For me, and thousands like me, 2020 has brought about significant change. I went from being an extremely busy event planner with an office, warehouse, employees and support staff to a sheltered-at-home entertainer producing virtual content by myself.
All the while dealing with (what's left of) my business, warehouse, staff...
only a portion of what was in the warehouse
Please, don't feel sorry for me. I absolutely love what I am doing now. For me the pivot to virtual programming was logical and not terribly difficult. I have been making and posting videos on YouTube every week for years. I regularly appear on various television programs. In many ways the virtual programming that I and my staff have developed is taking me back to what it is that drew me into my business - my love of working creatively with the young and young at heart. My story times, drawing classes and virtual events are almost as gratifying as my in-person parties used to be.
I can honestly say I would be happy working away in my condo/video studio were it not for one major issue - STUFF. After more than 25 years creating events I have accumulated an enormous amount of stuff. Party supplies, decor, fabric, glassware, kareoke machines, candy carts, furniture....on and on and on. My storage started with a closet in my first apartment (actually it was the shower!), to a small storage space, to a large storage space, to sharing a warehouse, to a small warehouse to a larger warehouse. As the spaces got larger so did my stash of goods.
Like everyone navigating this "new normal" I have had to pause and think about what it was that I really needed. What this stuff really meant. I had developed a reputation for always having an abundance of everything at my events. With children I always believed more was more. I always had "extras". I am forced to rethink that notion.
Recently I came upon an article about being more of a minimalist. Although it is written from more of a personal, as opposed to business, perspective, I found the points it made very interesting and useful. As soon as I have my business life pared down I am going to take this approach with my personal life as well. One of the biggest things it points out is the level of stress having unnecessary things creates. I can tell you the relief I feel today, after emptying my 3000 square foot warehouse, is palpable. When times are uncertain and money is tight having an excess of things causes enormous amounts of stress. As the article suggests, moving towards a more minimalist lifestyle helps. I for one, can feel it already.
the divesting begins
The article focuses a lot on budget - and the money saving aspect of this approach. Let me tell you that is huge. I realize now I was throwing money away storing all of the stuff I had accumulated. Money that was much better spent paying my employees, or my own mortgage.
Besides the obvious financial offerings of the article I love the clear and concise suggestions it offers as well: Rethink Your Needs, Set New Ground Rules, Think Long Term. I intend to employ these as I begin this reset of my personal and professional life.
my former warehouse, now empty
Who knows how this next stage ends, or when the next, next stage begins. I am excited. I am once again being challenged creatively and intellectually. With my great clients and food-for-thought such as this minimalist approach I expect to be growing, changing and challenged for many years to come.