It’s been 3 weeks since I posted on my social media pages for my business and at least 3 weeks since I wrote anything for my website blog. I’ve had ideas about what to write. I’ve been reading more articles than usual ’cause you know…it seems like I’ve got nothing but time baby. I’ve been taking notes to make sure I remember what direction I want a story or a blog to go in. I’ve had this great idea that now is the time to get started on the travel show that I’ve wanted to do for the past 10 years so, I’ve been chatting with a producer friend of mine and got in touch with a couple other independent travel agent friends who are bright, with personalities to burn down the house and beauty of spirit to match and said “hey, I’ve got this idea, who’s in?” Everyone’s in, great. But I haven’t done much to move forward with the project.
I‘m normally an easily motivated human. All I require to get excited about a new project is inspiration I’m pretty good at finding that inspiration on my own and from almost any source. It could be in nature on one of my walks, or on the spin bike while I’m at the gym. Perhaps a conversation with a client or a supplier even or a lunch meeting with a fellow entrepreneur. And once the inspiration comes there’s usually no stopping me. So, when I decided to do a deeper dive into why I wasn’t rushing off in excitement to get every ball rolling to start this project two things occurred to me: 1) None of my usual sources of inspiration were readily available to me due to isolation during this time of Covid-19 “new living”. So, although I found inspiration to put an idea and a team together for a new project I couldn’t seem to find the continued inspiration to keep things moving. And 2) That I don’t have a clue what to plan for?
So, although I found inspiration to put an idea and a team together for a new project I couldn’t seem to find the continued inspiration to keep things moving. Furthermore, what timeline am I working with to get this started and continue before we’re called back to being able to live life as we please again? Can I sustain this project once we can get back to business? In short I was feeling both creative and inspirational paralysis due to a lack of information.
Because of my background in psychology I started to wonder if there was a name for this creative paralysis or if it was even a thing and the closest I came was this condition called “analysis paralysis” and this isn’t that.
Although I’ve got information to analyse, I don’t have the information that I feel would be necessary to analyze and make some decisions. I wasn’t looking for a solution so much as the answers to continue my questions about what timeline I was working with. But who knows, perhaps they are the same thing.
Anyway, I digress. Back to my deep dive into exploring the inner psyche of someone going through isolation due to a pandemic. When I got down to it I was always left with the same question: What do you do when you don’t know what to do? This has got to be a question that comes up often for entrepreneurs right? Yet I can’t recall ever feeling so trapped in the the swirl of that question ever before in any of my entrepreneurial endeavors. Oh ya, I reminded myself I’ve also never been through a pandemic before either.
This industry that I love so much – Travel and Hospitality – has pretty much come to a halt and we have no idea when things will start moving again. I still have clients calling me to book things for future (international) travel but I keep asking them to hold off because until I have more information my integrity just won’t allow me to move forward in that way. Yes, it’s costing me but my normal go to of travel insurance to protect my clients and their investment isn’t an option during this pandemic so, in the spirit of keeping my clients safe which is one of the missions of my company, I’d rather wait for more information to be certain of when things will be moving forward again before I start booking my clients to travel again.
I am spending time curating a couple of local retreats that I was working on from the last quarter of 2019 and another international one. One was supposed to be for mid August and gather 100 women in leadership together here in Vancouver and another was for 15-20 people in Trinidad and Tobago for October. I’m still planning the details of both but not sure when I’ll actually announce the dates.
So, yes I am “doing things” but for someone who is used to moving and shaking in such a way that there is often not enough hours in a day to get it all done, this time feels very daunting with…emptiness. What I’ve discovered is it’s just been a matter of getting used to slowing things down and taking time to breathe.
That’s when the answer to the question “what do you do when you don’t know what to do” came to me: You can do nothing! And that’s ok.
Our only “must do” during a pandemic is SURVIVING. And we can “not do” as much as we want to make that survival happen. You don’t have to force anything. And you or I definitely don’t have to judge ourselves for any of the inertia or avoidance or sitting quietly on the couch to read or taking the time to learn how to bake. Even though all of those things seemingly have nothing to do with my business, they all do in fact lend me the inspiration to create.
So my question to you is: “What do you do when you don’t know what to do?”