My "strange gratitude" for Covid's new position

George Hill is seated on a bench for exercise

Many people had to change how they worked and how they did their jobs as a result of the pandemic.

People have been telling BBC Radio Gloucestershire how Covid inspired a career change for which they felt "strangely" appreciative.

Pete George, George Hill, and Rachael Willoughby all launched their own businesses.

Together with her partner, Ms. Willoughby launched a pizza business.

Mr. Hill quit his job as a gym employee to launch an online fitness company, and Mr. George accelerated the growth of his axe-throwing business so that it could be operated full-time.

Due to limitations, former gym employee George Hill from Cheltenham moved his business online and "never looked back.".

They "basically had to make the best of a bad situation at the time," according to Mr. Hill, who founded Candamp;G fitness with his friend Callum Stewart.

"When Covid arrived, lockdown took place, and nobody knew how long it would last.

"I had low overhead costs thanks to living with my parents, which was fortunate for me. ".

The two developed a business plan for an online venture because "pretty much everything had moved online" and concentrated their ideas on assisting busy women in leading healthy lives.

Since we started doing it about 2.5 years ago, it has only continued to grow. ".

George Hill sitting on a workout bench
According to George Hill, "No one knew how long Covid would last.".

He asserted that the online method is "much more beneficial for the client" because it allows for greater flexibility in light of a busy schedule and the pair is able to provide a wider "holistic" service, including nutrition and support.

Along with allowing them to expand their business, it also gave them the geographic flexibility to move Mr. Hill to London and Mr. Stewart to Australia.

The lockdown and the Covid side were "really terrible," but for me personally, there are a lot of good things that have come out of it, too, said Mr. Hill. ".

"I don't think online coaching would have been as popular without the lockdown," the speaker said. I therefore feel an odd sense of gratitude for it, he continued.

Pete George in front of an eat sleep axe sign holding an axe
Pete George quit his twenty-year IT job to start the axe-throwing business Eat Sleep Axe.

When the pandemic began, Cheltenham native Pete George was employed as an IT consultant.

In 2018, he started setting up escape rooms, and in 2019, when business was booming, he started running it as a business.

He included axe throwing in there because he had learned it a few years earlier, but he claimed that in 2020, everything "shut overnight.".

The idea of quitting my 20-year-old business and relatively well-paying IT job never really crossed Mr. George's mind, he claimed.

However, Covid probably simply said, "Well, you can just chuck everything to start again overnight so why not?," he continued.

He now works full-time running the escape room and axe throwing businesses Eat Sleep Axe.

Rachael Willoughby and Elliot
According to Ms. Willoughby, franchising the business will teach others how to generate income.

In the middle of a lockdown, Tewkesbury residents Rachael Willoughby and Elliot Richmond from Cleeve began making and delivering pizza.

"Elliot has been making pizza for friends and family for years, and they've always said you should sell it," said Ms. Willoughby.

They were talking about how businesses would have to change during the pandemic and ran a software development company.

After that, they "lost almost 50% of our work through contract work.".

They decided to carry out their pizza plan after Mr. Richmond predicted that takeaways would "really boom" in the lockdown environment. The beginning of CassaGee's pizza.

Ms Willoughby and Eliot holding a heart shaped pizza
Pizza-making, according to Mr. Elliott, is therapeutic.

"There were only six pizzas in the beginning, but today there are 17 and about 28 toppings. ".

Mr. Elliott clarified, "We don't put pineapple on our pizzas.

It's the best pizza outside of Italy, according to Ms. Willoughby's regular Italian customers.

They have chosen to franchise the company now that it is operating "like clockwork," according to Ms. Willoughby.

We have a system that we have refined. And given the current situation, it seems like a good idea to assist others and demonstrate to them how to generate income from their own labor, she continued.

Since Rachel Clark, a teacher from Longlevens, had just begun her career, the lockdown interrupted her training.

She stated: "It was very stressful because it was the first September back after Covid when I started my first [teaching] job. ".

She began painting nails as an "escape" from her regular job, and she claimed that her son had made a permanent change more crucial.

Rachel Clark
Rachel Clark began her career in education just before the pandemic.

I used to be very career-focused or goal-oriented before I had Teddy, and I would go to any lengths to achieve my goals.

But since I wasn't teaching online at the time of the mandatory lockdown, I had nothing to do.

She referred to it as being "much slower and more relaxed," and she had the time to read and make crafts with her son.

"Before, I always assumed that since I worked full-time, he would attend nursery full-time and would likely make his first speech or first steps there.

She realized after lockdown that she did not want to miss those stages of his development, so she decided to turn her hobby in nails into a business, and Beauty Scape by Rachel was established.

She claimed that because her clients are frequently "busy mums," most of her work is done in the evenings and on weekends, and she is not required to work during school breaks.

It's worth it to be free, she continued.

She stated: "I think lockdown changed a lot of people's outlook on what was required and... a lot of people's outlook on how life has to be.

I think you should just figure out what you want and try to come up with a plan to get it, she advised.

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