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Lockdown learnings and leading with purpose

The Creative Equals Business Leadership course is a vital launchpad for creative women in a post-pandemic world

Madeleine Morris. Freelance Creative Director and Copywriter

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How much preparation did you do for the COVID -19 pandemic?

Did you fill your cupboards with loo roll, pasta and tins of tomatoes?

Did you panic buy facemasks in all the wrong sizes and take out shares in hand gel companies?

I did some of the above (well, we get through a lot of loo roll in my house), but my main preparation was a brilliant six-month Creative Equals Business Leadership course.

Obviously, when I started the course in September 2019, I didn’t realize it would be the perfect preparation for many weeks of lockdown with my family.  I had no idea that learning about ‘Authenticity in Leadership’ would help me homeschool my daughter. That studying ‘High functioning teams’ would help me manage family life and that perfecting my ‘Pitching and Selling’ skills and developing a ‘Growth mindset’ would help me stay sane!

At the graduation dinner last March, a few days before we went into the first UK lockdown, I thanked Helen James, Ali Hannan, Fiona Brian and my mentor Stephen Woodford for accepting me onto the course and told them it had been life changing. Little did I know it would also be life preserving.

Going backwards

Like many freelancers I didn’t get much paid work last year. In contrast, my husband was working intense 11+ hour days from home. As a result, all the home schooling, housekeeping, cooking and general caring duties fell to me. Essentially, I became a 1950’s housewife. And I absolutely hated it.

I am most definitely NOT a stay at home mum. But I am proud of what I achieved over the year. When my daughter went back to school after the first lockdown I received an email from her teacher congratulating me on how well I’d done with her teaching. I burst into tears. My daughter is very dyslexic and homeschooling her was incredibly difficult.

There is no way I could be a school teacher. But there are quite a few other jobs I think I could do now; professional banana bread baker, vertical courgette grower, kitchen disco dancer, dodgy barber, frothy coffee creator… Plus, I’ve got so good at cooking a great meal from random things in the cupboards, I would do really well on the new Ready, Steady Cook.

All the home schooling, housekeeping, cooking and general caring duties fell to me. Essentially, I became a 1950’s housewife. And I absolutely hated it.

Madeleine Morris, Copywriter and Creative Director

No time for me time

The one thing I didn't do much of was write. I was so focused on other people I didn’t have any time or energy left to do things for me. In fact, I started writing this piece in May last year and never got around to finishing it. There didn’t seem much point. The world had gone to shite, adland was awash with redundancies and my creative leadership skills were more useful at home than in the office.

So, I stepped back. I expressed myself creatively in different ways. I drew and painted and crafted with my daughter. I gave my brain a break. But just before Christmas 2020 I decided I’d had enough of being a housewife. It was time to get my life back. So, I took the plunge and started putting feelers out for jobs. I was pleasantly surprised by the response. Obviously, I was ignored by a few and ghosted by others but after only a month of looking I was offered three great freelance jobs. And I genuinely don’t think that would have happened without my Creative Equals business training. It changed my mindset so completely.

Kick arse women

Another wonderful thing about the course is the network of incredible, talented and inspiring women that I am now privileged to be part of. Women who kept each other sane and provided a different perspective when some of us felt like we were stuck on repeat in a, frankly frightening, new world order.

I know that leading with empathy and vulnerability is more effective than the bullish ‘my way is the only way’ attitude.

Madeleine Morris, Copywriter and Creative Director

Now I’m back at work I have completely refocused what I want to get out of it and I’m 100% more confident. I know that leading with empathy and vulnerability is more effective than the bullish ‘my way is the only way’ attitude. And I am determined to work with clients who have purpose. Because the world is changing rapidly and I don’t want to just be part of the change, I want to accelerate it and run with all the amazing women who are leading the charge.

So, if you are thinking about applying for the course this year - do it, even if you have to pay for it yourself like I did.

If you’re interested apply here:

https://forms.gle/6ai2iTDiCHvi6kFQ7 

Oh, and obviously if you are looking for a great creative director or copywriter get in touch.

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