I remember 2019 was a year where my business was booming and things were going so well. As you probably remember, everything started to change in March of 2020, and like everyone else, my business changed and my world changed. Living in Melbourne, the most locked-down city in the world proved to be challenging to say the least.
I did learn some valuable lessons throughout this time. Lessons that are not only around my business but also personally as well as professionally.
I'm going to share with you the lessons that I learned in what could only be deemed as a trying time.
- Plans and planning don't always go to schedule or work. During 2020, the plans that I had for my business, which as I had said, was booming had to be put on hold. We needed to change. It meant that the plans that I had, needed to be re-looked at and reworked It's OK to have to change the plan. It's OK to have to rework what your ideal is. It wasn't what I wanted to do, but I knew that I had to do it. Because of the plans I had, they weren't going to work in the environment. It wasn't going to work to the schedule that I had planned either.
- It's OK to change your goals. My goals have stayed relatively the same, I've just had to change a lot of how I was going to get there. It also meant that I've had to change some of the goals slightly, they've been readjusted, which was difficult for me. To make sure that I felt comfortable with changing the goals. I was really specific when I started my Connect Her® business of where I wanted to head and how and when I wanted to get there. Little did I know when I was in the planning stages of my business setting up my goals that there would be a global pandemic that I would have to take into consideration. So guess what? Yes, it's OK to change your goals.
- It's OK to change business structure. I had to dramatically change my business structure. During 2020 I lost branch leaders through fear of the unknown, change of circumstance and a multitude of other reasons. It meant that I had to look at the way I ran my business and the structure of my business. Only recently Connect Her® have adapted our business structure to a more streamlined affair. It means that we run fewer branches, but we have them open to more people. So instead of stretching ourselves to operating in many suburbs, we now operate in city councils. It makes way more sense in what we're doing. although I didn't necessarily want to change the business structure, I knew it was the best thing for the business and also the existing leaders that we had within the business. Sometimes circumstances allow us an opportunity to re-look at the business when we may have just continued and got too far into it to be able to change what we're doing.
- This is been a hard one for me. But it's about adaptability. Often I looked at everything as black or white and there's no grey. The fact of the matter is when you're running a business when you're an entrepreneur when you're a leader, you have to be adaptable. Looking at your business can feel like you are being told that your baby is ugly. It isn't really. However, circumstances change, things change, plans change, and being able to adapt effectively is the way that a business can survive, grow and move forward.
- Self-preservation. I found the last lockdown 6 in Melbourne one of the hardest. I'm not sure why, but it hit me hard. The first lockdown in 2020 didn’t bother me too much I almost thought of myself as an introverted extrovert. I enjoyed the time to myself working on the business and not rushing around. Over 2019 I was constantly on the go, rushing around to meetings and generally rushing. So the 2020 lockdown was like a gift for me. I was able to sit back, relax and work on my business which I loved. By 2021 it was too much working and not enough community and interaction. I found that I was crying more, my ambition to be working on my business dwindled, my motivation levels were down, sometimes I just wanted to lock the door and not see anyone. I'm here to tell you that it's OK. It's OK to cry. It's OK to shut the door and not see people. It's OK to lose motivation in your business. It's OK! We are only human. We're allowed to do stuff like that. What I do want to say, however, is if you're getting to the point where shutting the door and crying all the time, isn’t healthy. You need to make sure you've got a good mental health support system in place.
- Fun It's all about fun. One thing that I discovered in 2020. was I love to paint. Yes, that's right. I love to paint. I picked up a paintbrush for the first time since high school, an artist stretched canvas and painted. I watched some video tutorials on how to use brushes properly, how to blend colours and also how to use them, how to use pallet knives. IT started as a bit of a joke and has ended up being something I love. I have come to love painting, my mind slips away into a space where I don't think about anything. I relax, I feel calm. It's almost like a meditational space for me. I may not be any good at it, who knows, but I love it and it is my slice of fun. Your fun might be going for a ride, getting involved with making clay art, photography or making resin jewellery? It may be a creative outlet or it could be a physical outlet like boxing, Zumba, running, any type of activity. Whatever it is, make sure that it's fun and it is injecting fun into your life so you enjoy it. Make it your time away from everything else. I think out of all of the points, all of the lessons that I learned, the most important point is about the fun. For me, I'd started to become a bit of a workaholic, injecting this fun into my life has made a massive difference.