“I’ll only make $160,000 this year,” my friend whined as she explained to me how busy her big city life is. She complained how she had to squeeze her Botox treatments and Soul Cycle classes in between client meetings, how her associate’s beach house gang parties, and how her Uber Black ride to her suitor’s un-air-conditioned apartment was almost $100 each way.
I tried to empathize, but could only think how many families could do so much with more than $3,000 each week, and how little direct human interaction her day-to-day life contained. It was like talking to 50 Accenture consultants at once, all rattling off their Starwood points numbers to fund their next Instagram-perfect vacation.
When she started complaining about online dating, my poker face vanished. In a lifestyle punctuated by colored boxes in IPhone calendars and messages sent through a dozen apps, it’s no wonder that so many of peers turn to Bumble, OkCupid, and the League to find the next Mr. / Ms. Right (Now). But what amazes me, especially as a sales professional, is how few meetings come from the leads that these dating appps create. It’s so easy to over-analyze the other person, that it allows users to never settle to never meet someone who’s not perfect.
I’m usually pretty tolerant of these so-called “first world problems,” but after I spent so much quality time with friends over the 4th of July week at the Jersey Shore, my calluses had healed. Whether on the boat, in line at the Post Office, or over coffee at Moran’s, I spent a lot of time just talking with friends. There was no agenda and, unlike for my lawyer clients, there was no clock. A conversation lasted until your coffee got cool or you caught your next fish.
It was remarkably relaxing and refreshing to have unfettered conversations, to share, and to listen. In my practice, I aim to make conversations like these an important part of my work as we seek to grow professional practices. My clients who are able to slow down long enough to participate definitely find our time together very productive as the follow-up work more closely solves the client’s challenges than if I just took a stab at it.
With the weekend upon us, put the IPhone on silent or in airplane mode and see what kind of conversations you have with friends or families. You’ll likely approach Monday morning with a new attitude.