The past few years have been a different kind of chaos for those of us in small business.
I’ve heard people talk recently about how it was actually nice to have the occasional 3-day lockdown and spend time at home with family or binge-watch that show you’ve had on your watchlist for 6 months. And I agree, that time was precious, and should be repeated more often!
However, for those of us who rely on everyone being out and about and doing ‘normal’ stuff to keep our small businesses financially viable, we were more likely living in a state of anxiety day-to-day. Wondering when everyone was coming back out to spend with us again.
As most of you know if you’ve been following me for a while, when I started Central Business Associates, I wanted to find ways to bring people together.
To show them how to collaborate, to share their skills and learn from each other, and team up with others who were good at the tasks they didn’t like doing so much. Or that just weren’t within their range of expertise.
Through being involved in local networking events and running the workspaces in Wynnum for almost 6 years, I was able to find people I needed most to work with. They had skills that I either lacked, or that I needed an enhanced version of, in order to move my (and their) business forward. And others found me, for the same reason.
I thrive being able to help people achieve their potential. My main values are Leadership and Ethics, and I want to inspire people towards self-leadership and learning. In a sustainable and purposeful way, and not only for financial gain (we can’t ‘take it with us’, as we are often being told!).
In general, I’ve met and connected with, so many incredible and talented people, all within this suburban community of Brisbane’s Bayside in Queensland. I’d never have imagined it was possible in such a small part of this vast country we live in. It’s made me realise the huge potential there is for this type of collaborative working (and co-operative – more on this in a later blog – there is exciting news coming soon!) – not just flexible-working – which is the big buzzword out there at the moment (and I was talking about it more than 5 years ago by the way. Just saying…).
I see collaborative working in the small business context like corporate teamwork in a way . It’s getting together with, or putting together, a good group of people with a great mix of skills who can do just about everything between them – high five!
So – back to that chaos..
There is no way to properly explain the difference that having those others around made to that chaos. The calm that it brought to the panic that each of us individually felt, at different moments, over the last few years.
- I can’t do this!
- I need to go and get a job, I can’t sustain this business any more!
- There’s not enough work!
- I’ve got too much work, and not enough hours in the day, but I can’t afford to hire anyone to help!
Slowly, we all came to realise that we were all in different boats, but in the same choppy waters. So, we tied our boats together. Shared our fears, and funny stories, and our skills and experience.
And we are still here. And we are probably stronger, and much more sustainable (dare I say buoyant!) than before.
So, I just wanted to do a bit of a shoutout to a few of those collaborative partners, and say thank you for rescuing me from the storm – I’ve come out the other side, and I’m in much calmer waters now, and excited about the next bit of the journey. In no order of awesomeness (actually, I made it backwards alphabetical, for a change)
Michelle, from MobyCo
Lauren, from Bayside Admin
Kelly, from Adaptable Quality
Kathryn, from SteinArt and
Amy, from Nurturing Confidence
My thanks to you all for your various contributions to my survival, and my business growth in the last few years!
Next time, I will be talking about what I got up to when things were not so busy in my consultancy boat…