And for the rest of us, who are probably feeling more like being locked up in a home-based groundhog day than anything else, well… here we go again!
While I am very aware that times are tough, and livelihoods are most definitely at stake, I also would like to take this opportunity to challenge you.
Could this be your big chance to STOP, PAUSE and hit the RESET button on your business? Could it be just the break you needed to start living life on YOUR terms and building a business that brings you PURPOSE, PROSPERITY and JOY?
We were all a little bit in a rush to return to normal before… but you know, normal wasn’t working. We can do better. We can create a better, kinder, more sustainable world – from the grassroots up.
As a small business owner you are in a unique position, for you have the autonomy, the creativity, the knowledge, skills and passion to bring about great change.
Maybe it’s time to tuck up for some Winter reflection – to slow down, reconnect with your WHY and adopt some small, simple actions to keep you moving forward. All you need is a clear head and an open heart.
Here’s what I’m planning to do.
I hope it provides you with some inspiration.
1. Support Small and Local Businesses
I do this as a matter of course anyway, but I am trying to be more mindful this time, knowing that there are stories and real people behind each business I deal with – whether that’s buying food or other essentials, a takeaway meal, a little extra treat for my family, or as a gift for others. I know that many of these businesses are doing it tough and I feel fortunate that I can help keep a business going in some small way.
It’s more than that though… in a life where there is so little in-person connection, the friendly chat with the butcher, baker or barista provides a much-needed “real person” fix. I love that they know me by name, and that we connect as people, not just via an economic transaction. You don’t get that at the big box stores!
Shopping small and local will help ensure that we will continue to have the richness of our community around us – even if it does mean spending a little extra.
2. Create Joy
Normally when we’re out and about in “normal” life, joyful things happen. Catching up with friends or colleagues for coffee or dinner, taking our kids out on adventures, cheering for our favourite team, or appreciating a cultural experience. In fact, we usually go out of our way to do things that make us happy. Unfortunately, many of these things are unavailable right now. But that doesn’t mean we’re locked out of joy. We just have to be a little more creative with it.
Last time we were in lockdown, the dreariness of the everyday caused a fair bit of inertia in my family, and that started to get us all down. So this time around, we’ve committed to doing one fun, different thing a day. I’m not talking sourdough starters or a big knitting project here… just tiny little things. Counting the critters in our backyard, watching a theatre performance online, trying out a new recipe or setting up a home dance party.
I’m also hoping to do more of this for my business too… taking some time out from my everyday work to do things I enjoy – read a good business book, do some online training, listen to a podcast or chat with a BizBuddy.
By putting little sparks of joy into every day, we can get through this dreary Melbourne Winter while nurturing our closest relationships and creating some fun memories in the process.
I had all sorts of goals and plans for this year. I was ready to take my business in a new direction, and had finally summoned up the courage to tackle some major blocks that had been hanging around too long. A certain pesky pandemic put a stop to most of that. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, but I just didn’t have the spare energy to tackle something new.
The frustration was causing me all sorts of angst – until last week, when I finally took a much-needed break and allowed myself to just BE. The message came through loud and clear. Surrender. What will be will be. Funnily enough, I’ve had several opportunities rock up since then, so maybe that’s a sign!
These are challenging times, but as small businesses owners, we’re used to tackling tough things with optimism and determination. We know how to build deep connections, even without physical contact. We’re great with technology (well, most of us are) and we are so very, brilliantly creative that we can adapt to whatever life throws at us.
These are our super powers!
Let’s show the rest of the world how it’s done.