Electricity is a form of energy that is what we believe to be one of the most important things needed to live in a modern society.
Before I tell you the story behind “why” I have decided to write this article, I first want to share a little bit of history.
Electricity is considered a form of energy that occurs in nature and therefore is not considered as an “invention” however, credit has been given to Benjamin Franklin for establishing the connection between lightning and electricity.
Electricity dates back over 2,000 years. Ancient Greeks found that rubbing fur on fossilised tree resin (amber) caused an attraction which was later defined as static electricity. In the 1930’s, researchers and archeologists discovered pots that contained copper inside that they believed to have been ancient batteries designed to produce light.
So, now that you have a bit of a background on the history of electricity, let’s get into the reason “why” I have decided to write this article.
As a digital influencer with over 20 years experience in business, and someone who works with SME’s, I am fortunate enough to be able to travel the world, sharing my knowledge and experience with thousands of great entrepreneurs.
If you follow me online, or receive my emails you would know that I was most recently over in Beirut for 9 days delivering a certified digital entrepreneurship program to 60 MBA students at AUST (American University for Science and Technology).
In this environment, my delivery style is not to talk about the theory behind digital marketing, how it has evolved, and how to think like an entrepreneur but to actually challenge business students who are already running a business, working in a family business or in employment.
My focus is to stop them from being what I like to call “busy fools” and to start thinking more intelligently about who they are and what they want from their business career. In my opinion, the best way to do that is to assign projects that reflect their passion and desires in life and actually put into practice what they learn, and turn this into real-life experiences.
Whilst training these students the whole local area in Beirut would get a power surge and knockout the electricity and I’d lose everything I was working on or talking about for several minutes. This would cause potential disruption and my flow however knowing about this in advance enable me to make sure I was prepared for the worst… Total blackout but thankfully it never happened.
Fast forward to this week, and I am back in London working at INSEEC (a private school of business students), delivering an 8 week program to 80 passionate students who are open to learn about going through the process of a digital transformation.
To deliver this training, I not only needed to share real-life ONLINE examples but also share methodologies on building a brand online that connects with customers through the use of technology.
The moment arrived and…. electricity failed me.
I had planned a three hour focused session that included a powerpoint presentation, online research, website-based tasks and testing automation processes. You’re probably reading this thinking “oh no… that would be my worst nightmare” and yes, my first thought was exactly that; a nightmare.
That “nightmare” thought soon disappeared. I remembered when I was in Beirut and hearing about electrical surges and of course, hearing about streets losing power in Central London and the awful storms, tsunami’s and destruction currently going on around the world.
It took me about five minutes to recompose myself at INSEEC and find another option. If you know anything about me, you know that I love a good solution and with the “no-electricity” dilemma I was faced, I knew what I had to do.
Pen and paper.
Having been in business for 25 years, I was able to rely on my years of experience and knowledge to deliver the three hour training without electricity.
The outcome was amazing. To actually stop using technology, and focus on the task at hand made myself, and of course; my students even more determined to make the session a success. We worked together as a group and rather than relying on Google for help, we relied on each other.
Don’t get me wrong, had electricity failed me when I was delivering an online training to 234 this week, I would have been left walking away from technology, grabbing my baby girl and experiencing a very different 90 minutes, along with an upset 234 people wondering what had happened.
Can we live in a digital age without electricity? No. Can we stop relying on it, and the internet so much so that we can take it back to the old school ways of pen and paper? 100% yes.
This is one of the first articles I have written where I have used a question for the title, and that is because I would love to hear about your experiences. Is electricity important to your business and if you found yourself in a situation like I did; how would you manage?