I’m a modern day entrepreneur. I work in a virtual world, which means, sometimes I work in my PJ’s. Sometimes I’m on the road. Sometimes I’m working at 11 pm. And I’m online A LOT!
I love the virtual business world. It allows me the flexibility I need to work my business and live my life.
BUT the downside to the modern day technology is the CONSTANT connection! We can see when someone has received our text. We know when they’ve opened our messages in messenger and gone are the days when a 24-48 hour response from a business is acceptable. In today’s business world there is so much pressure to be 100% plugged in 100% of the time.
I’m not a techy. I was born in 1980 which, in my opinion, is the best time to be born. I’m the in-between generation. Sometimes we’re lumped in with Gen X, sometimes we are classified as Millennials, and sometimes we are part of that forgotten generation called Gen Y that rarely shows up on charts anymore. Someone comment and explain to me what happened to Gen Y!
Even though no one seems to know exactly what to do with us, we are very well positioned for success. We grew up in a time without cell phones and social media, so we remember when it was okay to return a call within a day or two. But we adopted social media in college. We are comfortable with the public nature of sharing your life online, having friends you’ve never met, and doing business without a handshake. BUT we’re not defined by our profiles.
I’m giving you some context for my HUGE mistake.
I got a new iphone a little over a year ago. I set it up and somehow set it on “Do not disturb” mode without realizing it. And it stayed that way for OVER A YEAR before I noticed. When I realized the mistake I’d made, I was HORRIFIED! I thought about all the people that had tried to call me. I thought about missed opportunities. I felt like a big idiot. How could I not notice? Kind of a big oversight!
Every business should have a flow of communication. If someone wants to book me to speak, there’s a person on my team responsible to work with them. If someone wants to sign up as a new coaching client, there is someone responsible for talking with them. If someone has a customer service need, there’s a department for that. If there is a billing question, guess what, there’s a billing specialist that can help them far better than I can.
But in this world of constant connection, we disrupt the company’s flow of communication. We try to answer questions someone else could answer better. We are constantly disrupted by calls and text messages and struggle to get into the groove of our projects.
A BIG lesson
My phone faux pas taught me a big lesson! I am more productive, and serve my clients BETTER when I am not at their beckoning call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
My voicemail message the entire year encouraged people to text or email for fastest response. My website directed people towards the right person on the team to speak with. My phone wasn’t ringing over the weekends, because let’s be honest, it wasn’t ringing at all! I came into work on Mondays feeling ready for the week with creative ideas for my clients, and for my business.
And I still got back to my clients and team members in a professional time. I just didn’t interrupt my productive time to respond to other people’s needs.
If you’re wanting to take a step back in your constantly connected life, here’s a couple of tips.
- Create a Voicemail message that asks people to contact you how you want to be contacted.
- Set up an out of office response that directs people towards the person that is best suited to help them inside of your organization, AND lets them know what time of day YOU respond to emails. It will help set more realistic expectations, and they won’t worry that they are being ignored.
- Choose to respond to other people’s needs after you have had a couple of hours of productive work on your objectives. It will change the dynamic from always reacting to the needs around you, and into being proactive about your business growth.
- Accidentally (on purpose) set your phone to “Do not disturb.”
Enjoy some sanity! And get ready to be AMAZED at how much you accomplish!