What do you miss about your business pre-Covid? — That’s your why
I was doing a coaching call with a client recently who is in one of the hardest hit industries: the festival business.
All of the reasons she originally went into the job are currently void under pandemic rules: meeting new people, gathering in large groups, doing activities together in person, travelling to new places.
Not surprisingly she’s struggling to find the motivation right now.
But as she passionately shared all of the reasons she feels so frustrated and all of the things she misses about her work, I realised that she was simultaneously telling me her why.
Why she got involved in that business in the first place
Why it needs to exist
Why she even cares
She shared how important meeting up with others is for her mental health
How much less connected she feels when she’s not in a community, meeting new people all the time.
It’s all gone.
We spent part of the call acknowledging just how shit it has been to have all of those joys taken away...
...but then I invited her to use that energy and frustration to be the powerful story that helps her reconnect with festival attendees when festivals start up again.
Whereas last year she would have simply sold tickets to her festivals because they’re objectively great, now she’ll be able to communicate the value from an emotional stand point too. WE NEED THIS!
She asked me ‘is this what they mean when they talk about selling from the heart?’
I remember in a business accelerator being asked:
‘How would the world be worse off if your product or service DIDN’T exist.’
Well, now many of us are getting the opportunity to see just that.
When we’re no longer able to run the projects and businesses we’ve created, there is an opportunity to really see their value: to connect with why we care on a personal level, and why they’re needed on a societal level.
Our frustration is alchemised into conviction
Our rage is alchemised into passion
Our sadness is alchemised into shared connection
I’ve had the same experience with my workshops:
For years I’ve been running music workshops for companies. Because I love music so much, when people asked me to articulate why it’s important, I’ve found it very hard to put my finger on it. I could share stats about why music is good for us and anecdotes about how much happier people felt afterwards, but because it’s always been part of my life, I was enthusiastic about it, but I’m not sure I really understood the value.
Until about a month ago…
When I finally took-in the fact that it was currently illegal for people to gather together in groups and sing, I felt a rage surge from my core that I didn’t know I felt.
I had to sing.
And the fact that I couldn’t felt threatening to my existence.
This wasn’t about simply fancying a sing-song with my mates, this was a to-the-core human need to be in connection with others through music.
I no longer just understood why music was important — I FELT IT.
So I organised a day of singing in the woods and then our national lockdown hit and I had to cancel it.
I felt such a sense of loss, but I know as soon as lockdown is over I am going to have so much energy for this project, there will be no stopping me.
Now, there is of course the possibility that some of these things we miss will never come back again. This is not necessarily about blindly wishing things were different and not accepting reality; it’s about using the frustration to help identify the things that are important to you. It’s seeing the rage as a guiding light to where you want to show up.
Questions to ask yourself
- What are you most frustrated with right now?
- What do you most miss from before the pandemic?
- If you are hoping things go back to normal, what is it you are longing to incorporate into your life again?
- What are these answers telling you about the sort of work that you want to be doing, or the mission you want to be on right now?