Join social innovation consultant, facilitator and part-time poet, Michael Pealow, in discussing how the pandemic has changed their approach to business and life.
(2:28) Michael shares their first memory of the pandemic. Having planned a big family reunion and starting to feel uncertain what was going to happen, they chose to go ahead with plans to meet in Nicaragua. Several days later marked when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians travelling outside of the county to come home as soon as possible.
(3:57) Looking at the pandemic related restrictions, Michael discusses the biggest challenge to their business being the on again, off again, nature of the restrictions. Hybrid facilitation, combining both in person and virtual means is incredibly difficult, where facilitating one way or the other is much easier. They elaborate further on the differences between the two formats and the successes they have had adapting to online facilitation offerings.
(7:07) Having been resistant to online facilitation, Michael explains that they realized that they needed to figure it out quickly to be sustainable in the face of the pandemic and is proud of their ability to learn new tools and tricks that allow for more organic conversations despite being virtual.
(8:42) Michael shares a key insight they had of their business model in the idea that they and their family can live anywhere that makes them happy and be able to do his work.
(11:25) Prior to the pandemic, Michael wanted to put more focus on land-based facilitation, and this focus hasn’t changed. Their goal is to spend less time staring at screens and more time on the land with people but is prepared to see how things go and stay open to opportunities that come their way.
(13:19) Leadership is ‘trusting in people to rise up to the challenge’ and Michael has seen this in their volunteer work as the chair of the Yukon Foundation. They share key insights into what helps people and organizations adapt to uncertainty.
(17:05) Michael shares their hopes that in the future that Yukon businesses can get access to business counselling service and believes this is a basic service that governments should be providing.
(18:08) Michael’s advice for emerging entrepreneurs? A pandemic is a good time to start a business. If you can make your business work in the middle of a pandemic or recession, your business is probably going to do really well outside of one.
(18:52) Michael reflects on several ‘aha’ moments that have shifted their worldview in the last couple years from becoming less extraverted, wanting to get a boat and spend time exploring, and realizing you can’t put life on hold.
(20:52) A surprise even to Michael was they wrote and published a book of poetry! They discuss how this came to be and their feelings regarding it. Link to their book at the end.
(22:05) What wellness practices keep Michael Grounded? Quality time with their partner Erin and home renovations which has given them the opportunity to pick up some new skills.
(25:22) Michael comments on how certainty is an illusion and encourages entrepreneurs to embrace the uncertainty and look for the opportunities in it. They caution that otherwise you may get stuck or become stagnant which results in a failure to adapt and therefore thrive.