Could there be a positive side to COVID-19? With all the plans cancelled, economic uncertainty and general negativity in the air? Is it possible to turn this seemingly hopeless situation into an opportunity?
COVID-19 ended up one of the best things that happened to me this year.
Despite all the plans to travel the world that got cancelled. Why? It forced me to slow down. And with no opportunity to rush anywhere, I could get cracking and did all those things that were on my list of dreams for years.
In just under 5 months I became a professional artist and a founder of Life Startup.
As I was travelling the world, I arrived to Seoul in February'20. The plan was to get a tattoo (here it is, on my right forearm, you can see it on the photo) and continue my travels.
Little did I expect, to leave South Korea five months later with a fully running international business.
While it was easy to freak out about all the cancelled plans and uncertainty, I decided to embrace it. Finally I was forced to stay in once place without an agenda crammed with all those things to do.
To make the most of my time, I made a plan.
I created a mind map of all those things I always wanted to do. All of them. And then used 'voting system' to prioritise. I ended up with something like this:
This helped me to narrow down what I wanted to focus on (we do this exercise as part of Life Strategy program, and all my clients just love the clarity it gives, try it!).
I decided to dedicate my time being 'stuck' in Seoul to ticking off those 'must haves' from my list. One by one.
I started off with painting a lot and learning how to sell my art. I took my time to create a professional website with all my artwork and even worked with the videographer to create a promo video of me talking about my art on the streets of Seoul:
Once that was done (it took me about a month), I moved onto setting up my own coaching business. I did a lot of research to understand the market, spoke to a lot of potential customers to understand the pain points and played around with a few value propositions, before I was happy enough to land on the one the felt right.
At times, the uncertainty was scary: "When will I see my friends and family again?"
But I decided to stop myself from focusing on what I can't control, and focus on what I can. So I worked really hard on turning my business idea into life. I spent my days learning all I can about the web design, SEO, sales & marketing, writing compelling content, making YouTube videos, invoicing customers, and more.
I was in a rush to get Life Startup ready for after lockdown. Why?
Because in the new, post-COVID world, many of us will have to re-invent ourselves.
Some have already lost jobs, some realised they don't want to be chained to an office desk anymore. Some found out they are not happy in their relationship, or maybe overall life setup. While it may sound disheartening, there is always an upside. It is always dark before the dawn.
So what was it I was working so hard on to help people thrive in the new post-COVID world? A step-by-step methodology to help people figure out their next move, a new chapter on a hunt for a more fulfilling life. You can check it out here.
So how did I end up making the most of COVID-19? Top three takeaways are:
Plan & Prioritise to make sure you focus on what truly matters to you
Bias towards action - get cracking. Don't overthink it, if you want something - just do it!
Embrace the uncertainty - things are the way they are, don't freak out about what you can't control. Instead, focus on what you can control and get cracking!