#WFH Diaries: Elijah Schneider of Modifly

As confinement continues in most parts of the world, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Elijah Schneider, founder and CEO of Modifly.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Hi, I'm Elijah, I'm the 22 year-old CEO and founder of Modifly, a social media agency focused on creating meaningful connections and results for our clients' businesses.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I currently live in San Diego with my girlfriend Sarah and our cat, Oliver.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I'm working remotely like the rest of my team. 

Describe your socializing strategy.

I've been using FaceTime and Zoom a lot. We've done "family dinners" on a group Zoom call, and all order the same type of food. We've also had some happy hour and Uber Eats video calls for the business.

How are you dealing with childcare?

I don't have kids, but my friends that do have been very creative with this, like trading off afternoon/morning time (for work) and switching off. Others have been trying to create a normal school day at home.

What are you reading?

Right now, I'm reading Outliers from Malcolm Gladwell and The Soulful Art of Persuasion by Jason Harris.

What are you watching?

I recently finished Tiger King and I'm about to start the third season of Ozark.

What are you listening to?

I've been trying to break away from the news and listening to a lot of podcasts like Group Chat. I am shuffling Spotify Charts, too.

How are you staying fit?

This has been hard! I don't have any home equipment because I'm used to going to the gym. To compensate for this, I ended up buying two 5-gallon water jugs (all the gym equipment is sold out around me, and there is a 2-3 week wait for Amazon) and using them as weights in my living room and garage. 

Have you taken up a hobby?

I started reading again. Usually, I'm so busy with my everyday life I find myself winding down at 7:30-8 p.m. and wanting to get ready for bed. Now that I have a bit more time, I've started reading at least three times a week for an hour or so.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Delivery apps and services. Instacart has been a lifesaver. Make sure you tip generously. They are putting themselves at risk to help us. If you can't do that for any reason (and must venture out), make sure you have something covering your face like an old scarf or shirt. Also, if you are using a mask, make sure you're doing it right. My girlfriend Sarah is a fourth-year nursing student, and has commented to me about how many people are wearing their masks wrong. 

An awkward moment since this started.

I was at the grocery store the other day, and someone coughed in line. The whole line looked at this man like he had just committed a crime. It's not like it was some nasty cough—it was more a clear my throat one. It's really weird seeing people react to small things they wouldn't normally have commented on.

Best work email you got since all this started.

We got an email from a client saying how we had saved their business. Hearing from a startup founder who is self-funded that we are the reason they're going to make it through Covid-19 was such a great thing.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Life doesn't need to be a big rush. We've all slowed down a bit due to new communication formats. It demonstrates that the email or deck that had to be out by the end of day can wait until morning. All of the unnecessary daily stress and pressure we place on ourselves isn't needed. This has been a huge revelation for me as a young founder. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and realizing it wasn't required, and ultimately detrimental, is an eye opener.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

I hope this starts to slow down soon. My guess is that by the end of May we will really start to re-open and people will return to work.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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