First and foremost, I hope you, your family, and loved ones are safe and well. 🙏
I’m in London, in our apartment, with husband. We cancelled all travel plans, we closed our hair and beauty salon, and we’re prepared to hunker down inside for the next 6-12 weeks, or as long as needed. We are determined to do whatever we can to help flatten this damn curve.
Most of my clients are now working from home. Some of them have small children. Others have adult kids who moved back home to stay safe and close to family. A client had to postpone her wedding. The whole world is upside down.
I really believe that panic has to be transformed into preparedness, problem-solving, and purposeful action.
I’m 100% certain that if we pull together, we’ll make it through. In fact, I believe that within every crisis lies an opportunity for us to grow stronger, wiser, and more resilient as a result. But based on the facts, I feel strongly that the most important step we can take right now is to stay home and stay well.
Covid-19 here or there, I’ve had a few tough weeks behind me. Corona was just the icing on the cake.
I’ve been unusually under the radar in the first few months of this year. I was simply overwhelmed with tonnes of personal and business stuff to do, and then I was down with the flu.
Husband was ill with flu-like symptoms beginning of February. We didn’t travel in any of those affected countries and were not aware of being in contact with anyone either who’d been to those places but you never know … By the time I started to develop flu-like symptoms too, things started to get out of control Covid-wise in the UK and I decided to self isolate. In hindsight, I’m starting to question whether I had the corona or not. I was very unwell for 5 days with fever and aches, but no cough. My sinuses were blocked and I lost my sense of smell and taste for almost 2 weeks. Some of these are typical symptoms of Covid-19, others are not. Once test kits become available, I’ll check for sure. I’m ok now. All in all, I’ve been home for over 4 weeks … and it’s only the beginning as we all know it …
My husband and I also run a boutique hair and beauty salon in Central London. We were so proud of our growing team that was now 11-strong and full of ambitious, creative and driven hair and beauty professionals.
Here I am talking about the salon a few years ago:
We launched an international internship programme and were looking forward to welcoming students from France, Italy and Spain to help us with our ever-growing marketing needs. And then, Corona hit.
By the time our contingency plan was ready, it needed instant alteration and very soon after, we just had to close.
It was heartbreaking to close a business that we’ve been building for 7 years with blood, sweat and tears, but nothing is more important than everyone’s safety, including team and customers.
As employers, we feel very responsible for our team’s livelihood and we will do whatever we can to support our guys, but at the same time, we’re also worried as we don’t know how long this could last … No-one knows.
Despite all this, we remain very positive, and we welcome this historic opportunity to recharge ourselves first, and then to take the time to reset and reinvent our businesses.
Back in February, I attended a gala event organised by Moorfields Eye Charity where they explained how they spend the moneys they receive from fundraisers and what sort of research work they do to prevent blindness and cure diseases. My husband and I have been supporting this charity for over 3 years now, both personally and through our businesses.
I was invited to speak at the New Generation Centre’s London Meetup, where I gave a short talk entitled Online connections & Offline Events. How to establish meaningful professional relationships on LinkedIn and beyond.
It was really lovely to meet and connect with loads of ambitious young professionals and students and have engaging discussions with them after my 10-minute talk.
I must say that the shorter the talk, the more challenging it is to nail. I could have talked for at least an hour about the subject. But the assignment was to prepare 10 minutes – so I opted to talk about the importance of having a professional network one can reach out to, and shared a few practical tips and techniques on how to build one from scratch. It was a very exhilarating experience.
For the past week, I’ve been connecting (virtually) with my clients, colleagues, family and loved ones to help put things into perspective. This collective experience is making us think differently about our lives and our livelihoods.
While none of us know how the next few weeks will unfold, I promise to keep showing up whenever I can.
In the meantime, take really good care of yourself. Hardly anyone speaks about the importance of strengthening your immune system to be ready to fight the virus if needed – so please, do look after your immune system to stay strong and healthy.
And if at all possible please, please, please stay home. It’s the *most* important thing we can do to take care of ourselves, each other, and the most vulnerable in our communities.
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