Now What?, Part 2; An Interview with Betty Clark, CPMedia & Marketing (Inspiring Women, Episode 28)
On this edition of “Inspiring Women with Betty Collins,” Betty continues her consideration of lessons learned in 2020 begun in the last episode. She is joined by Betty Clark of CPMedia & Marketing, who offers her perspective on how marketing & advertising are changing. “Inspiring Women” is presented by Brady Ware & Company.
Betty’s Show Notes
2020. It’s not quite over. But Now What?
It’s a question I think we should be asking pretty constantly as we navigate through these times.
In this episode, we’re going to talk a little bit about reflection and embracing the last two actions from my Now What, Pt 1 episode, Assessing and Moving.
The basics of business haven’t changed through this time. And one of those basics is marketing.
I work with Betty Clark of CPMedia with my marketing. My interview with her covers a lot of ground. I know you there lots of marketing tips you will come away with from this interview. Don’t hesitate to contact her, and tell her you heard my interview with her. She can be found at CPMedia & Marketing.
As Betty Clark explains about CPMedia:
CPM has been in business for close to 30 years now. Throughout the years, we’ve discovered that a lot of businesses just simply lack the time and expertise in marketing their company in a way that’s going to get the results and the phones to ring. At CPM, we take a company’s budget and their goals and we use our marketing expertise to create a marketing plan. Then we implement them through that plan, through the use of traditional and digital advertising tactics, so a business can stand out from their competition and they can get more leads, which is going to turn into customers.
Ultimately, you’ve got to embrace the new day. It’s here, ready or not. It’s been here; it’s not gone. This has been hard for me. This has been one of the toughest things for me to grasp as a business owner, as a mom, as a wife, as a church member, any of it.
It’s been hard.
I don’t want this new day. I still don’t want this new day, but as we know, “life is like a box of chocolates.”
I’ve always been amazed at the resilience of the people in our country. I believe that if you keep asking Now What? and be ahead of it, no matter how the year closes and what the New Year brings, I think that you will have some success that you will really enjoy your life.
After you listen to this episode, go to www.BradyWare.com and look up Betty Collins, my podcast will be right there. There will be handouts that summarize all this.
I’d love to talk to you about it, because it’s something that I’m passionate about. Because when the marketplace works in this country, the country works. Right now, it needs businesses to work. It needs employers to have success.
Betty Collins, CPA, Brady Ware & Company and Host of the “Inspiring Women” Podcast
Betty Collins is the Office Lead for Brady Ware’s Columbus office and a Shareholder in the firm. Betty joined Brady Ware & Company in 2012 through a merger with Nipps, Brown, Collins & Associates. She started her career in public accounting in 1988. Betty is co-leader of the Long Term Care service team, which helps providers of services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and nursing centers establish effective operational models that also maximize available funding. She consults with other small businesses, helping them prosper with advice on general operations management, cash flow optimization, and tax minimization strategies.
In addition, Betty serves on the Board of Directors for Brady Ware and Company. She leads Brady Ware’s Women’s Initiative, a program designed to empower female employees, allowing them to tap into unique resources and unleash their full potential. Betty helps her colleagues create a work/life balance while inspiring them to set and reach personal and professional goals. The Women’s Initiative promotes women-to-women business relationships for clients and holds an annual conference that supports women business owners, women leaders, and other women who want to succeed. Betty actively participates in women-oriented conferences through speaking engagements and board activity.
Betty is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and she is the President-elect for the Columbus Chapter. Brady Ware also partners with the Women’s Small Business Accelerator (WSBA), an organization designed to help female business owners develop and implement a strong business strategy through education and mentorship, and Betty participates in their mentor match program. She is passionate about WSBA because she believes in their acceleration program and matching women with the right advisors to help them achieve their business ownership goals. Betty supports the WSBA and NAWBO because these organizations deliver resources that help other women-owned and managed businesses thrive.
Betty is a graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene College, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. Betty is also the Board Chairwoman for the Gahanna Area Chamber of Commerce, and she serves on the Board of the Community Improvement Corporation of Gahanna as Treasurer.
“Inspiring Women” Podcast Series
This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. The show is hosted by Betty Collins, CPA; Betty is a Director at Brady Ware & Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware & Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home. Other episodes of “Inspiring Women” can be found here.
Betty Collins: This is Betty Collins, and today, we’re doing part two of Now What?, which is something I put together after the year we’ve had with 2020; it’s not quite over, but Now What? is a question I think we should be asking pretty constant as we navigate through these times. When we talked first, I said it was all action by you; knowing, assessing, moving. Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about reflection and embracing the last two actions. When we talked about knowing the basics of business- and by the way, this is on my website that you can get these handouts related to it, gives you an overview, but we talked about the basics of business. That hasn’t changed. Just how we’re doing business has changed. Just how we’re living our lives have changed. The basics are still there. So, what are those? Revenue in customers, expenses, debt, cash flow, who our advisors and partners are, versus our transaction vendors, marketing and technology and company structuring. We talked about those things, went into a lot of detail about that.
Betty Collins: Then we assessed; assess the damage. The tornado came through and now, we’re standing, going, “Do we have a house left or are we going to rebuild?” But it’s all about moving forward, not just assessing and planning. We talked about hope is not a strategy, so you can’t just hope it all comes together. We talked a lot about your financial position and profitability … Debt, and that life will go on beyond 2020. One of the things I didn’t spend a lot of time in on the last part one of Now What? is the marketing and technology area. I’m fortunate enough, I get to work a lot with Betty Clark, CPMedia and she is a marketing person who has had to say, “Wow, how do I help my clients market? What is it that they need?” She had to do a lot of pivoting with thinking in how she’s gotten put together. I’m going to interview her next, and we’re just going to talk about marketing today, versus marketing in February, 2020; two very, very different things.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: As we’re in this time of Now What?, every business needs to be asking now what?, as I’ve talked about, with the basics of business; they haven’t changed. One of those basics are marketing and technology. For me, I really had to dig into this because I’m one who’s out in the marketplace. I’m either public speaking, I’m either at an event, I’m involved with different boards where I get opportunity. So, for me, I’ve never had to do a lot internally, back here. I don’t look at- so, I’ve really had to do the pivot thing and figure it out. I worked with Betty Clark of CPMedia in marketing, and we just started putting together a plan. Really, it’s stuff that … It’s not like it’s rocket science necessarily, and it’s stuff I know, but putting it all together in a plan that bounds it all is big. I want her to talk to us today about Now What? in marketing and technology. Betty, welcome to the program. Appreciate you being here. I want you to tell us a little bit about CPMedia and marketing. Tell us what you do.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: Well, CPM has been in business for close to 30 years now. Throughout the years, we’ve discovered that a lot of businesses just simply lack the time and expertise in marketing their company in a way that’s going to get the results and the phones to ring. At CPM, we take a company’s budget and their goals and we use our marketing expertise to create a marketing plan. Then we implement them through that plan, through the use of traditional and digital advertising tactics, so a business can stand out from their competition and they can get more leads, which is going to turn into customers.
Betty Collins: Well, I know for me, I’m a CPA, so marketing is not coming natural to me. It doesn’t make sense to me. I think if I just get out there and sell myself, it’s all good, which just isn’t the case. This plan was what I had to really put together. Really, 2020 forced me to do that. I really didn’t have a plan before. I was just doing a bunch of things all over the place and we consolidated that. For me, every business and industry has witnessed a change. What I do in business hasn’t changed. It’s how I do it; that’s what’s changed. Accountants don’t change very, very easily, so. I’m assuming marketing is no different. You’ve witnessed this change. Tell us about that.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: Well, actually, I would say that marketing has not changed, but certainly, the advertising tactics have evolved. When I first started my career, the primary way to market any business was through the Yellow Pages or traditional media vehicles like the newspaper and running ads on billboards, TV and radio. Then throughout the years, it evolved to include cable, the internet, social media and all the digital advertising elements that are out there. With this pandemic and 2020, we’ve had to approach target audiences in a more digital world, versus a traditional world.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: People spend more time now on their computers, their smartphones, their smart TVs, so we look at advertising and marketing opportunities, those vehicles instead. The marketing basics still remain the same. Companies need to identify their ideal client. They need to know their core message. They need to make certain that their image matches their message. They need to have products and services in place for every stage of a client’s development. Marketing material should be one that educates people, and they need to make certain that their website is one that can work 24 hours, seven days a week, and plus, they need to get their entire team on board with their marketing efforts.
Betty Collins: I know for myself, when we were devising my plan and we’re still- it’s still evolving. It’s always going to keep changing because opportunities change. One of the things that was surprising to me was how much I needed my database now, because I’m not out there and how incorrect and a mess it was. It ends up I have a thousand people and then I did- it’s not even a thousand people, which is overwhelming, but a thousand contacts sorted by industry or sorted by ownership or doing different than- I mean, I’ve now got that put together. I wouldn’t have been messing with that. I just would have hoped I could email them or, “Let’s send out a mass whatever,” and 50 emails come back. It’s forced me to go back to basics so that I can use them, though maybe in a different way. A lot of the technology, to me, has been here.
Betty Collins: Zoom has been here, but now we’re all using it. I got this stupid folder on my desk that has seven ways to get on a call because everyone’s different. People are now using things that have been in existence. It’s just been interesting, for sure. It’s helped me realize what I should be going after, and it is. I’m sticking with basics like you’re talking about, so we don’t have to get crazy about it. I can’t speak right now and I can’t go to events right now, so I have to have something that works. That’s been very helpful to take that. What do you think a business should do, going forward, in 2021? We’re all waiting for 2021. We all want that new year.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: Can you imagine what New Year’s Eve is going to be like? It’s going to be a blast. Just like you, everyone should create a plan. Just like we had to create a plan for you. In doing so, now is the time to make sure that all your programs, your people, your technology, that everything is working well and in tip-top condition, and everybody knows how to utilize all the digital aspects that are out there, like Zoom.
Betty Collins: Because we’re not going back. We’re not going back.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: That’s right. It will never be the- it won’t be the same. Then you also need to be creative and innovative in your marketing mix, just like we, again, using you as an example, like we did with you. Let’s look at different ways that we can market the Betty Collins when it’s not face to face. Businesses need to review their objectives, see how well they can achieve them without the programs that they were forced to eliminate in 2020. Perhaps the programs that were replaced with the traditional ones that they have been using, perhaps are more profitable, that they have found out that the ROI was better. That would be one to continue on for 2021.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: Create a list of possibilities to explore. There’s many things that still haven’t been tried yet, and how to do things. Then once you have that plan in place, then begin to prioritize. That, look what is currently running your budgets and maybe you need this for 2021. You might need to shift some dollars around or look at your advertising message that’s currently running. Now’s the time to evaluate the language that is being used, the images, and perhaps that right now, you’re using a picture with lots of people touching one another, being hugging or close to one another. I would suggest changing that and show a little social distancing.
Betty Collins: I was at a restaurant the other night and they requested that because you could obviously have your mask up while you’re eating, they did not want pictures taken at the restaurant- because people do that. They take pictures of their food, everyone comes close in the booth, and they said, “Please don’t do that,” and put it out there. If you’re going to have a picture taken, we want you to have a mask on, because they want that image of, “We’re practicing things safely here.”
Betty Clark, CPMedia: I’ve not ever heard of that.
Betty Collins: Well, I was there and that’s what they did.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: I don’t know if I would go that far, but-.
Betty Collins: They were thinking about their image. That’s what you’re saying.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: Yes, that you need to think that. I mean- and people want comfort and security. They want to feel secure and safe in whatever they do. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are, you have that ability to provide that to everyone.
Betty Collins: People are much more aware of surroundings now, that’s definite. They probably are looking at what your image is, much differently, just because they are more aware.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: I would also suggest that everyone take a hard look at their target audience. What you have been using has your ideal client before. Perhaps, your ideal client that has changed. I’m assuming that it has and that the same benefits don’t apply right now as they used to. You need to evaluate that and also, see what your competitors are doing; that’s key. See what their position has been and what actions that they’re taking, so you’re able to to counter that. Certainly, nobody knows what’s going to happen in the future. I wish that we all did, but we do know that it- and I think we all discovered this, this year, that when you have a plan in place, that it’s easy to do the pivot and make some changes. But you need to have a clearly defined communications strategy and have that innovation.
Betty Collins: Because for me, and probably most people, as we’re doing this Now What?, now what? What I do for people is no different than what I did in February, as I did in March of this past year.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: They still have those same needs.
Betty Collins: They still have those same needs. I have identified, “Here’s,”- because maybe they didn’t maybe know that I did these things, too. It was opportunity to go, “Hey, I can do this, too, for you during this time, but I can do this all the time.” It’s not that I’m not doing the basics in the same business, it’s just how I’m doing it. Even, I’ve been involved with some online events tomorrow. I’m involved with one, and they don’t want this to be one big Zoom call, because everyone did that at first, and all these people who had events trying to do an event online, it was a big Zoom call. Where they’re doing it- no, you’re at the event and the precision of people coming on and off and the backgrounds, all of it. I mean- so, they’re just doing it differently now, even within this year of, “Hey, we can do a virtual summit.” No, it’s a big Zoom call. Or we can do a virtual summit that really looks like you’re there. The planning helps. It has really helped me for sure, which is why I wanted you to be on today’s. We’re talking about these basic businesses. Let’s close with this, is there anything they shouldn’t do?
Betty Clark, CPMedia: Ah, yes. Doing nothing.
Betty Collins: Doing nothing. Hope is not a strategy, and by the way, it’s not coming back. We changed.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: We all have evolved and we need to look at the pandemic situation as an opportunity, not as a challenge or an obstacle. Yes, it’s certainly closed some doors, but it has opened others. As we know that by having a well-organized plan going into 2021, knowing that you might have to adjust some things, as they ebb and flow, you’re going to be fine.
Betty Collins: Well, I appreciate you coming today and talking with this part of the Now What? It’s a huge area. I didn’t feel competent to come and talk about it. It’s a pretty specialized area, and so, I appreciate you coming. How can people reach you? What’s your website?
Betty Clark, CPMedia: They can reach me at CPMedia.com, or BClark, C-L-A-R-K, at CPMedia.com.
Betty Collins: Great. Well, thank you, and hopefully, we will get to 2021 first and have a big celebration on New Year’s Eve this year and keep moving forward, because it’s not a matter of what if, it’s a matter of when.
Betty Clark, CPMedia: That’s [CROSSTALK].
Betty Collins: We have to ask the question, now what? Thank you, Betty. I so appreciate you coming on today and talking about the marketing and technology aspects of things. I know you’ve been working with me personally on just, ‘how do I market myself?’ Because it’s been pretty tough when I’m a person who gets on stage and speaks, and I’m at events and I- you might chair boards for nonprofit organizations where there’s a lot going on. I’m out in that marketplace and I haven’t been able to do that. You’ve been helping me with understanding what other capabilities and avenues that I have. We’re going to finish- first, we know the basics. We assess and keep moving, and now we’re going to reflect.
Betty Collins: Reflecting, I’m not sure that I want you to think this is sitting in a dark room humming and meditating. I guess it could be; maybe that would work for you. I think many people, when you go, “Let’s reflect, let’s go back, doing,”- and it’s like, “Do we really have to do that?” “Yeah, you do.” Because this was a moment where you probably learned a lot, and so, you got to take that knowledge that you learned and you got to apply it. You got to reflect. Reflecting, to me, is you’re giving some really intentional, serious thoughts to the past- past being this year, so that you can make sure the present and the future are successful. Because remember, again, I’ve said, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of what. COVID-19 and a pandemic is pretty major, but there’s other things. There’s recessions. I’ve sat through several of them since 9/11. There’s things that- health, all the sudden. There’s things of the market bottoms out. It’s the if … It’s not a matter if, it’s a matter of when.
Betty Collins: You have to go back to February 2020. I did this the other day because I was going through, looking for who I’d met with through the year and who I still needed to meet with. I’m looking at my calendar in January and February going, “Oh man, I forgot I got to do all those things and have all that time,” but when I went back and then, of course, you get to March and April’s calendar, it looked completely different, even May. I look back at what worked. I dealt with the would’ve, coulda, shoulda. You have to do that and then you got to critique your performance.
Betty Collins: Some people did really well. Most of us gained weight, but there are those few that said, “This is going to be my opportunity. I can exercise because I’m working at home and I can actually go down to my basement and work out in my gym. I can eat better,” although we are all just buying comfort food, I think. The would’ve and the could’ve been the should’ve, identify those; it’s really important. Critique your performance, so that you can take that and use it in the future. There’s been some really big success stories coming out of COVID-19 with all kinds of industries. Reflect on that past so you can impact your present and your future.
Betty Collins: You got to ask the question, “What’s going to- what will return to the way the things they were, and what is not coming back?” Many things will never be the same. I don’t know that that’s not bad. I like the dividers in the restaurants now. I like that. It cuts down sound, yet the restaurant’s full because they put up dividers. By the way, I haven’t been sick all year and I wonder if it’s because I’m not getting someone else’s germs and they’re not getting mine.
Betty Collins: I love now, the flexibility of my office. I didn’t like it at first. I did not embrace it. I did not think that it was good. I wanted everyone here. I wanted the parking lot full. I like the buzz of the office. That’s not happening, but I do now work out of my house and I have a system and liking it. Quite frankly, I love less traffic. I crave personal connection, so please, don’t get me wrong. We’re off a long way from doing that. In your business, you pivoted- tired of that word. You got to look back and go, “We pivoted. It worked. We’re going to pivot again. We’re going to pivot again and we’re going to pivot again.” I look at restaurants and now, I don’t think curbside service is ever going away. You know why? Because I like it.
Betty Collins: The customer likes that everything’s done. Someone comes out to my car and then gives me a bag. I love it. More online shopping continues to happen; that was already happening. Bank branches are closing. People are finding a way to deposit their checks as calling their phone. Works, right? Telemedicine, why would we go back? Man, you could just call your doctor and in eight minutes, somebody will be on screen with you, especially when it’s a common cold or something minor. I just don’t see some of those good things changing. Zoom is tough. Virtual events are not ideal right now. We’re still all adapting, but I guarantee you, somebody is going to come up with a way to make that appealing. I guarantee you that’s going to come.
Betty Collins: You have to look into your business and be realistic of what’s not coming back. You have to sit and go, “Hoping for the good old days, not a strategy.” You have to really identify probably, what isn’t going to come back. Then, is your competition winning because they did change and or they embraced the change and they’re looking at this as this isn’t going to be temporary? You have to be- you have to ask yourself, “Am I ready for what is not coming back?” Then there’s the, “Am I, will I or can I adjust accordingly?” I think most people have already done some of that, but some of us are still not. By the way, we’re probably going to have to still do a bunch of “Am I, will I or can I adjust?” If you don’t adjust, you’ll be left behind. You may not need to do a lot of that, but you probably will be left behind. Curbside is great for fast food and casual dining. They’re busting it, but fine dining, struggling.
Betty Collins: That’s why- I talked earlier in my podcast, part one of this is Jeff Ruby’s Restaurants. It’s about amazing steak, but it’s also about the experience of going there. They just do a fantastic job. I’m not going to buy an expensive steak and heat it up in the microwave. They were brilliant. They came up with, “Here’s your steaks, choose them.” You get so many. “Here’s your salad, it’s tossed. Here’s your bread. Just warm it. Here’s your mac and cheese, ready to go. Desserts already done. All you have to do is cook your steaks.” Well, I don’t want to cook $100 steaks and burn them, so they sent a video saying, “Here’s how you cook them and here’s the seasoning.” We did that in April or May, just for something different. We ate them out on our deck with some friends and we loved it.
Betty Collins: We had thirty minutes in this entire meal, besides going to pick it up. They just … You talk about pivoting, that’s brilliant. That was a great way to go. I had another place where I saw they were trying to do the same thing and they sent you baked potatoes. I can do baked potatoes, but I can’t make Jeff Ruby mac and cheese. They just did it right. They took signature products and said, “It’s ready to go, put it in the oven for thirty minutes.” Am I, will I or can I adjust accordingly? Adjustment’s a must, but new revenue streams are only half of it; that’s only half of the adjustment. So is the expense side. Just as I was saying in my company, the travel, the meal costs have gone down really, really big. For accountants, we’re like, “Yay, we’re spending less on that,” but that’s why we- that’s what got us into the marketplace where we met new people, new connections and build relationships. That’s going to have some effect, so we got to adjust accordingly. What do we replace that with? It’s probably going to be a cost that we’re not even anticipating, but we need to be saying, “Can we adjust to that? Am I, will I or can I?” It’s not too late to adjust your thinking. It will pass; it’s not really an option.
Betty Collins: How do you adapt to the changes? You’ve got to have a long-term plan. Many, many people do budgets, and they think that it’s the long-term plan. It really goes beyond that. I think we’ve learned something in that, for sure. Hopefully, in our country, we’ll make a lot more things here. We’ve learned that, you know what? We need to produce this stuff here so that when we have a pandemic or we have something that breaks out, we have the product right here. We’re not waiting and we’re not having to make emergency, “Wherever, someone please make masks.” Now, we’re just going to have lots of masks, and we’re going to make them here because we saw a need that could continue on.” We need to take a long-term team approach, not just you.
Betty Collins: Brady Ware really did well because our team got involved with the changes that we needed to make. Our team got involved with the new products that we were selling. Our team had to learn and educate and do. It’s going to be continual learning because of the environment we’re in. If you did not lead the way in changing, then you know what? Look at your competition and look at success around you and get your gear going, because we’re a long way from being done, I think, in this environment. It’s not too late, but you got to have a long-term plan. It just isn’t, “We survived it. We got through PPP, we spent our PPP cash and sales are starting to come back.” You got to have a long-term plan. What opportunities are being created because of the changes? What am I missing out on? I think that’s the most important thing your team sits and does.
Betty Collins: I just do. Brady Ware really seized the moments from the beginning, but it took top leadership. It took the board. We were ahead of the game from the beginning. In our industry, knowledge is what you need, so education and training of our team was huge. We knew that our whole tax season year was crazily broken up and stressful. It was a long seven months, six months. You had t- it just took long hours, too, but you got to look for those opportunities in your industry. Instead of giving someone steak to heat up, give them the real steak with the YouTube video on how to cook the steak with the seasoning. Totally different service.
Betty Collins: You have to get real information in real time to seize new opportunities. The guy that makes the pillows from Minnesota, he immediately went, “I doubt people are going to buy pillows,” so he made masks. He started ventilators, I think, as well, because- but he was doing it based on real time, real need, act now, no time for planning, no time for a retreat to go talk about it. That takes real information, real time. You need to know that. So, how do you do that? Well, your industry probably has associations. There’s government representatives called Senators, and you need to be really involved with them now. I think we’ve all learned that local leadership counts because they’re making decisions right now, that are huge, so be engaged with them. There’s a ton of new regulation, especially for certain industries. If you’re a hair salon, you better know. If you’re a restaurant, you better know. If you’re a CPA, you better know all of the stuff that rapidly got passed, because your clients want to know. Shoot, when stuff passed on a Friday afternoon, they were called on a Saturday morning. You have to be involved with real information in real time.
Betty Collins: Just like the restaurants, they were- they closed and they had to figure out how to stay open. They also had to drive their industry with ideas and help each other. Then they definitely were at the pulse with the government. Cameron Mitchell in Ohio was definitely on a committee with DeWine’s team, to go. This is what we need to do as a restaurant. What a great guy, to do that. I mean, he went from, “I built this whole thing. I know what it’s like to be a small business owner and a large one.” To know the opportunities, you have to understand what your client needs and then you learn to service it. You have to see the need that is not being met. That is basics 101 economics. See the need that is not being met and you won’t be able to sell enough. It’s not always easy.
Betty Collins: The last thing, we talk about knowing, assessing, moving and reflection. The last thing you got to do, sorry, it’s all action. You’ve got to embrace the new day. It’s here, ready or not. It’s been here; it’s not gone. This has been hard for me. This has been one of the toughest things for me to grasp as a business owner, as a mom, as a wife, as a church member, any of it. It’s been hard. I don’t want this new day. I still don’t want this new day, but as we know, life is like a box of chocolates, as I will take. We all know what that means. Part of a success is answering now what? by embracing the new moment. How do I deal with the fatigue of COVID-19?
Betty Collins: I will tell you, March and April were exhausting for me and by the end of May, I just had to get away. That was the turning point in my fatigue. I got away. Well, how do you do that when you can’t go anywhere? You can. You take a risk when you go, and I did. I took a risk and I flew somewhere that was very quiet and in the middle of nowhere, but I did certain other things, too. I started just working 40 hours a week and shutting my phone down because it was exhausting. Everybody was exhausted. I started enjoying more outside. It was amazing how many outside people were walking our streets in Gahanna. Everybody was out walking. I hired a personal trainer because of just weight and laziness. I rested on my weekends and said, “Okay. It’s getting done, I’m going to do it.” I made sure my office at home was something I liked to go into. It wasn’t just some table and chairs from the basement. It motivated me a little bit more, but I did go on vacation to a secluded place. I took a weekend in Ohio and focused on parks and simple trails, and good food and a really good friend.
Betty Collins: We just- those are the things that got me away. Those are the things that helped me with the fatigue of COVID-19. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s COVID-19 or whatever the circumstance you’re in, you have to, sometimes. You got to get away from the circumstance. How do I stay positive and energized? I’m going to say this very, very clearly. I shut off Facebook, deleted my Twitter account, watch very, very minimal news. I’m very selective who I get my news from, but I know I need to be informed, especially in the time that we live. I chose crosswords over negative and awful TV and movies that are intense, because I didn’t [LAUGHTER], and time by myself became part of my routine.
Betty Collins: Sometimes, the time by myself was too much, actually, because I miss the marketplace. But then I found, “I can enjoy this.” I also looked at the very core of who I was during this new day. I think we- a lot of us have, whether it’s your family, or your faith, causes, focus on that. It probably will energize you. It’s not business as usual, and you got to look at the mindset and skills that you need, like the mindset of that kid who had a fish, who said it was for bait, not just eating for today and throwing out. Plenty of Zoom in webinars for sure on all these topics to the point of nauseum, probably. But there’s a lot of good free Zoom webinars right now and YouTube videos that can pull you out of some of this stuff. I would, “How do you stay positive and energized?” Ask other people what they’re doing to stay positive and energized. You’ll be amazed and then you got to do it.
Betty Collins: This is year has infected us all, personally, not just in our business, in our careers, but in our personal lives from distancing with our families and all of that, to not being able to maybe go to your church and you’re seeing it on Zoom, to just the uncertainties. I’ve always been amazed at the resilience of the people in our country. I believe that if you keep asking now what? and be ahead of it, no matter how the year closes and what the New Year brings, I think that you will have some success that you will really enjoy in your life. Again, on my web page, we have these handouts that show you my outline and all those lovely questions that I told you to ask yourself on knowing the basics. I’m Betty Collins. Have a great day.