April 1, 2020


Notes by Julie Furlong

As I launch back into the world of blogging, I have to admit my plans were to write about integrity, betrayal, life transformations and even humiliation… BUT, I am sure I will get to those topics in due course. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that those experiences I had recently experienced, were to be over-ridden by one word I did not even know the meaning of a few months back…

…the dreaded Coronavirus COVID-19.

And so, as we now watch the craziness and our life’s work and savings abruptly change, I felt the overwhelming need to come back and write my first blog post about this eerie situation the world is going through, especially from a small business and community perspective.

We have indeed entered a new time in history and as we realise that life as we knew it is no longer and that it’s time, more than ever before, for humanity, unity and kindness we all must rely on one another. We need to lean on each another, trust one another, be compassionate and understanding, but most of all, we all need to take a hit, whether it be big or small. Situations like these, bring out the best or the worst in us and despite the rapidly changing circumstances, let’s be measured in our response and mutual support as we work through the coming months together.

As you would know, I am a great believer in generosity and optimism. In business it’s about not giving up, it’s about continuing to be innovative, creative, to dream and take care of those who are loyal. Finding a way to help them and carry them through our most difficult times. (Read: 4 Simple points that will help you persevere) After enjoying the benefits and returns of a successful 20 year business, the first time I cried was when I commenced writing the ‘stand down’ letters to my loyal staff. And thank goodness, to this date, they have only been written and not distributed as I continue to believe. I believe that a positive attitude will have its returns. I believe that if we continue to work hard and help each other, one-day success will return. I believe that if we all step forward and respond, we can change a life, save a life or reassure a life.

While our healthcare workers are on the frontline and while our government leaders work around the clock to manage the situation, I express my gratitude to them. I truly believe they are doing a great job – especially in Australia, in the wake of the recent bushfires and floods.

My personal advice is to just wake up each morning and do the best you can. For me at the moment, its going for a run, one foot in front of the other, and just continuing to dream about making the world a better place, no matter how big or small that might be. (Read: 9 Simple tips that lead to positive thinking) Every day, I check in on a friend, a colleague or a family member. Every day, I tell my kids that this is the time to learn and step up, it’s time for kindness and togetherness, to be a man and to show compassion and integrity. Yes, things will be different and, yes, you will probably be different yourself, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Look around you and work out how you can step forward and be part of the solutions and the amazing acts of kindness, generosity and optimism you see and witness in your community. Be part of moving humanity forward. Be part of helping others, rather than being fearful of the future and think about the opportunities you can create.

So, this week when your mind tries to take you down a dark negative path, remind yourself that you have work to do, including:

  • Opening yourself up to learn and seek new opportunities
  • Giving up bad habits and positively creating good ones
  • Re-establishing past relationships and starting new ones
  • Beginning to dream again
  • Being creative and innovative
  • Learning from the older people around you – this is priceless to you, and free to receive
  • Turning your thinking into a growth mindset
  • Planning and being creative, which in my opinion is one of the best things that you can do right now.

(Read: 6 Easy steps to overcome hardship)

As I thank the beautiful people in my life that recently lifted me up during a traumatic time of shock and betrayal. I now find myself lifting them up and fighting for them, to keep them employed, reduce their anxiety and reassure them that they are not alone and that everything will be ok.

Always remember one day, this will be a distant memory, just like other terrible life experiences, laughter will return to our community. We are more resourceful than we realise. It’s a new time in history, a time of major change, and a time for unity and kindness. We all have work to do - keeping our businesses alive, checking in on teams, following the rules. You have the qualifications to do it, so… pick up the phone, answer the text, listen and respond. (Read: 4 Simple points that will help you persevere)

We are very capable of handling this and it will make us stronger. It is time for us to take ourselves out of the panic and to take this opportunity to plan. At the end of COVID-19, what new projects will you get started on? When things turn around and people start going back to work – be ready. Are you physically fit? Did you do your research? Where are the ideas you came up with? How did you add value to the situation? What did you say to your future self? (Read: 4 Easy steps to finding your passions)

As I have said before, lets learn from the obstacles… the obstacles become the path. They allow us to grow, evolve and believe.

Remember, this is all just temporary.