In this article we reflect on how to give and ask for help and why it matters, as we reflect on how Think Bespoke’s community was impacted by the dystopian experience of bushfires, floods and the pandemic.
COVID19 was a punch in the guts for so many people who had plans, BIG plans for 2020. Just as Australians were starting to build momentum after a traumatic Christmas / New Year season due to the raging bushfires, the pandemic lands and we ended up in lockdown. Events were cancelled and, in many industry sectors, work came to a grinding holt.
These events were an incredibly powerful reminder that we are not in control, a theme I personally explored while wading through the aftermath that comes with finally saying goodbye to a loved one with dementia. In December 2019 my dear Mum passed away, which meant it was a quiet Christmas. We then watched, in horror, as events unfolded in seaside regional areas. When we received the first safety warning via text, as bushfires were fast approaching the Gippsland area, my husband literally turned our car around and we retreated from our holiday plans to spend quiet time with family in Metung.
BizForBushfires and BizForFloods
As the devastating impact of these fires was realised, it helped to look outwards and consider how to help those impacted. Think Bespoke donated one of our services to Biz for Bushfires Online Auction, developed by Kylie Lewis, Of Kin and Fiona Killackey, My Daily Business Coach, raising $30,570 for Fire Relief Fund for First National Communities, Bushfire Trauma/Mental Health Support and Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria Welfare Fund.
In March 2022 #BizForFloods raised over $36,000 for communities impacted by the 2022 NSW & QLD Floods. Harnessing the power of the small business community across the world, Kylie Lewis, Of Kin and Fiona Killackey, My Daily Business Coach again banded our community together to offer products and packages across a range of business services — from marketing consulting, leadership training, social media support, style, financial support, interior design, career services, photography, and even corporate wellbeing. Think Bespoke donated a number of enrolments for our LinkedIn Profile Essentials online course.
Deciding to respond rather than react
I’ve heard many business owners since, talk about ‘that week in March’. The one where the phone did not stop ringing and, mostly, it was clients calling to cancel upcoming bookings and events. One colleague had all her work cancelled until June. Another could not stop vomiting at the thought of how she was going to keep her 40+ team in work.
I was asked to share my perspective on how I chose to navigate the unravelling of 2020 plans in How I’m coping right now: “I asked myself what’s the worst thing that can happen? And I’ve planned for that”. I moved from feeling sorry for myself to ‘how can I help others’.
Asking for Help
The experience with 262 days of cumulative lockdown here in Melbourne from March 2020 to the end of 2021 changed my life and the lives of those around me. It was the impetus I needed to process the emotions from somewhat traumatic experiences at different times in my life, and especially in relation to the 10 years leading up to the end of 2019 with my dear Mother’s journey with dementia. I sought help from within my community and actively engaged in regular rituals, including meditation and journalling.
As a result of this sacred time for healing and reflection I’m gradually shifting some of the focus of my energies to communities I wish to support. Think Bespoke provides access to our LinkedIn Profile Essentials online course to under represented, marginalised and disadvantaged communities. My focus is to empower the voices of quieter members of our community who can leverage LinkedIn better to achieve their professional goals and make positive change in their lives and communities.
How Can We Help?
If you identify as someone who needs our help or you work with communities who would benefit from access to our LinkedIn resources, please get in touch. There are free downloads available here to help you get started.