The challenges business owners have faced through coronavirus have put a spotlight on the importance of discussing wellbeing and mental health.

Creative video specialist, Rob Hallam, takes a look at his own experiences running a business.

My business, Bigtank Video Productions is in it’s 15th year. Whilst I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved over those years and the amazing client relationships gained, I have often had a niggling sense of doubt that I haven’t been good enough or that somehow the business would have been better with someone else at the helm.

Throughout my business journey, whilst externally I kept these thoughts buried, I have had incredible support from close friends, allies and many of our clients who I felt able to confide in and consequently, they have confided in me too, that they have experienced similar challenges.

You are not alone

Not only was it initially a shock to realise that what I was experiencing was not unique to me during the COVID-19 pandemic (through my early years of self-doubt I was naively convinced I was alone with this affliction) it was also very comforting to hear from people I trusted and people in similar business positions. It transpired that no matter what I thought about myself, the facts showed that we were doing fantastically well, we were extremely well-liked by clients and the business was undoubtedly successful.

So, as the COVID-19 challenges started to really hit home and many of our clients felt the difficulties, there was an immediate knock on to our business. True to form, my doubting self sprang into action telling me all of the reasons why I should have prepared for such a thing. I thought I should have had products ready to sell to take advantage of the situation. Also, I felt that I was failing if we furloughed staff.

Again, surprise surprise, in talking to my close allies in business – some one-man bands, some SMEs and one £300m turnover business – they all felt exactly the same way.

Older, yet wiser

I like to think that the older we get, the wiser we get. Although I still think I would struggle on Mastermind, I have learnt that any doubt my mind throws at me is human nature and, I can take what it says with a pinch of salt.

In my experiences, when we look at the evidence to back up our doubts, it just simply isn’t there. Yes, we will make mistakes on our journey and yes our businesses will rise, fall and rise again. But rarely is this because we are inept, not fit for purpose or because we haven’t worked hard enough. Or because we didn’t have the business acumen to predict a global pandemic.

So, as we start to look at recovery from COVID-19, my advice to anyone feeling inadequate, not good enough or just plain rubbish is to seek out those closest friends and business allies. Just ask them how they see you and your achievements.

By opening up to people, you will be surprised by the support you get. Both through what they have to say and discovering just how life-changing the experience can be.