For many, COVID-19 has turned their world upside down. A crisis without precedents. But with all crises, the meaning you give to it and what you actually do with it will stay with you for many years.
In my case, despite an immediate drop in income due to the cancellation of all my face to face training commitments, I’ve chosen to take the positive view. For a couple of years now, I’ve been wanting to take my presentation skills business into the virtual arena but my excuse was that I never had the time. But then, here in Spain, on 14th March 2020 a State of Emergency was declared and we ended up in strict lock down for two months. My excuse had disappeared over night but an opportunity had replaced it.
I was forced to reinvent myself and my business.
Three months later, I’ve made Zoom my friend, a small development team in India is finishing my virtual e-learning platform and I’ve created two new online products – a subscription programme called the ‘Excel at Presenting Continuity Programme‘ and a new coaching programme called ‘The 5-Step Path to Presentation Excellence Coaching Programme. Both to be launched in September 2020 after the summer holidays.
What have I learned? And more specifically, what have I learned that my help YOU?
From using the Zoom platform:
I’ve learned that learning takes time, we need to be patient and trust the process. So yes, it still feels a bit awkward trying to connect authentically with my students via Zoom but if I adopt the right mindset and speak with lots of energy, that connection can still be made.
I’ve learned that virtual training is more ‘efficient’ than face to face training in the sense that documents, sharing material and showing videos are all easier to manage. Plus the training session can be recorded which is a huge bonus for the clients.
I’ve learned how important it is to speak more clearly and concisely than ever before when training virtually. This makes me communicate in a more structured way.
From brainstorming ideas for new products and developing them I’ve learned:
- It’s important to give yourself time to think and reflect on the types of projects that will fit with you, your values and what you want from your business. You need to wait for the clarity to emerge. This can be unsettling at times, but the clarity does eventually come.
- Proactivity is everything and absolutely all the answers are on the internet or with people you can find there
- Feelings of uncertainty, not knowing the exact next steps are part of growing and learning. If you’re not experiencing them, you’re in your comfort zone and so unlikely to be growing.
- It’s important to move away from ‘busy’ work to ‘focus’ work, to move into the famous quadrant where we’re working on ‘important, not urgent’ tasks.
- Things take longer than expected but if you can identify that you’re moving forward, that’s ok.
Without a doubt, everyone is in a different place since pre-COVID. I hope your new place is also one that has generated useful learnings whether it be personally or professionally. As human beings, one of our greatest gifts is to make meaning from chaos, to embrace new challenges and horizons.
What about you? Has the Coronavirus crisis pulled you out of your comfort zone? And if so, what is your perspective about that? What are YOU learning?