Desert blooms

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” Isaiah 35:1

Dear Diary,

I’m staring at the new face of business. I’m reminded of this excerpt from Charles Dickens’ “A tale of two cities”.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair”

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/A_Tale_of_Two_Cities

Two sides of the same story. On one hand utter poverty and lack, on the other innovation and abundance. This is incredulous, that these two realities live side by side and between them a great divide only crossed for the push pull effect of money.

Chaos Theory

Today in the age of national disaster, we find ourselves in the middle of the trenches, working together trying to dig ourselves out. So are they correct? Does it take chaos theory to bring forth a better future?

Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.

Edward Lorenz 

I don’t think one needs chaos at all. Only more chaos comes from chaos and only order begets order, they are not of the same womb. Albeit chaos exists, because we live in a world built on the premise that “my sister’s demise is my brother’s gain”. More than chaos one needs compassion. Caring for your fellow man. I wonder what the mathematical equation for that would look like? If we all shared everything and built a society around this concept, no one would want for anything. This isn’t an approximation, the math checks out if you use the right equation in the first place.

This chaos might’ve unearthed what was already at the surface of our fragile humanity and given face to an even deeper truth: that we need each other. Big business needs their workers on every level, the rich and famous need their grocer for food, the supermarkets need their staff to keep operations going, the people need health care workers to look after the sick ..etc.

Disambiguation

Whether a jittery extrovert or a public shy introvert lockdown has had different meanings to everyone. But we have this in common our need to earn a living and provide for ourselves and our families. With this new attributes emerge: resilience, interdependence, changeable and clarity.

I’m reminded of a poem I wrote, it’s about metamorphosis. It’s about how when Jellyfish sever their tentacles, they absorb the remaining limb back into their bodies, reshape themselves to bring their off-kilter bodies back into equilibrium. And this is inherent. They live in an environment that’s up to their ‘eyeballs’ in predators. They’re always under attack and have been created with this unique defence mechanism to reinvent themselves in a sense and keep living. To keep swimming.

Not to mention their electrified tentacles and large bell-shaped heads serve as a refuge for some of the smaller sea animals that travel with them. For brainless, heartless, spineless, eyeless creatures I think they’re very wise! Jellyfish blooms serve as a reminder that when circumstances bring people together extraordinary things happen, perhaps this is our moment to bring about a desert bloom.

Shapeshifter

When a jelly fish severs a limb
It absorbs what’s left into its body
Contorts and changes
to find symmetry and balance

So here find
Symmetry and balance..
Symmetry and balance.

Remnant of a jellyfish

There’s an opportunity to reinvent ourselves. Yes, the attack was painful and we lost a part of ourselves but we need to assess the losses and find our balance again. To bring our economy to stasis. We must get out of our cocoons find our mission, ready ourselves and flap our wings. This action will cause reverberation and echo our heart’s desire for positive change to those around us. Creating a knock-on effect and inspiring change in others. I like this quote from the Rapid Entrepreneur: “I just threw crap against the wall hoping something will stick”. Brilliant!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

How will we reinvent?

  • Think like a start-up
  • Be an entrepreneur again
  • Look for gaps and opportunities
  • Start small
  • Let go of the past and start re-imagining the future!
  • Let go of ranking stuff before people
  • Create and build with what is in your hands
  • Everyone has some degree of debt, but surely a compromise can be reached, while you reinvent
  • Let go of stuff: if creditors refuse to compromise, they can take my stuff but my entrepreneurial ability is what will sustain me in any situation.
  • Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
  • Get up! And fight.
  • Stick your pride

“If you think you can, you are right. If you think you can’t, you are also right.”

Henry Ford

Cause and reason

“but is there not a cause?”

David and Goliath

Is there not a reason why we should get up and do things differently? To help each other and for victory. To overcome and to get through it. No one fights alone there’s always a team effort involved. The war is won through collaborative efforts.

Non profit

These are the people who opened their establishments to feeding the needy. These people get up consistently and look for solutions, not just for themselves but for their community too. Not content to sit and wait but to find and do, to inspire hope and create something out of seemingly nothing. They’re successful because they are resilient and willing to work with what they can find however small. They’re successful because they collaborate with those who have different skillsets and can bring something different to the table to make up the whole. They work in harmony because they recognize one skill set cannot function well if at all without the other and thus they achieve their goals.

There have been beautiful team efforts in our country and there are a few causes we can support. One of my favourites:

Ladles of love: https://www.ladlesoflove.org.za/

Business unusual

The more we become attuned to AI the more we lose the essence of who we are. Connectedness, proximity, touch, looking into someone’s eyes, fellowship.

Dear Diary,

I have officially had my time to freak out about this. Still, I cannot even type out the name of this thing that has befallen me. Because doing so, revives it in my mind, replaying its devastation again and again. Suddenly, I’m surrounded by an enemy I have no knowledge of. It knows my weaknesses and plots to overwhelm me. What do I do?

Mind my mind

My thinking has gone through many stages within a second in time. Fast-paced changes. Things being decided for me and my future leaves me both grateful and angry. I stay indoors because it’s for my own safety, but I’m cut off from the fellowship and touch of other people in whom I found refuge and comfort. Scrambled brains served up for breakfast, lunch and supper I sit with my own thoughts trying to process this. What now?

Mind fog

I take a step back to see what unfolds online and to try to find a gap in which to insert myself. To regain any semblance of control from a system now out of control. I too find myself, scrolling at lightning speed through posts, stopping for a second or two at familiar faces and likened interests. I’m slowly slipping into a mental fog a filter my brain puts on to protect itself from collapse. I enter a state of “too much information”. I then choose to take a break from social media to recoup. How will business take place?

Social media now where everyone is speaking at the same time. Others shout, some watching staying silent. Voices chattering at low volume, incoherent, I try to make sense of it but I can’t. Faces looking at me as I continue to scroll, pleading smilingly for attention. I carry on scrolling, I reach yesterday’s news and log off.

Malaise

To keep from sliding down into a mental malaise, I keep active. I force my way into a fruitful life again. I don’t own a TV, this is still not a problem for me. Computers have always provided entertainment. Now they seem to provide necessary life support too. Will AI be my life support during this time? Will I depend on computers for my business salvation since I’m cut off from support giving humans.

There’s a drive for us to be more dependent on AI rather than each other. Our advice comes from Google search, our marketing and advertising go on social media platforms, our professional profiles can be viewed with ease online, even our hope for a companion can be chosen with the swipe of a finger. This all sounds so future-forward and necessary for now, but what kind of people does this produce?

Google search: humanity

The more we become attuned to AI the more we lose the essence of who we are. Connectedness, proximity, touch, looking into someone’s eyes, fellowship. Yes, life goes on online, we can have conference calls and meetings we can Skype and close deals etc. But my business becomes an android. I’m reduced to plugging into a system that ‘helps’ me to speak through a screen and ‘speak’ through the keyboard.

What will happen to speaking for reals face to face, shaking someone’s hand in agreement to a deal? I’m reminiscing of course. I’m not foolish about how things have changed and how reliant we’ve become on software and computers. It’s a necessity for a business to function today, so we can provide for our families and for our future. In fact in seeing the move towards a more prominent online presence I’ve started this business.

A moral issue

So how do we go about our business? I feel guilty that I’m punting my wares online amidst the bad news of this virus going around, in between people losing their lives and family members, others losing their jobs having to close their businesses and stressing about their next income because if you’re a mechanic you can’t exactly fix cars online!? Why should I succeed alone, I don’t want to. Not off the backs of a struggling market, thinking of getting enough food for their family, dipping into retirement savings to pay for essentials (if you’ve even got savings).

Most people are so over-indebted, now that they’re not working who will service this debt? So trying to cabaret for business to someone who is in this position is a bit difficult. So let’s say they buy into my song and dance and acquire my services, online obviously. Then I fulfil the agreement and deliver the goods and get paid. So my family gets an income and I’m better off right, great for me! I guess I’m using my noodles.

Question is what about the other family that can’t get an income? The baker, the mechanic, the waitress, the restauranteur, the factory workers etc whose work can’t be done online. This makes me ill to think of how my business can thrive in a world that has other people suffering alongside me. Then I’d rather close my business!

A new perspective

Be in business to build up the community. This is my new philosophy. This virus has exposed some things in business too, those who care about their fellow man and those who don’t. What can we do to build up our community, to share business? To take care of each other better. I don’t want to do business unless it helps someone else’s family and business.

I choose to be more giving, whether it be in free marketing consulting online or a promo that’s discounted. I think if you’re skilled in a certain area of trade or business share knowledge online, now is the time. Train others, teach others. We can still be creative and think of ways around this, even though the future seems uncertain there is still hope. What can we do to help each other’s businesses at this time? What would help you? And how can you help others?

What we do:

We do websites for startups and existing businesses, we also help navigate online marketing for better exposure. Our new service is to provide content for your website to make it pop online! So our core business is using the internet and its tools to get you more business. Yes, there are apps that can help you but we can help for a fraction of the price and efforts you’d have to outlay.

A more powerful algorithm

The human spirit. Our entrepreneurial spirit!

Until tomorrow, dear Diary

Love in the time of Corona

As companies cabaret for business online customers are transformed too, into an audience shopping at high speed with a shorter attention span each time.

Dear Diary,

At arm’s length

Love at arm’s length, kind of says it all. Standoffish, judgemental and uber selective. Is this a story of affectation? I’ve been thinking about how this virus has ravaged parts of China, and is now slowly creeping up in other parts of the world on the unsuspecting. Wreaking havoc within bodies as well as economies, also our psychology. What are we to think of it? Is it a story of affectation indeed? Scare tactics dressed up as fake news? What of businesses and global industry?

As the fear of being affected by the virus spreads, it certainly has a ripple effect of driving us inward. Herding us into camps of safety awaiting further instruction. Attuned to radio and TV to eke out specifics of the correct route of existence.

Life online

Are we fearful now? In the throes of the industrial revolution and its inevitable consequences of the rise in robotics and job cuts for the humans, now a revolution of another kind… Life online. As pandemics drive us both further and yet closer to each other, the ebb and flow of a secure future become more apparently online, more web-based.

It’s just you and your computer. Albeit not completely virus-free. Malware, spyware, anti-virus software providing an invisible shield to cacoon us from threat both real and imagined.

#nofilter

As someone who works mainly online, I must ask myself this. Is this driving us online and away from each other physically? How do we feel about this? With news advising us to keep at arm’s length in social situations, what do we make of our businesses in this new cautious environment?

Does your filter become less of a filter online and your raw instinct more watered down to seep through to the point of connection easier for the sake of business? How does this gauge compromise and our willingness to survive ahead of dwindling sales numbers because people are becoming socially anxious?

Business shape-shifts

All the more reason to have a sterling online presence right, the show must go on, as it takes to the web en masse. Competition fiercer and more changeable than before sees businesses shape-shift, to attract customers. But how do you keep such customers? How will this new trend affect the longevity of consumer buy-in?

As companies cabaret for business online customers are transformed too, into an audience shopping at high speed with a shorter attention span each time. It’s neurological, the brain creates pathways known as Heuristics to help with quickfire reasoning. Making it difficult to market to a mind that is skimming channels for something instantly stimulating.

How does one market in a fast-paced environment with multiple competitors employing similar tactics? How does one prevent the mind from dismissing information simply because it’s too much to reason with, takes too long to process, isn’t stimulating enough and treating your marketing as white noise to be tuned out on various online platforms?

To the victor…

Whose business, what sort of business will win this kind of consumer over in such a short amount of time? How would you create visually stimulating content that engages the customer and closes an online sale within a couple of seconds, with millions of competitors vying for the same thing? This is the challenge of online business.

Phantom followers

I foresee, social media theatrics becoming more pronounced as one once-popular “one million-plus followers” user tries to outdo the entertaining newbie. Creating inevitable dilution of likes as more and more users come online and compete on existing and newly launched platforms. Or creating phantom followers, they follow you but they’re not being influenced by you anymore, they’re too spread out on sporadic entertainment across the web.

Embrace knowledge

I think what’s best to do here is to first educate ourselves and take on a logical approach. We have been given lots of information by the Department of Health in South Africa regarding how the virus can be detected, contained and treated. As much as we have to do our own research and draw our own conclusions, we have to be wise still.

We have to protect ourselves and our families, our businesses too. Sweeping fear and logic under the rug will only leave a pile for us to trip over later, wishing we had dealt with it timeously. So with that said, how do we trust each other again? How do we prevent ourselves and our customers from being alienated? Tested information, knowledge and education!

True love

Love and life will find a way, it has this inherent survivalist gene that fights the threat to its existence. And so it must be with business and entrepreneurs. We will always find a way to serve our customers and take care of the home too.

Until tomorrow, dear Diary.