that hundred dollar a month phone line to your desk, because you convinced me that that’s good. That’s a good business decision. And that eventually became where the whole network would connect now to the, to the internet and that would be shared through something called a firewall. People didn’t even know what a firewall was back then. Frankly, you really didn’t need one you had a router and you could call it a fly so so let me
David Ralph [1:04:53]
just jump in there. Otherwise the show’s gonna go on for two hours. But did you do like the fact when but Your life is just made up of a series of dots. Sometimes they are focused dots, sometimes they’ve been forced on you. But does does that? Does that give you passion for the future? That would literally you don’t know where you’re going to go. But you are, you’ve got the ability to connect those dots.
Michael O’Neil [1:05:19]
Yeah, it sure does. And I feel that I’ve got a way to connect dots in the future based on the things that have happened in the past in a way that to give me a competitive advantage or extra insight, 3d glasses, you could say, you know, seeing the dark sort of stuff, you want to know where it’s gonna tell me my, this is where it’s going. I’m writing a book on this as well. It’s called social media 4.0. And things are headed in such a way that that Windows 95 experiences, let’s relive that. Nowadays. It’s LinkedIn, and it’s Facebook, and it’s CRM, and it’s Twitter. It’s a whole bunch of applications that we use now at our regular sweet g Gmail go on and on Outlook. Now, they all have different user interfaces, you know, it’s hard for people to use to use them. It smells a lot like 1995, and the whole Microsoft experience. So this is where I think things are headed. And this is what I write about in the book. We’re going to have some unifying interface, call it a special browser, a plug in to your browser, a website or a portal or a place that you go, a hardware based device like a tablet. And it’s going to unify all of this stuff into some user interface that lets us work process from the same screen. We do mail from the same place that we like and fancy and forward. And all that is built on the universal inbox principle, quite frankly, David, whether that message comes this way or however, however anyone communicates you comes into this box here that’s got this little robotic guy that has Like you that learns from you, that knows that you, you watches your behaviour and it acts on your behalf over time. It learns, and then it starts slowly taking things over so that if a LinkedIn invitation comes to you, it knows that well what I want to do with that is I want to go to their profile and go look at a few things and see if Are they a vice president? Are they involved in sales, if they fit some sort of a persona, I want definitely to be brought that into my attention, maybe higher up in my in my cycle than somebody who’s a, you know, maybe just a sales rep and auto sales manager, we could say or someone who’s you know, maybe works in an auto industry. It’s working on your behalf, like a little robot that understands you. And And nowadays, when people weren’t process, they’re not doing fancy stuff anymore. We’re doing really quick short things. A word processor does not need to have all of those fancy buttons and dials. We do bold and underline and, and, and indent and have bullets. But, you know, beyond that we don’t need that, you know, reverse polar pagination, you know, in in epic fonts anymore. We just, we’re just not doing that anymore. There was a time where word processor became page layout systems. And that’s for most of us that’s in the past. And Google understands that with Google Docs. So if you think about those sorts of things, that’s what we’re headed towards is something that’s your UI. And that UI that you like David, and the UI that I like, can be skin the way we want it. I like a LinkedIn skin. If my word processor look more like LinkedIn, and my inbox look more like the LinkedIn inbox, I’d like that and I might decide next Thursday that you know what, I’m sick of that. I really want the one that looks more like salesforce.com. I like that look better, or something that’s even better than any of these here that’s done by some brand new company. That’s not even, not even 100 Whole world today. But that’s our UI of the future. That’s where things are headed David, and I’m, I got a pretty good vision to that. And I deal with the companies that make these products that are, you know, solving pieces of that problem and trying to solve more pieces all
David Ralph [1:09:16]
well, this is the end of the show now. And this is where I know it’s going to be heading because I’m going to be sending you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger version, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
We go with the best bit on the show.
Michael O’Neil [1:09:59]
Mike little money Young MC, young 18 year old Mike young 17 year old Mike. Get that guitar out again. Pick it up, sit down, find the music you want to play instead of the music your teacher wants you to play. Get the Led Zeppelin music out. Learn to play a few things that inspire you instead of the chords that that guitar playing instructor made you play made you not want to play guitar. Find a guitar that fits your hands. That guitar was too big. It was an adult guitar, you have smaller hands in that guitar, get one with a smaller neck, they make such a thing. Find somebody that really, really guides you through the process because that music will help you soothe your soul. You’ll always be able to come back to it and it will help you relate to other business people down the road. You have no idea what doors that’s going to open mic pick up the guitar Get the Led Zeppelin learn how to play it and be happy.
David Ralph [1:11:05]
How can our audience connect with you sir?
Michael O’Neil [1:11:12]
Really simple. I’m Mike is online com is the place that I direct everybody to. It’s one place that finds all of my assets you can find me on LinkedIn through. Mike is online. com find me on Twitter, find the website. Once again, that’s a principle that I that I adhere to is two or three words that are easy to remember that you don’t have to write down to take you to many places. Mike is online. We have
David Ralph [1:11:37]
over links on the show notes. Mike, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots Please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mike, thank you so much.
Michael O’Neil [1:11:54]
Thanks for having me on the show David.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the Brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.