The events of recent months have naturally affected us all in different ways. But there’s something about how I was feeling that I just couldn’t put my finger on, until it came to me today. I’ve now had a huge “light bulb moment” and realised that this time in our lives is a bit like when a long term relationship with a partner comes to an end.
We’ve all been through break-ups and know those awful feelings of shock, disbelief, horror and fear when a longstanding partner suddenly decides they want nothing more to do with you. It leaves you feeling well and truly in the lurch – and it can be very hard to figure out what to do next and move on.
As business owners, this is exactly how many of us felt when we first went into lockdown. Overnight, we were forced into a period of transition which we might have been expecting, but which we weren’t prepared for. My own business and many of my clients’ companies have been affected in this way and we’ve had to make some very snappy decisions about our immediate futures in order to survive.
Of course, the exact nature of this transition process looks different for everyone. For some businesses, it’s just a case of working from home all the time, rather than a couple of days a week. But for others, especially those who are used to travelling a lot or have never worked from home before, it’s been more like a baptism of fire.
I’m proud to say that pretty much all the business owners I know have taken lockdown on the chin and responded to these changes with “Bring it on!” at a time when it could have been easier to just pack it all in. It’s a bit like the bravado and motivation that sometimes comes to us when a relationship breaks up – we can either rise to the challenge and reinvent ourselves, or creep away into a corner to lick our wounds.
However, even if your first reaction to your ex disappearing into the sunset is positive, it’s likely that negative thoughts will rear their heads before too long. This is what I believe happened next with lockdown. Just a few weeks in, we moved on to the next stage of what is akin to a process of grief and bereavement: a sense of anger, resentment and loss.
In a relationship sense, a break-up means you lose the person that’s closest to you in the world, who you might find it hard to imagine life without. Our business and personal lives during lockdown are also full of loss: the loss of freedom to travel around, pop out for dinner, meet friends who we want to spend time with and meet with our valued clients. It’s natural to feel angry and sad about this.
However, life goes on and with time, comes acceptance – and the strength and ability to move on. This is where I think that, as business owners, we are today. This week, I’ve seen a flurry of activity in my own company: lots of website hits, enquiries from new clients and indications that people want to move on with their businesses.
Whether that’s booking furlough-friendly training for their sales staff, having a cheeky power hour with me or even looking to future proof their business with asking for my support in the creation a bespoke online programme (something I’ve done with a number of clients in recent weeks), it’s all good stuff. My clients are taking the bull by the horns and taking the steps they need to build a brighter future for themselves and their teams.
For them, and for Cureton Consulting, the future’s looking brighter – and I hope it is for you, too!
Are YOU keeping calm and carrying on?
Getting through lockdown isn’t easy for anyone. So if you’re struggling to keep calm and carry on with your social media, help is on hand. Why not book a free 30, minute discovery call with me and let’s see if we can get you back on track! Drop me a line today at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your slot.