Be the Change

You will face adversities in your career and your business.

There you must learn to ADAPT.

Over the course of my career, there’s been several times I’ve been forced to adapt.

One of the first times I can remember is when I worked in the music industry and CD’s started becoming redundant. Remember when CDs were a thing?  I like thousands more to come was made redundant in 2003 – a knock on effect of CDs fast becoming redundant. 

This should have been the moment when executives of the major labels joined forces to be collaborative and embrace the digital innovators but instead they combined their legal teams to take down Napster, the first ever peer to peer file sharing music platform. 

It wasn’t just Napster. They spent millions of dollars trying to stop everyone they thought was a threat to their business – imagine how different things could have been if they had just sat down in a room together and worked collectively to pivot….. 

Many many people lost their jobs so I decided to pivot into music television and learn more about programming.

Soon after I took on an opportunity with Channel V, a successful subscription TV.

We were targeting the younger generation and at a time when the internet and mobile industry was just starting to take off.

Given we had more online visitors and newsletter subscribers than views on average, I decided to move to a radio network to head up the digital content strategy.

It was a scary and challenging shift, but I knew it was going to be very beneficial to my career. In uncertain times, especially now more than ever, you’ve got to adapt.

I don’t believe you have to pivot to online like everyone is telling us to do right now, but simply be adaptable to change and do things a little differently than you have before.

Like restaurants who are doing pop up menus and encouraging their clients to pre-order a fixed price takeaway menu.

The pressure is on more than ever right now for businesses to pivot to digital in order to survive. 

But what if you can’t Pivot as easily as others?   What if your business model relies 100% on face to face interactions such as wellbeing services including massage & pilates, or a food tour company to name only two?  

A complete transition to digital is not possible for businesses such as these and nor should it be, but by using digital platforms to engage, educate and entertain your audiences the opportunity to build your brand and community is most definitely possible.  Here’s just 3 examples of how exciting it is to see the innovation coming out of a somewhat dark and daunting situation. 

  1. Studio Australia Barcelona  a Pilates and Wellbeing studio in the heart of Barcelona offering personalised Pilates classes and holistic therapies such as Reiki, Acupuncture & Massage, their business model thrives off human contact.  Within one week of lockdown the team moved about 70% of their business online by offering private consultations with a large variety of their practitioners via video conferencing.  They also got creative and designed a complete Covid-19 nutrition, lifestyle and pilates 4 week program hosted by a private Facebook group. The founders of the studio Natalia and Mandy were not overly active on social media before the lockdown but have since become digital savvy, posting videos every day together with live streaming with guests from all over the world joining them. They’ve since converted the Facebook group to a wellbeing program privately hosted on an alternative app, retaining their existing clientele online whilst also attracting new clients from all over the world. 
  1. Devour Food Tours  an award winning food tour company, proudly working with real local foodies to take curious travellers on food and wine tours in cities throughout Spain, Italy, Portugal and France, Devour rely 100% on restaurants, bars, wineries and markets being open in order to run their business.  Within two weeks of lockdown, the team announced they would present a series of informative online experiences hosted by their experts and broadcast via Facebook Live including Sherry and Cava training, cooking classes and even a coffee workshop.   They have released two cookbooks  – thus continuing to provide quality food experiences whilst engaging with their global community of food lovers.  
  1. Loving Lark Hill Winery a small producer from Australia have created a tasting pack including 6 x 50ml sampler bottles. You can choose whites,  reds or a seasonal mix. Each pack is sent with tasting notes, cellaring recommendations and a discount code for when you want to purchase some full-size bottles. They promoted the kits on their social media channels and sold out within 2 days. 

For me, adaptability and challenging the status quo is how you stay ahead of the game. 

By Chelsea Anthon, CEO & Founder Chelsea & Co.

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