In early March I went up to California after spending my time off over the New Zealand summer to take care of some things for my skincare company and to show my brother and sister-in-law around San Francisco. Covid-19 was starting to spread globally but global travel and normal daily life — while starting to become worrisome — had not yet created a complete change from everything we know to be normal. The first night I was up there we went to Hamilton. The second day we went to Alcatraz. The third day a day of wine tasting in Napa. All of those wonderful touristy outings that make life fun and interesting. Things were definitely starting to get quiet but we could still do them. I was going to stay on in California for another three weeks to work on my business.
And then it all changed.
I stayed on for a few more days to get everything sorted out for my skincare company, thinking who knows when I might be able to get back to California. I crammed 3 weeks of work into 3 days and then, exhausted, took my seat on an almost empty flight to make it back down to New Zealand while we all could still fly around the world.
The work I had been doing with small businesses all of a sudden changed too. I had been working with small business owners who were at a crossroads. Some of them were in the pre-revenue phase, with a great idea, but were not quite sure how to get started in a way that would be sustainable and would give themselves a living wage. Or, they had spent the last year or so growing a business and were starting to despise it and wish they had never started it ... their life savings were dwindling away and no matter how much more effort, time, sweat, tears and money they threw at it, they still couldn’t seem to turn a sustainable profit so that they could actually earn a living.
And then the world changed.
The stories on the news are just so heart-breaking ... story after story about a small business owner who doesn't know how they will get through the next few months, let alone weeks, as the world shuts down.
In fact, currently I am writing this from my dining room table at home while I am self-isolating alone to ensure I don’t have the virus after my overseas trip. But actually, the whole of New Zealand is in shut down mode with only essential businesses (supermarkets and healthcare) allowed to operate.
And while I am a bit lonely (I'm a bit of a social extrovert), I'm not scared. I've been here before. In fact, I started over after splitting from my former business partner in March of 2008. I created a new company and a new brand during the depths of the Global Financial Crisis. And I'm grateful for that ... it gave me the financial discipline I needed to build my company into the sustainably profitable company that it is today. It gave me the inner self-confidence to know that despite all odds I could make it through then and I will make it through now. It gave me the habits and self-discipline to build up enough cash reserves for a time such as now, when there is so much uncertainty about when we will return to a semblance of normalcy.
So, while my initial intentions of the work that I do with my small business clients may have pivoted, I truly believe that this work is needed now more than ever before. If you are stuck and worried, what better time to take a deep breath, take stock and examine how you can make your company financially robust once and for all.
We can do this together! Head on over to our private member’s Facebook group to learn more.