March 24th, 2020.
With the UK Lockdown announced only 12 hours before, I wake up to a considerable amount of emails compared to my usual 5am volume.
Clients’ emails. Written overnight.
The main message they relay, told in different ways, from hopeful to panicked, scared, or just plainly truthful is: ‘I won’t be working for a while, I need to take a break from your services to maximise my cashflow.’
That morning, the reality of what was about to happen in (and to) my business hit me harder than my strength-9-double-espresso. I had thought that, because I already worked online with all my non-UK clients, the only thing required from me would be moving everyone onto Zoom, et Voilá! Job done.
Despite having seen what was happening in Italy, despite knowing the lockdown was coming, I thought that I would be ok and retain al least half of my clients. I was wrong.
I took me a week or so to regroup. I don’t believe in sitting and moaning, I firmly back up the saying ‘Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing’, but even so time was needed for my brain to adjust to the new situation and start dishing out possible solutions. But then I started to think of myself as a client, and reworked my offer, my services, relooked at which markets could be explored now that ‘normal’ wasn’t a thing.
I started offering free S.O.S. sessions to businesses in need of a fresh eye to explore new markets, or old ones in new ways, and chatting to the amazing women who picked up my offer opened my confused eyes and made me realise the businesses around me were all going through a massive pivoting process.
Everyone was changing, adapting their businesses and lives to face an unprecedented crisis no one could have predicted in any business plan, we were all evolving and dragging our businesses with us through crisis, homeschooling, remote working, looking after sick relatives or family members and much more, determined to make this beating creation of ours get through the storm, and emerge on the other side ready to start working at full capacity again.
And this is when I knew I wanted everyone out there to listen to those stories. Because they could help, inspire, console and motivate others. Because these women are too awesome, too fierce, too determined for each one of their stories to go unnoticed.
I believe in creating opportunities when the Universe doesn’t present you with readily-packaged ones, so I gathered this wondrous circle of female founders and asked them all the same questions, over and over again, getting diverse, exciting, inspiring answers each time. Let me tell you, these brave gals are out to rule the world, pandemic or not.
So without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, I proudly present Female Founders Through The Pandemic – a series.
I look forward to your comments and feedback on it.