Just three weeks ago everything seemed fairly normal. Some people thought stories of a rampantly spreading, contagious virus arriving here from China was just a scheme by the media with a political agenda. I heard from trusted sources with deep medical experience in epidemiology that life as we knew it was about to get weird.
A team that cleans together succeeds together.
I brought my team together on Friday, March 6th. We sat in a circle and spoke about what we might do to prepare. While searching online we were shocked to find that one pack of Clorox wipes was selling for a whopping $65. So we took a group field trip to buy cleaning supplies.
Back in the office we sat together. Surrounded by grocery bags of Clorox wipes, Lysol spray and paper towels we spoke about how we should be prepared for what was about to happen. We knew that as long as our families were healthy and safe we would continue to work hard, no matter what the circumstances.
A week later we were mandated by the state to move from our collaborative space to a remote working situation. We started using new project management software and video chats to focus and keep the business thriving even with chaos ensuing around us.
I go a little stir crazy.
By nature I am an independent extravert. Being forced to stay at home – even for all the right reasons – is challenging. When I leave the house to get supplies, a woman greets me at the entrance of the grocery store, spritzing my cart with bleach spray, while I snap on my surgical gloves. This is definitely a new normal.
I watch people load their carts with copious amounts of paper goods. The store feels eerie. People are quiet and move like ninjas in the aisles to stay far out of each other’s way. There are antibacterial wipe stands every two feet.
At check out, my bagels are counted. The cashier checks her list to make sure I’m allowed to buy a dozen. A walk outside feels like real freedom. I try to ignore strange thoughts that float in occasionally and live each day as it unfolds to the best of my ability.
Sometimes, I watch too much news and laugh like a crazy person when I see people crossing state lines for supplies who could be arrested for not shopping in their home state. The information about the spread of this virus could be maddening. So I do the best I can to compartmentalize all of the noise.
I wonder what will happen to friends, family, and the business. I balance that with the knowledge that we’ll get back to normal again, whatever that new normal looks like. When we do stabilize, the economy should stabilize and stimulate, too. With enough hard work, communication, teamwork, and visibility our company will be in great shape. Those thoughts are where I concentrate. They buoy my sprits and help me see how a positive destiny will transpire.
Whatever happens will happen.
My husband, business partner and best friend Eric is a skydiver with almost 2000 jumps under his belt. He looks at the current world situation with the wisdom of living in the present and staying in the moment.
He truly believes that whatever happens will happen. Eric lives his life with unabashed vigor, taking time to stretch his body in the living room instead of our closed yoga studio and reminding me to feel all of our blessings.
His philosophy about life grounds me and allows me to take even more of a pause, smell the daffodils and exist with as much joy as possible all while trying to control my busy thoughts.
This business is personal.
Any business owner will tell you that in the early years (and all of the years), you pour your entire soul and every ounce of energy and brain power into manifesting success. I chuckle when people tell me not to take what happens in my business personally. To me, it’s always personal. I’ve gladly sacrificed precious time with family and friends to build a company that makes me proud.
I’ve poured my heart into supporting a staff of incredibly skilled, beautiful human co-workers. They’re my friends and my family. When you work together day and night you experience all the highs and lows together. Succeeding in the face of any obstacle will bond us as a group and positively affect all of our lives for years to come.
Koi-Fly Creative’s services are crucial in helping other businesses stay visible and afloat no matter what is happening in the world. We will thrive and we will unabashedly help our community thrive whenever and wherever we can at all times.
Lean into culture.
Our company culture is strong. We aren’t afraid to pivot, we passionately work really hard and we believe in our core values:
Integrity comes first
Be kind, fun, and hustle to get it done
Positively embrace the challenge
Listen, learn, and serve with gratitude
Elevate creative through thoughtful collaboration
Driven to deliver damn good work
We chose these values together, carefully as a team and we believe in them wholeheartedly. I lean on these pillars as I think about Koi-Fly’s next steps.
We are supporting our current clients and potential new clients with video edits to help them share compassionate messages of hope and support to their clients and employees, free of charge.
It is my feeling that communicating transparency in leadership, visibility, and entertaining people when they need levity and fun could help all businesses push through any challenges that come their way.
We have no choice but to buckle up on the roller coaster ride of life – no matter what it throws our way. If we stick to our values through thick and thin they will guide us, lift us up, and help us land in the right place. Constant authentic communication is key. We might need to pivot, creating new company strategies and goals weekly, maybe even daily when the world changes around us – which is actually quite often.
In the end we are all the same: co-workers, family members, friends, daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, partners, wives and husbands who are concerned about our health, our finance, and our sanity. We are all people who need compassion, connection, and love to thrive. If we as business owners understand this, we will prevail.