The Nordic Business Forum team have taken their event to Sweden - and I get to be part of the event here, too. And all this sure makes this former Swedish teacher-now-a-graphic recorder super happy, yay!
Read the blog post in Finnish
Hi there, it’s me, Linda, the award-winning entrepreneur from Finland! (I can’t start a blog post nowadays without telling that.)
Now that it’s August and the worst panicky feeling of last spring is fading like morning-mist on a lake in the morning (things have been slightly better here in Finland if you have followed the numbers), it’s probably time to dig into the depths of one’s soul and think about the learnings of the Great Awful Corona Spring 2020.
Precaution and preparing
A pandemic outbreak hits the world. Oh dear. Can you prepare for something like that? The experts have spoken about scenarios like this and I remember hearing a presentation or two about the worldwide risks, but I guess preparing for a pandemic doesn’t stand high on a solo entrepreneurs list of actions. What helps on the other hand, is knowing that you have other insurance matters covered and you’ve got someone to back you up if something happens to you. One thing that is important in preparing is…
It made me feel pretty safe to know that I had some financial buffer when the restrictions hit Finland: if all the work had vanished, I still would have had money for some time to cover the paychecks and the expenses. How much is enough? For one it could be 50 000 euros, for some other 150 000 euros. Here in Finland it was possible to ask for relieving of payment terms to taxes and employer payments, but I didn’t do that. The payments would still have been due someday so I thought it would be best to just continue the usual way. On the other hand, I applied for some financial support from the state and got that as well.
I admit that when I cleared my calendar from all the graphic recording gigs last spring, a screaming-red clump of emotions and anger filled my mind. There wasn’t that much positivity there, I’d say. Luckily, I couldn’t stay put and ponder upon it because I was needed as a home teacher for my kid. So, I kept pushing and performing: first my family and then my work. I can’t do anything to the situation out there in the world, but I can stop ranting about the misery of this all. Well, not stop completely. I only rant complain about it to my closest ones. And not that much at a time.
A solo or micro entrepreneur must have more than a couple of big clients, I think. A variety of clients brings you safety: both the small and the big clients bring in work and it usually comes in cycles. I could have probably reminded my old clients more about my existence, but on the other hand I got irritated myself by the communication of numerous companies: “Hi, we’re here to serve you and we do wash our hands…!” Dah, sure you do! So, I have had the courage to trust my clients to remember my name and services.
A lot of companies tried to develop digital services that they could offer in the times of distance work. I already had a product, remote graphic recording, but I had some pressure in bringing it more to the front and on the other hand I also needed to test and play with the technology involved with remote visualizations. I still keep on doing that, so I guess I need to do a couple of promo gigs this autumn to show my clients the benefits of remote graphic recording.
I also think that if I had more time because the rescheduling of the events, I could have time for my own projects that I’ve dreamed of. So, I’ve still got some aces in my hand.
What is the situation in August 2020? When it comes to real-time graphic recording gigs on location, most of them have been cancelled or rescheduled to next year. I’ve got some new bookings, but it seems to be an ever-changing situation so who knows where this goes. I assume that I don’t have to travel that much this autumn, which is good, I guess. My working list is filled with strategy visualizations, cartoon videos and other illustration work, so I’m still swishing and swooshing my Apple pencil here at my home office.
Written (and drawn) by
Linda, entreprenur and a graphic recorder