There is no easy way to describe the impact of the invisible Coronavirus enemy on the world's population when in fact our immediate point of reference is New Zealand.
PopUp Business School has relevance in the realm of small business and yet this is the very market that has had the rug pulled out from under it. The government and us were thrust into an impossible scenario... let people die or let businesses (in particular small to medium sized business) hit a wall at speed.
The pandemic happened at speed and we also had to respond at speed to combat the undeniable impact of this deadly virus. In the end we did things as a nation that were unimaginable only a month or two ago.
If there was one thing we did as a nation, irrespective of anything else - we doubled-down. The Collins Dictionary describes this as: to reinforce one’s commitment to a venture or idea in spite of opposition or risk.
And then what happened was that we kiwis (as a general rule - there are still some idiots out there) got into a rhythm. That allowed us to have a largely united front.
In the middle of all of this we honoured the fallen, the unsung heroes as we celebrated Anzac day at letterboxes and in driveways around the country. Our fallen are a reminder of our nations courage and its collective strength.
I look on in awe at what our small country at the bottom of the planet has achieved. Our new front line of doctors, nurses, police, ambulance, fire service, armed service, volunteers and more... have been a spectacular backbone in trying circumstances. The numbers (of deaths, of infections) are tragic and yet compared to overseas as a country we have achieved success and it has forced a personal and business 'reset'.
And in that is an unexpected impact.
To a large extent business rule books are being rewritten. The creative, inventive and innovative nature of kiwis is bringing a new wave of pivot and change. Our #8 fencing wire mentality is indeed alive and well.
Like many other businesses across Aotearoa, at PopUp Business School we have grabbed the opportunity to instigate change that hopefully will enable more businesses to grow and be sustainable from this devastating time in Aotearoa's history.
We are, after all, a business whose prime purpose is to enable business owners to seize the chance to make their business dream real.
We are facing a new and uncertain future and yet I have hope, mainly because of who we are as people. From the time of our early pioneers our nation has continually punched above its weight.
As a nation of individuals we have an attitude of following our own path to get the job done and yet the world also knows of our ethics and our ability to collaborate. Examples abound: Giving women the vote before any other nation or saying 'NO' to nuclear ships and creating a nuclear free zone around our country... and so many more.
We will bounce back from this once in a lifetime event and as a nation, as a world we will be stronger. Kia kaha.
Founder - Popup Business School Aotearoa
Two weeks ago on Friday 13th October 2017 I was sitting in an auditorium at Porirua's Te Rauparaha Arena. My brain was bursting at the seams with the amount of information that had been given to us over the course of 10 days. My heart had also absorbed the connections, stories and practical encouragement that had been passed on to us. I was part of a new 'us' - the first graduating class of New Zealand's Pop-Up Business School.
What is the Pop-Up Business School?
From the website: “The PopUp Business School runs inspirational business training events to help people in communities start small businesses and making money doing what they love”. The concept has been run successfully in the UK for 7 years and has been run in New Zealand now for the first time. For me, it is a real-world education environment that teaches practical skills for not only creating and building a business, but also to creating and building a fulfilling life.
I came with a business idea and over the course of the 10 days I had opportunities to test it out in multiple conversations, pitching it to the entire class and even teaching some of the content to my fellow classmates. Two weeks later, I’ve launched my website www.jenyinsights.com to the public (previously I only shared it with friends on Facebook or family members via email), have made my first sale and have had collaborative business opportunities coming from left, right and centre.
My Personal Top 5 Highlights of the 10 days
Advice for people thinking of attending a future Pop-Up Business School
It's a no-brainer. For the first 50 registered the 10 day course is free. Yes, you read that right. All you need to do is bring yourself, your energy and something to take notes on (if you don't have a laptop for the 2 days of working on websites, they can even help you sort this out). After that, it's $100 per participant. Even if you were the 51st person to register, you would still only be paying $10 per day to learn invaluable content and to be in an environment with people in similar situations to you. The Pop-Up Business School is an extremely cost-effective, time efficient way of learning how to create and run a business. Rather than going to university for 3 or 4 years and spending thousands of dollars you can invest 10 days of your time to learning incredibly practical, New Zealand-relevant information. Are you sold yet? If not, you can check out their website for more information before you make this life-changing decision.
My hope for the future of the Pop-Up Business School
I'm 100% an advocate for the Aotearoa Pop-Up Business School. I hope that the Pop-Up Business School will become common-place in New Zealand. It is an incredible opportunity for New Zealanders to make their visions come true with access to practical information, skills and local networks. Without Tony's vision to bring this UK concept to New Zealand and without the generous sponsorship and belief of local councils and organisations, the Pop-Up Business School would not exist in New Zealand. So, thank you to Tony and the local councils and organisations who believed in this opportunity and who made it possible.
And, allow me to do a little Martin Luther King-esque ending:
I dream of a day where people have the education, tools and skills they need to make their dreams come true and that makes a difference in this world. I've been lucky enough to have the education, opportunities, support networks and mentors who've supported my own dreams and vision early in my career. The Pop-Up Business School has been one of those opportunities that has helped me to make my dream a reality. Now, Jen Y Insights is a reality and I'm so excited to see what happens next. Thank you.
Jennifer Young (‘Jen Y’) is on a mission to support a flourishing, thriving and mindful Gen Y (Millennials) in their lives and workplaces... starting with getting 48% of their time back. Jennifer is a mindfulness facilitator, NeuroLeadership Institute trained coach, leadership development consultant and writer. To learn more about her services and projects, go to www.jenyinsights.com
Tony, Arzoo, Mabel, Logan, Adrian, Keitha, Maria and Hemi.