As our children have become recent adults, they need to cook for themselves – on a budget. We’ve tried to show them the value of inexpensive, but quality ingredients to always have on hand for basic quick recipes that can feed a group, get tons of rave reviews, and not break their grocery budget. The most difficult thing isn’t the money, it’s that they think good food has to be complicated. It’s not dissimilar to all of the courses, guides, videos and articles telling you all that you need to do on social media to be successful. It comes down to basic ingredients, as well. Be responsive, be polite, be sincere, be helpful.

Here are some ideas to lighten your load or give you a basic checklist to start with to ensure you are already doing the most basic items. Yes, another article telling you what to do, but here is some logic to go with it.

  1. If you are a podcast host or help with a podcast, vlog or regular “show” with guests, are you connected to all of those guest and their companies? This is especially important on LinkedIn if you are a B2B company. Think of it as the gala you attend daily where everyone is connected to everyone, makes introductions, but all with great manners, rehearsed stories to be memorable, polite quips and sincerity. It is lacking the cattiness that can be present at those events, though. Thank goodness. Go connect with a personal note thanking them. Try to do it before the show is published to make your promotion more effective. This goes for your whole team, but start with you.
  2. If you speak at events, teach courses, host events – are you connected to the attendees? You did get paid, most likely, to present. Your payment could be bold branding and the list of attendees, but you were paid. These attendees paid, the sponsors paid. Have the courtesy and humility to connect with them. Thank them for attending.
  3. If you are an attendee at these same events, connect with the host, the sponsors, the presenters for the same reason as #2. They were paid to be there and probably were paid partially with a list of attendees and all of your details.
  4. Bonus Opportunity – if you learned from them, were impressed, really were glad to have attended – talk about it PUBLICLY right after. Link to the event, @mention the speaker, the host, the sponsors and list at least one takeway that made the event valuable to me. I was taught years ago that if I got one actionable, helpful tip from each presenter at a conference, that’s 10 – 50 new skills I can use.
  5. Check your notification settings. Sometimes we all go through phases, read a Kim Komando article about locking it down, decluttering our inboxes and notifications. Sometimes we OVERclean. I’m definitely an over-cleaner. Recently, I asked a client why he wasn’t responding to dozens of posts mentioning him and his company. He’s PAYING us to do these. He said he hasn’t seen any notifications. Hmmm. A quick screenshare revealed that he indeed had decluttered and locked it down.  We remedied that and now he’s engaging with people who had wondered what happened to him and if he was no longer looking for new clients! This isn’t just on LinkedIn. If you are active on many social venues, then you need to permit notifications, especially if there is a customer service or new lead opportunity that is possible.
  6. Stop whining about getting too many notifications. I had a client that wanted to remove their contact form on their website because she was flooded with spam emails each week. I asked her how many and she said at least 10. Can you imagine? We had a very open conversation about just spending the 30 seconds to delete them every other day. If you are so popular that you are receiving hundreds of legitimate notifications, hire a part time person who can spell, has a grasp of your business to help respond humbly, politely, helpfully to these people. They can pass along the strong leads to you.
  7. If you are not going to manage the social media account, stop posting to it at all. It’s SOCIAL media, not me media. Don’t simply post and post and post and occasionally “like” or “love” things. Engage, or stop posting. Or get someone else to manage it for you if it is of value to your brand and your career.
  8. Give yourself a time limit. Make it a task or event on your calendar that repeats at least MWF. Perhaps M-F for 15 minutes. Take that time to reply, like, thoughtfully comment something other than, “thank you” “cool” “great post.” Start with that. If you are prone to going down rabbit holes, set a time limit of 30 minutes a day. You may need to get to your desk 15 minutes earlier.
  9. Caution against relying on only replying through your phone app. I’m prone to blurry-eyed mornings and sometimes try to contribute before the first cup of coffee has kicked in. I spend more time trying to correct typos, bad links, etc. Better to wait a bit. Start your day – 15 minutes. Later, check responses – 15 minutes. Who knows – you may have made someone’s day with your thoughtful comment or reply. If you are deft and 20/20 – fit it in anytime anywhere – waiting in line anywhere is a great place to check notifications, but be focused when you reply.
  10. Birthdays and work anniversaries. Yes, on LinkedIn we get reminded of all of these things. I have six active positions. I have a lot of anniversaries and have to go check which one it is. Birthdays – if you aren’t close enough to take them out, your time is better spent making thoughtful comments to the posts of people you are connect to. Better to share something they wrote or broadcast recently with a thoughtful comment letting them know you listened. I actually dread some birthdays depending how busy I am because I feel the need to reply to each birthday comment on all venues with more than a like or love. I’m blessed it is always such an exhausting day. I’ll stop whining about this now, too.
  11. New books. I’m fortunate to run in circles with a lot of outstanding B2B authors. When they launch a book, I want to know. Chances are I’ll buy a copy, read and review. My shelves and Kindle are packed, but the best gift I can give them is a review of their book for all to see. Amazon and LinkedIn is where I go.

Let me know how it’s working for you once you try some of these ideas regularly. Start with 3 – any three besides #5 SETTINGS. that’s a must.

If you need help with this list, an extra hand responding thoughtfully, let me know.

Our list of basics to have handy for three types of cuisines:


  • Fish sauce – bottle
  • Lime
  • Red chile paste – jar
  • Fresh garlic
  • Cilantro – dried if you must
  • Dried or fresh mint – fresh only if you have more things you can do with it.
  • Soy sauce or coconut aminos – once opened, store in the fridge
  • Honey
  • Flaked red pepper
  • Green onions or a leek – stored in fridge for about a week
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Fresh ginger – just a small piece smaller than the palm of your hand. It won’t last long, but can add a lot of flavor to any dish.


  • Cilantro
  • Limes
  • Fresh garlic
  • Dried chile powder
  • Dried New Mexico chile pods
  • Canela (Mexican cinnamon – has more flavor)
  • Basic canned black beans, pintos, or refried for sides or main dish
  • Rice packages
  • Fresh tomatoes, if possible. Cans of diced tomatoes to have at the ready any time.
  • Cumin powder
  • Green onions
  • Velveeta – small brick for that tacky favorite!
  • Can of green chiles for a quick dip

US Comfort Foods:

  • Black pepper corns for fresh ground pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Green onions
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Mayo/Mustard/Relish/Ketchup
  • Basil
  • Lemon
  • Vanilla – the good stuff
  • Olive oil
  • Dried French Onion soup packets – quick dip with plain yogurt or sour cream
  • Pasta in short shapes.
  • Old Halloween candy to crush up as a topping or to put in cookies or brownies