Often the best way to face up to something that is impacting on the wellbeing of both your business and your life is to ensure you are ‘not being fake or influenced while being true to yourself and your values’; exactly what the Urban Dictionary sets out at the start of their definition for ‘keeping it real’.
Over the past few months, following the impact of coronavirus worldwide, no one would blame you if you felt that nothing was going to be real again. As businesses start to re-open and both communities and countries start to once again welcome those from outside in, the imposed social distancing, necessary PPE and extremely formal settings being created in sectors such as hospitality make our surroundings seem more Sci-Fi than normal and for many this is impacting on their mental health.
Sod the stiff upper lip
At the end of April I had what I now refer to as my Wobbly Week. Cancellations for The B & B Keeper services I offer came thick and fast. No surprise as Bed & Breakfast, Guest House and small Hotel owners saw their bookings diminish as the Covid-19 global pandemic spread.
I had spent much of late March and early April supporting some very desperate micro business owners who could see their businesses disappearing before their eyes.
They needed someone to talk to but had no money to pay for my services, this did not stop me listening and sharing advice. My reputation for motivating others is well known but by late April it had gone; my wellbeing well had experienced a drought, I had nothing left to give.
I found myself withdrawing from my business activity, my family and friends and by the first Saturday of May I had had enough – my drive, determination and wanting to make a difference had gone as had most of my income generating sources. Having been self-employed for over 30 years in multiple businesses, for 7 days in April and May it was hard to remember why I started.
However, one morning I woke up to the fact I am unemployable and have vast knowledge, skills and abilities to support others. I know I make a difference; my business rewards may be heart felt rather than bank balance related on regular occasions but one thing I do know is that whatever I do I am ‘keeping it real’.
Start that conversation
Though it may have felt like it, I knew this is not the hardest self-employed period of my life, my retail experience nearly took me under but my pride drove me forward through it.
If you are going through a hard time in your business right now remember you are not alone. Of the 5 million plus micro business owners in the UK there are around 3 million who have been overlooked for any Government support and are finding things extremely hard.
Now is the time to offer our micro business mates an ear and to come together to share thoughts, fears and especially great ideas that might improve their business or personal wellbeing.
My advice to you is this
Remember these 4 key things
- However bad things are in your business you are not alone.
- Others have been and are where you are right now.
- There is someone out there to offer help and advice.
- Every problem has a solution even if it is not the ideal one.
Let us ensure we are there for each other with honest, authentic and credible support. The more of us that ensure we are ‘keeping it real’ the easier it will be for others to reach out and receive our support.