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How to Make Better (and Quicker) Decisions, Converting Shoppers Via Video, And More Tips for August

Plus one way to deal with those pesky emails while on vacation.






Can’t make a decision? Use a timer, suggests Oliver Burkeman in his Guardian column on lifestyle optimization. For everyday matters, set it to allow yourself a few minutes for deliberation, and then when your time is up, make a decision. “Often, what we think of as deliberation is really hours of indecision, followed by a snap judgment,” he notes. “You were going to do so eventually anyway.”

SALESConvert Shoppers via Video

The sales process is about transitions, from the initial encounter to the final close. And in the social media age, a big one is moving the conversation from email or text to video when it’s time to get more serious. “Once someone has expressed interest in a piece, it’s time to ask them to join you for a video call so they can get their questions answered and see how your jewelry moves and captures the light,” says industry consultant Kathleen Cutler. “Video is a far more effective communication tool than text, so it’s worth spending time to get comfortable with being on video so that you can connect with confidence,” she says. That was certainly the case for Mary Pillsbury, owner of Mary Pillsbury Co. in Frontenac, MO. “During COVID, I realized I could sell diamonds over the phone with the Internet. I also did not even need a brick-and-mortar store. Sales were up 15 percent last year.”


SELF-IMPROVEMENTKnow Yourself Better

Given the list of people who frequently refer to themselves in the third person — The Rock, Donald Trump, Kanye West — it wouldn’t seem self-awareness was among their most evident attributes. But as the self-help author Gretchen Rubin notes on her blog, thinking about yourself in the third person can be a direct path to self-knowledge. Feeling depleted, she recalled, “I asked myself, ‘What’s the best medicine for Gretchen when she feels drained?’ And, when I framed the question from outside myself, I knew the answer.” Cheesy? Sure. But some of the best happiness strategies are. Although, yes, we agree, this one is probably best done silently.

COMMUNICATIONSDelete with Extreme Prejudice

Knowing that emails are piling up while you’re on vacation can take a lot of the fun out of a break while also undermining the restorative benefits. To address this issue, Arianna Huffington’s company Thrive Global opted for a solution they dubbed Thrive Away: If a colleague sends an email to a co-worker on vacation, they receive an auto-reply informing them that their message has been deleted — and that they’ll just have to resend it when the person returns. In his latest book, A World Without Email, Cal Newport notes this is an extreme option. But, he argues, email causes such anxiety in many people, it’s one worth considering.

MANAGEMENTAre You an A-Hole?

There’s been lots of talk recently about building more civilized workplaces. Worried you might be an asshole boss? (No, it’s not a good thing.) Take the test here:



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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