Business Lockdown Lessons – Keeping Focused

Observations

In a time when Zoom has been a lifeline for many business owners, but for some they’re starting to feel like enough is enough. I wonder how important face-to-face contact is for you and your business.

Are you all Zoomed out, or has it provided a lifeline that has kept you sane during lockdown?  Perhaps you’re fully embracing a new way of doing things!

Two Characters Reaching Out - Wishing For Face-To-Face Meetings
Two Characters Reaching Out – Wishing For Face-To-Face Meetings

What about you personally; how have you changed?  Do you have new plans?  What new habits have your formed?  What habits have you ditched?Are you doing things differently, or can you just not wait to get back to how things were?

It’s been strange watching every person and business I know adapting to doing things differently during the lockdown. Hats off to those of you who have been doing your best by starting or continuing with online networking and general marketing activities. Marketing your way through times of crisis will bring rewards when we bounce back.

Times have been tough, and even if you have a wealth of business experience, it’s not always easy, is it!?

Well Done Good Job Sign
Good Job, You Rock, Well Done, Thumbs Up, Smiley Face, Way To Go

Lockdown Grieving Process

As I watch and learn from the people around me, it has become apparent that we’ve each been through elements of the grieving process over the last few months.

First, there was shock and despair as we came to terms with the loss of the lifestyle and business environments we once knew.

Second, there was denial and isolation.  I don’t know about you, but there’s no way that I expected to be in a position where I still couldn’t hold my networking meetings and training workshops in June 2020. As for the isolation, well, we all know what that’s like now.

Thirdly there’s depression.  I personally struggle with the word depression, as it seems too much of a generalised label that signifies so many symptoms.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times i my life that I’ve had pick myself up, dust myself off and crack on.  However, the beginning of lockdown brought a whole new state of despair.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed any tears because I did.

Just because I’m an  NLP Master Practitioner, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments of upset and despair.  Of-course I do!! It does mean that I have the tools to change my emotions and behaviours if I want to, though.  I’m more grateful than you could possibly imagine for this.

Next was acceptance!  I loved this period; a time for reflection and focusing on how to do things differently.  How remarkable we are that despite everything, we can still embrace forced change, focus on positive outcomes and seek to improve.

I keep hearing that we’re all in a psychological self preservation mode, which I understand, because we need to protect our health, family and businesses.  I get that resources are limited for many business owners, right now.  Me included!  However, this acceptance phase is also a time for what Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs describes as ‘Self Actualisation’.

A time when we can truly come into our own. I’ve fully accepted what’s happening, embracing the time to reflect, train, learn new skills and grow.   Don’t get me wrong, I know that business recovery may not be easy, but I’m determined that something good is going to come out of this.  It all starts with the woman in the mirror, and this is the perfect time to work on ourselves, so that we come  out of this a better, brighter and stronger.

 

Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

Where Are We Now?

By now, you’ve probably already determined whether you’re in the right career or business.  If you’re not, then change it.  Life is far too short to do anything other than something that you love.  Surely, the last few months has taught us that!

If you are, that’s great.  Just put your heart and soul into it.  Do something every day to get you to where you need to be.  You’ll be amazed with the progress you will make.

 

Which Direction
Which Direction Now Sign

Daily Habits

I’m going to share with you two simple daily habits that both changed and made my life.  I must be honest, the last six months before lockdown was extremely busy and I’d stopped doing this.  During the lockdown, I’ve done it every single day! Wow! What an impact it has!

Habit Number One:  Write down at least five things that you’re grateful for every day. Get yourself a grateful book or pad.  After you’ve done this for a while, please come back to this blog and comment how you’ve found it.

Everything I am grateful for doesn’t cost a penny.  It really is the little things in life that count.  Try it and see how it is for you!

Habit Number Two:  Write down ten objectives in the present tense, as if you’ve already achieved them.  So, if you want to drive a certain type of car, you will write down, I drive a Range Rover, or whatever it is for you.  You get the gist!I

It’s important that you physically write them down.  This embeds them in your mind, gives you clarity and helps you find focus! In the words of, Anthony Robbins, ‘where you’re focus goes, your energy flows’.  Let’s face it, you can’t hit a target that you cannot see.

Habit number two was something I picked up on when reading one of my favourite authors, Brian Tracy’s books.  Sometimes, it’s the little things you learn, those little nuggets, that give you the biggest lesson.

Fourteen years ago, my life was at all time low.  Through no fault of my own, I was facing financial ruin, my personal life was shattered and I’d emotionally hit rock bottom.  These two daily habits led me to where I am today!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked hard for my achievements.  You can’t just wish it and it will be, but the way we communicate with ourselves is vital to our mindset, growth and our business success.

I found an old objectives’ list, the other day, that I’d written eight years ago, which prompted this blog.  Within eight months of writing them down every day, in the present tense, seventy five percent had come true!

Give them a go and let me know how it is for you!

 

Good Habits or Bad Habits
Break Bad Habits Build good Habits

 

What Next?

Well, whilst I still can’t operate face-to-face networking meetings and my training workshops have been brought to a temporary halt, I can:

Keep my BoB Club North West members together through daily free online networking meetings.

Provide online one-to-one coaching for clients who want to communicate with confidence with confidence, win more business and/or become effective networkers.

Be more strategic, streamline systems and focus on making my businesses more effective. The lockdown has given me precious time to work on my businesses, rather than being on the hamster wheel within and I’m making the most of it.

Learn new things and enhance my own skills.  I don’t know about you, but I’m committed to being a lifelong learner, which opens up the realms of possibilities. There are so many online courses, podcasts, books and guides available to open up the realms of possibilities.

As a trainer and communications coach, there’s no greater compliment than when someone declares they didn’t think they were going to learn much, but they did.  I’ll always be open to learning, because I honestly feel like I’d die inside if I didn’t.  What a waste of a beautiful mind if its not fed!

Focus on the exciting changes, to provide online networking and communications resources that I’ve got lined up. I’m very motivated about this! It’s going to be fun and open new international markets.

Be thankful for my health.  In fact, working from home has given me even more time to exercise, so I’m probably fitter now than I was before.   It might not be your thing, but exercise frees my mind and gives me the energy to do all the things I do.

Look forward with anticipation and excitement that it won’t be too long before I’ll be able to start planning my face-to-face networking meetings and training events once more.

Remind myself that I’ve ran businesses since 2003, I’ve already flourished during one recession, so I can do it again.

Launch my new podcast – it’s coming soon!

Write lots of blogs – watch this space for some great networking and communications tips to help you get referrals and win more business.  If there’s a particular business, personal development, marketing, networking or communications  challenge that you’re facing,  get in touch and let me know.  I’ll be happy to write a blog that suits your individual needs or point you in the right direction.

Final Thoughts

Life really is full of wonderful opportunities, and I for one am ready to embrace the next phase of my business life, open the doors of possibilities and enrich my life to the full! It’s my birthday tomorrow!  Life is a privilege, so I’ll be welcoming my new age too!

Bring it on!  I’ve got this!

 

Tracy Heatley Under A Waterfall
Tracy Heatley Embracing Life Under A Waterfall

 

Thank you for reading my blog. If you would like to know more about how I can help you with networking, generating referrals and communicating confidently to win more business, please email me at tracy@betternetworking.co.uk, call me on 07812076946 or contact me and I’ll be more than happy to help.

Very Best Wishes,

Tracy Heatley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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