I have had to reinvent myself many times in life, most markedly in 2002, when I got divorced from my first husband, and in 2010, when I was laid off from a job I loved four days before my second husband died.
Each time, it sucked, and I had to figure it out. The experiences made me strong, resourceful, resilient. And those traits are serving me well now as we all must create a new normal and mutate a little bit in the wake of COVID-19.
March 10 was the last normal workday I recall. I had a busy day at my desk and was at a client event in the evening. The next day, two press releases I had in the works fell through—my clients had had to close their stores. And three events I had helped a client organize were cancelled. There was nothing to promote.
Each day brought similar bad news.
After a week, there was only junk mail in my inbox.
My gut reaction was to panic. How would I pay my bills? Would my clients come back? Was this the end of Beetle Press and Janice Beetle Books? Then, as I’ve mentioned, I shook myself off and saw the opportunity I had to work on my own creative projects and to work on my website and marketing as well.
I had about three weeks to do that—to imagine what else was possible for me, to work on a book of my own, to dream up a new feature for this website (stay tuned). Then slowly, work trickled back in. I’ve done a few press releases for Beetle Press clients—most of them focused on client responses to the pandemic—but the majority of my work is for Janice Beetle Books.
I am writing one woman’s memoir, and I’m working on a how-to manual for a trio of businessmen. I have several other projects in the works at well, and I’m grateful and gratified. My own books can wait.
It astounds me that, a year ago, Janice Beetle Books did not exist, and this year, it is supporting me. That is tremendously affirming—like a big sign in the road saying, “This way!”
To be able to create something out of nothing feels accidental, but instead of feeling lucky, I’m going to take credit for following my heart. Tremendous thanks to business coach Val Nelson for helping me do that.
The point of this blog is not to pat myself on the back, though. It’s to show you a way out of a bad situation by applying your passion and creativity.
Have you been laid off, like millions of others across the country? Are you at home, scared shit?
Give yourself some time to feel the emotions of it. Be angry. Sad. Anxious. Wring your hands.
Then, apply your own passion and creativity and imagine what is possible.
What excites you? What do you love to do? Love to cook, garden, write?
Imagine how you might be able to help others with your skills.
Think about who you want to work with. Children? Adults? Seniors?
Think about what makes you happy—not what you think could bring in the biggest paycheck. What we love is the best compass.
Are there businesses out there you could turn to that are not suffering? It would be hard to find a job in the restaurant business now, but think about the industries that are thriving—businesses that sell home gym equipment, delivery services, toilet paper manufacturers. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)
OR imagine creating a business around your passion.
What steps could you take to bring your idea to life? To get paid for doing something that makes you feel fullfilled?
Use the internet to search for like-minded businesses in the area. See if there is competition. Research how to write a business plan. Name your business. Imagine the services you offer, and the fees associated with them.
Then get the word out there. Create your own website. Register your business in your city or town. Create a social media presence. Write a press release.
Don’t know how to do these things? Use the internet to learn, or recruit a team of friends, family, former colleagues who do have the experience and knowledge, and let them help you. Call Val!
You have the time.
You could do it.