Coronavirus: Social Distancing Create 20 Valuable Opportunities

Coronavirus: Social Distancing Create 20 Valuable Opportunities

The Coronavirus has definitely created massive challenges with social and life engagements.   Social distancing can create a lot of fear, loneliness, and anxiety about the unknown. However, we are all in this together.   

Working from home is tough.  I was a little nervous, as I thought I’d get cabin fever.

However, it got me thinking of how I can leverage this downtime to benefit myself.   Once I started writing the list, I got a little happier about the opportunities that are placed in front of me.  I wanted to inspire all those that are looking for a little sparkle. 

Take that much-deserved nap and start to reset some of the foundations of your life! 

 

Here is a list of my top 20 ideas + 1 bonus idea that I’m definitely venturing into.  

  • Get creative with cooking: Lots of free recipes everywhere, get creative and inspired.  make candy, bake, random items from your cupboard! Have fun and take the time to enjoy cooking and eating! Cook with love, your recipes will be top-notch!
  • Marie Kondo your home &/or closet –  What a perfect time to spring clean and get organized. I’ve been cleaning everything, including organizing my desk, refreshing my wardrobe, donating items. I’m getting ready to shine for when we can become social again!
  • Free online courses – I’ve decided to take some data analytics courses and FREE! What a great time to invest in myself.  Some courses are from the top 8 Ivy League Schools. Yes, we are talking about Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia universities, and the University of Pennsylvania.  We can audit the courses for free. There are some exciting topics! 
  • Taxes – It’s not anyone’s favorite topic, but getting a little time and I was able to pay full attention and I actually read the taxes.  I noticed that I was not taking advantage of some tax credits. Which made me review my budget. I always enjoy learning new tips to maximize my savings. 
  • Virtually visit a museum – Oh Yes! My friend Jessie-Lynn shared a post on Facebook and I was so intrigued. They have lots of big museums from The Vatican: to Westminster Abbey and even The Louvre.  It’s pretty remarkable!

 

  • Write that book!  Have you been dreaming about writing a book? Self-publishing has become easier than ever.  Just start writing that draft book. My biggest tip is to write without editing. It’s always easier to edit than writing.  You can hire a book editor. I definitely recommend Barbara MacKay! She was the editor of my book.
  • Watch a Broadway play or musical from home! Ohh yes!  There are tonnes of Broadway plays that have become musicals.  Get inspired and sing along!
  • Call or Write some friends that you haven’t had a chance to catch up with. We often forget about the old school ways to contact someone.  When was the last time that you sent someone a letter or card in the mail? What a great time to write a little letter and surprise someone! I found this beautiful article about The Art of Letter Writing!
  • Get those markers and pencil crayons out and COLOUR your world! – There are some free Colouring books
  • Leave the drama to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney + and so on.  We are often so busy, that we forget to be able to sit down and watch TV/Movies and just chill WITHOUT the guilt. 
  • Read a book – I’ve been doing the Brainfood Book Club for over a year and it is honestly one of my favorite activities, as it gives me a chance to connect with friends, learn and get inspired for new ideas. Come join us, it’s free. We have lots of book inspirations that really surprised us. I’ll publish another blog with a list of all the book recommendations. 
  • Create your own digital vision board.  Grab pictures from the internet and copy and paste them into a word document or PowerPoint, save as a PDF and voila!
  • Look for new job opportunities! A perfect time to research for new jobs and opportunities. We all know that it takes time to network and tailor your resume to get noticed!  
  • Virtually Network- it’s easier to virtually network these days.  One needs to do it wisely so that we don’t feel like a salesperson. I’ve got tonnes of tips for this. Here is a Networking Free Cheat Sheet.  In fact, in my book, Connect the Dots: How to Turn Strangers into Meaningful Connections has an entire section dedicated to virtual networking best practices.  
  • Start a podcast!  Have you always wanted to start a podcast? What a great time to start!
  • Learn to Meditate!  You know I’m a massive fan of the MUSE Headband! The best thing that I ever learned!  Calm your mind and speed up your thinking process! It’s amazing the internal words we have in our heads, that holds us back. Time to get rid of that ‘Inner Critic’!  Check out the Podcast Episode 41:Optimize the Crazy In All Of Our Minds by Muse Founder and Inventor, Ariel Garten

  

  • Start that side hustle! Have you been dreaming of having your own business… no better time to start. Start building that website, business model. I’m a big fan of using the Business Canvas. 
  • Organize those pictures!  I have so many pictures on my phone and I’ve been meaning to organize them and create photo books to capture some great moments.  In fact, I think I may have a few birthday gifts. 
  • Create that bucket list!  Oh yes!! What a perfect time to dream a little dream! What are all your wishes, dreams, hopes?  

  • Get Moving – Being that I’m at home, I’m eating more. So, I need to get moving!  I turned up the volume and danced like no one was watching! In fact, I started doing Yoga & Pilates at home.  YouTube has plenty of video ideas on how to exercise at home. 

Compassion – Give compassion and love to everyone out there.  There are lots of people struggling to figure out how to pay bills. Lend a helping hand – to your neighbor, elderly in your community and others.  I absolutely love this Facebook Group: Messages of Love!

There you have it, twenty ideas to take advantage of this downtime and get ready for the next phase for life after COVID-19.  Remember, whenever there is a challenge, there is a greater opportunity lying ahead!  

Have some other ideas! Drop your inspirational ideas in the comment section.  We are all in this together. Let’s learn and inspire each other. 

Thank you for all your kindness and support. I am truly grateful to each of you!  And even more grateful, if you share this post with your friends!

 

Best Always,

Sapna

P.S.  Here is another freebie. How to get unstuck cheat sheet! It will help you identify your skill-sets, unleash your curiosity and know your strengths and weaknesses to help you leverage yourself and your business.

P.P.S.: Working From Home?  Here are some tips for virtual workers! 

E 112: 8 Secrets of Strong Women

E 112: 8 Secrets of Strong Women

Everyday is Happy Women’s Day! You know why? because we choose our mindsets each day. Every morning when I’m in the shower, I’m thinking about the day and how to conquer it. Not, thinking about how it’s going to be a struggle. I look at all the opportunities in front of me and decide where I want to spend more time or less time on.

There is a difference between being assertive and aggressive in business. Women always get a bad rap and get called a not so positive name. The difference is how we utilize assertiveness. Being Assertive means speaking on facts, with the desired end goal in mind. Getting everyone aligned to where we want and need to go. Assertive women, know exactly what needs to be done and how to get there. Assertiveness is defined as self-assured confidence. Which is the complete opposite, of the Imposter Syndrome.

It’s interesting to me, how the Imposter Syndrome has become a growing syndrome that is impacting so many individuals. Imposter Syndrome is basically self-doubt. We all have this and experience it. I did a podcast episode (E84) about how feeling like an imposter is a competitive advantage. It’s called I’m an Imposter and let me Roar! I’ve also created a Free Imposter Syndrome Cheat Sheet to overcome this self-doubt.

Aggressive is where we get in trouble… anyone gets in trouble. It is fueled by emotions and somewhat seen as hostile. This is where individuals need to take 5-10 minutes to breathe, before responding. I wrote a blog all about Emotional Intelligence, as it can be quite the rollercoaster!

Strong Women tend to share many similar traits!

  1. They’ve got a vision that has a plan behind it. Very clear on the direction, timelines, and milestones of where we are trying to achieve.
  2. We drive things to completion, that’s right. We don’t wait, we have defined what needs to be done and then we figure out who we need to work with to make magic happen. We are proactive.
  3. List makers – crazy right. Strong Women tend to have listed, to make sure that things don’t get dropped off the list. It helps us stay organized and accountable.
  4. Risk Mitigators – we plan for the worst-case scenario. Strong Women are very conservative in planning. We tend to under commit and over-deliver. Mr.Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary – he has said on numerous occasions that he loves investing in women start-ups because he always recoups his investments. Women tend to be very ultra-conservative with their sales forecasts and they usually beat it. I’ve attached the link to the article. Shark Tank Kevin O'Leary: Women make me the most money
  5. Time Management, strong women really know how to manage their time and make the most of every moment. There is that timeless saying “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.”
  6. Listen- another key differentiator is that women tend to ask for proactive feedback from those in their inner circle and strangers. They know how valuable it is to get different viewpoints. This helps us mitigate risk (point #4).  We listen to understand.
  7. Comparisons – we don’t compare ourselves to others, we LEARN from others that we admire. We look to see what traits/best practices that we can adopt.
  8. Learn- we look at every failure point as learning or an opportunity. We are also always looking for opportunities to build new skills, learn a new viewpoint and educate ourselves. This only adds to our confidence in our vision and plan (point #1). In fact, I have another little freebie gift for you.

Be ASSERTIVE, be strong, be bold, be courageous and be unapologetically curious! You’ve got this!

Here are some FREE resources thart you might want to check out

#FutureProof Course

Learn management consulting timeless secrets that will always keep you ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots:

How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

Cheat sheet:

Optimize the networking benefits with less effort? Less effort, More results and so much more.

E 111: A new way to listen and publish your short-cast “podcast” with CEO and Founder of Trebble FM,  Armel Beaudry Kembe Tchemeube

E 111: A new way to listen and publish your short-cast “podcast” with CEO and Founder of Trebble FM,  Armel Beaudry Kembe Tchemeube

Armel Beaudry Kembe Tchemeube is the CEO and Founder of Trebble FM. Before running Trebble, he worked for 8 years as a software engineer for a startup in the telecom industry that got acquired by Nokia. Armel owns a software engineering degree from the University of Ottawa.

Episode overview:

Are you a podcast junkie but wanted to get more content in a short amount of time? 

If you are, then this episode is for you.

This week, I get to chat with Armel who is the CEO and Founder of Trebble.fm, a platform that releases shortcast – consumable 1 – 3 minutes podcast episodes. In this episode, we covered why people are becoming interested in consuming short-casts compared to longer podcast episodes. We also talked about how Trebble started, the difference between Twitter, LinkedIn posts and Trebble on podcasts and so much more.

 

About Trebble.FM

Trebble.fm is an online music-sharing platform that allows music influencers and music enthusiasts to curate your own interactive music radio and share it with music lovers around the world. Those radios are called ‘Trebbles', can be easily embedded in a website.

Trebble owners can add their personal touch to the music they share and speak to their listeners through ‘Capsules’. These are brief audio messages up to 90 seconds that they can record and play to listeners. They can attach additional information to those capsules like text, pictures, videos, allowing to fully express themselves and deliver a unique enriched listening experience.

 

Connect with Mark: 

Website: Trebble.fm

Twitter: @armelbeaudry and @trebblefm

LinkedIn: Armel Beaudry

Instagram: @trebble.fm

 

Books Mentioned:

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies

Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups by Jason Calacanis

Here are some FREE resources thart you might want to check out

#FutureProof Course

Learn management consulting timeless secrets that will always keep you ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots:

How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

Cheat sheet:

Optimize the networking benefits with less effort? Less effort, More results and so much more.

E 110: Overcome roadblocks by becoming more productive everyday with Mr. Productivity, Mark Stuczewski

E 110: Overcome roadblocks by becoming more productive everyday with Mr. Productivity, Mark Stuczewski

Mark ‘Ski’ Struczewski (“Mister Productivity”) helps entrepreneurs & executives get the right stuff done in a distracted world. In addition to being a productivity expert, Mark is a speaker, host of The Mark Struczewski Podcast and an online trainer. His strategies have guided CEO’s/Executive Directors, business owners, business corporate specialists and entrepreneurs to get back control of their time.

Episode overview:

This episode is for all those that are looking for productivity tips/hacks and secrets. I chat with Mark Stuczewski, MISTER PRODUCTIVITY – he’s obsessed to help the world become a more productive place – one person at a time.

We chat about:

  • How getting fired, was the best thing that happened to Mark
  • Time to practice ‘Adulting’
  • The notification cleanse
  • The power of ODAE – Outsource/Delegate/Automate and Eliminate
  • Concept of the NOT TO List
  • How complexity is the gateway to procrastination!

And, I got challenged to take the 7-day productivity challenge. GAME ON! Hopefully, some of you will do it with me.

Connect with Mark: 

Website: MisterProductivity.com 

Podcast: The Mark Struczewski Podcast 

The 7 Day Productivity Challenge


Social media: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

 

Here are some FREE resources thart you might want to check out

#FutureProof Course

Learn management consulting timeless secrets that will always keep you ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots:

How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

Cheat sheet:

Optimize the networking benefits with less effort? Less effort, More results and so much more.

3 Steps on How to Get Promoted

3 Steps on How to Get Promoted

One of the topics that I’ve been teaching at the college is about how to gain visibility in the organization. As some of you know, I have a few clients career coaching clients. I don’t like to take too many, because it’s a lot of work and I invest a lot into people’s success because I know how frustrating it can be.

I developed this framework for one of my clients because she had been so frustrated that she couldn’t get promoted in her department for the past 8 years and was becoming very negative. Actually, it had become VERY negative. I asked her why she should be promoted. Her answer, “I’ve been with the department for 8 years and can do the job with my eyes closed”. She was definitely ready for a change, she needed it.

But, the change that we created was in HER! I always remind the college students that you can ONLY control, what YOU can control.  

I’ll be honest, she was NOT receptive to this at first. In her eyes, she was the victim and her boss was the villain! However, fast forward 7 months later – she was receiving different job opportunities outside her department. Don’t worry, I’m going to share the techniques for this.

The first thing and this feels harder than it really is: 

  • How does your boss or division define success? 
  • What does success look like to them? 

 

I’m talking about real metrics.  Every division has this or some sort of mission or vision statement of the value that they provide to other departments. To find this in some, if not many cases. They haven’t clearly defined this. Which provides an OPPORTUNITY!!!   

Job descriptions provide a list of the minimal activities, it provides a benchmark of what is expected to create to be successful in the current role. One needs to look at the next level and their job description to understand what is required for that level. One should be performing between the two levels, in order to have a claim. I blame our tipping industry, that just doing what the job expects us to do and we get a tip. For example, how many coffee shops have tip jars? They didn’t bring me the coffee to my table. I stood there and waited for them to perform their duties as outlined in the role. Yet, I'm expected to tip them for doing the minimum requirements of the role. Tips are for going above and beyond. 

 

Think of the tip as your promotion for going above and beyond. 

 

Every division has some sort of growth metric. It doesn’t necessarily need to be about sales. It could be around increased productivity/ decrease in resolution tickets/ successful product launches. The reason why this is important for you to figure this out is that it enables you to understand how YOUR achievements contribute to the overall department achievements. You’re creating a story, a narrative that your boss can easily share with his or her boss.

In fact, one of the gentlemen that I was coaching realized that he was spending 30% of his time on NON GROWTH activities. He was beyond surprised. He was spending so much of his time logging and tracking some non-essential activities and the opportunity cost was that he didn’t have time to help with a key strategic partnership and their go-to-market strategy. Partnership development was one of the GROWTH activities defined by their divisional president. As soon as he became aware, he stopped 30% of his time and focused on the key strategic initiatives that were clearly communicated. In fact, he actually found a way to automate this 30% of activities and shared the best practice with everyone in the department. He was gaining bonus points all around. Team player, strategic thinker were some of the words that were being used to describe him at the management level.  It’s not hard to see why. How he became seen as an essential employee that they wanted to grow and develop. And yes, he did get promoted. In fact, they created a brand new role for him to lead a portfolio of strategic partnerships.  

 

Step 1: Find out your department’s growth metric

 

Step 2:  Is around Knowledge, Learning, & Contribution

Knowledge & learning is pretty self-explanatory. How are you investing in yourself? How are you developing your knowledge, skills, and attitudes? Don’t wait for someone to define it for you. You need to take control. What do YOU want to learn? What do you NEED to learn in order to take a different role? There needs to be some thinking and planning. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to take external courses and ask for budgets. There are lots of internal courses that are free to join and attend. And if not, Why not create one?

What do I mean by this? Create a learning opportunity for others could be as simple as 

Sharing best practices or lessons learned with others inside and outside your department! Host a conference call/webinar or lunch and learn and share it with others. You’ll be seen as a collaborative, insightful, team player. A LEADER!!! See where I’m going with this?

Knowledge & Learning are important but Contribution back into the organization is JUST as valuable!

Just mastering these 2 steps are critical and essential! 

 

Step 3: Delivery

What did you achieve? What outcome did you deliver? What governance model did you follow or develop? Are there best practices that you were able to develop? 

 

Here are some FREE resources thart you might want to check out

#FutureProof Course

Learn management consulting timeless secrets that will always keep you ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots:

How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

Cheat sheet:

Optimize the networking benefits with less effort? Less effort, More results and so much more.

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