Welcome to episode 100. I can’t say I expected to celebrate in the midst of a pandemic.
Clearly, a lot is going on worldwide. I had full intent of releasing a special episode where I reflected on my personal journey and the progression of our company, but it’s been dwarfed by what everyone is currently experiencing due to the coronavirus.
First, in personal news, my family is actually doing amazing given the circumstances. My wife and I just welcomed our new daughter into the world (hence my break the last few weeks). The crazy thing is she actually came 3 weeks earlier as if she knew she wanted to avoid taxing the healthcare system! Well played, kid.
But seriously, we’re incredibly grateful.
I’m not sure what it’s like where you are currently, but our schools, churches, bars, restaurants, parks, libraries, museums, and “non-essential” businesses are closed for at least another few weeks. We aren’t on mandatory “lockdown,” social distancing is being practiced.
Fortunately, this hasn’t disrupted our routine too much. I work from home. Our other kids go to a classic education school part-time and are homeschooled by my wife and me the rest of the time. My wife is at home as well. It sucks to lose the freedom of going to the library or out to eat, but it could be a lot worse.
I also know it can be extreme to go from leading busy lives with work, families, kids, school, sports, etc. Needing to be at home all the time is a big shift. I remember when I first started working from home and my wife was already at home. It took about a month to get into a good routine and cadence with each other and the family.
A few tips that might help with your new work from the home situation:
- Practice good communication. My wife and I had multiple conversations at first to outline expectations, needs, wants, and routines. Change takes time.
- Find a routine and set expectations. I’ve found this to work well for both adults and children (I was a teacher before starting Come Alive Creative).
We sat down as a family and planned a weekly schedule that includes chores, school time, free time, meals, and family time. Some things are day-to-day and some are week-to-week. We even came up with values that our family will follow over the coming weeks to help with the added stress. In case you’re curious, we decided on:
- A little weird is ok
We’re about a week into this new groove, and it’s helped a lot.
I’m really just grateful at this point. I know some people view having the kids home (especially with a newborn) as a burden. Yes, it’s harder but my wife and I wouldn’t want it any other way. My family brings a lot of light into my life and the kids keep me young.
As you may know, I run Come Alive Creative. We’re a full service, strategic podcast production agency. Most of our clients are medium to large companies and marketing teams and some higher-profile individuals. As a result of current events, we are seeing some negative trends like many people in the digital marketing and freelance space.
We are delaying one of our March podcast launches until June with the hope that the media narrative will change by then. I had a verbal agreement for a 5-figure contract that has now been put on hold. It’s certainly tough.
My team is seeing their share of hardships too. They work remotely around the world and everyone is experiencing this in different ways.
However, we’re hopeful. On the one hand, what else are we going to do? Just take it? That’s not an option. We have professional and personal relationships that depend on us to succeed (so we will).
Professionally, we’re mobilizing. We’re building systems for all of our repeatable tasks so things get done more efficiently. We implemented the Entrepreneurs Organization System (EOS) late last year and it has helped us define who we are, who we serve, where we are going, and how to get there. It has pushed us to prioritize and keep tabs on the situation so nothing goes unchecked.
We’re taking other measures to reduce all non-essential costs and bring in new business. We see opportunities in specific sectors and can plan on doing more direct sales than in the past. We are a profitable, self-sustaining company and still have money in the bank. However, we’ll likely be pulling a line of credit as an emergency fallback in case this pandemic lasts longer than anticipated.
I’m also in the middle of diversifying income streams on the personal side of things with some well overdue courses on podcasting. More to come.
Join the Newsletter
Now would be a good time to sign up for my newsletter if you care about podcasting and its effects on business or are just interested in what my team and I are doing. The pandemic has reminded me of how important having direct access to your audience is and providing worthwhile content. Email is one of the best ways to do that. Thanks for considering.
Hopeful for the Future
Hardships have a tendency to bring people together. One of our company’s values is charity. We care about each other both personally and professionally. Even with that value at the forefront of every interaction, these uncertain times have opened the door to more real conversations with my team, clients, and even prospects on how they are doing.
I’m confident things will get better; it’s just a matter of when. Remember, we’re in this together. Everyone is human and is being affected in some way. Be patient with one another.
As I move forward with the podcast, I have a few updates:
This show has always been about learning. I think there are so many amazing individuals with lessons to teach and stories to share that we can all benefit from. I’m currently sitting on about 10+ episodes I have yet to release. That said, I will likely spend some time interviewing people on business and the effects of the coronavirus. My hope is to see how other people are handling it.
If you know of any individual or business who has a unique or hopeful story to tell, please reach out to me at JeffLarge.com/contact. I would prefer it if you recommended someone else (not yourself). Anyone doing it for pure self-promotion will be turned down.
Also, our other podcast Creative Marketing Brief will return and I’m going to be covering/promoting companies and individuals doing unique things to help out. You can listen and subscribe to that show by visiting CreativeMarketingBrief.com.
I’m grateful for the power of technology and podcasting to connect us all, despite social distancing. I have a feeling that great stories will be made and told during this time. Thank you for listening. Stay safe.