T is for

Transformation is what I’m focusing on in this quote as I think it’s something that we’re all going through at the moment, but are we all aware of the journey we’ve travelled so far and the milestones we’ve achieved? Periodically I’m finding that I’m giving myself a hard time and asking whether I’m doing enough. Yet when I look back to March of this year, my life has been full of learning and I’ve made some major adjustments to the way I live and work, which I’m sure is the same for many of us. Both customers and suppliers have had to adapt and transform during this period to provide and buy our products in an online world?  There’s been a lot of unlearning and relearning going on and checking out how we all show up differently in this new world. Of course, letting go of the past, our comfort zones and everything else that is familiar takes courage and I feel that I’m continually riding on the edge of my comfort zone!

So as a reminder to myself, as much as to others who are giving themselves a hard time, remember that when we change the way we look at things the things we look at change. Take a moment now to reflect upon how you have stretched and transformed yourself during this period and see how can you use that learning to help those around you succeed too?

S is for

Everyone’s story is completely different at the moment.  Our lives have been impacted hugely through this pandemic and it looks as if it will continue to be so for a good while yet.  Many are living in a period where we’re forced to embrace uncertainty but also, in many cases, survival.  It’s another period of reinvention for both businesses and individuals and the only way we can work through it is by learning to lean into it and recognise that today is tough, but it will get better.  Did you know that by thinking this way, we automatically help our brain release some of the endorphins to stop it from feeling ‘stuck’?  In the last 14 years working for myself I’ve experienced a number of periods of uncertainty which has caused different levels of anxiety.  However, a key learning for me has been not to let the inner negative narrative take over as it just leads to a downward spiral especially at a time when we need to focus on where and how we can add value.

Whilst it’s scary hearing about the rise in unemployment figures and the impact of recession, it’s crucial we focus on what we can each do to adapt and survive as we move forward.  Work probably won’t look anything like it has in the past so take time to understand your transferrable skills and how you can utilise them in this new world.  If you’ve worked for one employer in the past and they can’t afford to keep you onboard fulltime, perhaps you can research where you can provide your expertise to others to fill the remaining hours you’d like to work.

I have a note on my phone that pops up every day.  It say’s ‘what would you do today if you weren’t afraid?’  Don’t let fear get in the way of your survival.

R is for

Do you have some days where you feel more resourceful than others? I certainly do and I think I’m often more resourceful when there are a lack of resources available to me as I find myself getting creative in finding a solution.

Resourcefulness is linked as a top skill for career success, but what is it? It’s the ability to get things done in the face of obstacles or as Teddy Roosevelt said ‘do what you can, where you are, with what you have’. 2020 has enabled a lot of businesses and people to become much more resourceful. There are things that they are doing today that only six months ago felt like pipe dreams. We’re finding ways to navigate our paths with less certainty, tapping into our growth mindset, knowing there will be a way. Invention and creativity is helping us along with a good sprinkling of courage to follow through on our ideas.

I use the ‘what if?’ technique which helps me to come up with lots of different approaches before I narrow them down into the ones that I want to take forward as well as focusing on what I can do rather than what I can’t.

The world as we knew it is changing. The 9-5 five day a week business model is disappearing. Businesses are needing to tap into a variety of skillsets to survive. How are you nurturing your resourcefulness?

Survive or thrive?

Our Covid experience has given me the opportunity to try my hand at a spot of gardening.  I’ve always loved to potter, but I’ve never grown anything from seed and so I’ve been surprised at my monumental successes and failures in this department.  Having had so much time to reflect, I’ve realised that Continue reading

Q is for

Albert Einstein was known as the The Quintessential Question Asker. He often said that he had no special talent, only passionately curious which helped him to be really successful at asking questions. And we need to be the same so that we can make better decisions. However, this does mean that we need to hone our listening skills too! I often find that when I listen with the knowledge that I have to do something with the material, ie learn the ‘why’ as well as the ‘what’ and ‘how’ I am much more likely to gain the clarity I require.

But how often do we stop ourselves from asking a question because we feel it may make us look silly or inferior? Abraham Lincoln’s quote comes to mind that ‘it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt’. I prefer to reframe it with the Confucius one below.  When we have greater clarity on a subject, we feel much better prepared and surely it’s better to be in possession of all the facts.  As Peter Drucker said, ‘Once the facts are clear, the solution jumps out at you!’

As we continue to navigate a period where there’s lots of confusion around, keep asking the questions to make sure you have clarity in your own understanding and are able to make the best decisions for you.