PANIC! - and the ways not to feel it.
I hear ya, clients are cancelling, bookings are drying up, it's so completely normal and justified to feel rather panicked and overwhelmed right now.
Take a breath.
Let's chat about what you can do quickly and easily RIGHT NOW to make a difference, and then a few bigger steps to take over the next few weeks.
Make a list of three things that you can do RIGHT THIS SECOND to make you feel more in control. Some of those items may be:
Putting up a message of support, care and understanding on all your social media platforms.
Cancelling extra subscriptions or expenses that you don't need right now.
Finding a moment in your day to meditate, stretch, breathe, take a break, sit in the sun.
Curate your input - take a break from the screens, from the news, from the radio, from the endless messages of doom and gloom.
Talk to your tribe - if you have an accountant, business coach/manager, friend who gives GREAT advice - get chatting. Sharing our stories, and speaking to experts helps calm the storm.
THE NEXT FEW WEEKS
And then, make a solid plan for the next few weeks. If you KNOW that it's going to be quiet for a little while, and you're going to be spending more time at home, how can you effectively use that time, so that when it is busy again, you have great systems in place?
1. Update your online bios and web copy.
Take 30 minutes to rewrite your online bios on your social media platforms. These personal introductions to yourself and your brand are very important, and should be a fresh, concise and fun way to welcome potential clients to your Facebook/Instagram accounts.
It's also a great chance to update all the copy on your website - put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never heard of you before, and has no idea about the services you offer. Make sure that if they were to visit your website, they would be able to quickly and easily understand who you are, what you offer, and how they can make a purchase/hire you.
2. Plan for the busy season.
It IS going to get busy again. Vaccines will roll out, waves will die down, summer will come.
Now is a GREAT chance to review your workflows, tweak your templates, improve your financial systems, so that all of this is in tiptop shape for the busy season.
3. Get improving.
There's nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a new challenge to stop yourself from feeling overwhelmed and panicky. And now more than ever there are SO many amazing online resources to do just that!
Read some business e-books, attend some accounting workshops for small business owners, sign up for webinars. Learn about marketing, about being a better photographer/florist/make-up artist, dip into sessions about hospitality - because treating your clients like gold is a surefire way to get them coming back and back again!
A lot of resources are quick and easily consumable - 30 minute broadcasts, quick articles with 5-10 tips you can read with your morning coffee, podcasts you pop on while you're showering. All of them aim to open your eyes, and provide you with invaluable insight and inspiration during this time.
BUT - forgive yourself for feeling a bit panicked, for feeling that things are out of your control. Forgive yourself and step away from the rhetoric that "your life is out of control" right now. Telling yourself that over and over again is not helping you.
Humans are tremendously psychological resilient. Historically we have weathered far greater storms, and we can and will weather this one too.
Want more tips? I shared a whole series last year on quick things business owners can do right now, and a lot of them are still relevant. Part one is here.
Robyn Davie is the CEO of the Robyn Davie Creative Studio brand, based in Johannesburg. Her all-female team offers lifestyle photography, graphic and digital design, and studio rental through Fynn Studio.
She has Psychology and Corporate Communication degrees, and is constantly pushing herself to learn more on a daily basis. She has more than 15 years combined experience, managing her company; working as an art director and wardrobe stylist; running her own jewellery line in Los Angeles; and working in events in New York and Johannesburg.
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