When I set this blog up I made a promise to myself that I would write one EVERY month. They would be predominantly informative, helping businesses to improve and grow, with the odd spattering of reflection. So, first of all, I would like to say sorry… not sorry – well not anymore. Let me explain.
Before COVID-19 took hold I was just getting the business off the ground. The right sort of clients were coming my way, I was at every networking event like a Z list celebrity at the opening of an envelope and had a business bucket list that would make a 14 piece party bucket at KFC look like a popcorn chicken happy meal. (I know – not the same company and yes other fast food joints are out there)
And then – for me – the world suddenly stopped. All that hard work for nothing, no bookings in April, then nothing in May! what the hell just happened?
Somebody coughed and the world stopped turning – just for a while. Everybody put business continuity plans into action and we all learned to work a different way. That’s what happened.
So now in August with a small sense of normality returning what are my takeaways from this world changing event?
1) I AM adaptable, resourceful and far more patient that I ever gave myself credit – No, I can’t teach… I found resources that excited me but not necessarily my child (couldn’t I go back to school?) and the internet didn’t always work (amen for glue and glitter… not to fix the internet by the way – although that would make all our lives easier) I don’t know how teachers do it. They have a level of patience beyond anyone I know but I like to think I have taken some of that on board.
2) My child is more capable and grown up than I think I gave her credit for. She’s 11 and since March has learnt to make a cup of tea, cook bacon and eggs on toast, BBQ chicken and chips and banana bread – all by herself, She can now design products and use the 3D printer with very little guidance from dad (I have no clue) and she can take old clothes and cut them up to make new ones… and is prepared to wear them out and about!!. I think, and I may be bias, that although there will be gaps in her education (I did say I couldn’t teach) as a person in the real world she has grown exponentially, I am prepared to bet she is not the only one.
3) My neighbours are awesome. When we were all clapping on a Thursday night, for the first time ever, we were united as a community. For that minute each week we said hello… to everyone who stood there. We noticed if someone was missing, we arranged shopping for those who couldn’t, the younger adults arranged socially distanced workouts (its a sight to behold) and we have promised ourselves a street party when it is all finally over. I love it.
4) The world of work has changed forever. Employers have now realised that they can actually TRUST their staff to do the work required from home. The impact of this is HUGE, both financially for the businesses and I do believe for a better work life balance for staff if they want it, not to mention the positive environmental impact. The key is to be flexible. Flexible on hours worked, flexible on where you work, flexible on how you work. There will be an ideal mix but we have now proved that it is possible and sustainable.
I have recently read a BBC report about the possible future of office working (worth a read) and I can’t believe it has taken a global pandemic for us to think about making this type change. I for one think its exciting and when looking at the future of how I might run my business everything is game.
5) Everything is precious – no further comment here.
So back to that promise of one blog a month. Apparently it keeps your website fresh. Google love it – I’m sure they do. Its a marketing must have they all say.
I’m sure that if I dedicate my time to keeping that promise I will see all sorts of riches – in the end. But i’m not so sure its worth the pressure. I will write my blogs – when I feel I have something to say and no marketing bigwig or google algorithm is going to tell me to do otherwise. My business will grow at my pace.
Time is precious and I will spend it on what is important to me, my family and friends and my health and well-being.
And THAT is my biggest take away from 2020.