Updated: Mar 4
It's time talk about the bear in the room.
Or more accurately, the bear in Ukraine.
It's the only topic everyone's speaking about this week isn’t it?
Non-stop coverage, fear, anxiety, horrible scenes. It takes a toll on us all.
It's permeating our lives at all levels
I went to watch Cyrano earlier this week. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this film for ages – the trailer looked lush, a great cast and Joe Wright really knows how to do a period film.
And it was beautiful. Everything I hoped it would be.
But it included war scenes and one in particular that was incredibly moving. It reduced me to tears.
Tears that may not have previously flowed. But all I could think about during those moments were the text messages between a Russian soldier and his mother that had been released the day before.
His last messages. A boy who was still a teenager. A boy who was younger than my son.
The question of the week
This week, every client I’ve spoken to has asked me the same question.
A question that I’ve seen discussed all over social media as well.
How do I market my business in times like these?
That’s a tough question to answer. I know, because I’ve struggled with it a lot this week.
And I bet you have too.
There's a lot here for me to unpick
As an American living in Europe, I know me discussing enforced regime change can be… challenging.
As a liberal, I wince every time I hear or read that Ukraine is important because it’s European and a modern city, that is citizens speak English and look like us.
As a mother… well, my heart is broken in so many pieces it’s basically numb.
As a business owner, I’m launching my new mindset programme this month and I need to use my social media channels for it.
That programme includes resilience, learning to sit with fear and a bit of work around anxiety. I could, like some people I’ve seen, talk about what’s happening in our world today as a selling point.
But that doesn’t sit right with me. It gives me a big case of the ick.
Have you got your foundations set?
As with everything else in my life, I like to come back to the foundations when I’m struggling with a difficult choice. And this is what I’ve told my clients this week.
Setting the identity of my clients’ businesses is one of the first pieces of work I do with them.
Do you have clearly defined values for your business, which may not be the same as your personal ones but are compatible.
Have you set a mission statement and a vision for your business?
Foundational work is there to anchor us in times of storms. Something for us to hold onto and to give us the guidance (and sometimes the strength) we need to make difficult decisions.
Part of my business vision is to build a tribe of healed, empowered and successful women that will use their influence, power and wealth to help spread compassion into a world so desperately crying out for it.
Return to your basics if you’re having trouble figuring out how to market your business right now. And if those blocks aren’t laid yet, do them now. I’m totally happy to jump on a virtual coffee with you to help you do that work.
Listen to your gut
This is one time to get out of your head. Stop listening to all the noise, stop looking at what everyone else is doing.
Drop into your gut and ask yourself what feels right to you.
That's the best advice to listen to.
It's ok to protect yourself too
And on the personal side, make sure you’re sticking to your boundaries right now and not letting guilt have a voice.
I’m a huge news junkie whenever any major events are happening, and my drug of choice is Twitter.
I put my phone down for almost 48 hours last weekend to give me a chance to regulate my nervous system. I got outside for some gorgeous walks, read, put on some Foo Fighters and danced.
I felt guilty at first – what a privileged attitude to have my subconscious cried out. But I also knew that it was something I needed to do for my mental health.
So, Chris, what exactly is it you're telling us to do?
I guess what I’m trying to say here is this – after two “unprecedented” years that have left us a bit bruised, we’re now witnessing the biggest geopolitical event of my life unfold.
There are no universally right answers on how an individual or business should navigate these dark times. And what would have been right two years ago will feel completely different today.
But I can promise you one thing. When we look back at what’s happening now, we’ll see that the people and businesses who navigated it “right” are the ones who followed what felt most right to them.