278 Start Over and Succeed – LinkedIn Expert Viveka von Rosen

What You will Hear in Viveka von Rosen's Story:

  • How to Build Yourself Up from the Bottom
  • How to Connect and Succeed
  • Key Steps to Build the Life and Biz You Love
  • Leaving the Past Behind and Building a New Life
  • What does it Take to Start Over and Succeed

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More about our featured guest Viveka von Rosen

Viveka von Rosen is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the LinkedIn Expert. She hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter. Her seminars, webinars, workshops and programs have taught and trained well over 100,000 people. She has personally worked with executives at several Fortune 500 Companies and is regularly asked to speak at and write for thought-leading Social companies like the Social Media Examiner.

Forbes listed her as a top social media influencer for 3 years and she has been cited and featured in Money Magazine, Simple Living, Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Mashable, The Miami Herald, The Pittsburg Gazette, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner.


Full Transcript

[00:03] Joel: Welcome to Relaunch, your daily dose of inspiring stories, fresh ideas, and practical solutions to help you build a business and a life that you love. If you are a daily listener, welcome back to the show. Thank you for tuning in and thank you for joining us in the before and the after show online conversation. If you are new here just know that you are among friends. And this is what you can expect: Unique insights, Aha! Moments, and actionable information from self made successes that share their trials, tribulations and their come from behind victories. Before we bring in today's guest, a quick shout out and a thank you to a couple of our listeners who visited our iTunes channel recently and left us ratings and reviews, and we certainly do appreciate that.

[00:59] Joel: Lets see here, Bob Nolley says that Joel and Pei has created something inspiring and moving and to keep this show in your daily playlist. Coach Faydra says that Relaunch is one of her go-to podcasts. Those are very kind and powerful words and we really do appreciate you visiting and reviewing.

[01:25] Pei: Indeed, because that's really encouraging for us but also encouraging and help other people who haven't found our show to find this show easier. So, if you go to joelboggess.com/itc that's our easiest link to get to our iTunes channel and it's really easy to leave a review. We really appreciate it.

[01:51] Joel: Again, that's joelboggess.com/itc, stands for iTunes channel, just use the letters I-T-C. If you do it on your smart phone, it will actually open up right to the podcast app. Thank you in advance for doing that and helping people find the show.

[02:10] Joel: Joining us on today's show author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day, Viveka von Rosen. You know, Pei I don't know if you knew this, but Forbes actually listed Viveka as one of the top social media influencers for three years. She has also been sited and featured practically everywhere. Let's see, Money Magazine was one of the places, Simple Living was another one, CNN, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Social Media Examiner, and so many other TV and magazine publications.

[02:52] Pei: So, it's hard not to find her, huh?


[02:55] Joel: It's not. Especially if you're on LinkedIn or on Twitter because she actually has one of the biggest LinkedIn conversations on Twitter. Go figure out how that works out but we'll probably get to ask her a little bit later on in today's show. Viveka, welcome to Relaunch.

[03:14] Viveka von Rosen: Thank you so much. It is such a pleasure to be here and to meet you both.

[03:18] Joel: Oh my gosh, this is going to be so much fun, so thank you for your time Viveka. You know, how we roll on this show. This show is all about the relaunch and while we've all experienced numerous launches and relaunches throughout our personal and our professional life. I generally ask our guests to zero in on the relaunch that has been the most significant for them, or that has been the most transformational. And then we just unfold the story from there. We'll do that with you here in just a few minutes. But before we do that I'd like to start off the show with a quick piece of take away goals. I couldn't resist immediately talking a little bit of LinkedIn with you and just share this. Share with us if you would, one of the simplest things that people can do to boost their LinkedIn profile that for whatever reason people just seem to overlook.

[04:13] Viveka von Rosen: LinkedIn has been a very copy centric social media site, which is why I liked it because I'm graphically impaired. But now you have so many options to create great graphics or upload media in your LinkedIn profile. I even find marketing companies who haven't taken advantage of this. Certainly for the small business or the entrepreneur there's so much opportunity to really make your profile shine with not that effort and with content and visuals you already create. We can talk about that later for sure.

[04:48] Joel: Okay fantastic. A great, quick, simple tip, so I appreciate that. Now help us get into today's show, talking about Viveka's relaunch. We all have many to choose which, but which one do we need to talk about today?

[05:02] Viveka von Rosen: It's interesting when you guys reached out to me I'm like, “Oh I could talk about the relaunch of my book or the relaunch of my latest program”, but then I thought that's good, it's good information and there's people out there that do that way better than I do, I usually take their advice. But, because of who your audience is, if it's okay I'd really rather talk about the personal relaunch that I experienced. Kind of hitting rock bottom in my old life and literally moving into my new life that I then have created here. So, if that's okay that's what I'd like to talk about.

[05:42] Joel: Yeah, lets go ahead. Help us get started with that.

[05:44] Pei: Yeah, we appreciate that.

[05:45] Viveka von Rosen: Cool. I always knew I wanted to be on stage. I always thought I'd be an actress, or a singer, or a dancer, or something. Except my voice isn't that good. Then, somehow, I found myself at 35 years old in a really bad, verbally abusive relationship. In a job that, while I loved it, because we were mostly… Funding was about to end. In a living situation obviously, that was untenable. In a state I was not a big fan of. And I won't mention Florida, but [chuckle] but I don't like heat, I don't like bugs, I don't like humidity, and I don't like traffic.

[06:30] Joel: But other than that, Florida but other than that, you didn't…

[06:32] Viveka von Rosen: But other than that Florida, is fabulous. Something about moving 16 times in 10 years should have really been the indicator. And and… I was at a point in my life where really, the bad news was, everything sucked. Everything sucked. I had like $500 in my bank account. I didn't really know what I would do next job-wise. Obviously, the relationship not such a good thing. Situation, I was like, “Okay, now where am I gonna go live? What am I gonna do? How am I gonna do this? Whom am I going to do this with?” and I just… I was like, “Well?” I had nothing essentially.” Of course, I had friends, family support, et cetera, but if you were to look in at my life, you'd go, “Eh not so great.” So why not do a clean slate, “Where have I always wanted to live? What have I always wanted to do? Where have I always wanted to be?”

[07:30] Viveka von Rosen: And so, I literally, with $500 in my bank account, talked a friend of mine into helping me drive a moving truck with my furniture in it to Colorado where I literally knew no one. I had the phone number of one person, and so I'd been looking around and my new beginning, and my new start, and it's going to be awesome. And I found this job I knew I was perfect for. It was pretty much what I was doing before, but it was in Colorado. And it was up in Estes Park, and it was going to be perfect. And I got up there, and I didn't have a teaching license. It was education youth at risk, which I didn't need in Florida, apparently I needed in Colorado. And because it had been a residential job where I thought… Where you can live and work in the same place and work with these kids, I didn't bother looking for a house either. So now I'm in a new state. Don't know anyone and have no job, and have no place to live. And I was literally driving down the road and I took the wrong turn / right turn. So I was supposed to go down highway 36 [08:44] ____ Michigan to Denver. I went down 34, which takes you to Loveland. I'm gonna condense eight years into a very short story here.

[08:50] Pei: Wow.


[08:52] Viveka von Rosen: My car started breaking down because apparently, you needed to change the oil more than once every 10,000 miles.

[08:58] Joel: That helps. That helps.

[08:59] Viveka von Rosen: I think it was 30,000 miles. It was a lot of miles. So my car started breaking down, and I'm like, “Okay well, what am I gonna do so?” So, I literally had that one phone number of one person. I didn't know Colorado. People are like, “Oh [09:14] ____, Denver, Colorado Springs.” I didn't. I had no sense of placement in my head where these things were. So I called this guy, “You don't know me, but your friend gave me this number, and I don't even know where I am, 'cause I was supposed to be on Highway 36 and I'm on Highway 34 and I'm coming down from Estes Park,” and I'm about to break into tears at this point. “You need to help me, and my car is breaking down and I don't know what to do.” Like total stranger right? So this guy laughs a little bit, and I'm like, “It's not funny.” He goes, “Okay.” He says “You're on Highway 34, you're coming into Loveland, keep on going down the road, when you hit when you hit 287, make a left. There's a car dealership right there.” I'm like, “Oh, that's coincidental.” He goes, “I work there.” I'm like, “Oh, thats even more coincidental.”

[10:01] Pei: Oh my gosh like in the shows.

[10:02] Viveka von Rosen: I know. I literally… My car limped in… Died on the lot… Limped in and died on the lot. To shorten up the story a little bit, they sold me a car, of course. This is pre-2008, obviously. They gave me a job… So, selling cars. Talk about a crash course in sales. I ended up renting a room from my car salesman, who was the person whose number I had. [laughter] Now mind you, how do you get to be the LinkedIn expert? But that was what got me to to Colorado, and it was taking that huge leap of fate. And there was swearing going on, I was raising my fists at the Universe and towards God, depending on what you believe in. There was swearing going on. But at that time, the perfect resolution showed up. Now this was… Selling cars was not what I wanted to be doing for a living, but selling cars led me to a job working with a medical tech company. The medical tech company led me to a job where I ran a business office, and it was at that business office that I actually met my best friend who also introduced me to LinkedIn.

[11:17] Viveka von Rosen: So this was something like 2007 now, fast forward six years. But… And and that is… Now that is kind of the second relaunch story. I was running the business office. I had met someone who was actually another LinkedIn trainer. We had started a relationship, we were actually engaged. I was working in his business and my other business. I had given my notice. I had rented out my apartment to two friends of mine and I was moving to Denver, ready to move in with my fiance when I found out… Well, I'm not going to go into that but let's just say that did not work out very well.

[11:54] Joel: Okay.

[11:55] Viveka von Rosen: And again, suddenly, no place to live, no job.

[11:59] Joel: I see a pattern forming here. Viveka, you're gonna have to help me out. I'm hoping and trusting that it has a better ending.

[12:08] Viveka von Rosen: But this one has a better ending. This one has a better ending. So, the first time I took that leap on my own, I got in… Well, I put myself in that situation, but I took that leap intentionally coming from Florida to Colorado. The second time, it was heaped upon me. And again, I should have been more… I'm taking… I should have been more aware of the situation, and I'm ever so grateful to the catalyst of the end of our relationship because he was not the right fit for me. And what was really, really blew me away… ‘Cause again, that night I was just like… My friends let me move back into my own apartment, and they found something better anyway.

[12:54] Viveka von Rosen: But I'm sitting in my apartment going, “Oh my God. What am I gonna do? Now, I'm like 40 years old.” Now, let me see this. “Now, I'm 38 years old, and I still… Like almost 40, and I don't have a fiancé, don't have a job.” All right, I have my condo thank goodness. I didn't sell it this time, and I'm sitting there, and I'm on Twitter as a matter of fact. I think it would be through LinkedIn, but I got a private message. And that private message, there is actually two there that just blew me away. One was from my friend, Nate Kievman who's got the company Linked Strategies, and he asked me like, “Are you still with that other company?” And I'm like, “Funny, you should ask that. Can you call me?”

[13:41] Viveka von Rosen: And then another, I got another message, direct message from my friend Jason Alba who wrote, “I'm on LinkedIn-Now What?” Well, these two were great mentors towards me. I talked to Nate that night, and he and I started a business relationship together, and I started my own company. I started more on focusing my own company as opposed to supporting the other company I'd been a part of. And I have never looked back. ‘Cause I had to, right? I didn't have a job anymore.


[14:11] Viveka von Rosen: I have to make this work because I don't have a job, and my mortgage is coming up. And it was… It was divine timing. It was recognizing the opportunity. I'd already established a little bit of a name for myself mainly 'cause I got the Twitter handle @LinkedInExpert. That was useful, and I got LinkedInExpert on LinkedIn as well. But it was… It was insanity that here I am in the same situation again, but I had those two rays of hope, right?

[14:45] Joel: Right.

[14:46] Viveka von Rosen: And then, of course, that made me realize, “I have this network of friends who support me.” People like Bob Bergen, Mari Smith, and asking for help. So, I reached out to everyone I knew. I said, “Hey, I'm on my own. I'm not working with this company anymore, looking for speaking gigs, looking for training. However you can help me, I could really appreciate it.” Mari did a webinar with me. Bob had me come and speak at one of his events. I did a lot of work with Nate Kievman at the time. Jason was giving me really, really great ideas about how much I should charge. ‘Cause I told him what I was charging for speaking gigs and for consultations, and he's like, “Oh my God! You need to quadruple that.” And I'm like, “Not even double it?” “No, quadruple it.”

[15:32] Joel: So, let me ask you this. Thank you so much for kind of catching us up to speed, Viveka. But out of all of those lessons learned and all that preparation, what did you learn or relearn about your own potential possibilities, value even?

[15:52] Viveka von Rosen: Isn't it all about value? I think that's it. Obviously, I was undervaluing myself, which was reflected in the personal relationships I had, and I was undervaluing myself reflected in Jason's support. And what I had to realize was, “I am a value. If these amazing people, if my mentors, and my network are willing to support me, there must be something here. There must be something to me.” And, while I absolutely believe that you have to know your own worth, and your own power, and your own genius to be successful, sometimes you're at rock bottom, and your own value reflected in the people who are surrounding you is what you have to live on, and feed on for a while like literally and figuratively.

[16:42] Viveka von Rosen: And so, I think that's it. I think if you can't recognize the value in yourself yet because of a failure or a perceived failure, then let your support system reflect to that value, back at you, until you can then internalize it, feel it yourself, and then grow from that. I think that's… So, your network, your friends, your mentors, your support system are so important in a relaunch.

[17:12] Pei: We so agree. And what I was very impressed was you said, you were 35, driving from Florida to Colorado. And you had one contact. You called that person then your car died on that lot. But three years later, you said you were in somewhat a similar situation, but one major difference is you had built up this network. So, share with us a little bit. Now, this network you built, was it mainly through social media or were you purposely building that network?

[17:55] Viveka von Rosen: I would love to say I was purposefully and strategically reaching out and connecting to individuals who could help support me in my life and business, but that would be a lie. I was reaching out to without any real strategy in place, but I was reaching out mostly through social. Honestly, mostly through Twitter because I found that was the easiest place to start a conversation. But I was reaching out to the people that I held in high esteem, right? So, people like Mari who was where I wanted to be. People like Bob Burke who had written a book that I absolutely took to heart and used with all my friends. People like Nate who had established the kind of success on LinkedIn. Greg Wells is another one, established the kind of success on LinkedIn that I wanted.

[18:40] Viveka von Rosen: People locally like Joel Kom who's a great friend and has been a mentor since the early days and actually knew everyone involved in situation number two. So, I was… I engaged and surrounded myself with these people 'cause I wanted to be like them, very selfishly, but somehow they liked me anyway.


[19:06] Viveka von Rosen: And I've been able to give back since then, but it's… And I strongly believe your net income, your sense of self, pretty much who you are is reflected in the company you keep. So, if you hang out with a bunch of homeless dudes who smoke meth, you're really not gonna excel in life. The people that I had been hanging out with previously, they were not who I wanted to be. I might have loved them, but they were not who I wanted to be, especially as I found out more about them. And so I think on a subconscious level I made an effort through the subconscious one to surround myself with great, great people.

[20:00] Joel: I think you made a great point.

[20:01] Pei: I love that.

[20:02] Viveka von Rosen: You made a great point. Definitely surround yourself with the people whom you aspire to, but also you said just about a few seconds ago or a minute that there were other people. And it's not that you didn't care for them or loved them, it's just that you didn't want to be in that situation or like them. So, you moved yourself, and I think that's an important distinction because I think some folks with the best of intentions they think about the people that are the black crabs of their life, pulling them back into the bucket.

[20:41] Viveka von Rosen: Exactly.

[20:41] Joel: And then they think that, “Well, I've gotta just distance myself as far away, or never talk to that person, or never send them an email, or never pray for them.” or something like that. But that doesn't necessarily have to be the case, just understand that “Okay, well maybe that's a three minute friend. Friend that I don't spend… ”

[21:05] Viveka von Rosen: Reason, season lifetime. Reason, season lifetime, absolutely right.

[21:09] Joel: Indeed. Okay, so let me ask you this. Time goes by quick here, but what were some of the strongest parts of your personality, Viveka, that you were able to harness and build upon as you understood that you were going to build your business based on LinkedIn and social?

[21:28] Viveka von Rosen: I think… I love that question, thank you. I'm an empathetic person. I think I was able to sense in when working with clients or in a business situation, I'm able to almost sense the right path, the right words to use, et cetera. I think the other thing is, I'm an optimistic person generally, and so rather than crawling in a hole or drinking myself down into a hole or taking drugs or whatever, I was like, “Okay. Now what?” After railing at God a little bit. But now what? What's next? What's next? What's next? That's always my question 'cause crap still happens to me.


[22:15] Viveka von Rosen: I mean, I don't live a charmed life. I got my wallet stolen when I was in Denmark, but I was in Denmark speaking and getting paid for it, so I can't really complain. But what's next? What's next? What's next? And I think that's what helped me actually position myself on LinkedIn 'cause I saw the opportunity in it just a few years after it had been created before Facebook, before Twitter. I called myself a LinkedIn expert long before I was one, but I could get the name so I did. So, that was rather optimistic. So I think that optimism, the ability to see opportunity, empathy towards business and people, those situations, I think they've all served me very, very well. And I'm a nice person, and gosh darn it people like me.


[23:11] Joel: That's easy for us to believe, Viveka.


[23:15] Viveka von Rosen: But I think it is true 'cause isn't that so important in business and in social media, is that transparency. And if you're hiding a secret and if you're trying to be something you're not, everyone knows. It's so funny. I see these people and they think they're fooling the world and it's like they have a big giant sign on their backs saying, “I'm a failure who needs to drive a sports car, or whatever.” [laughter] I think it's so obvious, so be who you are. Pick whatever strengths you are and make them into your strengths in your business. Nate is such a consummate businessman. I'm not, I'm an entrepreneur, I'm very much based on relationships. We have different styles. He is so darn good at what he does, I'm pretty good at what I do, and it's that voice and that transparency that's so important I think for anyone in business these days, unless you're in the government.


[24:18] Joel: You're absolutely right. I think, if you don't me saying so, Viveka. I think one of the reasons that the ReLaunch Show has been an absolute flamethrower for us is because of the transparency and, frankly, the vulnerability that our guests, like Mari Smith, like Bob Burke, like Jack Canfield, like you, are willing to just say, “You know what? This is kinda where I was and this is the rock bottom place where I found myself. And this is how I had to struggle and fight and claw my way back into success in my personal and in my professional life”. Coming for a landing on this, I really, really appreciate your time with us today, Viveka. Our listeners… The majority of our listeners struggle with three things. They struggle with information overload, we all know what that is, they struggle with time management, and they struggle with their direction. And specifically for some folks, it's the entrepreneurial direction.

[25:27] Joel: Now, this could be a whole show in itself but if you can just kinda nutshell and bring us in for a landing on your best advice for the entrepreneur or the aspiring entrepreneur juggling these challenges. How do we begin to start letting it make sense for us so we can not be overwhelmed with the information that is coming at us at a rapid rate, the distractions that are trying to steal our time, or the multiple opportunities that steal our direction from us, what do you think?

[26:06] Viveka von Rosen: Yeah. You know… And I live in this all the time and I actually hired a time management coach because of what you've just talked about. So delegation. It took me a long time, it took me three years to hire my first employee and that is exactly… The book was a turning point for my business, and hiring Crystal was a turning point for my business, and now I've got three employees. And I don't wanna turn into project management so I'm probably gonna keep myself pretty small and boutique-y. But oh my gosh, delegating the stuff that I do is so key. Someone told me once, “Only do what only you can do. You make that your mantra and delegate everything else”. There are amazing women out there. My assistants are all stay-at-home moms and they're so smart and I don't pay them enough, I know that is true and I need to pay them more and I will. But they do amazing work and it's affordable. So don't not delegate because you think you can't afford it because you'd be amazed at the time that you get and, more than that, the brain power and the energy that you get will allow you to explode your business, absolutely, I have no doubt about it. Information overload: Choose the channels where your audiences live. You don't have to be everywhere. Right?

[27:32] Joel: Right.

[27:33] Viveka von Rosen: Right? It's like, “I have to be on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, and Facebook, and LinkedIn”. Yeah, I'm on LinkedIn, I'm doing Instagram right now only 'cause I'm friends Sue Zimmerman and she's making me. [chuckle] And I have Twitter 'cause I have the Tweet chat and Twitter's… I just… Twitter's been such a great tool for me. But I don't go off and spend a lotta time anywhere else. And again with the intuition, I trust that what I need to know will come to me. I literally put it out there. I need more information on referral… Building businesses through referral. And I will have a conversation later on that day with someone who gives me the perfect resources. And, trusting my intuition and trusting that the right information I need will come to me when I need it means I can let go of being worried or scared that I'm missing out on something. And that's it.

[28:30] Joel: Absolutely. And gosh, the last thing that you said, intuition, and that is something that Pei and I weave into our talks and into our coaching. Go ahead, Pei.

[28:42] Pei: Yeah. I have to hear this again when I add it to the show and stuff 'cause I also love what you said. “Just be okay, you're gonna miss some information, 'cause… ” Yeah, yeah.

[28:55] Joel: Absolutely. Viveka von Rosen, that's who our guest is today. Her book, “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day”. We will put the link to that book in the blog article that accompanies this episode. Plus of course we'll include all the social media hot spots including her LinkedIn link also in that blog article as well. Viveka, I'm gonna see you at Social Media Marketing World. Yeah, I will see you there. I really appreciate your time on the show today. And you're welcome back here on ReLaunch any time. Thank you so much for your time today.

[29:31] Viveka von Rosen: Cool, thanks so much. I would be happy to come back again. [chuckle]

[29:36] Joel: Have a wonderful day.

[29:37] Viveka von Rosen: Thanks, bye.

[29:39] Joel: Thanks so much for tuning in. You can also access our show from any mobile apps and by visiting our website. Just go to joelboggess.com/278. You'll also find show transcripts and additional resources to support your relaunch into the life and business that you love.

Connect with Viveka on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Joel Boggess

Keynote Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Award-winning podcaster I help teams ignite their courage, take bolder steps, and get greater results. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.


  1. Dean Patino on March 31, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Talk about starting over?! Thank you for sharing this inspirational story, another from ReLaunch! Thank you to Viveka for being transparent on her way to sharing these great lessons on how to start over and sky rocket forward.

  2. Maritza Parra on March 31, 2015 at 8:02 am

    As always, love this show! RE-invention and re-birth is something we’ve always got to be aware of and ready to do as you never know what life has in store – Thanks team Relaunch for another wonderfully inspiring story!

  3. Lisa Mallis on March 31, 2015 at 6:02 am

    AWESOME show! I love listening to ReLaunch – and I love listening to Viveka – so both in one show is fantastic!

  4. Frank Bria on March 30, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Joel, what an inspiration! So many of us feel like we’re starting over all the time. It’s great to hear the story of someone who has really done it – and conquered it as well. Great show.

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