The Pandemic is Raining on Parades, But I Choose to See These Silver Linings
By the time the coronavirus reached a pandemic status, it overhauled how we go about our lives. Things are less predictable all-around, and uncertainty can easily feel like the enemy.
My approach in these crazy times is to try to find the silver lining. Yes, you should be informed about what’s going on in the world. That includes recognizing the things that are going right as much as the things that are going wrong. And that includes the things that are happening in your personal and professional spheres of influence, not just in your newsfeed.
While we might not be able to plan for next year or even the current school year or next quarter, slowing down has its own benefits. The planet is recovering from a society that was moving so fast, we couldn’t keep up with our own demand for essentials like energy and waste management. Now ideas for a circular economy are in the limelight. As our personal routines and businesses go on pause, we have a unique opportunity to make the most of where we are right now.
Here’s where I can’t help but see the upside, and where I’m embracing the change as a family man, a COO, and an accidental entrepreneur.
We’re Getting to Know Our Team Better
We’ve always had a flexible policy when it comes to working from home at Nexus PMG, but now the whole crew is doing it at the same time. There’s something humbling about knowing everyone is in their natural element on the other end of the company chat.
The same goes for video calls. Some people stress out about having “perfect” call environments, but I love impromptu “interruptions” to have a chat with the kids who pop in on the other end. This isn’t a television studio. This is real life, and remembering that humanizes our relationships even more.
Of course, sometimes we need to maintain professionalism. That’s when we got to covertly show off how great we work together. Our CFO Paul Hammond and I were on a call with a client recently when my son and daughter lost it in the background. I had to go on mute but Paul didn’t miss a beat and stepped right in. It almost seemed planned
What has been truly amazing to see is how well the team covers for each other when faced with real challenges. In difficult times we see the best and the worst in people, but seeing the good outweighs the bad and continues to strengthen my faith in humanity.
Technology, Innovation, and Diversification are Now Essential
Almost overnight, everyone is talking about resiliency, and diversification into renewable energy is accelerated. We’re looking forward to seeing how far we can get working with investors and developers in this sector now that we’re at a green light to go green.
The COVID landscape is also accelerating the adoption of technology. Drones, building information management software, augmented reality, and virtual reality technologies aren’t just shiny new alternatives anymore. Having virtual eyes on the job site helps us work around travel restrictions and segmented teams. Stakeholders need real-time updates on progress and performance, making project management software such as Cloud EPC more important than ever.
As someone who has always embraced technology, I look forward to upping our utilization of these tools while welcoming ideas and encouraging experimentation through our internal initiative Nexus LAB. Oh, and the new toys are fun, too.
We Have Time to Realign With Our Mission
July 2020 marked our seventh anniversary as a company. In 2018 we went through a rebranding process to make our intention to build a better world known to the world. But the work didn’t end there. We continue to define our company values and evaluate what it looks like to put them into practice.
We’re always finding new ways to build a better world and build better people. Taking time to enjoy what we do has always been a priority, but now we really have the chance to explore new opportunities. It’s refreshing to be able to take a breath, slow down, and focus on nurturing what we each bring to the table.
Our new Dallas office was recently completed, with official signage included. This has made the seven-year landmark feel even more victorious and exciting.
Room to Pursue Personal Goals
I like to call myself an accidental entrepreneur. I accidentally became an entrepreneur because I’m obsessive about tinkering with things until they work.
Nowadays, I have more time at home and that means more room in my routine to explore ideas and feed my obsession. I spend a portion of my morning and evening watching YouTube videos or taking courses on Pluralsight to up my coding game, in addition to a few small side projects.
Away from the computer, I’m also tinkering with things in the garden and my kitchen. Home gardening and composting is something I’ve been working on and talking about because it’s a simple way we can all take some responsibility to help solve our organic waste problem. Today our backyard garden is going strong, especially the jalapeños. I’ve found joy in making small-batch hot sauce, and people say it’s actually pretty good. Thanks, mom!
Ultimately, having time and energy for personal goals helps me show up stronger in my professional sphere of influence.
Strengthening Family Bonds
As a parent, there are so many things that you want your kids to learn and experience. Sending them to school is a great thing, but there are some experiences they won’t find in a classroom. Being home means our kids are watching and helping with all of the work that goes into growing your own food. I’m convinced that this generation will be better trained than we were in taking care of the house and helping out as they take on more responsibility with chores.
I won’t lie. Homeschooling has been difficult, but it’s challenged us to be more hands-on parents and forced us to appreciate teachers even more. Plus, being in control of the schedule means we can fit in things like going swimming as a family. We’re making the most of quality time every chance we get.
The Struggle Is Real. So Is the Opportunity.
If you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around just how much things have evolved since we rang in 2020, you’re not alone. The fact is that times have changed and will continue to change. Just take a look at oil prices. They went negative in April, and they can go negative again. That rush to renewables isn’t a coincidence. Resiliency is the new gold.
Personally, I plan to continue to seek out the silver linings. There are a lot of risks out there, but there are also a lot of opportunities. Getting caught up in the loss around you will only hold you back from recognizing what the present moment holds. By looking at the big picture, we can all perform due diligence to take control of our future.
What can you do to become more resilient in work and life right now?