One year ago tomorrow I posted a message on my blog and social channels that quickly became far too familiar.
"It's all we've been seeing the last 24+ hours. All of the cancellation notifications popping up on our mobile devices. No more March Madness or NBA. Spring training is done. Concerts are postponed. Large and small businesses are shifting to telecommuting. Schools are closing or going to virtual learning. Guess what? Here's another one!
The beauty of my job is that I can literally work from anywhere, anytime. I choose to work from home, so coronavirus hasn't impacted my business productivity level. What it is impacting is how I conduct meetings.
One of my favorite parts of my job is exploring the local coffee shops when meeting with my current clients and any prospective clients. Unfortunately, at this time, social distancing needs to be a necessary part of our lives to help prevent loved ones from getting sick, mine included.
So until further notice, all of my meetings will be held virtually. I've been welcomed to the world of Zoom Meetings this week and it's amazing! I've always loved face-to-face meetings with my clients but this is a great chance to still dig into analytics, social media, and all of the amazing things we get to talk about, only now we get to make our coffee or tea from the comfort of our own home or office while avoiding crowded public places and saving ourselves the travel time. You can even show up in your pajamas to these! Due to this change I will be temporarily disabling the ability to schedule meetings from my website so if you want to schedule a one-on-one send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get it on the calendar! I appreciate your understanding. Sending wishes of good health and lots of hand sanitizer your way!"
I'm sure we were ALL disappointed as we read those messages from our favorite businesses. Then we saw closures being issued across the country of everything from restaurants and bars to malls or schools. Life as we knew it was changed and the impact of a the past year will probably make changes we see for the rest of our lives.
While the update came on Friday, March 13th it was actually Thursday, March 12th when I held my final in-person meeting at a coffee shop in the morning and then got a crash course in Zoom from my friend Andi at Creative DSM in the afternoon. I talked to all three of my parents and wrote the draft of what would be posted the following day announcing that HeyGiud would be going completely virtual.
If you had told me a year later I'd still be 100% virtual I wouldn't have believed you. If you told me I would go more than a year without enjoying a coffee inside my favorite coffee shops, eating inside my favorite restaurants, or taking a leisurely trip through Target I would've laughed in your face. None of us would've imagined having favorite face masks.
But here we are, a year since I made that move and I am still 100% virtual and I'm staying this way. I'll be completely honest with you, while I miss people and I miss coffee shops - virtual is perfect for my business and I have no idea why it took a global pandemic for me to figure that out. My client meetings are efficient and time-saving, best of all I can share my screen with them and we can see analytics and update content calendars real-time without me needing to send them several new versions with our edits, we can do them together. If I've woken up with one of my dreaded migraines I can still make it to the meeting because I'm not worried about driving and if necessary, I can turn on my Allay Lamp and light the room up green to make sure I can still have a productive meeting with a client, despite not being in my best physical condition. While I may eventually have in-person meetings with clients it's likely that it will be incredibly rare, virtual meetings just works.
I am happy to report that we are in the home stretch. Iowa has opened up vaccines to people 64 and younger with pre-existing conditions (THAT'S ME!) and I've already gotten my first dose. Within the next six weeks I will be fully immune and I couldn't be more excited about that. While HeyGiud may be staying virtual I am ready to have face-to-face time with my family and friends. I'm ready to hug people, drink coffee in coffee shops, and take leisurely strolls through Target. While those things are all still a bit away for me, even with a vaccine, it is certainly a relief to know that my family is safe and we've made it through the last year the best that we could. Even better, HeyGiud not only survived but is thriving thanks to my incredible clients and the support that they've given me through all of this.
My sign off a year ago was 'sending wishes of good health and lots of hand sanitizer your way!' I still wish all of that for you. But I also hope that you and your loved ones continue to stay healthy, are able to get vaccines and that we can hug each other soon.