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  • Nicky Felton

And stop. Pivot time.


It's been a rough couple of weeks out there hasn't it team. Ups and downs, confusion and uncertainty, for the first week it almost seemed like the climate was changing moment by moment which was pretty tough on the ol emotions. Week two has settled slightly for us as the nation finds it's own in-home routines and comes to terms with the situation we're in, and it's given us the time and space to do some solid thinking, feeling, and planning.

It's a strange time to be a business and there's absolutely no denying that we're all going to have to make massive changes. I think this is a time for us all to come together and share resources and knowledge, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on business in this time.

There are two phases to how I've approached planning, and I feel both are equally important to undertake.

Phase 1) Short term - what CAN we do.

Most businesses will have to make a plan on how they're going to pivot to earn some $ in the short term while lockdown is in place, and in the immediate future after that. With many business models completely redundant while we're in lockdown (our own included), it's time to get creative on how we can use our skills in other ways. Humans have a tendency to resist change, but instead I challenge you to get innovative and embrace this - after all, we don't have much choice in the matter so we may as well have a good crack at it. Try asking your community what they're wanting right now, check in with your existing clients to see what ideas they may have for you, and take a look at how you could transfer your skills to another medium. You may even have some skills that you're not using in your current offering, that you could create new products and services out of. Have a good brainstorm session, and get actioning those ideas.

We're so lucky that our NZ government has stepped in to help small businesses, contractors, and self employed people during this time, so access those resources if you need them.

In true 'Ross from Friends style' it's time to pivot!

Phase 2) Longer term - what do we WANT to do.

Once we've got a handle on this and are feeling a touch more confident that we're going to make it through right now, we can shift our focus longer term. I think there's a huge opportunity to take this extra time we've been gifted to pause and rest, reflect on how things are going for us, and re-imagine where we're headed long term.

When we're busy it's easy to stay on the treadmill that's heading in the same direction, feeling like we don't have an opportunity to stop and evaluate where we're going. That pace and direction soon becomes 'the norm', and in a business sense we end up creating similar work for the same clients. This is a chance to stop and evaluate where we're at, look at where we're headed, and work out if that is in-fact the direction we'd like to head in, or if we want to make a change.

You may be pretty happy with how things are going, but this is a chance to imagine what would make you even happier, and to actively pursue that avenue. Over time our goals and dreams change, and now is the time to re-imagine those goals and dreams, and then take steps towards them.

Your re-imagined reality could be hugely different to your current reality, or it could just be a small and simple direction change. There may be ideas brewing that you've been pushing away for quite some time, because you're too busy. Is there a new product or service you'd like to offer, or a new business you'd like to start all together? Even something as simple as taking a look at your target market, to establish if those are the people you'd actually like to create work for.

Through our own reflection and planning, we've realised:

1) We'd like to create short documentaries. We'd like to create meaningful videography that shares stories of passionate people and causes, specifically to do with nature, biking, business and all things in between! We have no idea how the funding side of things works for documentary work (holla if you know some stuff), so I'm working on learning more and networking with people to understand what this requires from us.

2) We'd like more time in our days to be creative. This means specifically blocking out time in our calendar to work on our own creative projects, treating them with as much importance as client projects.

3) We'd like to live more playfully. We've found we've been a bit bogged down with work over the past 9 months, and we'd like to change the way we work. This process started a couple of months ago when we made an active decision to change our physical reality, and bought a campervan!! We will introduce you to her very shortly over on the socials, but this means we will be able to hit the road (when ol Covid leaves us alone) and be creative from all over New Zealand.

4) There may or may not be another couple of ideas we're busily brewing in the background too - much excitement, more to come on those at some point.

In the short term for our Play Creative team, we're coming to the end of editing our work we filmed before the lockdown. Since we can't make it out to different sites to create content, we're looking at what content we can create for our clients from our home. We're investigating the opportunity of offering product based videography and photography for products that can be posted (when posting restrictions are lifted), or that we can gain access to ourselves. In the meantime there's plenty to keep us busy and progressing on our long term plans!

One last thing from us - please remember that it's totally okay to press pause for a while. The world doesn't benefit when you're burnt out.

Often in these times it's easy to jump straight into panic mode, keeping ourselves busy because that feels like it's going to make the most impact. When we're well rested, and we allow ourselves space and time, we invite the ideas to flow, and that's when we start generating more long-term and sustainable solutions. Lose the guilt around rest, press pause for a bit, and allow yourself the time and space to feel and think.

Looking forward to seeing how everyone pivots, and what your re-imagined future looks like. Please sing out if we can help in any way, even if it's just a phone call or virtual coffee to bounce ideas around or to connect with another human for the day, Nicky loves a chat (and a coffee), so pick up the phone or flick us an email!

Nicky mobile - 021 131 9802

Email - team@playcreative.co.nz


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