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PIVOT Day 1: “I thought I would do better”

Last night, Pro Manchester’s first female CEO, Sam Booth, spoke with our CEO, Holly Moore, about lockdown and pivoting a business. The highs and the lows of self isolating alone and staying positive.

Here, our CEO, Holly Moore, writes her top takeaways from the session:

“When Lockdown hit, 95% of our revenue dropped out of the business and we had to predict 12 months with no revenue. We have planned for the worst. I have always been good with cash flow but it’s not never ending so we have to been as lean as possible whilst still marketing, innovating and selling to preserve jobs and the business in the end.

However, I felt stuck in treacle. One side of my brain was trying to cut costs, reduce salaries, apply for funding and discounts. I was thinking to myself “WHY am I not moving quick enough? I had to spend time working that out.

I’ve always been very open about my mental health and although the situation we’re in now can trigger mental health issues, my mental health hasn’t been affected.  I remain 100% healthy in that area for over 9 years. There is a difference between experiencing extreme emotions derived of an extreme life event versus poor mental health.  Yes, I’ve been down but that is very different to being depressed or suffering with anxiety.

Here are some of the things I’ve learnt –

  1. I didn’t realise how much I needed the team around me because they make me the best I can be. A great team bring out the best of you and help bring your crazy ideas to life.
  2. Everyone suffered in some way and so I didn’t open up to some of my closest friends as I didn’t want to be a burden. I ended up opening up to other friends who essentially have been my lockdown heroes.
  3. I was in lockdown alone and really struggled. I didn’t think I would. I love being on my own and always have things to do.  But there was no escape outside of a laptop.  There was no change to the end of the day and no one just to laugh with and change the mood.  I avoided family and friend Zooms as I could be on Zoom 8 hours a day with work and I found it draining.
  4. Learn new skills – I didn’t do everything I set up to do but I have taught myself to bake and started yoga and pilates.
  5. If you feel like you’re stuck in treacle with work or your life at the moment, try and sit with yourself and write down how you’r feelings. I’ve found that journaling really helps (better than meditation for me!). Just getting your thoughts out of your head can help you work through them! Get still, listen to what your mind is telling you. Sit with a journal and set an hour aside and don’t stop writing until your time is up.  Your thoughts and ideas will start to flow.  Listen to the doubt.  Wait… and think what is the next right move.
  6. My new mantra is less shoulds, more wants – I am coming out of lockdown with a different mindset. I have had to reinvent the business to ensure it was worth fighting for.  As one of my lockdown heroes said “Happy Holly is an asset to the business” and he was right.  You have to be full up yourself to fill others up and I truly believe I will come out with a better business and I will be happier.”

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