How’s Your Game?


In 2018, I became a Mentor at CCNY City College of New York’s City Tutors program, the tutoring arm of City College’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.  This experience has given me the chance to meet and work with students and young professionals from the finest learning institutions offering  them the benefit of some valuable learning tools combined with my own experience.

Based on a systematic published Austin Method for achieving the maximum results in the shortest period of time, I am delighted to be able to offer these services to professional women in transition seeking guidance and support in actualizing their true potential.

Please contact me for more information and sign up for a 1/2 hour free consultation.

elainemorris.palmer@gmail.com

Is There A Networking Opportunity In Your Email Signature?


Lori Hil Contributor Forbes.com Feb 1, 2018, 09:00am 4,426 views

While a beautifully handwritten “P.S. I love you” from a mailed letter may represent a bygone era, the digital version is often underutilized real estate. Networking from your inbox? 132 billion. It is a big number to wrap your head around but that is how many business emails are sent each day according to a report from The Radicati Group Inc. But there is something important missing from so many of those emails, says Ivan Misner, Ph.D., a leading networking expert, founder of Business Network International and author of Networking Like A Pro. A hidden gem of potential.

What’s missing, Misner says, is your P.S. Yes, that postscript added after a letter is ended and signed. While a beautifully handwritten “P.S. I love you” from a mailed letter may represent a bygone era, the digital version is often underutilized real estate. Misner says, Adding a ‘P.S.’ to your signature line gives you an extra space to include an important message that will help you land more business. I’m shocked more people don’t do this.”

Misner gives an example of a friend who is a motivational speaker who utilizes this P.S. in every email, “P.S. If you know anyone who needs an event speaker in the areas of marketing, mindset and personal achievement, I’d appreciate it if you would mention my name. Thanks!” Simple and to the point. Does it work? Yes. A few big speaking gigs have come just from this simple email addition.

Why does a P.S. email line work? Misner lists multiple benefits to the approach: Adding a P.S. can help you display a message that wouldn’t come up naturally in your emails. You can add something funny or unique that will make you memorable. It can provide a call to action, especially if you include a link to your product or service that you’re selling. Lori Hil: What can senders do to make this approach even more effective? Ivan Misner: Now, if you really want to kick it up a notch, then consider changing your message every two or three months.

This can be especially useful for people who work in industries that are seasonal. In March, you’re asking for one type of referral, and then in June, you’re mentioning a different one. Furthermore, this helps keep your message fresh and gets people to pay attention to your email signature! Hil: In addition to utilizing the P.S., you talk about keeping up with connections and social capital. What is most important when it comes to contacts? Misner:

The key to improving your social capital isn’t the number of contacts you make. What’s important is making contacts that become lasting relationships. Imagine if you were putting together a marketing plan for the coming year and you called five close friends to ask them for help — in the form of either a referral or new business. Now, imagine cold-calling 10 people for the same reason. You’ll most likely have better luck with your close friends.

Hil: Relationships are important. How can you deepen your relationships with contacts and improve your social capital?

Misner: Give your clients a personal call. Find out how things went with the project you were involved in. Ask if there’s anything else you can do to help. Important: Do not ask for a referral at this point. Call all the people who have referred business to you. Ask them how things are going. Try to learn more about their current activities so you can refer business to them. List 50 people to stay in touch with. Include anyone who has given you business in the last 12 months (from steps 1 and 2) as well as any other prospects you’ve connected with recently. Send them cards on the next holiday. Follow up. Two weeks after you’ve sent cards to your contacts, call them and see what’s going on. If the contact is a former client or just someone you’ve talked to before, now might be the perfect time to ask for a referral. If it’s a prospect you’re calling, perhaps you can set up an appointment to have coffee and find out if their plans might include using your services. Social capital is the international currency of networking, especially business networking. After just a few weeks of putting these steps in motion you should have more than enough social capital to tap into the rest of the year.

You can visit Ivan Misner at Business Network International for more networking tips. Lori is a Business to Millennial writer at lorihil.com, digital nomad, and Chihuahua mom. Follow her on Forbes, Twitter, and LinkedIn for Business and Life Inspiration.

A Life Beyond The Busy Trap


Anxiety

Anxiety: We worry. A gallery of contributors count the ways.

Exactly my sentiments. EMP

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If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this; it’s something we collectively force one another to do.

Notice it isn’t generally people pulling back-to-back shifts in the I.C.U. or commuting by bus to three minimum-wage jobs  who tell you how busy they are; what those people are is not busy but tired. Exhausted. Dead on their feet. It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.

Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work. They schedule in time with friends the way students with 4.0 G.P.A.’s  make sure to sign up for community service because it looks good on their college applications. I recently wrote a friend to ask if he wanted to do something this week, and he answered that he didn’t have a lot of time but if something was going on to let him know and maybe he could ditch work for a few hours. I wanted to clarify that my question had not been a preliminary heads-up to some future invitation; this was the invitation. But his busyness was like some vast churning noise through which he was shouting out at me, and I gave up trying to shout back over it.

Brecht Vandenbroucke

Even children are busy now, scheduled down to the half-hour with classes and extracurricular activities. They come home at the end of the day as tired as grown-ups. I was a member of the latchkey generation and had three hours of totally unstructured, largely unsupervised time every afternoon, time I used to do everything from surfing the World Book Encyclopedia to making animated films to getting together with friends in the woods to chuck dirt clods directly into one another’s eyes, all of which provided me with important skills and insights that remain valuable to this day. Those free hours became the model for how I wanted to live the rest of my life.

The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it. Not long ago I  Skyped with a friend who was driven out of the city by high rent and now has an artist’s residency in a small town in the south of France. She described herself as happy and relaxed for the first time in years. She still gets her work done, but it doesn’t consume her entire day and brain. She says it feels like college — she has a big circle of friends who all go out to the cafe together every night. She has a boyfriend again. (She once ruefully summarized dating in New York: “Everyone’s too busy and everyone thinks they can do better.”) What she had mistakenly assumed was her personality — driven, cranky, anxious and sad — turned out to be a deformative effect of her environment. It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this, any more than any one person wants to be part of a traffic jam or stadium trampling or the hierarchy of cruelty in high school — it’s something we collectively force one another to do.

Our frantic days are really just a hedge against emptiness.

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. I once knew a woman who interned at a magazine where she wasn’t allowed to take lunch hours out, lest she be urgently needed for some reason. This was an entertainment magazine whose raison d’être was obviated when “menu” buttons appeared on remotes, so it’s hard to see this pretense of indispensability as anything other than a form of institutional self-delusion. More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.

I am not busy. I am the laziest ambitious person I know. Like most writers, I feel like a reprobate who does not deserve to live on any day that I do not write, but I also feel that four or five hours is enough to earn my stay on the planet for one more day. On the best ordinary days of my life, I write in the morning, go for a long bike ride and run errands in the afternoon, and in the evening I see friends, read or watch a movie. This, it seems to me, is a sane and pleasant pace for a day. And if you call me up and ask whether I won’t maybe blow off work and check out the new American Wing at the Met or ogle girls in Central Park or just drink chilled pink minty cocktails all day long, I will say, what time?

But just in the last few months, I’ve insidiously started, because of professional obligations, to become busy. For the first time I was able to tell people, with a straight face, that I was “too busy” to do this or that thing they wanted me to do. I could see why people enjoy this complaint; it makes you feel important, sought-after and put-upon. Except that I hate actually being busy. Every morning my in-box was full of e-mails asking me to do things I did not want to do or presenting me with problems that I now had to solve. It got more and more intolerable until finally I fled town to the Undisclosed Location from which I’m writing this.

Here I am largely unmolested by obligations. There is no TV. To check e-mail I have to drive to the library. I go a week at a time without seeing anyone I know. I’ve remembered about buttercups, stink bugs and the stars. I read. And I’m finally getting some real writing done for the first time in months. It’s hard to find anything to say about life without immersing yourself in the world, but it’s also just about impossible to figure out what it might be, or how best to say it, without getting the hell out of it again.

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Read previous contributions to this series.

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done. “Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do,” wrote Thomas Pynchon in his essay on sloth. Archimedes’ “Eureka” in the bath, Newton’s apple, Jekyll & Hyde and the benzene ring: history is full of stories of inspirations that come in idle moments and dreams. It almost makes you wonder whether loafers, goldbricks and no-accounts aren’t responsible for more of the world’s great ideas, inventions and masterpieces than the hardworking.

“The goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play. That’s why we have to destroy the present politico-economic system.” This may sound like the pronouncement of some bong-smoking anarchist, but it was actually Arthur C. Clarke, who found time between scuba diving and pinball games to write “Childhood’s End” and think up communications satellites. My old colleague Ted Rall recently wrote a column proposing that we divorce income from work and give each citizen a guaranteed paycheck, which sounds like the kind of lunatic notion that’ll be considered a basic human right in about a century, like abolition, universal suffrage and eight-hour workdays. The Puritans turned work into a virtue, evidently forgetting that God invented it as a punishment.

Perhaps the world would soon slide to ruin if everyone behaved as I do. But I would suggest that an ideal human life lies somewhere between my own defiant indolence and the rest of the world’s endless frenetic hustle. My role is just to be a bad influence, the kid standing outside the classroom window making faces at you at your desk, urging you to just this once make some excuse and get out of there, come outside and play. My own resolute idleness has mostly been a luxury rather than a virtue, but I did make a conscious decision, a long time ago, to choose time over money, since I’ve always understood that the best investment of my limited time on earth was to spend it with people I love. I suppose it’s possible I’ll lie on my deathbed regretting that I didn’t work harder and say everything I had to say, but I think what I’ll really wish is that I could have one more beer with Chris, another long talk with Megan, one last good hard laugh with Boyd. Life is too short to be busy.

(Anxiety welcomes submissions at anxiety@nytimes.com.)


Author photo

Tim Kreider is the author of “We Learn Nothing,” a collection of essays and cartoons. His cartoon, “The Pain — When Will It End?” has been collected in three books by Fantagraphics.