We’re asked to write blogs at Zeal. It’s no surprise that it’s part of our SEO and marketing strategy and even I cannot escape them. I had planned a couple of weeks ago to write about ‘full-service agencies vs specialist agencies’ or some kind of ‘getting the most out your agency’ piece but then the world came to an end. Or at least it feels like that.
My emotions and thoughts are entirely contradictory within myself. I can’t stand hearing about Covid-19, I’m sick to the back teeth of it, but it’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and I can’t stop looking at the news or scrolling for more information. I’m chilled … I think it won’t be bad, we’ll all be back to normal soon and then I think “what if they stop emptying the bins and I can’t see my parents for months?” I’m excited and optimistic at the novelty of it all and then I’m terrified and panicked about what is going to become of us.
Team Zeal are all working remotely. We’re lucky as we’re set up to do that, but we’ve never all worked from home at once before and saying goodbye on Tuesday felt very surreal and sad and more emotional than I ever expected. Today is the first day and it’s gone well. The team are absolutely smashing this, but I worry that the novelty will wear off and we will lose our Zeal.
So what are we to do? Well, I thought I would bring it back to our core values. When all else fails and the world is in turmoil staying true to our core beliefs is really the only thing we can do. Zeal’s values or pillars are very similar to my own values and it seems the best time to strip everything back and find out who we are and how we should act.
I will be honest with my staff and clients about the situation and if we find ourselves in difficulty, to what extent? I will also be honest about how I’m feeling. No point saying “I’m absolutely fine” if I’m not. In a world of fake news and polarised opinion, let’s bring back some honesty.
I will respect myself and others and especially those most vulnerable. I will not stockpile. I’ll repeat that. I. Will. Not. Stockpile. I’ll respect expert advice, my own advice, and respect the process that at the end of all this I will come out the other side.
There are always opportunities. I’m going to challenge myself, my teams and my clients. We may find we have extra time and less distraction so I will go the extra mile and produce some work I’m really fucking proud of.
Find what I love. It’s easy to want to give up but I’m going to dig deep and find my enthusiasm and drive. I’m going to need it more than ever. Really.
The world is about as short-termist as I have ever known it and there is a certain amount of living day-to-day. I will honour my commitments to myself and staff and clients. We all deserve that.
I started the day dressed as Boris Johnson sending a video to my team. I will do this every day and I will absolutely not lose my sense of humour. The zeal team WhatsApp has never been so good!
If we take this time to figure out our values and our business values and live by those, we have a better chance of coming back stronger. More importantly, we can sleep at night knowing we are doing the very best we can. It’s all we can do.