How I’m coping right now: “I asked myself what’s the worst thing that can happen? And I’ve planned for that”

- March 25, 2020 3 MIN READ

How did we get here? This was initially my thought process. When my upcoming ‘in real life’ training events were cancelled or postponed (e.g. speaking at conferences, facilitating workshops and being an expert on a guest panel at a local business event), I took a deep breath and considered my options.

It’s at this point I began to process the reality of what lies ahead for many independently owned small businesses across the world.  Before we can pivot, we all need to work out if we can survive this tidal wave! So I reviewed my financial position and planned for the worst case scenario. I did this early and it helped me develop some mental toughness so I did not feel blindsided if things went from bad to worse.  

Denial is not a strategy, so I asked myself a very important question that I hope you’ve also considered your answer to . . .’what is the worst thing that can happen’. I then planned for that.

Things did get worse for those around me and when two thirds of the Qantas workforce were stood down and a friend had to stand down 19 staff and another friend told me she’d finally stopped vomiting from the anxiety of having to manage debt and 50 people who relied on her for their income and livelihoods, I got some perspective.

Did my house get burnt down in the fires? No

Am I healthy at the moment? Yes

Do I know how to mentally tackle trauma? I’m working on it. My Mum passed away in December and I am seeing a Grief Counsellor every few weeks – and it’s helping! And, yes, these sessions will now be online too . . .

Are there people worse off than me? Yes!

The realisation that there are going to be so many Australians hit really hard by the economic consequences of CODVID19 (not to even mention the health and social impact) meant I began to experience a significant shift in my perspective. I was fast moving away from self pity and, as I spent a few more days processing my emotions (and watching less news), I sat with the discomfort of how I was feeling.

Working with General Assembly as a Trainer helped me make this mindset shift (ALL of their workshops have been moved online), as did my role as a Co Facilitator with Monash Business School’s MBA program LinkedIn workshop, when we delivered a fusion of in real life training with Zoom training for online participants, and it worked!

I then thought long and hard about my true north, why I started my business and what role I needed to play to contribute to those who were going to be impacted from a professional perspective.  I took the time to consider the changes I needed to make within my business to deliver more of my training and consulting online and I made the decision to actively look for ways I could be helpful.

I’m a realist and expect to experience days when I feel overwhelmed, but as I write this I am reminded of the advice I’ve given to my own clients. 

This is when leaders need to lead.

I’ve moved from feeling sorry for myself to ‘how can I help others’.

I am supporting professional communities who’d like some assistance with LinkedIn. You can get access to my Complimentary LinkedIn Profile 5 Week Email Program, for tips on how to improve your LinkedIn Profile.  This is normally only offered to conference or workshop attendees when I am asked to guest speak or facilitate training, and it’s a resource I’d like to open up to all small business communities. Register here for this free program.

Plans are also in place to offer free access to my Job Application Toolkit for those who’ve lost their job (or expect to). Please share this with any colleagues/friends/family who are facing this now and ask them to connect with me on LinkedIn here. I will send them these resources at no charge.

Karen Hollenbach is a LinkedIn expert and the founder of Think Bespoke

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