It’s a completely weird time for all of us, which is a polite way of saying it, and regardless of where we live or what our current circumstances are, the majority of us are being negatively impacted right now. Dreams have been dashed, careers lost and fear continues to rise. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be.
If there’s one request I have for everyone, it is this. Give yourself permission to feel this moment. It’s the only way you can get past intense (and often negative) emotions and move into emotions and energy where you can do something to help your situation and the situation for those around you.
One of the critical issues for many is job loss and job insecurity. However, one benefit of aging is you’ve not only lived longer but you’ve worked longer, which gives you more hindsight and experience of what it’s like to go through hard times, and I’ve had some corkers! While this time is like no other, I wanted to share some wisdom from my experiences.
Job loss and job insecurity
When you are out of work, or in fear of losing your job, it can consume you. Job loss, in particular, makes life unbearable. As the days, weeks and months go on, you wait to hear back on job applications (which usually means complete silence) or getting positive results from interviews. The waiting is awful and soul destroying.
When the phone rings or the email pings, you jump, hoping to have some positive news – but it’s just another spam message. The longer it goes on, the harder it is to keep positive.
The only way to not spiral downwards is to get busy creating and doing. On the doing front, plant that garden you’ve been meaning to plant, clean your cupboards out and donate to charity, volunteer for a charity, get involved in beach clean ups, and on it goes. Also educate yourself. Follow the futurists, understand what’s coming, learn a new skill, just learn!!
However, if you want to feel you have any control over your future, then start creating.
Launch a podcast, LiveStream, blog, YouTube channel, or other content. Stand up and speak on a topic you are passionate about, and it doesn’t have to be about the work you do – although you can definitely focus on that. Or you can even be a voice of hope right now. We need voices of hope!
Put your voice out into the world and show everyone what you stand for. Just the ability to master communication on digital channels will attract opportunities to you, because it’s still an uncommon skill.
I have people in my network who have been doing this and they are attracting more work in their field than anyone else. Others, who are talking beyond their work, are attracting opportunities they couldn’t have dreamed of before Covid19 pulled the rug out from under our feet.
Stand up, speak up, create, and see where it takes you. It will give you something to focus on and it will attract an audience to you, which also means potential work. Sitting at home in despair and worry will not help you achieve that.
The key thing it will attract is admiration. So many can’t move during times like this, they are almost crippled with depression, fear, anxiety and more. If you can elevate yourself out of the fear mindset, it will open doors and you’ll be more inspired in yourself.
Important notes: be deeply intentional in what you do. Have real purpose behind your message (to drive change, mindsets or to make people laugh) and it will resonate with your audience. Be there for them, not for you. This is the difference most people miss.
Also remember, don’t just be about you. Participate, support your community, help others rise and they will help you in return #GivingEconomy. Social media is about being social not about broadcasting. Participation and support is core to success.
Do you have a business idea or a solution to a problem you know needs solving? This is the time to get going, and don’t worry about doing it perfectly, or having all the money you need to get it going properly. Just get started. Write out the problem you can solve and the solution to it.
Put together a business plan – a comprehensive one and a straw man one that you are capable of starting today. Then get to work and talk about what you are doing and why you are doing it on social media. Build your audience before you build your business and customers will follow.
Believe me on this. Successful business in the last couple of decades has always been about attracting your audience first before getting all the pieces together – customers, partners, investors and more. This is the time for innovation.
I ran PR for start-ups over the last 20 years and I can’t tell you the amount of companies that barely had a product, it was just an idea, and they were happy to talk about it – loudly, boldly, bravely. When the customers came, they started building the product. Once the interest is generated, you get to work on delivery. It’s time for innovation. Create, conceive, but most importantly, talk about it!
If you want some inspiration and practical tools, check out Natalie Turner and buy her book, Yes, You Can Innovate: Discover your innovation strengths and develop your creative potential.
Here’s an important addition. Detach from the outcome. Launch your message or your product/service, talk about it, share your passion, convince your audience it’s valuable by being purposeful, intentional and focused in your message, and create your information in a way that matches the people you are seeking to reach.
What I have witnessed in 2020 is people getting stuck into new ideas or dreams they’ve held off launching because life was always getting in the way, and they are doing it from a place of purpose.
They want or need work, or their current situation is unstable, however rather than sitting in an anxious state, they are just going for it and bringing dreams to life. They know this is the time for that, with so much uncertainty ahead.
That’s the quality that will help you shine through. It’s not desperate, it’s not asking for anything, it’s not demanding too much from your network, it’s not annoying.
It’s all about sharing passion and valuable insight with your community, because that is where the opportunity lies. People admire this spirit, and opportunities are coming because of it. Look around, it’s happening everywhere.
If you’re scared, out of work, feeling insecure about your future, or any other negative feelings, ask yourself: what have I wanted to do for so long and never had the time to do it? Then do that.
Or you can wait for that call or email about that job you want, and you can keep waiting and waiting and waiting.
Own your voice, own your future. The story of this time will be about creativity and innovation. It always is when the world goes through tough times, so be a story of this time. Strap on your resilience boots my friends and get going.
Let me know if you’ve launched something new into the world this year? Or even better, if you’ve had wonderful and unexpected result because you did?
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I believe it’s time for all of us to embrace our voice and embrace the future. We do this by working and living ‘out loud’ with meaning, intention, integrity and by being true to ourselves. If you own your voice, you will own your future.
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