Makelight

Five Things To Help You

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By Emily Quinton

in Growth

I know this is a tricky, uneasy time for all of us. We have never faced a pandemic in our lifetime and it's overwhelming and worrying. Added to the worry about our health and the health of all those that we love, is the worry and stress about our work and jobs. Here are some of the things that I have been doing and thinking about, that I hope will help you too.

What can you learn today?
During this time I think it's easy to feel stuck or in limbo. We have no idea of the time frame of lockdowns etc. and how badly COVID-19 is going to effect our economy. That can all feel really daunting but what I do know is that when I choose to read a useful book, listen to an educational podcast or watch a video that is teaching me something, I feel so much better. I don't feel stuck, I feel like I am growing.
I have talked to my children a lot about what they can do during this time, so that when it comes to an end, they have achieved something really valuable. One of them is writing a book, another is building up to be able to run 5km on the treadmill, so he can do park run when this is over and my two girls are creating books full of all the art that they create during this time. Some days they will spend 10 minutes on their projects and others they will dive right in and do lots more.

Helping them to set themselves these challenges has definitely inspired me to keep growing and keep learning during this time. What can you learn or what project can you set yourself?

What do your customers/clients need right now?
Set any panic or worry aside for a moment and spend some time thinking about what your customers or clients (or readers/followers) need right now. Do not think about whether it's what you are offering. Start by thinking about what they need and then start thinking about what you could offer during this time. I know that many of us are concerned about our finances, so the thought of giving something away for free or at a reduced cost may feel really scary right now. I am right there with you on those worries. However, is there anything you can either reduce or create for free/low cost? It's definitely worth thinking about.

What do you have that is working?
Are there any parts of your business that are working for you at the moment? It is easy to be so stressed that we think nothing is working but take a moment to look at your stats. Is there a part of what you do that is doing better than you thought? If there is anything that stands out then put the majority of your time and effort into that. How can you sell/produce/offer more of that?

Who could you collaborate with?
So many people are feeling the stress of this time, so it could be the perfect time to join forces with someone and collaborate. You could do a competition together on social media or run a challenge. You could interview each other or you could even come together and produce a new thing. For example an online course.

Keep showing up, this isn't forever.
I am into week five of staying at home (we started a week earlier than most in the UK due to coughs) and I definitely felt like being very quiet for the first couple of weeks. I needed to get into a new rhythm and routine. I couldn't really work out how my social media and blogging fitted into that. But I knew that it was important for me to keep showing up. It keeps me feeling connected to people. It makes me feel good to inspire and help people. And, very importantly, it hopefully means that people won't forget me either during or after this pandemic.
Keep showing up, even if it's in different ways to those that you've been used to and even if it's not as often as you were. This isn't forever, so don't disappear.

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This is a time like no other and having a small business feels pretty daunting. Here are ways you can help yourself today.

I'm Emily Quinton, photographer, writer, teacher and mother of four. Along with my husband Stef I run Makelight – a membership community for creators, makers and doers.

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