2020 started with what could be classed as a “rough start”. Bush fires were still burning the biggest we have ever seen. The country was covered in a blanket of smoke that could be seen from space. Beneath the smoke the land was dry and crisp from enduring another severe drought. Communities were suffering and under strain. And we thought this was tough.

We could see the impact occurring to a large portion of Australian businesses and families. Farmers has sold off most of their stock and faced an uncertain future. Towns were burnt out and people lost their homes, some lives.

Many of us watched on. We donated our time and our money to help…… and then……. there was the occasional news article about a “virus” that was spreading overseas.

Living in Australia we always felt a separation and barrier from the rest of the world, after all we are an island. We would be fine. We’re tough, right? We’re Aussies. Then “the virus” was here.

The term COVID-19 or coronavirus was everywhere, it has become a household name. As we again watched on, it swallowed us up. The country stopped. We already have a “race that stops a nation” and now we had a virus that stopped the world.

We were all shocked. Many businesses were forced to shut their doors, not knowing if they would be able to every reopen or financially survive the impact. Businesses that had been in the same family for generations closed. Those that still had jobs relocated to offices at home. We praised our
health workers and supermarket staff. People bought up all the toilet paper, perhaps as a reaction to feeling helpless? Who knows? We may never know.

We panicked we had forced change upon us. But then we remembered. We’re tough, right? We’re Aussies. We are a resilient nation.

Our communities pulled together, our State and Federal Governments threw us lifelines in the form of JobKeeper. Slowly we will rebuild.

It may seem like forever but now we make our way towards the Christmas period, we can see that it will be ok. The drought is breaking, crops are growing, dams are filling. We have better plans in place for the summer bush fires. Our COVID gardens are thriving, toilet paper stock levels have returned to shelves and we can see a future where we can embrace our loved ones and stop elbow tapping our grandparents.

What has all of this taught us?

  • We must be adaptable
  • Change can happen at any time and it will be ok.
  • You need to have a plan. A plan gives, guidance, security and confidence. Whether it is a business plan, or personal plan it is comforting to have.
  • Taking control over your personal budget and business cash flow is one of the most important things you can do. If you have not already acted, you should do it now.
  • We have learnt that we can and need to adapt to utilising technology for our businesses.
  • You do not need a shop front of bricks and mortar to run a business. A website and strong social profiles are just as good.
  • Zoom is our friend and we all understand and accept that children come screaming through an online meeting.
  • When we are forced to slow down, we take stock of what is important and makes up happy.
  • We can work together and support our community to get back on its feet.
  • It is ok to ask for help.

We had our team at Thrive Advice work from home. We worked strange hours due to working around our children. We accepted that personal and professional lives melted into the same thing. We reached out to our clients via Zoom webinars and online meetings. We made a plan and slowly unfolded it to move all of our team back into the office.

We had to be adaptable to meet the needs of our business and for our clients.

Now that we are coming through the other side of a pandemic, we can start to prepare for the La Nina.

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second-best time is now.

Written by Anita Craw – Thrive Advice

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