Keep Cool and Carry On – the hope and inspiration series 1

Stephen Hawking, who achieved so much despite adversity with motor neurone disease, at Domenics’ hairdressers in Cambridge

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is hideous. Deaths; ways of life destroyed; jobs being lost; business and charities and organisations of all sizes broken, from tech-heavy (airlines and aircraft building companies) to the arts and heritage sectors, and more besides, on a massive scale. The consequences for personal and government finances, for families, for people of all ages and in most walks of life, are unthinkable. The lost incomes and changed and lost human interactions and build-up of stress and mental health issues are another dimension. It isn’t all bad news. For example, in the UK people have helped each other a lot in recent months with Captain Tom especially iconic; the furlough scheme has preserved many jobs for now; and there is a National Health Service and it is keeping people alive; people are finding new jobs and new careers and starting new and different businesses. Even toilet roll is back in the shops.

How the hell do we Keep Cool and Carry On with all that going on?

A recent blog quoted Margie Warrell, published author, speaker, leadership facilitator, and founding CEO, Global Courage, and in response to a topical question. Margie’s big topic and lifelong study is bravery, and bravery to get up and get going in the current circumstances is going to be vital. She was asked:

Is ‘being brave’ any different in the new, world-with-pandemic than it was before?

Margie replied, “Long before this pandemic started and long after it is gone, the need for courage and bravery will be crucial to thriving in life and being successful in business. It’s just that right now, when fear and uncertainty run so high, we have to dial up our courage and be even braver than we might ordinarily do.

“Many people in the face of uncertainty, tend to hunker down and protect what they have. Yet to really thrive and seize the opportunities inherent in seismic levels of change that have been brought on my this pandemic, we have to move from a defensive ‘play not to lose’ mindset to a proactive, offensive “play to win’ mindset. This is brave work as it requires embracing the discomfort of the unknown and stepping onto new, unfamiliar and unchartered new territory. But those who will seize the opportunities of this time will not be those who are ‘playing it safe’ but those who are focusing on how to adapt fast and think two steps ahead to whatever new norms and needs this brave new world we will emerge into will hold.

“As I wrote in You’ve Got This! when we reframe uncertainty into possibility, it elevates our perspective to see opportunities and possibilities where we may otherwise only have seen problems.”

Cool Local will soon start publishing a series of blog posts offering advice and links to opportunities that can help people to Keep Cool and Carry on. We will cover, initially, topics including:

  • Starting a business or becoming a freelancer (where Enterprise Nation, IPSE, the FSB  and others have a lot to offer);
  • Finding new jobs;
  • Becoming an apprentice or an intern;
  • Making additional part-time income, often known as the ‘side-hustle’;
  • Mental health. Help to find that courage, or at least to have resilience and to find strength in adversity;
  • Networking – an aid to all of the above.

We will draw on advice from numerous sources. We will talk to many people who have succeeded, including already in the pandemic, such as Mike Oldham, who lost his job due to Covid-19 and is now in a new job, with a further role as a professional podcaster.

We will talk to experts in all kinds of areas, such as Zeenat Noorani (wellbeing coach); James Newell (sales coach); Liz Hamlet (business startup coaching); Sarah Marsh-Collings (digital marketing) and from organisations such as Telecoms World re. the tech/connectivity tools needed for business startup, Newman Flexible Workspace (re. using ‘for hire’ meeting rooms and office facilities), In Tune PR (on promoting a business), and many more.

We hope this cheers you up, which is what Cool Local is about. You can find your own information and inspiration too. Why not do that now? You don’t have to wait for us. Research, talk to people, dream of what you could do and how to get there, and get started.

You can also reflect on this thought from Sir Kenneth Brannagh, actor, playwright and director: “Dream. Dream big. Don’t be afraid. Because in the end dreams and fears do not mix.”

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