I'm worried and anxious.
No less than 2 weeks ago, our entire team was huddled in the Melbourne office for the first time in 2 years, celebrating the fact we'd achieved 70% of our 2019 revenue in only the first 10 weeks of 2020. It was shaping to be a great year.
Fast forward to today... the office lies empty, with parts of the team having flown to their interstate or overseas homes, all forms of sport cancelled and the AKU inbox subsequently becoming remarkably quiet.
I'm not here to talk about the science or the statistics, nor am I a qualified medical professional. I'm an ordinary guy who runs a teamwear brand with his friends, embarking through a ride into the unknown like everyone else. I worry for my elderly parents, more so my mum with a serious lung condition. I worry for friends whose shifts have been cut down or reduced to zero with no ability to pay rent. I sympathize with business owners who have been forced to shut down, and like most of you, I stress out doing groceries and seeing the shelves bare.
I was at Moomba a few weeks ago and my friend wanted to ride the ghost train. The rest of us didn't really want to go and we insisted she go alone.
"But I'll feel better if you guys come with me"
So begrudgingly, we all bought a ticket, strapped ourselves in and collectively shared the fear and experience together. I think this is why we're going to be okay. We're embarking on this journey together - my friends, my family, my community and billions of people around the world. I'm sharing this anxiety with a billion people in the world, making the load a billion times more bearable. The brand has always focused on the AKU-mmunity, and now more than ever, we need to open our doors, connect, build relationships and work through this together. Be a good neighbour, reach out to those you've lost connections with, check in on the elderly, the lonely and vulnerable, be kind to each other, be kind to yourselves...
We're all collectively forced to change our lives, stay home, cook our own food and have nothing but time as we stare outside our windows. This will reset a lot of paradigms, and maybe because I'm a dreamer, I think it will be for the better. It may get worse, it may be painful but be it one day or weeks or months or seasons, we're all going to wake up and it will all be over. We'll love going to training, savour eating at our favourite restaurants, and appreciate the beauty of community, friendships and a simple handshake.