Must be said
Guest article by Franziska von Hardenberg
Breathe in, breathe out.
Sometimes the world changes so fast, you get the feeling you’re just not able to keep up. It helps then, to take things one step at a time and start acting. Who would’ve thought that the year 2020 would bring a surprise with a global pandemic, which would make it possible to think up new structures. How you ask? Entrepreneur Franziska von Hardenberg explains in this very personal guest article.
Breathe in and breathe out – something I need to constantly remind myself. As an entrepreneur and mother of two small daughters my day is usually packed with little or no room for breaks. Others would perhaps call it “stressful”, I like to describe it as “brimming with energy”. And this is how it should be. I firmly believe that whoever rows the boat, keeps it on course.
Meanwhile, I have been an entrepreneur for almost a decade. I’ve seen the highs and lows of business life and know that you can achieve a lot if you remain flexible, creative, yet disciplined at the same time. Apart from all the energy and a head full of new ideas, discipline is the quality that truly sets me apart from others. The year 2017 was particularly difficult for me. First, I lost my first company to a business rival due to failed funding round, then I found myself in hospital and went to the far too premature birth of my second daughter. What encouraged me to press on at this low point was a line that someone had sent me: “The universe only gives you what you can handle.” This line was such a great help to me at the time and continue to give me strength even now. I rolled up my sleeves and founded another company: HOLY GOLDY. With start capital of EUR 500, I established what has now become a top-selling, high-turnover company – one that I own 100% and in which all decisions are made 100% by me. All of this obviously also helped me navigate the current situation with Covid-19.
The tougher it gets...
The tougher it gets, the more light bulbs go off in my brain, the more creative I become and the more vigorously I surpass myself. Here a three tips to help overcome a state of shock – or even rough patches you may go through now and then.
Tip 1: Remain flexible. I myself had completely different plans for this year. I had to cancel several trips and reorganize a lot of things. But there’s no point in losing one’s head over it, you need to constantly adjust to be successful.
Tip 2: Remain positive. I’m a die-hard optimist. I always see the good in things, look at the brighter side. My family is healthy – I’m healthy. So, no excuses – let’s go on with it.
Tip 3: Remain open. Identify and seize new market opportunities. I believe that this crisis could be a huge opportunity for many businesses – and even for personal ventures. The moment you stop wallowing in self-pity and open your eyes to the world, understand the need of the hour and adapt your businesses in the best possible way, a crisis may turn into an opportunity.
The great advantage of being self-employed for me is that I can practically work from any location – even from home, and very well at that. I can organize my day with amazing flexibility and I love the fact that I no longer have to be in the office for twelve hours, attend hundreds of meetings in a week, which often are nothing more than a distraction. Instead, I can now adjust my work-pace on a day-to-day basis. This way I get to spend much more time with my children – something I always wanted to do and am now enjoying to the fullest.
Working from home with kids: peace and routine.
We’re in an incredible fortune situation: four years ago, we were able to purchase a countryside home in Brandenburg which has been renovated with a lot of time, money, and elbow grease. Now, when the interior work is nearly finished, this house provides more space than the house in Berlin. Our two children have their own room, and our living room is divided into a seating area and a play area. Moreover, since August we have an Au-pair from Brazil. All in all, right now here we are, quite unexpectedly, more than just privileged. We have tried to calmly explain the news situation to our children and make them understand why it is even more important now to maintain order and structure. It’s not easy for any of us because otherwise we’re only at home on weekends and even then, mostly without a fixed structure for enjoying our time together in a relaxed way. My husband and I have set-up our home offices in the attic and have established clearly defined schedules and arrangements. Our routine, which may also help other parents in similar situation, looks something like this: We start the day with breakfast together, after which we try to work through for three hours with complete concentration. Lunch is prepared at noon, where my husband an I take turns. Early afternoon is time for the children to take a nap, while we continue to work. Then, when the children play for two hours, we keep working. I make it a point to stop for the day no later than 5 pm, so that I get time to spend with the children, to do some baking or go out. Schedules and structures do not only help us but also the children.
A sense of relaxation in tense times
The powerful effect of our sense of smell manifests itself in our sense of taste as well: the smell of an aromatic , familiar dish whets our appetite , stimulates our senses and belly. This, in fact, forms the major part of the pleasurable gustatory experience, as the aromas released while chewing and tasting end up in the nose. Heike Lohbeck, tea expert at Avoury, explains why teas are deliberately infused with aromas and how significant they are for overall enjoyment. “Each of our Avoury teas contains distinct ingredients which are combined in such way that the taste and the aroma complement each other perfectly.”
Fruity-sweet is what our CREAMY STRAWBERRY smells like. Tiny pieces of strawberry in tea that smell so intense, as though they are freshly picked. And the creamy nuances remind us of our favorite strawberry-cream bonbons we loved as a child. The intense bouquet of FLOWERY RHUBARB with its floral notes of hibiscus blossoms set against sweet-smelling pieces of apple makes for a nice dose of refreshment in a glass. An aromatic tea that is already a sensory delight before it is savoured by the tongue. Our sense of smell is definitely not something to look down our noses at. Now that we have had a glance at the exciting world of our olfactory senses, we will perhaps appreciate the smells during the next summer rain even more.