On Friday 8th January I published my first business book in a decade. Come Out Fighting is the post lockdown SME Survival Guide. The book was written in 2020 during the lockdowns and the madness created by the virus, from a goal that wasn't even thought about until June 2020. The publishing industry has significantly changed in that decade. Apparently, every author now needs a lead magnet, a non-organic list and a social media profile, who knew? My initial preference was to go traditional; a launch, book signings and talks but how to promote a book in a climate where conferences and exhibitions suddenly stopped? Business networking is currently being done through Zoom and many businesses are struggling just to keep their heads above water and trying to pivot (this used to be called diversify in case you thought it was new) in order to survive.
This third lockdown feels like a 'knee in the groin' to many SMEs and the reality is that through all of this pandemic chaos, SMEs have kept the country going. Many have done that without Government help or financial assistance, relying on their own resilience and guts! Our commercial environment has fundamentally changed and that requires all businesses, large and small, to change the way they do things, even authors!
We often use the promise of a New Year to focus our attention on goals and targets that will get us to where we want to be. This year, it is even more important that should not be any different. We will continue to feel the impact of 2020 for years to come (some suggest for the next decade) but if we hope to forge a future out of all of this, we have to take control.
I watch clients I work with (companies, public sector organisations and individual leaders) struggle and worry about things they have absolutely no control of. They worry about the economy, about the changing goalposts, about the third lockdown and whether the vaccine will be as effective as everyone hopes; none of which, they can control.
Yet the things that they absolutely can control, they seem to believe they are powerless and have no influence with. The reality is that in 2021 the challenge that everyone will face is responding to their circumstances in a positive and constructive way, capitalising on every available opportunity that presents itself.
The whole reason for publishing 'Come Out Fighting' is to carve a path in all this uncertainty that shows there are still important things that you can control and build resilience into your enterprise.
I want people who read the book to recognise that the challenge for a more successful 2021 is to focus on what they can change, how they react to adversity and taking control of the future. Better yet,I want them to reach out to trusted friends and colleagues and offer their support for a joint goal-setting session. Your goals may be quite different but you can hold each other accountable and check in throughout the year.
We have a chance to begin the recovery of our SME communities around the country and we can only do that by working together.