Episode 225 // Pandemic ready? Coronavirus and Your Business

March 17, 2020

In this special episode, Emily and Kathleen take some time to talk about the Coronavirus pandemic, the lessons you can learn from it, the opportunities you can find in it as a creative business owners, and our top tips for working from home (especially if your kids are home with you.)

This Episode Brought to You By:
"There are opportunities, you just have to look for them."
- Emily

Discussed in this Episode

  • Balancing offline + online
  • Moving the Being Boss Conference online
  • Finding opportunities amid the chaos
  • Working from home during the social distancing
  • Working from home while your kids are home

Resources

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.

Transcript

Emily Thompson 0:02
I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:04
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Emily Thompson 0:05
And this is being boss. And this episode of being boss, join Kathleen and I as we discuss the current coronavirus pandemic, as well as the lessons that you can take from and opportunities that you can find in it as creative business owners. And there are top tips for working from home, especially if you're now doing it with kids. As always, you can find all the tools and books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss dot club. How are you doing, Kathleen?

Kathleen Shannon 0:42
Well, I lost. I mean, I'm losing days to the Coronavirus.

Emily Thompson 0:49
Right. And to be clear, you don't have it. You're just no

Kathleen Shannon 0:51
I have. I have the panic, which feels just as contagious in so many ways.

Emily Thompson 0:58
Oh my goodness. So for everyone who's listening to this? It is Friday. It is Friday, March 13. It is Friday the 13th

Kathleen Shannon 1:09
that we're recording this this is coming out on Tuesday, Tuesday, what

Emily Thompson 1:13
13/45 is the 17th. So this is like a very fast turnaround. And we actually had another episode scheduled to go live on today, the Tuesday or whatever, on the 17th. But we decided to push that one for a moment and instead talk about this because this pandemic Coronavirus is live and well right now across the world. And so many conversations are being had so many people are panicking, so many things that are happening that are completely outside of our control. We're absolutely feeling it. You hear Kathleen she's losing days. So the panic. Things are happening in people's businesses. I've been having conversations about this for weeks with people that I am close with in terms of how this is going to affect your business. How these is going to affect things like events, pause long pause. Because it was having effects weeks ago now it's having like every effect a possibly can have.

Kathleen Shannon 2:14
Well, what's interesting is in the past 24 hours, one I've lost close to five figures in revenue. For us. I mean, there's like a real monetary impact here. The thing that gives me hope with it is that we're all in it together. And I think that we're going to come out of it like this is an experience like any other and hopefully nobody dies from it, right? I mean, that is going to happen because it's a pandemic. And I don't mean to get doom and gloom here. But with that, whenever it's a life or death situation, it makes business decisions a lot easier to make, and travel decisions a lot easier to make. So for me, I guess I also last 24 hours where I could be working on stuff just making decisions around canceling basically every single thing I had five trips planned in April five, in all of them have been canceled, you know what I mean? And so that just takes a day of planning and just kind of freaking out.

Emily Thompson 3:12
Oh, for sure. I've lost a week of just putting out fires. And we'll talk about that in a minute. But what I what I want to do with this episode is hopefully give everyone a little bit of hope and peace and direction and light. Because

Kathleen Shannon 3:27
I feel like my comment was not helpful. Like I lost all the money and canceled all the drips,

Emily Thompson 3:33
right and and that's true. That is like that is perfectly true. But that doesn't mean that there can't be good things that come from this. I've been just reading some interesting things and doing some interesting things that I want to I want to share here in this episode. So if you're listening to this, if you're totally freaking out, you can sit on Kathleen side of the room. And if you're like this can't be all bad. Please come sit on my side of the room and we can have a big long conversation about this.

Kathleen Shannon 4:04
Well, and that's why I wanted to have the conversation with you. This podcast wasn't planned. And I hopped on FaceTime with you yesterday because I just needed to not be alone.

Emily Thompson 4:14
I know I was telling you. I was telling David yesterday. I was like so Kathleen called me Jay. He was like oh yeah, what you want. I was like it was one of those calls where she just needed to sit on the phone with someone and he was like, Oh,

Kathleen Shannon 4:24
yeah, yeah. And you were markedly calm, especially for some of the very big decisions you were having to make and the fires that you were having to put out. And, and it did call me down. It really did and just realizing that we're all in this together and we're all making hard decisions together. And they're they're like you said there are opportunities. Not not necessarily for me. I'm not thinking opportunities but more of like hope. I'm seeing how some systems are broken and how they could be changed for the better. And I think that this is a big crack that's gonna reveal a lot of that on a global level. But then also like on our teeny, tiny, small business levels to

Emily Thompson 5:10
Yes. And that's really the piece that I want to talk about today because I do see this as an opportunity. And I think to this comes from so I really started having these conversations about the Coronavirus, a couple of weeks ago, whenever my mastermind group came into town, this is my peer mastermind group, not one that I run, but one that I am a part of that came to Chattanooga, and it was right about the time that it was really big in China, and maybe the first couple of cases had been found in the US. And we began talking about it and what it meant for you know, two of us run traditional brick and mortars, two of us have very strong online presences. All of us have hourly employees hourly, or salaried employees. And so it just it was a very interesting, engaging conversation that had me talking about it kind of weeks before anyone else was really talking about it. And because we were together in the same house for a couple of days, literally, every single one of her conversations would end up coming back to it. So we talked about it a lot. And, and so yes, I was able to come to peace with with it and sort of begin preparing mentally for what it would do to my business a couple of weeks ago. And I think that definitely put me ahead of the curve. And one of the things that really came out of that conversation of those conversations for me was that this would end up being a really big test for businesses. And that there really is a real opportunity for small, agile, easy to maneuver and shift and change businesses, like creative businesses, and especially being creatives it gives us the ability to be, or it gives us the predisposition to be a little less rigid, and to be more open to thinking outside the box for creative solutions. And I think we can all agree that in times like this, that is an imperative quality to have to be able to think outside the box, because this is something that has never happened on this scale before. There is no box to contain it.

Kathleen Shannon 7:12
I mean, it has happened on this scale before. Like, I mean, haven't you watched Interview with the Vampire? Exactly. The world is bigger, and we have the internet and the the ability to travel and spread things. So for sure, I think this is new to a lot of us. It does help me feeling though a little bit like I did after 911. And like after the Oklahoma City bombing, and after some of the tragic tornadoes that we've had in Oklahoma, like we've been through some stuff, but I feel like it's happening at faster speeds. And on a more publicized level.

Emily Thompson 7:51
And yes, publicize in this idea that those even were relatively isolated events. 911 definitely not like that definitely involved people from all over the world. But this is one this is completely global like and has shown how people moving around the world can move things so quickly and easily without even trying and I think that's it's fascinating.

Kathleen Shannon 8:13
But I have been tempted to watch contagion. You know, like to watch scary movies that are related to the vacations I'm on like I love watching scary ocean movies about sharks that are eating people whenever I'm at the beach. Yeah, and like Cabin in the Woods whenever I'm on like a Colorado vacation. So now I kind of want to watch some outbreak.

Emily Thompson 8:38
interview, you're not allowed to call me. That's like, you know, when you tell your kid that, like if you watch the scary movie tonight, you cannot come sleep in the battery. That's the conversation we're having right now.

Unknown Speaker 8:51
Okay, right.

Emily Thompson 8:53
Okay. So another piece of this that I've been really fascinated with is how this is bringing about in imperativeness. To balance online and offline operations of businesses. This has been a really exciting one for me to think about. Because it's one that I've navigated and thought about for the past decade, as I've been helping businesses get online, whether they be operating solely online, me talking them into doing some offline things or offline businesses that I've helped get online as well. Because we live in a time when we have the ability to build businesses that operate in real space, and remotely simultaneously. I think that's an amazing opportunity and not one that many people take. So I feel like this event is showing us that it's really important to adopt this offline and online model, so that we can build strong businesses that have the ability to stand the test of whatever unknown things are thrown at us. And you see this in big corporations that are finally adopting remote work forces, which I think is fascinating. also anticipate seeing lots of corporations. Going to a remote model. Imagine if big businesses stop having office spaces. Hey, can

Kathleen Shannon 10:07
I talk about this for a second? Because one thing I was thinking about whenever it comes to braid, I don't know how it's going to impact us. I can't see I don't have a crystal ball. And I think the economic impact of this might, someone even on my Instagram, compared it to an earthquake, you know, where you can feel the ripple coming. And you don't know when it's going to end. But one thing that I did think about whenever it comes to braid creative and our team is that we've already adopted a super flexible system for working. Because we're all working moms, we've all had things come up on a very minor level, like we have to go pick up a sick kid from school or summer breaks, what do we do, then we've we've already created this flexible model that has made my work life not feel that different. And we'll talk a little bit more about systems if you're new to working from home in a little bit and what that's like, but also, yeah, my husband has been given orders to work from home until further notice. My neighbors have been given the same orders. So I do think is really interesting and could bring about a big opportunity for more flexible work systems on larger levels.

Emily Thompson 11:17
Yeah, I hope so. I think as far as I love that working work from home moms are the most prepared. I know right? Yeah, exactly. Who saw that coming? all working moms did. So was Ella was talking about workforce. Oh, so the balance of like, large workforces going remote, but also the sort of re and portas sation is becoming important again, I'm making up words priority.

Kathleen Shannon 11:45
I'm prioritizing.

Emily Thompson 11:46
Yes. This reprioritization? How about that, of focusing on small and local of doing things really close to home? I feel like we're sort of living through this little paradigm shift pocket, which I think is fascinating. And I'm totally eating it up. loving it. I mean, I don't love it. But you guys know what I mean?

Kathleen Shannon 12:09
Yeah, I do think it's important to keep money flowing small and local. If you can businesses in Seattle have already shut down within a week shut down. So if you can keep money flowing where you can and when you can, I think that that's a good idea. I was feeling really funny about being in the middle of a kitchen remodel. I'm having new appliances delivered today. And I was like, that seems silly. Like if I had to make the decision to invest in my kitchen today, I would be like, Nope, I'm just gonna hoard away my money and jars and bury them in the backyard. Right?

Emily Thompson 12:42
But in that's how Academy stop. Exactly. So

Kathleen Shannon 12:45
then I thought, No, I'm doing good things for the economy. And I'm using a local design team and local contractors and local electrician. So I did not feel bad about putting that check in the mail to my local electrician that was over yesterday working in my kitchen. So that's where I'm trying to, like feel good about keeping money flowing.

Emily Thompson 13:07
Yeah, do it. I think you should feel good about it. For as long as as long for as long as we can all do those things. I think we only stave off sort of disaster by doing that. So I mean, it's important. Another one of the big things that I see coming from this that again, I find fascinating to watch is that this is a major test of systems across the board. And this can be very large picture like healthcare systems, for example,

Kathleen Shannon 13:35
but you know, even on like a micro level of health care systems, we've been talking for years about staying hydrated, stay hydrated bosses, eat well drink your greens, eat your greens, however you need to get greens in your body. You know and so this is an encouragement to stay healthy everybody drink your water stay hydrated. Sure.

Emily Thompson 13:58
And then also it's testing our individual business to systems as well. And I think that's true well for us very personally at Almanac supply co we took the team remote yesterday and immediately there were things going on in slack like where's that file that I need? Why does it have this on it whatever and I got in there and I was like alright guys, this is like the remote test. Like Can we do this let's shore up systems let's make sure everything's working like communicate very openly like do all these like let's let's get this stuff in order because we're going to be testing all of our business systems through the next couple of months. And another fun example of this is actually a boss has gotten in touch with us in the community that I also love that she messaged you on Instagram as well. Saying that profit first which is a financial planning system proposed by Mike mccalla Wits we had him on the podcast I want to say maybe like 126 ish and hold on. There's totally some sirens going by.

Kathleen Shannon 15:01
Can't hear them.

Emily Thompson 15:02
Oh, perfect.

Kathleen Shannon 15:03
Maybe it just adds to the ambience of this episode for Navy sirens.

Emily Thompson 15:09
It feels appropriate,

Kathleen Shannon 15:10
maybe a helicopter will by fly by next. Oh, gosh.

Emily Thompson 15:13
Um, so I mean, he was on episode 126, if I'm not mistaken, and talking about profit first, it's also a book highly recommended. And she shared that doing profit first help her bolster, a sort of financial foundation of if about six weeks of she could do literally no business for six weeks. And she's totally financially secure, because she adopted profit first. And I think that whenever we can use systems like that, whenever we use them consistently, they prove themselves in times like this. So this is going to be a major test in systems.

Kathleen Shannon 15:50
So we've been doing the same braid method process for branding people for the past almost nine years. And it was cool because even though yesterday was hijacked by a lot of Coronavirus discussion, I was able to use my canned responses and keep systems going and things scheduled because we have such a system in flow for how we work that even though I was completely emotionally and mentally hijacked by all of this, I had some things in place where business could kind of flow as usual for my clients, and they weren't feeling the freakout. And because those systems are so solid, and we're so used to zooming and working remote anyway, we were able to be nimble around the things that did need to be adjusted, like speaking gigs and stuff like that.

Emily Thompson 16:36
Yes. I think another thing, this test is our ability to be agile and our ability to, you know, turn on a dime pivot as needed. Like if you had a conference planned.

Kathleen Shannon 16:49
Or here's the sad news, right?

Emily Thompson 16:52
We've officially decided that the being boss conference is going to have a venue change is no longer going to be hosted in New Orleans, our favorite city instead it's going to be hosted in your house or in your office, because we are taking it virtual.

Kathleen Shannon 17:12
Can we throw some popcorn in the swag bags for people like me

Emily Thompson 17:15
made something, something that was the hardest decision that I've had to make in a really long time. I will also tell you that that has tested my mental health and have come out of it to the good where like if I had had to have made this decision a year ago, guys, I'd probably still be in the bed crying like right this moment and feel free to go back we have an episode that we did a couple of months ago called burnout. And by outdoor we talk about burnout and the sort of slump that Kathleen and I went through for about 18 months plus. And this has only shown me that I think I'm like, really in a very real way, again, over this thing. Because it's been It was not an easy decision. But it was it's been fine. It's been really, really fine. And it's

Kathleen Shannon 18:09
shown me that I'm not through the burnout, because it really stressed me out that I mean, it stressed me out for you. And that's part of the reason why the buyout happened is because you have the capacity to make these hard decisions right now, I would have had a harder time but I'm so impressed with your resilience through this and your calmness, like you're legit leader, you all can see some kind of like thumbs up being Emily right now. Thank you. And it's the kind of leadership that we need on a small business level. And on a community level I do I do feel more calm on a community level, like with schools getting canceled. Fox is home for three weeks. And I'm trying to reach out to my elderly neighbors and see if they need help grocery shopping. I'm not trying to distract from the conference conversation, but it did freak me out a little bit. Yeah,

Emily Thompson 19:02
I mean, and I was like, I was mad. I had a couple of days there where I was mad and I was going nothing's gonna make me cancel this thing short of like a travel ban. Like I said that to multiple people, like unless there's a travel ban, this conference is happening, I don't even care. And then there were conversations about well, then more and more cases came up. More and more, you know, state of emergencies was put in place. what really got me was several cases of Coronavirus coming out of New Orleans that stemmed from a conference. And so like whenever it just started getting real real and several conversations with bosses. So I started talking to some of the speakers through behind the scenes and it was a mix it was like you know, you know you do what you think is right and I'll be there and now is kind of what got me was that I was making a decision not for myself. I was making a decision for myself. Hell yeah. I'm going to New Orleans and doing this conference. It's going to be finding great I was making this decision for over 100 other human beings,

Kathleen Shannon 20:03
well, and then that multiplied like that, yeah,

Emily Thompson 20:06
multiply, and then it's the entire New Orleans community. And then it's the state of Louisiana. And then like, whenever I thought about that sort of impact, and the fact that people were looking to me to make the right decision, the only decision that I could make was to do make the decision that would protect everyone as much as humanly possible. So I made that decision. And I waited a couple of days, to have some further conversations, to do some due diligence to check contracts to talk to vendors and some of the other speakers to really sort of make the most informed decision that I could, both in making the decision and in addressing how, or addressing the decision that I had made publicly as well. And some of that is still sort of going on as in terms of, like, right now, this episode being released, we're still releasing some of that information. So we're taking it online. I'm very excited about it, actually. And that's sort of like that gut check is even one of the things that made this decision relatively easy as once I got over the disappointment of, you know, not hugging all of my boss friends, which is no longer allowed, you can't hug them. Or the fact that we were going to, you know, miss a parade, which is sort of this grand celebration of all of the work that we've done. Once I get over that disappointment, it just made sense. It just made sense. And I also cannot, cannot say enough how much I sincerely appreciate the support that I have had, from my boss, friends, from the attendees, from the people who just checked in with me, who checked in with me going, I know that you're planning a conference right now. And I'm thinking about you, are you okay? I get several of those emails and messages from past clients, or some of the speakers offering to have conversations and helped me brainstorm how to solve this problem. All of these things, the support I have received from the boss community has, again proven to me that you guys are special. really special. So we have we've made that decision. And we've immediately jumped into planning conference number two, and by conference number two, I mean, we planned one conference, we were on the road doing it and we've had to completely pivot and instead plan an online conference. And the team is stepping up like everyone's like, Okay, let's do this thing. What do you need? How are you going to do this? And we have some really exciting things in place. It's also funny, we were planning on doing virtual tickets for the conference, anyhow. And we were planning on launching those around now. Anyhow. So now we're just sort of kind of pivoting kind of shifting kind of just realigning. And I don't know now we're doing a virtual conference. It's happening. It's gonna be great. Way better than everyone getting Coronavirus.

Unknown Speaker 23:07
Oh, for sure. I want to talk a little bit about well, should we take a break real quick?

Emily Thompson 23:13
Yep. As I say, add, put add here. I'm already seeing the messages flying through my feeds. I'm missing human contact. I love my husband, but he's the only person I get to see and it's driving me mad, or I'm freaking out about the isolation. That one's legit bosses. It's bad for your mental health to be isolated from your peers now, and always, it's more important than ever to schedule out virtual coffee chats with your colleagues and business besties. Or if you're working remotely from your team, getting some virtual face time on the schedule is a must. But spending long threads of communication to find the right time will always be an unnecessary waste of time. With acuity scheduling, say goodbye to the back and forth to get a meeting scheduled. Just send the link and wait for the confirmation. It'll be bugged during your pre designated availability. And all you'll have to do is show up acuity scheduling the scheduling assistant that works 24 seven behind the scenes to fill your calendar so that you don't have to, for a limited time only you can get 45 days of acuity scheduling absolutely free. no credit card required by going to acuity scheduling.com slash being boss.

Kathleen Shannon 24:30
I want to talk a little bit about finding opportunities and a little bit of balance whenever it comes to maintaining enthusiasm and optimism but also being realistic and weathering the storm. Where are you at with all of that?

Emily Thompson 24:48
I'm just here.

Kathleen Shannon 24:53
I know I really can only take it one day at a time. Yeah, I'm

Emily Thompson 24:56
just one day at a time. I mean, we've worn Left self quarantined. And partially like I was in California last week. Right? Like I flew to alt summit last week and did that conference and came back and I went to work for a couple of days haven't come into contact with very many people. But I, a couple days ago decided, you know what I was like, if

Kathleen Shannon 25:18
I'm going to cancel a conference, I should also self quarantine just to like, I better like cross all my T's and dot all my eyes in terms of like protecting myself and everyone based on my decisions. Yeah, I'm doing that too. So fox is out of school for the next three weeks, which we need to talk about, because I can't figure out how to homeschool my child while also working from home. Yep. And that for me, I'm trying to approach all of it like a parent. I'm probably being a little bit more candid about my freakout on this podcast to our all of our listeners, we're all friends, right? But whenever it comes to my social media feed, especially like on my business account, and whenever it comes to literally talking to my child about Coronavirus, I'm trying to keep it really positive and not scary. And I need to remember to talk to myself that way too. And just take it one day at a time to stay positive. I mean, you all know it's so funny with with all this travel that I'm having to cancel because I basically think I'm going to die before every trip anyway. And I ever before every trip I have to convince myself that is not real. That is just your anxiety speaking. And so then with the worst case scenario now popping up with this Coronavirus and a pandemic. I'm like, Wait, is this just my anxiety? Or is this real?

Emily Thompson 26:41
This is real real. This one was real, all the other ones were anxiety. But it can be hard to tell. I mean, like I said, I've been I guess I've been talking about it and having conversations and really creating contingency plans for like multiple, multiple parts of my life for so many more weeks. And now that we're here, I feel a little more prepared. So I'm feeling a little less freaked out. I also don't freak out very easily about a lot of things like this. But I will also say to I'm probably more well informed about this event than any other world event that is literally ever happened in my lifetime. And partially because I've had to stay very well informed in order to make the decision that you know, has affected over 100 of our community members in terms of making a decision about the conference. But I mean the only thing I can do is just sit at home and do my work and send David out for toilet paper he can't find or whatever it like

Kathleen Shannon 27:40
you know just when toilet paper is not going to save you from the Coronavirus.

Emily Thompson 27:45
No,

Kathleen Shannon 27:46
is not everyone just wash your hands. You know and that's one of the things as far as staying informed goes. It's funny because actually I've been on top of this probably since January. I have a client who has product that's been on hold in China since January because of Coronavirus. Some of Jeremy's co workers have had to be been be quarantined. And I definitely had that very American approach where I felt immune and safe and isolated from it, even though the CDC warned us that this is going to happen. And it's going to get worse before it gets better. So whenever it comes to lessons learned, my lesson I have learned is that we're not immune to this and that we need to listen to the experts. So I saw this really great graph shared by pantsuit politics, and they've done a couple of really good episodes on this that have helped ease my fears. For me, staying informed has eased some of my fears. And if we just all do our best, it's going to be fine. It's going to be inconvenient, but it's going to be fine. And so one of those things is canceling everything, we have to cancel the curve. whenever it comes to keeping everybody safe. My parents had a trip planned to Hawaii literally on Sunday. And I encourage them to cancel like they are not immune either. Don't be flying across the ocean. So we have to stay informed. We have to say, resilient, we have to

Emily Thompson 29:12
stay stable, right and help each other, like be there for each other. So like, if I can't buy toilet paper, I'm texting my neighbors and I'm hoping against hope that my neighbors are there for me. For sure. I

Kathleen Shannon 29:27
know it's so funny. This is also prioritizing what's important

Emily Thompson 29:33
that there are things that become irrelevant and they are things that you become a little less you care less about at times like this, but like you have to also live your life like whenever you start getting angry because not every Instagram feed is not addressing the world's pandemic right now. And I think there there is a difference between being completely aloof and like not even pretending it doesn't exist. For example, like there's something there's difference between that and just living your life still,

Kathleen Shannon 30:02
you know, we've been balancing this for the past four years, and we had it. We got angry. I mean, we got real mad, and we're still mad. But we realize that that can't be the message that we're always putting out into the world that we have to continue to be enthusiastic about the things that we love, and be creatives from a place of hope and optimism versus reacting out of fear and anger. We're still mad about a lot of things. We're just not instagramming it

Emily Thompson 30:29
right? We're and I was having this exact same conversation at Almanac this morning. Because Mary, my employee at Almanac was saying like Instagram this week, I should put some things about, you know, the Coronavirus, and I was like no don't like puts in, it wasn't quite this sort of Stark of a conversation but summed up No, don't encourage people to take care of themselves, remind them that spring is still coming, that the world is still turning sort of be this sort of quiet support that's not in your face about the thing but support people without reminding them of the constant shift that we're in, like a be a light of hope, not like giving someone a shovel today.

Kathleen Shannon 31:16
So you know, I'm a total gym rat. And I love going to the gym. And I've stopped going to the gym for the time being again, because a lot of older folks workout at my gym, and I have a young child who sometimes I take to the gym and just again doing what we can do to contain this thing. So I've been sharing that on Instagram, just the little things that I'm doing and the hard decisions that I'm making, again, canceling all of the personal travel, not going to the gym. And so and a few people have reached out and said that this is helpful whenever I even ask people if they want us to do a podcast episode about it like an emergency episode. We got a resounding yes. Like please, that would be great. And I guess so whenever it comes to that. What I really want to say is that you're not alone. We're all making adjustments. We're all freaking out at different levels. Emily's freaking out at a different level than I'm freaking out. And we're in this together like,

Emily Thompson 32:14
literally dreaming conference decisions all night long. Like I wake up tired guys, because I'm solving conference pivot questions in my head literally constantly. I'm not instagramming routing it early. No, I'm not none of those things. But we are all freaking out about our own things for sure. I want to go into I want to go into talking about finding opportunities within this mess. Because that is the only thing that we can do to like better ourselves in the current situation. And when I talk about this, I really mean business things. We are a business podcast, we're talking about business stuff. And sure you can adopt some, you know, heightened self care practices or take better care of your health or whatever that is. But I want to talk some business opportunities here. I pose this question. It's funny. I think this question is really hard for Google, I pose this question in the community the other day, and got some interesting answers. Where is and what I mean is the prompt that I put in here was what opportunities are available to you during this time of Coronavirus. And I got a lot of like the negative like this is going to hurt my revenue. My clients are disappearing, like those sorts of things. But what I want to facilitate here is a mindset shift. Because during this time of slower business or working from home or whatever it may be, there are opportunities here, you just have to look for them. For me, I'm I'm so excited to be working back from home again, if you don't know I moved into an office space, which I love, but I also am total hermit and I like working by myself at home. So an opportunity for me is I'm back in my like home office and I kind of love it. But there are other things that you can do, too, that are sincerely more practical, like testing your systems. You know, for you, you were able to more or less like tap out yesterday, but continue running your systems that has proof for you that your systems are on lockdown. And that's an amazing thing for your business.

Kathleen Shannon 34:16
Yeah, another thing I'm thinking a lot about is if we slow down, and I'm hoping that we don't. But you know, another system is that we are already used to working remote again. But another opportunity I've thought about is using that time to update my website. You know, it's always good to do a website audit every year and just reassess your branding reassess your messaging to people is it clear whenever you go to your website, how people hire you. Have you updated your portfolio in a while.

Emily Thompson 34:46
Maybe you haven't done all your bookkeeping,

Kathleen Shannon 34:49
right? Yeah. Have you finished your taxes. Also systems around you know, Instagram like maybe you've just been trying to do one day at a time and that's funny too because I've realized estimize my Instagram recently with braid, and we're posting every day. So again, even during my freakout yesterday where I got completely hijacked, a post still went up on Instagram. And because I had systems in place and in place, and because I've batched it. So these are times where some of those things that you haven't been doing, like getting on Asana or figuring out your bookkeeping, or implementing your fresh books, or your acuity systems, or finally developing out that online course, those are all things that you can start working on now. And shoring up so that whenever you hit the ground running in six to eight weeks with all your client work, and people are out shopping again, you've got some extra help in just automating some stuff.

Emily Thompson 35:45
Right? You've done the work, I recorded an episode of making a business which is available only in the clubhouse here of the being boss community about slow seasons, and it came out maybe a month or two ago. And this is the exact idea of that is that every business has slow seasons. And whereas usually we can, we can anticipate when they'll come because you know, there's a natural ebb and flow that is usually around Christmas, all of the economy operates around Christmas guys one way or the other, you're affected by it. But this is one that's just kind of been slammed in there. I know we were previously unaware of it. But there are still things that you can do during your slow season. Another thing that that I'm seeing that I'm loving so much, and I think we'll only begin seeing more of this as a as a cultivation or re cultivation of community. One of two of the things I've seen as one my peer mastermind, we are talking so much more right now, because we're troubleshooting problems. Were asking each other questions, I was able to get in touch with one of my one of my peer mastermind folks a couple days ago and was like I, you read to me this really great sentence that you wrote about the Coronavirus that you sent to your email list when we were together recently. Can you please send me that because I'm trying to write one for myself. And I sound like a caveman like so we've been talking through and working through some of these things very, very closely. Similarly, and one of my mastermind groups that I've run Previously, we still have a group slack together. They're in their scheduling of a call with each other for next week, because they're all now working from home. Most of their husbands are also now working from home, which is a whole other dynamic, and they just want to talk to each other. They want to talk to their people. So I see people reconnecting in a really beautiful way. And good things can only come from that. Hey boss, listening to us in your headphones or in your car while you do whatever it is that you're doing all by your lonesome. Guess what, no matter what you think. You're not alone. And the being boss, community bosses from all over the world are rallying to do this thing together. Even if we're sitting alone at our computer, whether PJ pants on, you can connect with bosses any time to ask questions, get help or just chime in. Whatever you need to remind yourself that we're all here. And we've got your back, learn more and join the beam boss community by going to be boss dot club slash community.

Kathleen Shannon 38:24
Okay, I want to do a quick fire about working from home, we've probably did a working from home episode probably within our first 10 episodes of being boss. But now with this, a lot of people are either talking to friends who are just now working from home, or maybe you have a full time job and a side hustle and you're having to work from home now. So I just want to kind of quick fire some tips for working from home. My first ones are to get set up with zoom and slack. So zoom is great for video conferencing with your teammates. I think that that face to face connection is really important. And you're going to start missing that if you are working from home for the first time and have team members. Or again, like you said, with your business besties or a pure mastermind group, you can just hop on zoom real quick or FaceTime and see people face to face. But then also slack is so good whenever it comes to working remotely because you're not cluttering your inbox and you're still getting some of that, like, you know, water cooler chat. In certain channels, you're getting quick answers to business or client questions that you might have. And it doesn't have to go to email. So those are my two big like apps that I would start using ASAP is zoom and

Unknown Speaker 39:43
slack.

Emily Thompson 39:44
Yes. And I want to talk about like physical workspace. I think finding a place in your house that you can get focused and do the work is imperative. Like for me, I cannot work from my kitchen counter because I'm looking straight at my sink. And if I'm looking at my sink, I'm usually thinking oh I wish that you know nine For washed, or maybe I should wash an apple and eat it or like what I can't work ethic kitchen counter, for example, and I have a great island that would be great for working, but I can't do it. For me having a designated space and extra points if you have a door, especially Actually, yes, especially if you have other people in the house. But I also think if it's just me in my house by myself, when I close the door, it's time for work.

Kathleen Shannon 40:24
Yeah, with that, I will also want to say don't do chores during your work hours. Oh, no, no, just don't do them. And I know it's tempting. But don't do it. Wait until your work hours are over to go clean your kitchen or do the things. I also want to say that you might get more done in less time working from home, you don't have that casual chatter that really starts to add up. whenever it comes to working. You don't have your commute, you're gonna get more done in five to six hours, then you typically do in an eight to nine hour work day. So if you have to tap out early, don't feel bad. If you're not putting in a 40 Hour Work Week.

Emily Thompson 41:04
Just gonna throw Sure. I will also say to stay away from your kitchen. I often find myself when I'm working at home At home snacking a little too often, like it's so easy just to like, Oh, I need to take a tinkle break, oh, maybe I'll make myself a cup of tea, and then I'm eating chips. So I have to be very mindful of my relationship with my kitchen. When I'm working from home. Just putting that out there.

Kathleen Shannon 41:32
I have to make sure on that note, I have to make sure that the chips and peanut butter and all the things and especially the chocolate, I can eat a bar of chocolate in a day working from home. So I just have to make sure it's not on the counter. If it's on the counter, I'm going to eat it. But if it's put away in a cupboard, I'm not going to snack all day. Yeah, that was my new thing. Anyway, um, I need help on working from home with my kid home. So my child's school was closed. As of right now for three weeks, it could be longer. Who knows, I know that a lot of schools are closed for four to six weeks right now. Um, I have had him stay home sick from school before or on breaks. And I just let him iPad all day long, because it's temporary. But we can't sustain eight hours to 12 hours a day of watching YouTube while I'm working from home, so my

Emily Thompson 42:32
brain will be jello. I mean, jello,

Kathleen Shannon 42:35
he's pretty smart. But yeah, jello, it affects No, it has nothing to do with his smart, it's his attitude, he gets real upset and emotional whenever he has that much screentime for sure, for sure.

Emily Thompson 42:49
So I have been homeschooling my daughter since she was in the first grade. And she's currently in the sixth grade. So in the past for the past five years and worked for home for the bulk of those. And so I'll take I'll sort of address this from two places. One is if your partner is also working from home, take shifts, I think if one of you can take the kids to the park or for a walk or you know, sit down and read a book together, or even if it is playing video games together, or whatever it is some sort of engaged time together, take shifts, and I think you should hash this out either at the beginning of every week or every morning. So sit down and be like what meetings Do you have what tasks are on your to do list, whatever, whatever who's going to take the kid when because whenever one of you is interacting with your kid and also think of this as an opportunity to. And I know it can be hard and kind of suck to get it. But you can look at this as an opportunity to spend more time with your kid, which is really what a lot of working parents really do want. So you have the opportunity to do that. You just have to prioritize it. So take shifts as much as possible. If you are a single parent, working from home with your kid. That can be a little more difficult. But I think you can take shifts in terms of work and hanging out with your kid. The entire world is going to be quite a bit more accepting right now of you spending more time with your kid. So take advantage of it. If anyone gets mad. Tell him to suck it. Because it's the reality of everyone.

Kathleen Shannon 44:20
That's a good point. I had a few conferences canceled, obviously,

Emily Thompson 44:24
and not canceled. We change the venue. Correct.

Kathleen Shannon 44:29
I love that repositioning. I love it. Travel has been canceled. Spring Break has been cancelled. I supposed to go to Mexico City. And so now maybe I was thinking oh, I can get more work done. But maybe maybe since fox is out of school anyway, I will actually take that time to be a good mom and have some like hands on. You have the opportunity. You totally have the opportunity to do so one of the things that I think that we'll probably do is implement some sort of schedule. So our school is Going to have a classroom like an online learning plan. I'm curious to see what that's like. But I think what I want to do is maybe on posterboard schedule out our day. And so just like I scheduled time to go to the gym, I'm going to schedule time, you know, maybe two hours a day out of my work day, to have PE with my kiddo, maybe we'll do some yoga together or go for a walk outside. And then also scheduling time to do things like write a letter to grandma. Today, we walked around the yard, I thought of you, Emily, because I felt very homeschooling, I was like, I'm doing it, doing what we did science today by walking around the yard and looking at what's blooming. And I was like, oh, let's take a picture of this flower everyday. And we'll see how it grows over the next three weeks that you're not in school,

Emily Thompson 45:43
you're totally doing it. But he's also upstairs playing video games while we record this. So okay, so that's that, that's completely fine. So here's another hardcore rule that I have in place. And it's funny, because I see this being not done in the way that I do it a lot. And it drives me insane. I draw a very hard firm boundary, around my meetings, and around my very intense work times. And for example, if my door is closed, you're not allowed to come in, I don't even knock, you better be quiet when you walk by the door. And like it, but if you're bleeding or throwing up, or if there's someone at the door, come get me. Like, those are the three cases, those are the only three cases. So either closing the door, or also I have my thing, if I'm typing, if my fingers are actively on the keyboards doing the thing, it's mean that it means that I'm writing an email, or writing something and it's flowing. And if you break my concentration, I lose it. So my family knows that if my, if my fingers are on the keyboards, they are not allowed to speak to me. That's perfect.

Kathleen Shannon 46:57
I also think that with headphones, sometimes I'll have headphones in my ears without even having anything playing on my headphones. And it's kind of that another boundary because I don't have an office with the door surprisingly, in this house, even though I work from home 100% of the time. Um, but yeah, headphones in my ears maybe is a good one, too.

Emily Thompson 47:17
Yeah. And I can't, I cannot stress it enough how important it is for you to create that boundary with your child and completely and utterly expect them to follow it. Period. It's not bad parenting, it's great parenting, you're teaching your children how to respect other people's boundaries. And I think we can all agree that the world needs a little more of that. Okay, and then I have one more resource that I really want to share with anyone. I found this resource I think as a wonderful one I, before I get into the pros and cons, it's called Teachers Pay teacher's Teachers Pay teacher's calm. It is almost like an Etsy for teachers. So teachers can take the lessons that they've created. And this is like all subjects all grades, and they can put them for sale on this website. And so these will be here are these they're on their site. And they're like $1, or like $4. Or sometimes like $120. If you want like a legit project, I think these are things like bundles of writing prompts, or handwriting practice sheets, or science projects, or math kits. So Lily has done a couple of these and one of them. They're like small business focus, too, which I really love. But things like okay, you're going to start a bakery, you need to figure out your costs. You need to figure out how to make recipes, how to double your recipes is like practices in pricing and fractions and all kinds of fun stuff.

Kathleen Shannon 48:43
And do you get cookies at the end of it? Oh, this bakery?

Emily Thompson 48:47
If you do it right. I hope so. I have found quite often that they need a good look over before doing them. Because sometimes they're not the most like top quality learning tools I've ever found too. Sometimes they say where things are like the answers aren't or like because most of them come with actually, most of them come with answer keys. So don't just print them out and give them to your kids because they'll have the answers take the answer keys out. Because sometimes the answers are not actually the answers. They're not vetted. They're actually here's the funny thing too. This is like online business me looking at funny things. Teachers are really great about giving other teachers raving reviews, even if the product kind of sucks. So like, I would not just look at the reviews and think it has five stars and that it is five stars. But I do think it's a great resource. I've gotten many, many projects on there. It's fun to do with your kid. It's also find the kinds of things that they can do by themselves. It's a good way for them to still learn without tech time and a lot of them are really creative and quite involved. But a lot of them are also very simple like just go do this worksheet, many solutions so I highly recommend that we use that a lot. And then other than that, get them to read some books or read some books with them. And that's a great way to to spend some time with your kid or have them spend some time with ourselves without being on tech too. Well, I

Kathleen Shannon 50:24
feel like everything is changing, emotions are changing. Logistics are changing day by day, hour by hour and I think it's really good to stay in contact with each other. So where can our bosses go to stay in touch with each other?

Emily Thompson 50:39
We are talking about all kinds of stuff these days in the being boss community. We're having conversations about Coronavirus, but also not Coronavirus. We're talking about email marketing platforms and sales tactics and what tools are great for launches and those sorts of things. So whenever it comes to Oh, we're also like talking he'll talk a lot of Tarot and astrology in there. It seems a come and go pretty loudly when it does is right

Kathleen Shannon 51:05
Coronavirus in the stars. Is there an astrological reason for this?

Emily Thompson 51:09
I've thought about this that I think so you know how there was that big Saturn Pluto conjunction a couple like in February and then came Coronavirus. And they all said that that conjunction was all about testing systems. Hmm burning things to the ground that weren't working correctly. Remember that remember that anyway. Um, so the big boss community is where we are having tons of chats and cultivating all kinds of community. It will also be a huge part of the being boss conference, which is hats is still happening change of venue. In April of this year, several key elements will be going down in the community as well. So if you'd like to come join us over there being boss club slash community, or if you do want to set aside three days in a brawl to do some business learning at home from some amazing speakers and watch me figure this shit out. Being boss club slash conference,

Kathleen Shannon 52:09
I'll be there with you.

Emily Thompson 52:11
It'd be fun. Alright, anyway, I do want to wrap this up with you've got this. We've all got this. We'll figure it out together know that? There are big conversations going on all over. And I don't know I I have plenty of hope. How about that? I have plenty of it'll be fine. I

Kathleen Shannon 52:30
do too. And we're all in it together.

Emily Thompson 52:37
Thanks for listening. And hey, if you want more resources, we're talking worksheets, free trainings in person meetups and vacations and more. Go to our website at www dot FBI boss dot club.

Kathleen Shannon 52:50
Do the work the boss