15 things (and counting) sole traders are doing better thanks to life in #iso

- May 4, 2020 2 MIN READ

“I lost my job. None of it is fun. None of it feels good. Monday is the first day since the 7th grade that I do not know where my next paycheck comes from. Definitely unsetting. But it feels about 200 hundred times less eventful or traumatic than what losing your job was built up to be in my head. Once again life reminds me that the fear of failure is worse than failure itself.”

“Failure allows a chance to review, learn to adjust to ask questions, to re-evaluate, to try again to improve to create. Fear paralyses, creates storylines that haven’t happened, fear steals my confidence. Fear sucks. And I am writing this because I am absolutely fearful right now. No job. 5 month old son, global pandemic no job market, confidence shot. I hope me putting it out there encourages someone out there to hold me accountable and move forward with confidence. I have zero idea what the next days, weeks, months look like but I am not having it controlled by fear.”

This incredible quote was shared on LinkedIn by American sales executive from Philadelphia, Alex Reiff after he lost his job in the wake of COVID-19.

Listening to it on ABC Radio National’s This Working Life podcast this morning, I had the following thoughts:

  1. How powerful is that? 
  2. What a way to get a new job…
  3. Not all change is bad 
  4. This is the perfect introduction to the list I have created from your comments last week

And so here we are. 


Of all the gold we can skim off the top of Alex’s extraordinary appeal it’s his thoughts on fear that I think speak loudest in the context of our Flying Solo community. 

The past 7 weeks or so (I mean really – can you believe it’s only been about that long?) have hit like a tidal wave. And to our Flying Solo community (a healthy 100K sole traders) it’s felt like yet another blow after approximately 18 months of “bad” news. 

Drought. Bushfires. Global pandemic. 

Each one challenging to the way we do business and (because we’re sole traders with businesses built around the fabric of our lives) and their domino effect on our family dynamics, relationships, living spaces, children, dreams, plans, hopes, health.

And yet, it’s becoming clear that even now not all change is bad. 

Our Flying Solo homepage has never been busier, our forums are heaving with ideas, thoughts, concerns, shared solutions. 

The power of your community spirit and  resilience in action is awe-inspiring. 

And just in case you don’t believe me, check out the incredible responses to Friday’s lunchtime poll: “Please finish this sentence: The most useful thing I’ve done/changed/learnt/read since #isolation is…”

As you’ll see below, the responses were heartening, inspiring and motivating. 

Thank you! And please keep them coming 🙂 

1.Started a vegetable garden changed my perception of my family and home life/learnt some people disappear and others care more/read lots of news

2.Work on my overall wellbeing

3. Not feel guilty

4. Clean the storeroom

5. Surrender

6.Review my expenses

7. Slowing down is okay

8. Clean up and organise

9. Home cooked meals. Sitting down at the table for family meals. Getting the whole family involved in mealtime/cooking. Rediscover the joy of cooking and baking

10. The most useful thing I’ve learned since isolation is… that I am at least 40% less effective as a professional when my son is home from childcare.

11. Make decisions on where I work for my better wellbeing and my business

12. That it’s ok to swim up stream

13. I was too over scheduled and too many times said yes

14. I get really good phone reception even while I’m hiding under my desk!

15. Zoom!

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"