With all the craziness going on due to the coronavirus, it may be easy to fall into the trap of negative thinking, even for those who usually dwell in a fairly resilient mind set. Our lives are shifting every day and there’s plenty of uncertainty right now. Our hearts go out to all those on the front lines; the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, first responders, police and fire personnel, bus drivers, truckers, janitors, post office staff, fast food workers, grocery clerks and more who are taking care of those most ill and providing some normalcy for the rest of us by keeping essential services up and running. You are all heros.
We realize that everyone has a different story and situation, so if you are struggling with the current circumstance in ways that we aren’t addressing here, we send our prayers and wishes for the highest and best outcome for all. Faith is a fantastic tool.
With so much uncertainty and fear pervading our world today, my family and I have decided to do what we can to take a positive approach to COVID-19 by consciously focusing on the things for which we are grateful and the help we can provide. We are truly blessed with good health and prosperity, even in challenging times, and have found opportunities to try some new things that may lead to even better situations after we get past this crisis. Here are a few examples.
Home and Family
Our health and safety comes first, as does yours. If you and your family are healthy and safe, you have the top item on the list covered. Having a roof over your head is another positive, as is the ability to take the recommended precautions and remain home as much as possible. We are blessed that our business was already set up to do this, so that is an unexpected bonus.
Since moving from Southern California to Michigan back in 2004, we have enjoyed the opportunities that go along with having a fairly large home in the Midwest. That’s part of the trade from moving from metropolis to Midwest…there’s more social distancing, naturally. We have plenty of living space for practical comfort in home and work life, (since home also includes the family business), and that extra space makes it easy to stay stocked up and prepared for a long quarantine. It also provides enough room to give every family member plenty of personal space – a great blessing when things get a bit stressful. Since we were already home-schooling our youngest (who is now fifteen years old), we didn’t even have to deal with the transition of no public schools in session. So, for our family, this was a pretty seamless transition.
I’m sure for other families and businesses there are different sets of challenges, and everyone has to start from a point where they are, and move forward. My wish is that using a spirit of gratefulness for the things you can be thankful for, will lead in a positive direction, for more good to flow.
The Business End of Things
Working remotely may be a big change for some, but it’s been a part of our routine for the last twenty-five years. So, we’ve been able to take this adjustment in stride and continue working without a hitch. Speaking as someone who is accustomed to working from home, I would encourage anyone new to the concept to focus on the positive aspects (of which there are many). Think of the commuting time you’re saving, lower fuel costs and reduced carbon footprint, home-cooked lunches and the ability to work in your slippers. Of course, there’s also the additional time you get to spend with your family. We’ve been enjoying the extra time we’re getting to spend with our daughter, now home from college for several more weeks due to the closure. That is an added bonus for us, though not what she had hoped for.
Being a business owner comes with a lot of risk, but because of that, in our current situation, we fortunately don’t have to worry about the possibility of being laid off or downsized. Even though some activity may be slowing, many of our clients still have voice-over needs and we’re continuing to provide the high-quality services that we always have. Much of our business is in the telephony and narration genres, so even if there is some slowdown in retail advertising for awhile, there are still plenty of projects in the works. We are thankful for our loyal and long-term clients who continue to send business our way.
I’m assuring my clients, it’s basically business as usual in my home studio, which is equipped with everything I need to do my job. We also have ISDN/Source Connect/phone patch capability, which makes it easy to connect for live, remote session work with clients anywhere in the world. Most of the live TV world is now using the technology we’ve been accustomed to for years.
In addition to the usual types of projects that come in, we’re also seeing opportunities to help businesses and organizations deal with COVID-19. A couple recent examples include:
- Company Phone messages regarding COVID-19, which are urgently needed by many businesses and organizations
- Revised messaging about changing schedules, for hotels, showrooms and other large venues
- Advertising messages and PSAs including the “we’re all in this together” common assurance to customers
- Science and Medical VO regarding PPE and Clinical Trial work
Our daughter (and teen VO talent), Natalie, is now home from college for the rest of the semester. That makes her more available than she was when living on campus. This has actually simplified our work flow quite a bit, so it’s a welcome change.
Make This a Positive Change
Even if your own work has taken a downturn, you may find new opportunities to customize your services, products or offerings to help fill a need that didn’t exist before. Creative thinking can go a long way toward finding solutions, new streams of income and innovative ideas that otherwise may have never been born.
Many great discoveries and innovations happened by accident or when someone “took a detour” or “got off the beaten path.” That is exactly where we find ourselves right now. Outside of our comfort zone, outside the box and off of our usual path. Take time to look around and notice what you may never have noticed if this situation hadn’t happened. You may find something that is life-changing or transforms your business.
Once you get into the groove of thinking positive and counting your blessings, the days are suddenly lighter and brighter than they were before. We can and will get through these trying times, and a positive attitude will make it that much easier. Here’s hoping you get into that positive mindset – and that you and your family stay safe. Let’s all get to the other side of this thing as soon as possible so life can begin to get back to normal, even if it is a new normal.
Contact me if you need any messaging or other voice-over work related to COVID-19 or any other projects you have brewing. I’m open to meeting tight deadlines and always happy to help.