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My Ideal Clients All Have This Disease!

Posted 12-30-2010 at 10:04 PM by Business-Bytes  
My Ideal Clients All Have This Disease!

What follows are my shamelessly (and un-apologetically), biased thoughts on the topic of my ideal client and a disease that I feel ALL should be afflicted with…

Humor!

When screening potential clients (PCs), I have noticed that some tend to avoid seeing the humor in life or work – like humor is a disease to be avoided at all costs. They are “humor challenged” – the politically correct description of this disease, by yours truly. Consequently, they fail to see the humor in situations that might send we that aren’t as “humor challenged” from anything between a chuckle or two, to a gale of full-blown, side-splitting, wee-your-pants laughter. In other words, they wouldn’t let humor in without a full body search!

So, how do you spot the humor challenged Potential Client (PC)?

Here are 5 tips:
  1. There will be no “Mona Lisa” hint of a smile in their voice, actions, nor on their face.
  2. No eye-crinkling grin as a clue that maybe, just maybe, there is some humor dwelling within.
  3. No silent “shoulder-shaking” (you know…when you try to stifle a laugh and only your shoulders shake?) laugh providing a more pronounced clue that, “Yes, they are laughing!”
  4. Definitely no “Muttley” laugh; that trademark snicker – an asthmatic-sounding, "wheezing" laugh passing their lips. NOTE: I do this one a lot. I even add a small snort or two on occasion just for good measure.
  5. You will never, ever see boisterous, unrestrained, full-tilt laughing that leads to tears…or worse (okay, I’ll say it – wee-in-your-pants) laughing! I admit it; I’m guilty of this one, too. The boisterous laughing, not the wee-in-your-pants part…well…maybe once.
How do you weed out these potential non-ideal clients? Simple! Ask them, on a scale of 1 to 10, how important humor is in their work and/or life. If you like their answer, proceed.

“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done”
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower


As one that possesses a somewhat enthusiastic sense of humor, I make no apologies. I accept my fate. I live each day with this “disease” knowing that at any moment I may be overtaken by an outbreak of laughter at something that humor challenged PCs might find utterly ridiculous and so not funny. As a result, I am prepared to live my life with this disease and hope it never goes into remission.

Also, this disease has totally biased my opinion and the way I interact in life. I can’t escape the fact that right up there with kindness, a love for animals, and loyalty, I feel that humor is one of the finest attributes an individual or potential client can possess.

“No mind is thoroughly well organized that is deficient in a sense of humor.”
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

5 reasons to inject humor into your business relationships:
  1. Because of the nature of our businesses, and virtually connecting with clients, we don’t have the “traditional” office setting with in-person, face-to-face interaction. One of the most engaging things you can do as a Virtual Assistant when interacting with your ideal client is to put your sense of humor out there – it makes you more “human” and approachable.
  2. This is priceless: One VA that I sub for has it stated in her contract [words to the effect] that a sense of humor is a prerequisite to work with her. I love this and I have added it, using my own words, to my contracts too.
  3. Humor helps you see the funny side of awkward, stressful, or embarrassing situations. It helps alleviate anxiety, fear, and cut-it-with-a-knife tension that can sometimes rear its ugly head when you are stressed, overworked, or have deadlines staring you in the face. If you inject a little lighthearted humor into such circumstances, you will find a much more receptive audience when trying to communicate an important idea or concept.
  4. Humor is refreshing – and liberating – and helps to diffuse stressful situations like magic! It also puts you in a better frame of mind to tackle those tasks and meet those deadlines – with a better outlook and maybe even a smile.
  5. Humor and laughter really are the best medicine: http://helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm
Think of it this way: Humor, as a disease, is pretty unique in that IT is its own best medicine! Amazing, eh? Give me a spoonful of laughter any day!

“A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable”
~ Billy Graham

Oh my…could it be?! Yes, there are times you should not let your humor fly no matter how difficult it is to contain your disease. Following are my top 3 reasons not to tickle your funny bone.

When humor is NOT appropriate:
  1. You should not infuse humor into circumstances that are of a sensitive or sad nature – situations that call for understanding and empathy – you must use common sense and discretion. If you’re like me, I feel their pain and bawl right along with them.
  2. Never use “biting” humor or insult someone in a humorous way.
  3. When unsure, you may want to follow your client’s lead in business situations.
Whether you are a “Mona Lisa,” “Mutley,” “shoulders shaking,” or “wee-your-pants” type of person, I hope you have taken away a little food for thought and enjoyed this post in some small measure. I wish each of you a very happy and humorous new year!

Well, that brings this, my very first blog post, to a close. I’ll tell you what, I hope this gets easier the more I do it! I have changed this post “nine ways to Sunday” to present it in something resembling more than just the incoherent ramblings of a madwoman. LOL! Hey, I kept it to two pages – no easy feat for me! Truth be told, this was a lot of fun, and I’m going to do it again!
Total Comments 12

Comments

Old
Great job on your first post, Jules! You are so right... sense of humor is so important to balance all of the serious stuff :) I laughed at the "shoulders shaking" type - I know a lady who does that and feel it is my personal duty to "see" her laugh as often as possible.
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Posted 01-01-2011 at 06:54 AM by Off~Site Secretary Off~Site Secretary is offline
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RhondaHolscher's Avatar
I read your post the other day and I didn't have time to respond. I just wanted to tell you excellent job! I love your post. It's witty and intelligent at the same time. Great job!!!
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Posted 01-01-2011 at 03:21 PM by RhondaHolscher RhondaHolscher is offline
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e-IndyOffice's Avatar
I do want to "take the temperature" of any potential client - i.e. don't want them to be too serious - with no sense of humor. My ideal client is a little laid back and can go with the flow. I put my humor out there to show I'm not perfect but I'm willing to work with them to get the best result.
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Posted 01-03-2011 at 10:15 AM by e-IndyOffice e-IndyOffice is offline
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Wendy-Works's Avatar
I agree with your humorous opinions and practice it as often as possible. Don't you just love that first hint of humour that comes across from your client in the beginning of your relationship.
Maybe everybody should watch short funny videos a few times during the day, just to keep our spirits up.
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Posted 01-04-2011 at 10:47 AM by Wendy-Works Wendy-Works is offline
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Business-Bytes's Avatar

Thank you :)

Aw, thank you gals for your comments.

I wasn't sure how this sort of blog topic would be received - not all have a sense of humor when it comes to business, but I put it out there anyway. Glad I did because...

I just found out that I won the End of the Year Blog Challenge!!!!

Thank you very much!
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Posted 01-04-2011 at 03:55 PM by Business-Bytes Business-Bytes is offline
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ChristinaVOS's Avatar
Congratulations on your win! Awesome post

~C
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Posted 01-04-2011 at 04:23 PM by ChristinaVOS ChristinaVOS is offline
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Wendy-Works's Avatar
Yeah! I am sending my heart felt congratulations to you.
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Posted 01-04-2011 at 04:23 PM by Wendy-Works Wendy-Works is offline
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JoCarole's Avatar

Congratulations on winning blog post

Congratulations Jules!

I just had the time to read your 'winning' blog post and what a great one it was.

I found it well written and I enjoyed the 'quotes'. I agree with you 100% about laughter especially since we do work remotely we need to get our personalities across and it can be a challenge at times.

I definitely feel it is harder to get to know people compared to working with them side by side or even seeing them now and then. That is one reason that I use emoticons as much as I do.

I really like the part about putting a laughter clause in your contract. I think I am going to do that myself. Good !

It is a little window that we are opening up to our clients so they can peep into our VA world. Hopefully it will start the relationship on a good scale and just make it a little bit easier to get to know each sooner rather than later.

Looking forward to more great posts from you... JoCarole
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Posted 01-08-2011 at 07:59 AM by JoCarole JoCarole is offline
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Business-Bytes's Avatar
Thanks so much, Christina, Wendy, and JoCarole! I had so much fun, and a little head-banging , as I wrote...and re-wrote...and condensed it to the couple pages it came to be. It was almost like birthing my first baby.

Hey gals and guys, I have to not beat around the bush (didn't want to mention names in my blog post) and give credit where credit is due: The idea for including a clause in my contracts with regards to a sense of humor originated from our Christina, so full attribution goes to her. She is amazingly funny, and we have shared some great laughs! I didn't want to mention names in my post, but I could not, in good conscience, let anyone think that this was solely MY idea. She was my inspiration for adding something similar to my contracts.

Thanks so much! Y'all have inspired me with your kind remarks.
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Posted 01-08-2011 at 07:52 PM by Business-Bytes Business-Bytes is offline
Old
So funny -- just the other day I was filling out a questionnaire on who my ideal client was. My number one quality was for my client to have a sense of humor!

Oh, and don't get me started on your 5 tips -- way too true to even hold an argument. You actually had me laughing here all by myself. I'm so glad no one was around, my shy side would have been embarrassed!

I loved this. I'm actually going to save this so I can refer to it now and then to remind myself who to steer clear of ;)
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Posted 01-10-2011 at 05:59 PM by eXPERT Business Support eXPERT Business Support is offline
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Business-Bytes's Avatar
Another like-minded woman! I love it, Patty!

So pleased that you liked my first blog post. Thank you very much for your kind words and for letting me know that you actually laughed (that means a lot! I was hoping folks would see the humor in it).

Happy blogging!
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Posted 01-14-2011 at 10:17 PM by Business-Bytes Business-Bytes is offline
Old
I really enjoyed your post. I couldn't agree more, I think having a sense of humor and not taking yourself completely serious all the time are important qualities to have.
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Posted 01-18-2011 at 08:14 PM by jgh1105 jgh1105 is offline
 
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