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Don't let your quarantine time go to waste

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Kristen Asleson
We are part of The Trust Project.

Not everyone wants to read, hear or see news of COVID-19, but let us recognize that the consequences of this sickness are devastating, and the rules we need to follow — social distancing, quarantining, etc. — are disrupting lives. If you have kids, are you taking the time to teach and introduce them to basic life skills? If you do not have kids, are you taking this time to enhance your work skills?

If you haven’t already come to the realization that social media is changing the way business is conducted, you’ll need to this year. According to VerticalResponse, a small business marketing company, nearly 90 percent of small businesses are on Facebook, while nearly 70 percent have a presence on Twitter. Those businesses are participating in networks with more than one billion and 140 million people respectively. Women are no longer just talking about their business experiences with a close circle of friends or networking groups; they’re letting their entire social network know what happened. And if your business is great at customer service, engaging consumers online could lead to some great brand advocates for your company. However, customer loyalty can easily go in the other direction. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to research and find out where and how your company can be active in the growing social media space.

If you are not reading one book a month, whether it’s on business, leadership or your industry, you’re going to be left behind and possibly put your career or business at risk. Don’t let a lack of time be an excuse for you to miss out on the knowledge and opportunities that reading can provide. The leaders of some of the most successful companies today are avid readers. My dad always said that earning my college degree was great, but continuing to read had even more value and kept your mind sharp.

It’s quite simple: the better the leader, the more they typically read. Take advantage of the times we are going through. If you have kids and are home with them, read when they read.

Actually, when they learn new skills, so should you. If you are "stuck" at home, alone, and have plenty of quiet time, pick up books and learn new skills as well.

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Think back to how you came into the leadership role you are in today. Who inspired, taught, counseled and listened to you? Now think about a person in your business or personal life whom you could offer those same skills to. Not only will being a mentor to someone allow you to pass on your knowledge and advice to another generation, you will be challenged to learn more and grow more so you can offer more to your mentee. Right now, you might be mentoring your children, but that is contributing to their knowledge and skills. Leading by example travels far!

If you are among the men and women still going to work, take care of yourself and stay healthy! And, if you are among the men and women who are in healthcare, in any way, shape or form, thank you for going to work and risking your own health to take care of others. Thank you for taking care of those who are vulnerable, at-risk or have existing health issues that cannot be ignored while the focus is on "the virus."

2020 is still full of opportunities and possibilities, even though the part of the world you are in has all but "shut down." Take advantage of the time you have!

Related Topics: SMALL BUSINESSHEALTH
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