Bright red headline with inscription PANDEMIC on white with abstract Covid-19 virus strain model


So, it’s March 2020 and lockdown hits the Gold Coast.

From outside reports, the world is in chaos. People are in panic around this potentially deadly virus, resulting in a steep escalation of fear, emotion and confusion.

I don’t mean to sound glib around this topic as I am highly compassionate to people’s feelings and quite intuitive to emotional pain, especially in others.

To paint a picture, though… at the time, I was living on a leafy block in a cul-de-sac, with no through traffic, so my experience of lockdown was almost resort-like in its tranquillity.

I enjoyed so much having our son at home from school and was quite happy to while away the hours pottering around the house.

Bright red headline with inscription PANDEMIC on white with abstract Covid-19 virus strain model

A Change of Heart

However, it was the shift in the collective I noticed that really piqued my interest. Following the lockdowns that stretched around the country and the globe, there was a change in the way people approached work.

Many people had been working from home, something I had been doing for years, and they weren’t managing the stress that came from allowing their careers into their living rooms.

While I had well and truly learned how to navigate the dangers of working long into the night at the home office and not being able to power down the laptop in case just ONE more email came through, the newly minted remote workers had not.

The high productivity that came from ditching the daily commute and not switching off after leaving the office, combined with the relentless demands of never-ending duties was fast becoming a very slippery slope for growing employee stress.

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

The whole world seemed to be focussed on an illness and it was heavily affecting people. The mental health issues of isolation were skyrocketing, people were leaning on distractive behaviours to cope and the community was generally disconnected.

I had also noticed a trend in the employees who’d been able to work from home not wanting to go back to work. In my local community, there was a loss of jobs due to the pandemic’s immense impact on the hospitality and travel industries and many small businesses were downsizing or sadly folding altogether due to loss of business.

It was heartbreaking to watch and made me wonder how my own operation could survive with so many of my clients going out of business or reducing their marketing budgets.

Taking a Moment to Reflect

Rather than giving in to the ebb and flow of the shift that seemed to be heading towards a breaking point, I decided to take some time to go inward, learn to find the calm within the storm and see what might eventuate.

What did come out of it was rather profound for me. I had never really enjoyed schoolwork, hated studying and the only thing I loved at school was reading fiction, writing and art.

My first year of university positioned me intractably as needing (not wanting; no NEEDING) to follow a career in writing, having received the very first High Distinction grade my Research & Writing lecturer had ever given in his lengthy career. (Sidenote: he promptly told the entire faculty and student body at an assembly I would have been quite happy instantly disappearing from after his announcement of my name along with the esteemed HD result.)

And so, the epiphanous moment that pointed me towards further study was as astounding to me as it may have been to my high school biology teacher.

The Toolbox of the Resourceful

I ventured into the lands of LinkedIn and Facebook looking for inspiration. What I found was fascinating. I joined groups whereby there were posts looking for copywriters and so I would click on all the 45 links of the copywriters who’d responded, and it became evidently clear to me that I immediately needed to refocus.

Obviously, there had been a groundswell of change in the style of content writing since I’d left print media. I’d already spent a decade in digital, yet while I’d “falsely” believed I had shied away from the new digital content trends in favour of more traditional writing, what I found was I had already been writing in that style for years and could easily craft complex and cleverly interwoven web content, catchy sales speak and had a particular knack for fun, vibrant eDM copy.

So I invested in a quick booster course and honed my writing skills even further, learning more about the art of crafting great sales content and how to speak to readers. Fortunately for me, it was simply polishing a skill I already had, yet it made me feel brave enough to really put my writing out there and go for it.

I was less self-conscious (as most creatives tend to be). I thought my years as a newspaper journalist on The Australian newspaper and stints on the Daily Telegraph labouring through the gruesome police rounds during my cadetship had left me with a certain resilience and determination. Yet, this “giving more of myself” felt even more courageous to me.

The Reinvention Revolution

People often say that you need to constantly reinvent yourself to stay relevant. I mean, look at Madonna, the queen of remaining front of mind, or David Bowie as the king with the rejuvenation crown. It’s certainly not a new topic and history is filled with game-changers, conmen, world leaders and the like who didn’t start out the way they’d been written into history.

If you’re looking at re-skilling or studying further, I would recommend you ask yourself why you’re doing it.

• Is it a topic or subject you’re really passionate about?
• Is it going to wholeheartedly add something to your workday or are you doing it because you merely think you should?
• Do you believe in what you’re studying?
• This needs to be a hard YES!

I believe that investing in learning to expand your knowledge base is key to growth in both your professional and personal lives. Yet, I had no idea how fun and exciting, thrilling and inspiring it could be.

Another great return on investment for me was have more clarity around how I wanted to spend my time during my workday.

So, if you’re thinking of studying to grow your business and you have something to say about that, feel free to reach out to me. If you’d like to let your loyal customers know you’re striving to improve yourself, your business and therefore your brand, we can talk about content. Or we can just have a chat, if you’d like someone to tell you you’re being brave.

Good on you for making that investment in yourself!

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