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 year, following the impact of coronavirus worldwide, no one would blame you if you felt like nothing was going to be real again. As businesses start to head towards re-opening again and communities and countries look to welcome those from outside in, the imposed social distancing, necessary PPE and extremely formal settings created in sectors such as hospitality, travel or health and beauty make surroundings seem more sci-fi than normal. For many this is impacting on their mental health.
Sod the stiff upper lip
At the end of April 2020 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 really, 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 however by late April last year 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 2020 I found it hard to remember why I considered self-employment was a good idea.
However, one morning I woke up to the fact I am unemployable and have vast knowledge, skills and experience to share and support others. I know I make a difference; my business rewards may regularly be heart felt rather than bank balance related but one thing I do know is that whatever I do I am ‘keeping it real’.
Start that conversation
It might have felt like it at the time but this was not the hardest self-employed period of my life. My retail business nearly took me under but my pride drove me forward, I wanted to be true to my values and that meant battling on.
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, the Excluded.
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.