A Productive Lockdown

Section of Youtube channel O=I created for the music videos we created during a productive lockdown

I have to say that its actually been a pretty productive lockdown period for me, creatively at least. In part that’s been a result of my partner Mo being unable to work for most of that time. She has been paid 70-80% of her income as a driving instructor however so there’s been no real financial pressure. My online business hasn’t been affected negatively so we’ve basically had a lot of time together to pursue the passion that brought us together in the first place: Music.

Don’t get me wrong there’s been some bad stuff too. We haven’t been able to visit friends and family for what seems like forever. My Dad is very ill which makes this particularly hard all round. We have had regular Zoom calls at least with the wider family getting involved in a special Zoom Christmas party. We’ve aso had to deal with the death by car of two out of three of our cats one of which was less that 2 years old.  

But the show must go on. Before Covid and all that it has spawned, we were working on our music anyway – just not as much. My work takes a couple of hours per day and Mo only works 3 or 4 full days per week. From 2019 to March 2020 we had been re-recording some old songs, writing new ones and for the first time creating videos for them.  

We’d sold the big 24 track recording console we had used for many years to a local band and had been using Garageband – Apple’s  free recording software – ever since. During the first lockdown Apple extended their I month free trial of their pro version Logic Pro X to 3 months.

Benefits Of A Productive Lockdown

I decided to give it a whirl and purchased it pretty soon after. Having now absorbed a ton of Youtube tutorials and recorded a number of songs with Logic I’m pretty proficient with it. That’s a valuable skillset in its own right so thank you Covid for that.

I also discovered a couple of new approaches to acoustic guitar playing I heard about on Youtube (again). Its a way of stringing a guitar called Nashville or high strung tuning. I liked the sound of it so much that I bought another acoustic guitar to devote to it. It’s featured on a number of our newer songs and on one we collaborated on remotely with an old friend.

I’ve since added a pickup to that guitar. Then I bought a partial capo – again something I’d never heard of before stumbling across it online. That has opened another rich vein of creativity in my playing and in our music.

Aside from the above we’ve also developed a nice little sideline business during our enforced captivity. My partner started upcycling furniture and lamps as a hobby years ago. She also made cushions and curtains. At first these were mainly for our own home but they caught the eye of friends and relatives who suggested she could sell them. That proved to be true but the cushions, curtains and furniture were too much hassle and work. Lamps however were a different story.

From Hobby To Side Hussle

Picture of a shelf unit full of custom made lampshades created by my partner during a productive lockdown

With lots of time on her hands she got stuck in. I built Facebook and Instagram pages and a website for her.  Those together with Ebay have grown a nice little business that actually now pays our mortgage most months. A spare room has been converted into a workshop cum storage space.

All told then I think we have used the time well. Definitely a productive lockdown. We have also kept a good exercise regime going walking a couple of miles most days, often much further. We realise we are lucky to live in a beautiful part of Scotland with miles of forest, coast and hill right on our doorstep. 

But then its not really luck that got us here. That too came from good use of a chunk of unexpected time on the hands when I was made redundant. I had several months on paid garden leave to plan my next move back then and decided to learn how to create an income online. When I started to earn much more from home in a few hours a day than I had as a full time corporate executive I knew I could do it from anywhere. 

That and my partner’s new driving instuction business gave us the confidence to pursue our dream of living by the sea. Having committed to doing it everything happened very quickly. Our City house sold very quickly and above the asking price. That let us buy the house overlooking the sea we had seen a year before. Both of our businesses were thriving. Our quality of life was better and our cost of living had dropped substantially. 

This Is What I Would do In Lockdown – If I hadn’t Already

If I hadn’t already been an Internet marketer when all this stuff began in spring 2020 that is what I would have been spending my time learning to do. I really feel for all those people who were furloughed for months only to be made redundant when the scheme ended. I know that some of them spent that time looking ahead and as the government suggested Rethinking, re-skilling and re-booting. Hopefully they chose to go for digital skills. The internet economy is thriving as traditional business heads into one hell of a recession. 

We have flocked to the internet like never before in the last year. And that presents huge opportunity for anyone prepared to learn how to take advantage of it. There is still time to make it a very productive lockdown. If you see the common sense of that then you may want to tune in to a free webcast by clicking on the link below.

Its by a guy who saw the writing on the wall internet-wise in the aerly 2000’s and has made millions online since. He’s also gone on to co-create one of the world’s premier training and mentoring platforms for new internet entrepreneurs. His training, resources and digital systems got me started and I continue to use them seven years later. He’s well worth 20 minutes of your time. 

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