My steep learning curve

CHRO Magazine - Column 3

June 30, 2020

It turns out to be the No. 1 question I am being asked by everyone.

Well it's fair to say I didn’t see this one coming … not by a long shot. Hmm thanks very much universe,  you wanted to tell me something?

Couldn't you have waited 4 weeks? Do you consider this perfect timing for resigning?

I remember the moment when Mark, well isn’t that how we all refer to our PM nowadays, made the first news broadcast about corona on television. 2 friends who wanted to escape a possible lock down at home sat next to me on the couch. As soon as the word was out, they jumped up, ran to their laptops and started calling frantically with bosses and teams, they immediately got into crisis management mode ... I stared in front of me somewhat dazed. Coffee someone?

What just happened? Normally I would be the one who would be calling the management team and my own HR teams from dust to dawn and beyond. Crisis management, it’s part of my natural DNA, I used to love that stuff, and now, now I felt ... hmm weird, like I didn’t matter anymore. 

But I have to hand it to myself, I shifted out of this mindset pretty quickly. 

I actually also saw a positive side to the COVID situation. A moment for nature to restore itself, people able to relax and breathe a bit, better family dynamics, back to basics, new heroes, everyone slooooooowing down. At first I didn’t mind homeschooling Finn. Wow what an amazing stuff kids get offered in school nowadays.  Spending our afternoons playing soccer together as a daily exercise routine was also ok, but those were the first 3 weeks. Hmm I was getting impatient, way to slow a pace for me, when will the schools start again? How can I get some work done, just when I have started my own business. The economy versus health care. What is wise? What would I do if I were Mark?

Meanwhile, the unexpected happened, a potential investor, even in this uncertain time. Donja jumped into the air when I told her, ok let's draw up all the financial figures and documents this week and then etc.etc. We enjoyed the moment.

It were 2 great days :-) It was the weekend, the week before I had immersed myself in just about every interesting webinar that was offered, I was restless and calm at the same time. On Monday I called Donja - "Don listen, I don't think we should do this right now. Committing ourselves to such a loan". It had been my concern ever since the first Corona implications hit us. What support are companies waiting for immediately after the crisis and does our #Fantistics products serve this need?" It was such an important question. One that I actually didn't want to ask at all. One where you just want to stick your head in the sand and continue what you were doing. I worked on this every free moment for 1 year. The incredible amount of hours, the effort and my own money invested, gone ??

"Don, I have another plan ...". And then it was confirmed what I had known for a long time, we are a really good team together. It only took her 1 day. Only 1, and then she shifted out of the disappointment very quickly. "OK An, let's do it!". Let's re-think, re-focus! Our favourite terms. And so it happened.

Rather than developing a technical tool to provide 24/7 insight into the fan statistics of a company as an employer and to offer (online) learning to companies who understand that a good online presence as an employer is super important for both customer and employee, we shift the priority as Corona already makes companies aware that a good online presence is vital.

Let’s focus on sharing our #Fantistics knowledge directly with internal ChangeMakers, so that they can achieve more commercial results for their company at no extra cost, without having to ask management for money or help. In other words we changes course not destination - from Start Up to online Business. However, this change in course also meant that we had to change quite a lot internally. But wasn’t that also what other entrepreneurs had predicted in the first place? "A first year always turns out very differently than you expect", uh yeah but this first year is by far a special time to start a new business.

One thing I can say with 100% certainty, without COVID-19 I would never have learned to use the following software like a pro in 4 weeks .. Webflow, Phoenix, Wordpress, Mollie, Plug and Pay, Monday, Canva, Mailblue and Webinarjam.

What more can I say with 100% certainty, my learning curve has never been as steep as in the past 4 weeks and unfortunately my vocabulary of curse words has also grown proportionally ...

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