Published: 17 March, 2021

Look the part

Claire Wellard, CEO and founder of iGamingXL, on ramping up the motivation and determination to ensure 2021 is your most successful year.2021 is in full swing as we move into the last month of Q1. 2020 was a hard year for everyone on a global scale, one that no one in our lifetime has ever seen before. Not only did we have to adapt the way we live, but we had to adapt the way we do business as well

We have seen some countries on a total lockdown, only leaving the house for essentials, and other countries with a ban on alcohol sales.

As an industry, we should all feel very blessed that business life for most can continue. Of course, there have been redundancies, businesses scrambling to change from a sports-focused business model to other verticals, learning quickly how to change focus to stay in business. If this is you, I take my hat off to you and you should be proud of what you achieved last year. Maybe you would have added new channels or verticals to your business in time, but this was forced upon you and it created some sink or swim scenarios. One of the major changes which hit most of us hard was the travel ban and subsequently the lack of conferences. Sixteen years in this industry and last year was the only year I did not get on an airplane - not even pregnancy slowed down my conference attendance. But Covid-19 got me stuck at home like it got us all. We all have friends, acquaintances, peers all around the globe, and not seeing them at all in over 12 months has been incredibly hard. Everyone I speak to tells me their number-one thing they are looking forward to is the travel ban being lifted and the return of the conferences.

2020 started a massive boost in Facetime, Zoom and video Skype calls. I am part of a Saturday Facetime/Zoom group that started probably six months ago with around 20 industry peers. The numbers have dwindled slightly as life continues to get back to some sort of normality, but it's amazing to hear how people in different countries are handling life. It's nice to see faces of those I haven't seen in over a year and hear about the highs and lows of their week, both from a business standpoint but personally as well. These things are invaluable in keeping us sane and building the bonds which would otherwise be made during conference times.

Clients call me now more than ever, and I am always prepared you'll never catch me sitting here working from home in my PJs, so no matter whether the phone rings or it's a video call, I am always prepared. This is one of my biggest tips.

1. Get outside: Go for a walk, go for a run or just get to somewhere where you can get much-needed daylight and chill away from everything for 20 minutes a day. Vitamin D plays a massive part in our physical and mental health. Perhaps you can start the 10k step challenge, where your goal is to hit 10k steps a day. It can be hard with a desk job. Trust me, I just did a 30-day challenge on this and only managed about 20 out of the 30 days to hit 10k. Some days I barely hit 2k.

2. Start listening to motivational speakers, TEDx Talks on YouTube, or podcasts. These can be hugely impactful on your state of mind, how you think about life and how to put things in perspective. I've listened to these on many days where I don't feel my best, and also when I'm out running and they are hugely impactful on my day. They have given me new business ideas, boosted my productivity and changed my outlook on my day.

But on a more serious note, if these small changes and tips don't help, and you feel like you need more professional help, please pick up the phone. There are always people to help you and to support you. MIND (a UK mental health Charity) states one in four people will experience a mental health issue of some kind every year. During lockdown, they reported that 60% of adults and 68% of young people have said their mental health has gotten worse in lockdown. Pick up the phone if you need it. You are not alone.

I could talk for hours (and pages) about positivity, working from home, and how to have a successful 2021, but I will end with one final tip for you: Set yourself some goals. At the end of 2021 what do you want to have achieved? Who do you want to be? Where do you want to be business-wise? Maybe you have goals for business and goals for your personal life, and that's perfect. I have a vision board combined for business and professional, which is in front of my desk to look at every day. It helps me stay on track and work towards my goals at every opportunity.

Think about your own goals and write them down. For example, by December 2021: I want a pay rise or a new house. I want to launch a new website or hire two members of staff. Whatever your goal is, write it down. Then break this down into smaller monthly tasks to help you achieve this goal. Set yourself a target and work towards it. Rome wasn't built in a day, but everything is achievable if you just put your mind to it. And if you cannot do it in lockdown, when can you?