Paul McVeigh

The Joy of Zoom

Paul McVeigh as Investec's Keynote Speaker

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Apr 20

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How are you adapting to life under ‘lockdown’?

For many people, primarily those who do not normally work from home, it must be quite a challenge. Previously, being told to stay at home and do your own thing, especially if you’re being paid to do so, is the sort of situation a lot of us could only ever dream about whilst we’re sat at work. Now that it’s happening and looking set to continue for a while, we’re all looking forward to getting back to work. I know I am but isn’t it ironic?

My work and self-isolation don’t go together. As a keynote speaker, I’m incredibly fortunate to spend a lot my time travelling around the world to deliver presentations to the staff of some of the biggest organisations in the world. If you read my last blog for example, you’ll know I was due to do just that for Microsoft in Singapore. To say I’m disappointed about missing out on that opportunity would be quite an understatement but I’m hoping it will be rescheduled. Fingers crossed!

I haven’t, however, spent all of the last few weeks sat on my sofa. Thanks to the incredible advances that are being made in video conferencing technology, I have been able to utilise that medium to prepare and deliver some presentations for St James’s Place, the wealth management company who have staff all over the world including Singapore, Shanghai and Bangkok. So they’ve been able to see and listen to me without my having to walk out of my front door. It’s a great way of doing business and communicating, but, for all of that, I’d far rather be there and with the management and their people than a few thousand miles away.

Much closer to home, I’ve also been able to deliver sessions for Russell Martin and his MK Dons 1st team players as well as LAPS (Life After Professional Sport), an organisation that supports sports professionals and elite athletes beyond their competing years and into new and fulfilling opportunities post-sporting career. I hope I have been able to illustrate to them, albeit via Zoom, that there are some incredible options out there for men and women who are leaving professional sport, especially the glamorous world of Keynote Speaking!

Paul McVeigh in action for Investec

Paul McVeigh in action for Investec (Dec ’19)

Mindset has always fascinated me and the psychology of investors in the stock market really does interest me at the moment. The whole world is in the grip of the pandemic and no-one is quite sure how it is going to affect businesses and the world economy over both the short and long term. When you couple this uncertainty of current stock market fluctuations with the fact that, as we eventually come out of the lockdown, the ‘feel good’ factor could kick in and, as has often been the case after a stock market crash, share prices could suddenly, and dramatically rise. So the question arises, is it a good time to invest money in stocks and shares?

Personally, I feel you can look at it in two ways. You can either say the world economy is on its knees right now and there’s no way you’re going to risk losing money on the stock market or you can say the prices are great, they’re at a 5-year low and, for that reason, there’s no reason not to buy. I guess both views could easily be said to be right just as they could equally well be seen as wrong. There’s always a little bit of psychology going on somewhere and it’s never been so important for investors right now.

The pandemic has brought with it all sorts of challenges to our daily lives and we are all having to be flexible and to adapt to it and the lockdown in ways that we’d once thought we’d never be capable of doing. Some are even learning new skills to compensate. I never expected to be ‘au fait’ with Zoom a few months ago. I hadn’t even heard of it but now it’s a daily part of my working life.

Hopefully we can all start to return to the way of life we were had not so long ago, albeit, potentially having gained a new perspective on life and the need to be agile in mind and attitude, as well as body.

 

Stay safe.

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