The Perfect Way to Spend Time in a World of Social-Distancing

Let’s face it, you’re worn out playing CandyLand, piecing together jigsaw puzzles, and gorging on YouTube cooking shows. You’re tired of adhering to the one-sheet toilet paper protocol.

Here’s the antidote to your social-distancing problem: Hire your teenaged niece and nephew to build, fix or redesign your website.

If you somehow manage to get them on the phone, make sure you’re on the same talking level. After all, you don’t want to talk down to them.  Use powerful words such as Awesome…I Love It… Super…Super Cool. In response to a question, use the word “basically” as many times as you can.  Just don’t throw shade on the conversation.

If you’re using email to communicate to them about something complicated expect one-word answers. And, most importantly, don’t expect your email to get read.

A Picture is Worth a Few Words

Ask them to use a photograph of stacked rocks and gurgling water prominently on your homepage. It’s guaranteed to have a calming effect on visitors.

Tell the teens to find a place to insert a quote, preferably from an obscure 18th-century Polish philosopher. It will add a touch of class. And it will teach them a bit about history. I’m more of a Kramer fan and use “Who turns down a Junior Mint?” as the content theme.

To add credibility to your website, insert a photo of an empty waiting room. No website would be complete without your photograph.  The teens might suggest you use a selfie, glamour shot, or passport photo. Ask them for their suggestions.

Time Is Not Money

Here are two ways to handle the payment question.

1: Before they start working, do not discuss how much you will pay them. When the project is complete, surprise them with a gift card from Bed Bath & Beyond.

2: At the beginning of the project, ask them how much they’re going to charge. Don’t be surprised if they say, “Dunno. what do you think?”  Another response might be, “Lemme ask mom.”

Don’t be taken aback when in response to the question “how long will the project take to complete?” They might say, “Hmm, I have to prepare for mid-term exams, and an upcoming debate club competition. Oh, I’m on the soccer team and have daily practice after school.”

Now it’s time to let the teens do their thing.

Give them a wide berth and see what happens.

 

Evan Leepson, MBA is a marketing and organizational development consultant. He is the author of Critical

Connections: A Step-by-Step Guide to Transforming Your Business Through Referral Marketing

How to Hide From Your Family 101

You’re cooped up and trying to socially distance yourself. By now, you’ve heard all the do’s and don’t to keep yourself healthy and sane. You’re even practicing some of them.  So far, so good. However, there might come a time when things get worse, you might live with a family that does not cope well with stress. To put it another way, a family member or two could drive you crazy.

You might be sick of looking at your screen or getting irritated with your lack of progress doing jigsaw puzzles or bothered by annoying family members. Your virtual office might be a mess. Clean and organized are two words you don’t have in your vast vocabulary. Be honest, is your virtual office clean and organized? I’m not suggesting you go on a Kondo-izing rampage in your workspace. You just don’t want people to see you’re online in your bedroom.

Do you have the tools needed to effectively cope with irritating family members in your jail-like situation? In an era of social-distancing, a new and creative approach is needed to survive and thrive.

It’s time to hide from your family.

Here are three tried and true things you can do to stave off house-bound family members. Let’s assume you don’t have a room to use as your virtual office.

TIP #1 Buy a foldable privacy screen and put it behind you. Put a sign on the back of the screen that says “Danger, Radioactive Material Do NOT Enter”. You can buy a screen online. They come in all sizes, colors, shapes, and prices.

TIP #2 Stay connected. If your Internet connection is not reliable or is slow, buy an ethernet cable connection instead of relying on Wi-Fi. Ethernet cables come in different colors. You’ll be the envy of your family with your colorful cable connection.

TIP #3 If you’re worried about nosy family members eavesdropping or lurking outside your virtual office, purchase a white noise reduction machine. They have the capability to muffle annoying people sounds.

Send me an email if you have a tip or two to use to Hide From Your Family.

Next time, I’ll be discussing how introverts can make the most out of social-distancing networking.

Evan

Author of Critical Connections: The Step-by-Step Guide To Transforming Your Business Thru Referral Marketing.

Social Distancing Networking Hacks For Introverts

Are you an introvert? If so, read.on. If you’re not, it’s OK to read on…

Be honest with yourself. How many of these situations can you relate to?

  • I feel “just right” with less stimulation
  • I’d rather take a vacation at the beach and relax with a book than go on a cruise
  • Prefer to work carefully and deliberately
  • Wish I was home when in social settings
  • I devote limited social energy with close friends, colleagues, and family

 INTROVERTS AT WORK IN THE WORLD OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

In the near past and to a limited extent, you’ve been able to network. You know the best way to get your name in front of customers and referral sources is by networking; attending networking events, joining professional or other organizations, or meeting one-on-one. If you’re an introvert and live in a world of social-distancing, you’ll need to come up with a different networking strategy.

Contrary to the idea that introverts crave limited social energy. But at this time of limited social and physical-distancing, introverts find themselves wanting more than their usual limited connection quota. And, they know when they’ve have had enough.

In a world of social-distancing, introverts can do more than just survive, they can thrive.
It’s easy for an introvert to adhere to social-distancing guidelines. It’s in their DNA.

ITS ALL ABOUT CONNECTION

Your first task is to connect. When you’re online or on the phone with colleagues, and prospective and current customers, start the conversation by asking them to tell you their personal social-distancing story. Chances are, they’ll initiate telling their story.  Be sure to ask open-ended questions about their story. Continue the conversation by talking about personal stuff rather than business stuff. As in a networking situation, you’re not pitching or selling anything. Your goal is to connect, period.

I have a weekly ZOOM call with one of my friends. We talk about anything and everything.

I’ve been calling and  Zooming some of my current clients every other week or so. One client prefers phone over ZOOM. Recently, we had a good laugh about professional wrestling (she recently misplaced her son’s plastic championship belt!) to sharing tips on how to do jigsaw puzzles.

If you are given the contact name of a potential customer, keep in mind that a one-on-one encounter works for you. You’re not shy, just introverted.

Here are some networking suggestions for all of you introverts:

  • Think twice about attending an online event, meeting, lecture, or social gatherings. You might feel overwhelmed by the format of the meeting.
  • LinkedIn is a perfect platform to reach out one-on-one. When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile?
  • You might be a member of a professional association or a business organization such as the local   Chamber of Commerce. Make sure your listing in their online member directory is updated.
  • For my Baby Boomer clients, I encourage them to join a listserv or two (These forums can be found on Google or Yahoo). Introverts find it comfortable just lurking in these forums
  • If you’re self-employed, update your website
  • If appropriate, write some new content on your website and send an email about how your business is adapting to the changing world of social-distancing.

It might be initially intimidating to venture into the realm of online networking, but you have to tools to do it.

Evan Leepson, MBA is a marketing and organizational development consultant.

Looking for an in-depth guide on Networking for Introverts? Read Critical Connections – The Step-by-Step Guide to Transforming Your Business Through Referral Marketing available at www.leepsonassociates.com and Amazon.