I hope this podcast finds you and those you love doing well, physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like everything I planned for 2020 has been turned upside down and shredded into itty bitty pieces and thrown into a windstorm. March 2020 feels like a whole new life and business landscape and now it’s time to throw away my old plans and pivot, pivot, pivot.
It reminds me of that quote from Allen Saunders: “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”
Well, life is happening fast AND I still feel the need to get some semblance of pivot plan in place.
Are you feeling like that at all?
For me, I’ve got a few components:
- My kids are out of school until AT LEAST April 27th, but I’ve heard well-sourced rumors that we may be out for the rest of the school year.
- One of my kiddos has ADHD and is pretty young, so I can’t just set them up with computers and have them work. We have to supervise them.
- My husband and I are blessed that we can both work from home but working and juggling bored kids isn’t an easy task and takes some planning on all sides.
- My mother-in-law lives with us and her age and health history mean she’s in a seriously at-risk group, so we have to be very careful about any interactions we have with others.
- I still have a team of people I pay and I don’t want to let any of them go.
- I am blessed to still have clients I’m working with and need to deliver for — and I don’t take their faith in me lightly.
- The plan I have in place for income growth won’t work in this environment so I need to come up with a new plan.
Let’s face it. I’m a bit of a planning, control and scheduling freak and suddenly everything I planned and felt like I had control of (including my daily schedule) has been blown up.
That’s what really has had me spinning these last couple of weeks. Trying to synthesize all the new info and figure out what this means for me, my family, my business, my clients and my team.
In times like these I know I can do one of two things:
- Try and figure it out myself.
- Throw up the white flag and reach out for help.
Thankfully, I’ve got a great group of friends and peers I can reach out to when I get overwhelmed. I’m actually going to interview a few of them over the next few weeks so you can hear guidance from different perspectives and businesses which I find to be super valuable.
For now, I’m just going to share with you what I’m doing.
Biggest Show Takeaways:
- To begin, my husband and I are setting our own ‘office hours’. He’s taking the morning and I’m taking the VERY early morning (for my European clients) and afternoon for my U.S. clients and team. This will make it easier for us to plan our work confidently and have boundaries around who gets what time dedicated ONLY to work.
- This will help with our stress levels as we won’t be negotiating in the moment about who gets to work and who has to reschedule.
- Second, we sat our kids down and had a talk about the times we’re living in. We realized how many activities we filled our weeks with, which didn’t make them learn to be self-sufficient in developing their own interests. Well, now is the perfect time.
- They know if they whine or tell us they’re bored, there is a long list of chores — like weeding our backyard — that they’ll get assigned to do.
- We also helped each of our children brainstorm a list of fun things to do, things they’ve always wanted to try and/or learn, books to read and more. One of my kids came up with almost 100 things she wants to do.
- We came up with a schedule to balance the school work — or as they call it the ‘boring stuff’ — along with all the fun things and we let them choose whatever fun or self-directed activities they want to do.
- It’s been a game changer. Oh, and they can’t come downstairs until they’re dressed and ready just as if they were going to school. No lounging around all day in PJs AND they can’t play video games or watch non-skill building youtube until they’ve done at least 60 minutes of physical activity AND all their school work.
- We found that once we had all those boundaries in place, it helped a ton. It cut down on the whining and fighting, which I realized was their way of showing the stress and anxiety from this new situation.
- On the client side, I’ve tried my hardest to be more available and flexible. I usually open calls simply asking how they’re doing. Checking in on their mental, physical and financial well-being and giving them a chance to be human versus just jumping into business is important.
- I’ve also been really understanding of those clients who needed to pause or needed extra time to finish a project as they were juggling too many things at the moment.
- With my team, I’ve been trying to check in on them too. How they’re doing and reassuring them that I certainly don’t have a crystal ball but for now I’m not planning on cutting hours or changing how we’re working. I’m also trying to keep them in the loop as to how I’m doing if I’m slow to respond, and giving them full permission to text when something is needed.
- For myself and my business, I needed to give myself grace to let go of some projects I was excited about. I’m doubling down on the skills my clients are asking for right now and putting some of my other projects on hold — and that’s okay.
- Plans are great, until they don’t serve the situation anymore. And then plans need to change.
- The bottom line for me has been about redesigning how to navigate in a really different world than I was living in just three weeks ago.
How about you?
I’d love to hear how you’re doing. Reach out on social media. Touch base via email. And if not to me, then to someone else you know and trust. I think right now it’s more important than ever that as business owners we support and engage with one another.
We’ll get through this my friends, especially if we help one another out AND pivot our unique talents to where the needs are.
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