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Cinco de Mayo – Important to me because…

May 5th, 2009

There are two reasons why Cinco de Mayo is important to me:

First, Cinco de Mayo is a significant Mexican holiday.

My dad was born in Mexico, and I have plenty of family that still lives there.  I lived in Mexico for almost two years and fell in love with a land and culture that is so often misrepresented and stereotyped it is disgusting. Living there helped me come to terms with a heritage I didn’t understand, and wasn’t proud of.

Wikipedia says Cinco de Mayo is a regional holiday, and seems to indicate it isn’t celebrated much outside of Puebla (the state in Mexico where the events of May 5, 1862 made it a holiday).  Having lived in northern Mexico for a while, I can attest that it’s a BIG deal.  From wikipedia:

In 1861, Mexico ceased making interest payments to its main creditors. In response, in late 1861, France (and other European countries) attacked Mexico to try to force payment of this debt. France decided that it would try to take over and occupy Mexico. France was successful at first in its invasion; however, on May 5, 1862, at the city of Puebla, Mexican forces were able to defeat an attack by the larger French army.

The post also notes that May 5 is not Mexico’s Independence day, which is September 16th (although it is big enough that it feels like it).

Second, Cinco de Mayo is LinkedIn’s birthday.

This year LinkedIn celebrates it’s sixth anniversary (they launched May 5, 2003).  Last year at this time they had 22 million signups… I’m guessing they are over 40 million now.  LinkedIn isn’t my website, nor is it my business, but I wrote the only LinkedIn book I know of to have a second edition, and that has changed my business.

I have done over 100 webinars or trainings on LinkedIn, or including LinkedIn, and recently created LinkedIn for Job Seekers, a DVD that helps people go in-depth to get value out of LinkedIn.

Looking back on this journey, tying LinkedIn to my JibberJobber business, I have to thank Andy Sernovitz, for the kick in the pants to get my book written, Scott Allen, who introduced me to my publisher (and serves as my Executive Editor), and Mitchell Levy, who has put up with a lot from me as I have more demands of him than I should :)

It’s been a good ride!  Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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Mountain. Molehill.

May 4th, 2009

We all have problems.

I recently learned about a guy who needed a few hundred dollars for something more than legitimate.

I thought about offering to chip in for $100, but instead I did nothing.  I felt bad about it all week, and the next time I was with my friends who also knew about this, I said “you know, this guy just needs a few hundred dollars.  I can’t do the whole thing, but I can put in $100.”

It feels so good to be at a point where I can do this for someone else.  I recognize that a few hundred dollars for this gentleman is a mountain – something that he simply can’t conquer.

For many, even in this economy, $100, or a few hundred dollars, is nothing more than a molehill.

What can you do for someone else today?  Here’s a non-monetary idea:

Reach out to someone you know who you haven’t talked to in a while, just to say hi, and that you wanted to see how they were doing.  This is pretty significant for someone who is lonely.

Here’s another non-monetary idea… as a job seeker I thought I had nothing to offer job seekers.  But I really had the thing they wanted and needed most:

Introduce one of your contacts to someone.  I didn’t have money, but I was networking into a lot of great people… doing an introduction between two people can be one of the greatest things you have to offer.  And you can do it today.

Want more ideas?  Three months ago I wrote “How To Help a Job Seeker.”  Still one of my favorite posts.

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