The month of March 2020 saw history in the making. The world went into lockdown and we were unsure when restrictions were going to be lifted. Covid-19 forced everybody into hibernation, it has been tough for the majority of people.

The first priority for me was to ensure everyone I knew, was okay and safe. I then diverted my focus onto my business, ‘Dreams 2 Reality’. The majority of you are aware that our income comes from delivering world-class live events and trainings within schools and colleges. The key word there – ‘Live’.

Covid-19 was clearly going to have a negative impact on ‘Dreams 2 Reality’. My inbox began to flood with booking cancellations for the next 6 months. I started to panic, and I didn’t know what I was going to do. Like everyone, I didn’t expect or plan for the coronavirus to impact on the world in the way that it has. I was relying on these bookings, they allowed me to continue to grow our mission and that is to transform the mindset of teenagers in our educational system.

I took comfort knowing that everyone was going through the same situation or something similar. In a way I felt a sense of community, we were and are all in this together.

However, despite the huge set back, I am a great believer that it’s not what happens to us in life that matters so much as how we choose to respond to it. With this in mind I started to spend time reflecting and trying to figure out how I could turn this whole situation around. Where are the opportunities in what we’re going through? One question dominated:

How can I make the most of the situation and how can I take control?

This question provided focus and I needed something I could devote my attention to. I knew I needed to take control because, as a leader and as a Dad, people rely on me as they search for certainty and clarity in these difficult times.

Lockdown is unique, we have never entered a time like this before. I needed to create a new vision and a value system I could live by, something that was going to push me through the dark days.

The truth is I had to prepare for the fact that I may not earn a single penny within lockdown. Even though it was going to be a strain, I came to terms with that likely reality. Therefore I asked myself:

“If I am not going to earn any money, how do I want to spend this time and what can I do to make this whole experience a positive one?”

When I really considered both questions my new vision and values system was born.

Serve – Learn – Build.

Serve – My goal was to serve education to the highest possible level; providing motivation, education and a smile wherever it was needed. I did this in 3 ways:
  • Cam Twitter Take Over – I wanted to take over 10 school accounts, so I can serve their communities. Once I put this out into the universe the response was incredible. 30 schools were interested but I decided to only pick 15 as I didn’t want to work myself too thin and not deliver. That month I delivered hundreds of videos and Tweets, which resulted in thousands of views across all accounts.
  • Going Live – Going Live on Instagram and Facebook was extremely powerful. This provided people with an opportunity to check in with me and also ask questions if they needed more support. This also kept me accountable, something I always welcome.
  • Webinars – Not everyone has access to social media, therefore I also ran free webinars throughout Lockdown. In these sessions I provided a huge amount of value, and they were very content heavy compared to going live on social media.

I aimed to serve every day; I knew this was going to be a difficult challenge and it would force me to grow outside of my current comfort zone. To be able to deliver and make a difference meant that I needed to continue to learn.  It was this that became my second value.

Learn – Judging by the results we have received through our work with teenagers in schools, I know I am great coach and speaker. That’s a confident claim but I say it with great humility. I’m mindful of the years and years of hard work that we have consistently put in.

However, with that said, I am never complacent. I understand the areas I am not strong in and also what I need to do to get to the next level. My goal in lockdown was to learn as much as I possibly could. Therefore, learning and serving really worked hand in hand because they both drive each other. The way I decided to learn:

  • Reading Books
  • Reading Educational Magazines
  • Podcast
  • YouTube Videos
  • Audio Books
  • Academic Papers
  • Invested in my own Coach

Yes, this looks a lot but I didn’t get overwhelmed. This was because I was serving and not just consuming. But mainly because I chunked the learning down every day, knowing that small steps consistently taken can result in big wins.

When you follow that approach for six months your perspective and knowledge begin to develop and change.  It has a hugely positive impact on your life and everyone around you.

Build – You’re probably thinking “build what?”  This could be anything from:
  • Build a Business
  • Build Confidence
  • Build Relationships
  • Build Muscle (This sounded good, but this could be anything to do with fitness)

The list can go on but the big thing I wanted to really focus on was to build relationships within education. I can sometimes feel isolated and lonely in my role. Hard to imagine given that I work and support many people, but true.

I really focused on this and built some great relationships with many education companies, teachers and other people who do what I do. This helped a lot, especially when we faced difficult days within lockdown.

Plus, I understand that the more well connected we are and the more students we can support, the greater the impact will be on their lives. Therefore, we teamed up with organisations like GCSEPod and PiXL.

These relationships inspired me. These are people doing some amazing things and it was a privilege to be a part of it. On top of that you have to put yourself around like-minded people, it can and does lift you higher. I am a great believer that together we achieve more. We need to be pack animals. The lone wolf starves.

These three values supported me through lockdown and provided me with direction. Sometimes it is not motivation we need but direction. You too can create your own set of values, or feel free to use the three in this blog if they suit you. I honestly feel like you cannot go wrong with these values, as they have supported me in creating one of the best years I have ever had.

I understand it is difficult to take control in this hard situation. The first step is always to stay safe but next we need to ask ourselves the questions I mentioned above:

How can I make the most of the situation and how can I take control?

“If I am not going to earn any money, how do I want to spend this time and what can I do to make this whole experience a positive one?”

We need to take back control and create clarity in our lives and the way we can do that is to be values-driven.

For me these values will now live on in everything I do; there is a deep meaning there and I truly believe you can’t go wrong if you put your attention on serving, learning and building. #Dreams2Reality

You can listen to this blog on our Podcast – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreams-2-reality/id1452783534

Serve, Learn, Build - The Words That Shaped My 2020

Serve – Learn – Build – The Words That Shaped My 2020

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