Keep Calm and/or Carry On?
As we are faced with challenging times and having to stay grounded and show solidarity while a lethal virus has come to disrupt the world in an unprecedented scale, it fascinates me to see how people are reacting faced with the pandemic.
It's split into two groups, on the one hand, those who are used to being creative and going all out to find solutions and provide help, and those who sit tight waiting for the tide to pass to get back to normal, happy to have a break and spend time confined with loved ones, or if an introvert, nothing changes and it's pretty standard stuff.
As an entrepreneur and having had to deal with the ups and downs of being a business owner with peaks and troughs on the way, this is nothing new for me. Not to mention the countless times having had to tweak the way I was going about my business, getting clients or blatantly changing my focus to stay on top of the game.
What is happening fuels my creativity even more. I am constantly on my social media, looking at what is needed and how I can help. With all the experience and skills in my back pocket, surely there is something I can gain from this and make work even if most of my clients have pulled the plug on event projects and social media work.
Creativity doesn't stop, and on the contrary, now is the time to action and use our abilities old or new untapped to innovate! The amount of messages I have sent my community friends who have been panicking over their small businesses failing as a result of being isolated is incredible.
Yet for each and every one of them, I have provided innovative advise based on knowing what they are capable of and what they offer/can offer, to find a plan B solution in the interim. Now isn't that extraordinary! Why then, is everyone else not grabbing the bull by the horns and actually going about doing some social responsibility, communicating with one another instead of grovelling and putting their heads in the sand thinking it is the end of the world and we will all die.
If we don't try we won't know! That is where the difference between an entrepreneur and an employee lies I would say. Us entrepreneurs keep playing the orchestra until the ship sinks (or maybe it won't sink after all) but we do it regardless, as well, there is no choice, you either sink or float. Better to float in my mind and have tried than sitting in a corner feeling sorry for yourself right?
Be it Facebook groups to unite people in a given industry and how to deal with the situations to speak with vendors, or offering your skills to help with the likes of distance learning (languages, home schooling) or entertainment and fitness (yoga, music classes, DIY, how to stuff)... There is so much out there that we can each offer. Think about it, we are not robots, we may well have been employees but we all have multiple skills so let's use them and move forward and who knows, this is maybe a chance to show the world who you truly are.
Differentiation is key to unlocking potentials and we are now faced with just one real way to connect with our audiences as we are on 'stand by' mode, via social media and the internet. This is our platform, let's grab it! I offered my "Luxury with Natalia" YouTube channel as a platform to reunite luxury industries to speak openly. Greeted by silence, it says one thing, companies are unsure how to go about the situation and many in fear of "saying the wrong thing."
I believe those who do speak out, will be stronger once we get out of this because they actually showed that indeed, we are where we are, but that the teams are there for when the page turns and meanwhile are not afraid to maintain the relationships and keep that community going. This is so important nowadays to staying at the forefront.
So kudos to the likes of Raphael Sauleau at Fraser or Laurence Lewis is YPI Crew for showing their faces and making statements instead of a dry press release that we have been seeing otherwise elsewhere. I maintain human contact and the power of communication through building relationships is key so stop and think to do the same and you will be surprised at the results thereafter.
Many of my clients have decided to stop short of all they were doing and keep the social media on pause because they feel it is unethical. Surprisingly, or not, others have knocked on my door to grab this chance to start and/or continue. They feel social responsability. I even have a luxury coffee table book project maintained. Incredible right?
Social responsability is an ethical framework and suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. Social responsibility is a duty every individual has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems.
An example of this is Geraldine Daulon, a wedding designer I work with for My Riviera Weddings styled shoots, who took the initiative to sew masks for her local pharmacy. France is in dire need of help with masks, as there are not enough for health care professionals, so the immediate reaction was to put aside her usual requests, to maximise on resources she had to help!
This is reactivity and lo and behold the day after I read an article in Nice Matin about a community created on Facebook "Les Couturieres du Coeur," gathering seamstresses and anyone able to sew, to create masks for those health professionals reaching out for help with masks!
Another prime example is LMVH, the parent company of Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy, which is helping health authorities by manufacturing hand sanitiser and providing them for free. Total transformation but they do it why? Well one could debate it may be the perfect PR coup, but actually, they can so they did it and in the process are helping with the situation.
Then you have car manufacturers. The UK Health Secretary has called for British companies from the car and defence sectors to start making hospital ventilators, which provide lifesaving intervention to failing Covid-19 patients.
This seems like a creative way to meet the need for more than 14,000 ventilators in a short time, as major ventilator manufacturers have full order books and hold little in stock.
For those then who think, the end of the world is here, we are doomed... No, think as you have the time to now. Innovate, reach out to the health sectors or local community and see what is required and how you can help. We all have our skills and on a larger scale, parts, items etc that are needed to move forward. Think of it as a chance to use your creativity to come up with solutions.
This is not a holiday as many sadly have take this confinement period to be (if you are in those countries like myself in France that have to be for 15 days minimum), or a game of Monopoly where you pass Go to collect your tax exemption and government help before you go into prison, ie. lockdown mode in your home. This is real. We are all in the same boat and the perfect time to stay connected and use this tool that unites us and is still available to us, to see what can be do to stand up and use those brain cells in a way that we decide!
So here's the thing, are you ready to keep calm and/or carry on?
Stay safe yet innovate!
Want to connect, comment, speak up on "Luxury with Natalia" YouTube or simply say hello?
You can find me at www.bright-creativity.com