What are you doing differently these days? Here’s some of the new habits we’ve had to adapt to, often for the better:


1. Start your day happier: We used to race through traffic or transit to reach the office. And now – we may start our productive work earlier, but we also take self-care time to work out, walk the dog, meditate, journal and eat a proper breakfast! Not yet taking self-care time? Check out our favorite Five Minute Journal App by Intelligent Change (where you get your apps), or find a hardcopy version on their website.


2. Stand out with a personalized brand background: We used to have a personalized office work environment with photos, books and items that made us feel at home while at the office. And now – we decorate our home office background for our video calls, which we don’t see except virtually (LOL). Personally, it was a huge time and energy saver to have a branded physical background that could be used anywhere, not to mention the attention garnered during video meetings. Check out our solution for virtual and live backgrounds.


3. Look the part: We used to dress from head to toe for in-person meetings. And now – we dress for the camera, professional from the front and waist up. I keep a red jacket on my work chair. I keep a comb and touch-up kit within reach, but I may be wearing “soft pants” and sandals. What’s your favorite accessory for online events?


4. Don’t forget to breathe, but don’t worry about bad breath: We used to pop a mint for freshness before an in-person meeting. And now – we can eat spicy food with abandon, since no one is going to complain, except anyone you live with who didn’t eat it also (LOL) Here’s a quick breathing exercise to relax and be alert for your next meeting.


5. It’s those small things that matter: We used to finish our professional look with a quick hair check and lip colour ahead of an in-person meeting. When masks came along, we skipped the lipstick and focused on eye-contact when meeting in person. We communicated with a “smize” (smile with the eyes). And now – we’re meeting onscreen without masks, and small things matter again… I brush the hair out of my face and keep my boldest lipstick next to my computer to prep for online meetings. What’s the tool you keep on hand for your online meetings?


6. Flatter yourself with the right lighting: We used to love working next to a window for natural light. And now – we block the light so it doesn’t reflect on our computer screen, get in our eyes or backlight us during a video call. It’s best to have the window in front of you, preferably a north light, which is the most consistent during the day. Or invest in lighting.


7. Engage in engagement: We used to sit quietly during an in-person group meeting with our head down while listening to the speaker, taking notes, and setting action steps. We engaged with the speaker only when relevant. And now – it looks unnatural, like we are disinterested when not looking at the camera during a virtual group meeting, and instead we are involved in banter via the chat function. How do you manage your engagement during online meetings?


8. Seeing eye to eye: We used to wear the tiniest of computer reading glasses, taking them off for in-person meetings. And now – we need computer reading glasses where people can see our eyes and face to create a better connection during virtual meetings and presentations. I had a stellar experience working on this with my eye-wear stylist Wendy Buchanan at Perceptions Eye Wear.


9. Get rid of the jitter: We used to be ok with shaky-cam video chats with friends and family, walking around the house or on the street, likely showing off the ceiling, or worse. And now – we secure our camera device on a stand or elevate it to ensure our camera is eye level, which means we need a separate keyboard or mouse to participate fully during meetings, e.g., chatting or screen sharing. How do you secure your camera in position for virtual meetings? Here is one of our fav products.


10. Gotta love LED: We used to light a room or work surface for consistent working light. And now – we light our faces to be seen on camera. That often means we are working with bright lighting directly on us, rather than on our work surface. I was fortunate to find LED lighting that adjusts to any angle, so I can direct it on my face for virtual meetings or on my work surface when working. What do you use for your lighting?


We’d love to hear from you!


Share YOUR thoughts on what we did back in … say… 2019, vs. what we do now in 2022. And how that’s shaping your business strategy.


Or better yet, share your experiences and ideas with a select group of other ambitious entrepreneurs in our Smart & Savvy Strategy School™ program. Together, we stay on top of this year’s key marketing success trends.


Let’s kick off 2022 ready for success!