In all these times of chaos, confusion, climate apocalypse and COVID, plus BREXIT. we are swamped with challenges on a daily basis. Reflecting on the last few months from the start of the New Year I thought I would share my own experiences if only to let off steam and perhaps offer you the reassurance that you are, maybe, not alone out there.
For me the year began well with all those regular uplifting and ambitious thoughts of the New Year, new opportunities and the completion of an ambition to write a new action-adventure film script set in Alaska: “Grey Wolf”.
It took just three weeks over the New Year holiday and into mid-January to write, edit and publish the script to promote to the world over the follow couple of weeks I’d scheduled for it. You can read it for yourself here: https://greywolf.norfilms.com
Then I fell ill.
That knocked me for six and drained the rest of my enthusiasm and time for the promotion. I had to move forward with my next planned ambition for the year.
I’d been thinking about the crises in Britain and whether a better voice was needed in the local world. So I decided to dip my toe in the murky waters of local politics and see how you run, or not, an independent campaign for Mayor of Manchester. Plenty of time and effort crafting my ideas to revolutionise the community and solve the seemingly insolvable.
You can dig the campaign out here: https://worldmaker.sterlingsecure.co.uk/mayor/
Of course I fell ill again.
That knocked my schedule off and left me with no time to explore all the options and courses of action, recruit support and save the world. So bang when that plan.
In the meantime I’d been looking into the market for chocolates and creating a new way to sell sweeties to cheer people up and improve everyone’s health with the benefits of choccies. Unfortunately the economics of that turned out to be unfeasible, although I retained some ideas for spin-off products that could work in time.
It was now moving into late spring and early summer. I did have other ideas in mind for the year, how to mobilise other kinds of support and new innovations for work. So I began to draft them.
As a long term hiker I have always been interested in creating more stylish and practical gear for travels out in the hills and I began sketching some ideas.
Then I fell ill.
A couple of weeks later and back on my feet taking my first trips out in the hills to get my strength back, and I completed my designs for the first simple idea: sport hiking shorts for men. Then off to register my design rights. Now wait and plan for a while.
Then I fell ill. Although it did give me time to reflect and consider further designs for other trekking fashion.
This was also the time to study and devise the right strategy for promotion, creating new brand ideas, designing various logos, investigating intellectual property protection and costing it all.
(Oh, and if you’re wondering about all this. With all the crises over COVID and the car project stalled I thought it would be good to launch some smaller projects to bring the funds in to solve climate change once the car is rolling. Sounded simple to me.)
Back on my feet, the registered design certificate comes in and I begin planning the production of the first product. To find pattern makers, learn the industry, identify suitable UK manufacturing and more.
Alongside this, with all the hysteria over the non-existent climate apocalypse I thought it worth extending the scope of the fashion side to bring in other ideas and merge them with an alternative campaign idea for a better world. This would allow me to raise greater awareness in the world about better ways to solve climate change in a practical fashion and add a new aspect to the clothing interest and tapping into my casual work to help my local country park.
July into August and I put in for a government award for the arts and cultural industries to kick-start the projects, spent weeks on that and got rejected. Time wasted.
Then I fell ill. This time with suspected long COVID symptoms (I never got the PCR test results back).
Eyes blurring, mind off balance and not thinking straight, about all I could seriously do was focus on cleaning house, repairing broken furniture, counterattacking the woodworm and hopefully tidying up in readiness for getting healthy and launching my new ambitions.
And then something interesting came out of a conversation with the NHS about new technology for specialist treatments: one of my innovations that had been ticking away at the back of my mind for a few years.
Get the patents they said, and we’ll talk.
Meanwhile the world economic crisis threatens supplies of stock from China or elsewhere, the rising prices of materials, labour, energy and the shortages of skilled labour all threaten to throw all my production plans off balance and I’m still ill and running out of time.
Time to be more practical. The challenge of producing new goods this late in the year and aiming for a Christmas buying season was out of the question now. Lead time was too great, little money to launch on a large scale so it will all have to be stalled for next year. But the NHS offered an alternative route, especially as further ideas came to mind to help them answer the climate change challenge and reduce carbon emissions and costs.
Head still foggy I began drawing up the patent and searching for a suitable patent attorney. I also had to evaluate whether my web servers were up to the job of all these ambitions. Fortunately I stumbled on a solution to keeping it lean for the start up phases.
And as the symptoms of long COVID began to fade away fours weeks after contracting the symptoms I was hit by what was being called the “super cold”. Bang went another few weeks of sickness and recovery (I still have the cough after a month).
While I was stalled and slumped with illness my mind kept working on all the details of the patent, and two other ideas that came up over those weeks; and then the strategic vision of revolutionising the entire NHS funding system (well, it passes the time and they do seem to need a solution).
And here I am, end of October, ten months down the line and virtually nothing to show for my efforts that I can earn from, nothing successful, nothing achieved in the outside world, mind spinning like a top.
So is that the pessimistic view, the glass half-empty, or should I take the optimistic view, the glass half-full?
In the last ten months, despite, or because of, illness and opportunities and my own imagination I have:
- written an action-adventure film script as the first of a trilogy of films set in Alaska/Canada;
- tested myself in the local puddle of politics, to the point of crafting my own campaign ideas to make the local community better;
- dipped my toes in the waters of outdoor clothing and begun learning that industry;
- created an alternative campaign to challenge the climate change apocalypse hysteria in the world today;
- invented and designed a new outdoor clothing and technology brand, logos, ID;
- invested hundreds of pounds and hours in web design, intellectual property research and strategy;
- identified new opportunities for the NHS and to improve medical treatment and operational services for health care in Britain and around the world;
- conceived of a new design for other NHS technology and ideas to use my outdoor clothing concepts to be modified for NHS ambulance crew;
- identified new alternative measures that might lead me to restarting the supercar project.
Glass half full I think.
Now where did I leave the aspirin?