“Most of the people that I speak to right now – including clients in the Financial Services industry – are in one of two spaces – ‘survival’ or ‘evolution’ mode.
I absolutely get that.
Working in the ‘gig economy’ myself (who knew that was a thing?) – it’s been absolutely brutal!
My whole business revolves around Speaking, public events and private events – all of which have been postponed or cancelled.
Which leads me nicely on to…
TIP 1 – move from Survival to Evolution – but don’t skip the steps!
So my first move – like many – is to do everything we can to SURVIVE.
- Ensuring that finances are in place to cover a (yet unknown!) period of time potentially without any business coming in.
- Contacting my financial services providers – both personally & professionally to check what can be done in terms of damage limitation – such as mortgage breaks, tax relief etc.
- Cancelling holidays, travel & accommodation & getting refunds wherever possible.
- Putting the basics in place to make sure that we can physically survive – medication orders, food, the essentials…
BUT – once I pass survival mode – I move on to the EVOLUTION phase.
- Contacting all of my clients to ensure that they are as okay as possible.
- Compiling content to help people at a time that they need it most – then posting it.
- Pivoting my business to move everything possible online.
- Throw myself into video calls with clients, friends & family + online networking.
- Working on bigger picture stuff that I often bemoan I have no time for!
- KEEP ON KEEPING ON – we still have the right to do business – and we MUST!
TIP 2 – set your boundaries
With yourself…dedicate your usual working hours to your business – if we stop now – we may not have a business after this.
With your new ‘office space’…ensure your working space is separate from your home space – to be able to achieve that mental switch off at the end of the working day.
With your clients & suppliers…manage their expectations on the new reality – your response times, what you can and cannot help them with, payments due and payments you owe – keep communicating.
With your partner & family…look, I am guessing we live with the people we do because we love them – however, we are now together A LOT – which means that things could get a little edgy! Have the courage to set a boundary on time that you need to yourself – just for you, aside from working.
With your friends & colleagues…recognise that right now – most people are operating from a position of fear – so may be acting irrationally and out of character. Give some room but also ensure that you tell people what you will and will not tolerate.
TIP 3 – ‘r’ecovery!
So it’s recovery with a small ‘r’ – because this isn’t the BIG recovery such as recovery from cancer, a heart attack or mental illness – this is the recovery that people need to do every day to maintain their wellbeing & mental health.
At the moment, everyone has varying levels of underlying dread and anxiety – so we are actually using MORE energy than when we were going out into the world as part of everyday life – we just don’t think that – until we feel MORE wiped out at the end of every day!
We will fill up our calendars with all of our work stuff – then fill up the rest of the calendar with home stuff – but where do YOU feature in YOUR own life?
Scheduling time – actually diarising your recovery – every single day – is the best way to recover on a daily basis.
Fill that time with things you love to do – the things that you really enjoy – that is just yours.
If you are an introvert (recharge in your own company) – ring fence some alone time.
If you are an extrovert (recharge in the company of others) – surround yourself with positive people – even remotely!
Safeguard that slot in your diary and respect it as if you would your best client.
You need to recharge to go again STRONG tomorrow.
We can only run for so long before we STOP.
In the meantime, stay well, stay safe, stay strong – keep on keeping on!
I hope these insights have helped you – but please do feel free to reach out to me – you can find me on www.nickelston.com or through www.forgingpeople.com – always happy to hear from my audience and to answer any questions that you may have.
A Guest Blog for the IFW by Nick Elston, inspirational Speaker on the Lived Experience of Mental Health & Founder of Forging People – a human centred, People Development business.
Nick is also the ‘Agony Uncle’ for AccountingWEB, Keynote Speaker for Accountex & Accountex Summit North & operates in the Financial Wellbeing as a ‘lived experience’ Speaker, Trainer & Mentor – partnering with the likes of the IFW, The Money Charity, Experian – to name just a few.