We were in a big group grabbing drinks when a man reached for his phone and realized he had 20% battery left. Having been in this situation many times myself, I felt for him. I walked over and offered him my extra charger.
It was a small thing that made a huge difference, not just for this guy's phone but also for my social capital. I was now the person who'd saved his phone. The charger cost me $20, but the relationship forged that night thanks to my charger led to many other priceless opportunities.
It got me wondering what other items under $20 have unexpected business benefits I'd overlooked. Here's what I found:
Aqua Notes for taking notes in the shower.
Cognitive Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman's famous 2014 "shower study" showed that "people report more creative inspiration in their showers than they do at work."
Turns out, when you're relaxed and undistracted, your best ideas "pop up" out of nowhere. Most of us forget our brilliant idea by the time we get out of the shower or (worse) cut our wonderful showers short in order to rush to our desk and write down our idea.
Aqua Notes fixes that problem by letting you capture your ideas, literally, in the shower. It's a waterproof notepad and pencil for all your brilliant shower thoughts.
Greetabl for making customers and your team feel special.
Greetabl is the world's easiest way to make people feel valued. And, frankly - these boxes are fun. For under $20 you can surprise your staff, clients, colleagues, or customers with a custom box and surprise gift.
It takes no time to put together and is a thoughtful way to show someone you appreciate them. There's a place to put a personal note and a lot of ways to customize the gift, including the box design, images, and physical good inside. It's like a kinder egg for adults.
LastPass for sharing passwords without sharing passwords.
I was a late adopter to LastPass until a friend made a compelling argument for why any password keeper is better than no password keeper to protect against hacks. But turns out, that wasn't the actual benefit.
Aside from making it faster and more efficient to access the 200+ sites I have logins for (for real, I counted), LastPass made it easier to work with my team. If I need to give someone access to Zapier to fix up an automation for my virtual coworking space, for example, I can give them the login through LastPass, without ever sharing the actual username and password.
I feel safer and more protected and so does my team. They don't have to worry about misplacing the passwords. And I can revoke access at any time. Worth every penny.
Dry Shampoo for the days you just don't have time.
This one is more relevant to the ladies, but if you've ever needed to look professional in a rush, there is nothing better than dry shampoo. I was a dry shampoo skeptic until my aunt forced a ton of it in my hair after a particularly dreadful day of meetings, rain, and sweatiness.
The result? It looked like I was showered and blow dried in a matter of minutes. I swear by the stuff now. It is a lifesaver if you have little time to make yourself presentable after a long day of work.
I'm particularly grateful for it when I want to hit the gym, but don't want the hassle of blow drying and straightening my hair in order to look professional later.
Dry shampoo = life saver.
Charge Cords because you always need to charge your phone.
Today our phones are our computer and office, so keeping them powered (should be) a priority, yet, somehow we are constantly running out of battery. I've personally managed to break every charger I have and forget to charge every backup battery I get, which is why I'm obsessed with Charge Cords.
Charge Cords don't break because they're covered in "tangle-proof" fabric and you don't have to charge them. You just have to remember to put them in your purse...And as I mentioned in the beginning, having a colorful charger on hand is a great way to meet new people and make friends. Someone always needs a charger.
Silver Siphon for sifting out those pesky Stripe fees
Founder of SkyBlueBooks and expert on all things accounting, Tam Nguyen, introduced me to this one. For as little as $9/month Silver Siphon will literally "siphon" out the fees from Stripe so they're properly accounted for in your books. It takes away having to do this all manually since it's automated and syncs up nicely with Xero.