Until the recent lockdown, life had become more fast-paced than ever and time was in short supply. Implementing changes in life and in business takes time and energy, and my lack of it seemed to be a good reason to keep doing what I was already doing. At least this is what I told myself.
My perceived lack of time led to a failure to move forward with two potential technology-driven improvements here at Fyfe Financial. The first was the use of video conferencing and the second was the acceleration of the roll out of our secure online portal to our clients. Time wasn’t our only excuse. We were also worried that some of our clients would only ever want to see us face to face and receive their documentation in a bound hard copy sent in the post.
Although caused by a crisis, the recent lockdown has pushed us to better embrace these new measures. Additionally, since the traditional channels of communication are gone, we’re finding our clients much more open to embracing technology. Most clients have jumped at the opportunity to try something new and one client has already explained how much easier remote meetings are for him, both now and potentially after lockdown ceases. There will no doubt be other clients who feel the same way.
Despite the successes we have had, these technological enhancements were never going to be for everyone. However, we have no intention of forcing these new methods on unwilling clients. We’re simply providing additional options to potentially enhance our service. A long-time client, in her inimitable style, opted to stick with a simple telephone call rather than “one of those awful Zoom meeting things.” This led to a hearty laugh rather than an awkward stand off and was simply an opportunity to better learn our client’s preferences. There was definitely no barrier except for the one in our heads.
We had created two imaginary barriers that stopped us from improving our business. Looking back, we can clearly see that it needn’t have taken the recent crisis to push forward.
This got me thinking: how often do we see these imaginary barriers elsewhere in our lives? Have a think about your own routines. What improvements do you want to make? What are your barriers? If your family is anything like mine, over the last month you will have spent more time exercising, going on family walks and speaking to friends and family on video calls than ever before, despite still having work responsibilities and educating the kids from home. A family tea around the dinner table has become the highlight of each day. Most will agree that these are positive changes. Why did it take social distancing to implement them?
A bit of nice weather undoubtedly helps but the last four weeks have made it clear that a morning walk or run can easily be added to my morning routine. And despite leaving the house much less often, I’m spending a lot more time speaking to friends that live both within ten minutes’ walk and those farther away.
Whatever you’re looking to change or improve in your life, it’s possible the barriers in your way live mostly in your head. Thinking creatively, having the courage to be bold or simply having an existing option unavailable could be enough to help you move in the right direction and clear the roadblocks that only you can see.