While businesses scramble, conferences are cancelled and people generally wonder – how are we ever going to return to ‘business as usual’ post Corona Virus (there will be a world post Corona Virus crisis..won’t there?) – out here, in the outback of NSW, where we’ve typically been perceived as ‘behind the times’…..
We’ve actually been living in the future.
I didn’t realise it until recently when someone actually said it to me – but the ‘new normal’, that’s being reviewed/addressed and explored in our metropolitan and big regional cities (and even actioned fast) like….moving conferences online and teams needing to work from home or meetings being held virtually (or by that ‘new’ technology called a phone) – is business as usual for me here in remote NSW.
Nothing has changed for us at THE Rural Woman.
Except that my compassion and empathy has expanded as I witness the fear mongering and the scramble.
And, if I’m honest, I keep thinking to myself – ‘that’s so 2010 of you’ when I hear of large conferences of hundreds of people being taken ‘online or people now working from home’ as if it was a new and novel thing…because it was 2015 when THE Rural Woman delivered its first multi-day, 36 presenter online ‘Festival’ with more than 600 participants from around the world and I’ve not worked in someone else’s office since 2009!
Despite the global fear and contagion, our team turns up each Thursday, from wherever they are, for our team meeting, on Zoom.
Many of us have never actually met in person and yet, we feel as strongly connected as if we had.
We care about each others lives, we check in if we notice someone isn’t quite themselves and we engage in casual ‘watercooler’ banter as a priority as well as the ‘work stuff’ we celebrate each other’s wins and help with problems.
Despite what the system and conditioning has taught us, our physical proximity to each other does not have any bearing on whether we can engage as high functioning individuals in a highly successful team.
All of our workshops for Members carry on as normal, including new programs and services we are rolling out – because they are all delivered online with ZERO concern about ‘contact’ issues or the awkwardness of ‘are we shaking hands or not’ that I experienced even last night at a local community meeting or the worry of whether presenters will be able to get there or not because of delayed flights etc.
Our events aren’t interrupted and neither are our partner or sales meetings, because they too are held online or on the phone.
The days of ‘kitchen table’ being the only way to do business and ‘help people’ or where bright shiny offices are a badge of honour worn by a high growth company and are the sign of success are numbered – it’s time that the rest of the world, including many in rural and regional Australia, caught up!
And there’s nothing quite like a pandemic to motivate and activate change!
Using technology, for us as a remotely located, geographically diverse, increasingly global business is not a nice thing to have – it’s a necessity.
I simply could not operate the business I have without it.
And, frankly, had I not adapted when I did, I would have had to quit my marriage, left my home and moved somewhere else (which is what the common ideology says is the only choice).
So when you look at it like that, I actually had zero choice in the matter!
If I wanted to live where I live (and I did) and contribute whole-heartedly and fully with the intellect and passion I’ve been blessed with and nurtured (and I did) – I had to figure out a way to engage that didn’t require me leaving home and burning myself into the ground on the road 8 months of the year (which I did, for more than a decade).
I, like many of the businesses and organisations who now find themselves caught in the fear and the ‘what do we do now’, had to draw a line.
And, honestly, it’s a much better situation to see the writing on the wall and plan and strategise and move towards the future, but often that’s not how humans tend to roll.
We face a crisis.
We reach a turning point.
And we must choose.
Now, businesses will be forced to use the technology that’s been readily available for decades and actually relook at what is ‘business as usual’.
And it’s really, really good news for everyone….if you can manage the chaos of change!
And, honestly I’ve taken the choices I made and have adopted in my business and life, for granted and assumed (incorrectly) everyone else was doing it!
The measures we use as a matter of course, because, like I said, they are our only option, like having multiple streams of income (diversification), managing meetings and trainings online, employing or engaging contractors remote to us, are not only good for business, they are good for people and all save valuable time (the only non-renewable resource), money and ENERGY for everyone in so many more ways that we haven’t even counted in our business and operations.
The question of how you account for adrenal fatigue on a P&L and wondering where does ‘burn out’ show up in the bottom line of your business is not something we’ve been open to review.
But we’re going to have to now.
How do you account and factor it into your P&L for the all in cost to the environment of fuel/vehicle wear and tear/carbon footprint of all these flights for conferences/workshops/business meetings?
We haven’t had to.
But in a transition to a less travel, more digital experience, you’ll notice it, there’ll be more money and space and opportunity.
The year I quit travelling for ‘work’ and really lean into the online/tech based nature of my business, was the hardest year for me personally as it meant that I turned down 20+ speaking gigs and countless other things that felt like and had previously justified as ‘must dos’ and it turns out, it was the best decision I made – that year, that felt SO difficult, because I was breaking old habits and patterns, was the best year for my business.
I don’t know where this fear and contagion of Corona Virus will lead humanity, but I do know that the ‘future’ that I live in here in remote Australia, where we embrace the digital experience, travel less, connect remotely and build relationships regardless of geography – is DELICIOUS!
So…if you are brave enough, join us out-back in THE #thriving #healing #evolving Future and if you’d like some support in digitising or onlining or remoting your business or building continuity of support to your people please, reach out!
May you bloom where you are,