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Laura J. Lieff

Specializing in Expert Service

My Blog


Become Your Own "Guy"

Posted on February 1, 2015 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (247)
There have been a number of humorous references to "the guy" in sit-coms. The guy is the expert: the person who fixes and/or handles things.  He can be a computer techie, a TV repairman, a plumber, etc.  These days, "the guy" is sometimes a gal.  The message in sit-coms is that if you try to fix things, yourself, you'll fall off the roof and be bed-ridden or you'll wind up calling your father, if your father is handy.  In fact, some people have a handyman to whom they regularly go when anything breaks down as the handyman, frequently, knows how to fix a variety of things and that's why he's called a "handy" man, i.e., he's handy to have around.

The easiest solution to any problem is to call the guy. It's not the most satisfactory solution though. First of all, the guy is going to charge you for his assistance. In fact, he can charge you $125 for 5 minutes of work. Secondly, it's very satisfying to fix something yourself. If you're struggling and short of time, the guy might be the answer to your prayers. However, wouldn't it be better to learn how to do things, yourself, so that you can become your own guy?

Most things are doable if you watch how the guy does them and ask him questions while he's around. If you don't want to take lessons from the guy, the Internet will tell you almost, if not, everything you need to know about how to fix or repair whatever needs fixing or repairing.

I just spent 40 minutes getting my computer to work. I couldn't deal with calling the guy regarding my computer as (1) I didn't think it was necessary as I've fixed my computer before, (2) I just switched cell phones and spent some time on that learning curve and (3) I didn't want to spend the money.

I'm not a computer geek and I'm certainly not as knowledgeable as a good techie, however, having been through a number of computer issues, previously, I've come to understand that the first thing to do is to pull out the plugs and plug them back in. Replugging things, more often than not, solves the problem.  Of course, you have to find the right plug to pull, however, if you pull a lot of plugs, you will, eventually, pull the right one.
I had this very experience a few minutes ago. Of course, sometimes, the issue is more complex, however, in my experience, 80 - 90% of computer issues can be solved by replugging.

Some people like to depend on others. I'm not one of those people. Other people have their own things to do and when you rely on other people, you have to wait for them to get back to you. Also, sometimes "the fix" has to be done very early in the morning, very late at night, or when the guy's favorite football team's game is being televised.

Becoming your own guy has interesting career ramifications as well. It's great to have an employee who is as good as any "guy", especially in a small business. There are, also, relationship ramifications. If you're a man, being your own guy can be very appealing to a woman who doesn't want to be her own guy. She can make you her guy, in more ways than one. It doesn't seem to work quite as well the other way around, however, as guys still want to be "the guy" and can be resentful of a woman who is more of a guy than they.

The helpless act is no longer appealing to men. Most men aren't so insecure that they need a helpless woman: they just, generally, prefer being the better "guy", much as they, generally, prefer beating a woman in tennis.

I'll leave you with a tip regarding how not to get caught in techie hell when you call for free assistance: the way I avoid getting caught in techie hell is to immediately ask whatever techie I get on the phone how long he or she has been working at the company. If the techie has been working there less than a year, I very nicely ask if I can be transferred to a more experienced techie as I am under time pressure. When you get caught in customer service hell, ALWAYS ask for the manager. In most instances, the manager will resolve your issue to your satisfaction.

Shaking Things Up

Posted on June 1, 2014 at 8:14 PM Comments comments (296)
Most of us are creatures of habit.  It's easier to continue doing what we've been doing, what is familiar to us, what is comfortable.  Although it's easier, that doesn't mean that doing the same thing, with the same people, in the same place, year after year, is a successful approach to business or life, for that matter.  Sometimes, it's necessary to make a change, to shake things up.

Trying new things, socially, can be a little scary, but it's also exciting. Putting yourself in an entirely different environment can rev up both your social and business lives.  For example, joining a business club, organization, or association puts you in touch with a new group of people, some of whom you're bound to like and vice versa.  These new people can refer business to you, make social referrals, open you up to a new interest or a new point of view, or might just provide you with intelligent and/or humorous conversation.  All of this is good.

Even taking a bus to a gym that isn't around the corner from your apartment can give you an opportunity to meet people you haven't met before.  I've had some delightful conversations with people I've met while in transit.

We're not robots and we shouldn't behave like them.  Life can be exhilarating if you're open to adventure.  You don't have to jump out of an airplane to have an adventure:  you just need to be open to having one and open-minded.

The same is true in business.  Technology changes so fast that, as a business owner or employee, you have to be on top of the new developments and on top of the new marketing trends if you want to be successful.  There is no room for getting comfortable, anymore, in business. Things change as rapidly as you're reading this blog.

Don't be afraid of change:  learn to enjoy the adventure and/or the new experience.  When I created this Web site, I became my own SEO expert.  I Googled the information that I needed and ran with it.  I'm not saying that my SEO talents are as good as those of an SEO professional, however, my company is on the first page of Google (for personal concierge services in NYC, the ues of Manhattan, and zip code 10065.)  It's fun to learn something new and it's good for that grey matter that is known as our brains.

Trust me when I tell you that I can be as resistant to change as the next person, however, once I learned that there are very few things, in life, that are irreversible, change came easier to me.  Fortunately for me, I learned that at a young age.

I'm not suggesting that you get rid of long-term spouses or friends or successful businesses, if you're happy with them. I'm just saying that shaking things up, every now and then, adds zest to your life, is healthy, and can help you grow in ways in which you can't envision until you take the plunge.

Go ahead.  Jump in!  You won't regret it.  I rarely do.