COVID Coping Tips (Lockdown Week 2) – More SME Business Owners tell Yours Truly how they are coping – Coffee with Colm Episode 210

Happy Easter!

Easter week was a good week. My work schedule came back to a ‘next normal’ and reduced back to a manageable 12 hours per day, 7am to 7pm!

Carambola launched its home-delivery service which was a roaring success thanks to the extremely hard-working and dedicated team with amazing support from our supply and delivery partners. Trojan work all. Bualadh bos.

Coffee at Eleven continued unabated to the delight of many, not least Yours Truly, but also the growing congregation of regular ‘earwiggers’ in our virtual Café, dropping in silently to act as a fly on the wall to an intimate conversation as to what makes this or that one tick… Fascinating insights were unearthed, many inadvertently as my guests relaxed into just having a chat.

The week went like this:

  • Monday: How To Cut It Through COVID; Neisha Ahern, Catwalk Hair Consultancy tells how she’s remaining upbeat
  • Tuesday: “What Do You Want Out Of Life?” April Drew, MD Drew Media answers this with endearing honesty
  • Wednesday: Turn Off The News! Leonie Lynch PhD, Founder Juspy, explains why we should over Coffee with Colm
  • Thursday: “Virus? It should be pronounced ‘VEER US ‘– COVID has veered us onto a better track!” Evelyn McAleer
  • Good Friday: Off.

Each guest brought a completely different vibe and perspective to our being in Lockdown, reflecting not only on their businesses before during and after COVID, but increasingly on the unexpected positives appearing in the totality of their lives by being forced, by COVID, to stop.

Towards the end of each interview, after we had learned who they were, what their business is, what it was like before COVID, what its like now and what are their hopes for when the veil lifts… and before we went to LIVE Q&A from the floor, I asked each of them for the one tip they would offer their nearest and dearest in terms of coping with COVID?

This is what they said:

To find out what each guest’s ‘Coping with COVID No. 1 Tip’ is, stick on the kettle, grab a coffee, pull up a comfy chair and watch the 7 mins ‘Top Tips’ video (highly recommended) , listen to the 7 mins Top Tips Podcast (recommended) or read on below… then pick your favorite and watch the full interview (links below each guest’s tip)

Top Tips (and short Bios) In Their Own Words

  • Neisha Ahern Neisha is Managing director of Catwalk Hair Consultancy . A 5-Star accredited, multi-award winning hair salon based in limerick city . She specializes in hair loss aesthetics and provides hair loss solutions to both men & women. Catwalk Hair Co also has its own brand product line of shampoos, conditioners and styling products. Neisha is wife to Brian and mommy to 2 amazing children , Karah who is 5 and Alec 3. She enjoys keeping fit , upskilling whenever possible and is known to have a few glasses of prosecco

“The biggest tip that I can tell you to do, regardless of whether you are in work or not, is this… (presents her To Do List Book to camera)”. It’s my Book of To Do Lists because, when I get overwhelmed, even when I’m off work at the moment, obviously my brain is still ticking over. Even with the kids, – Karah, I’m home-schooling my daughter and she’s five, and I put her in an Irish school, which was a great idea at the time, until I have to figure out how to do her schooling in Irish, but, even at that, I still have a To-Do list every day. And, I do it the night before and even if I do one thing, or two things off that list, it’s still giving myself back the accountability, and it will you, because sometimes, even if we’re off work , but we still have stuff to get done, you know, having a To-Do list and a focus and a routine, is what’s gonna help. It’s going to help me anyway, I hope it helps you.”

(Neisha’s Full Interview Video here)

  • April Drew, CEO of Drew Media, April Drew, originally hails from Tralee, Co. Kerry but currently lives in Newport, Tipperary with her husband John and three children. April has always been in the business of communication. She graduated Bristol University as an Irish Sign Language Interpreter and after traveling Europe with this career while in her early twenties, April moved stateside to New York and pursued a career in journalism. During her time in New York April received many accolades including Kerry Woman of the Year from the Kerry Association of New York and an award from the Aisling Irish Community Centre for her work within the Irish Community. She also had a day named after her in Yonkers- Oct 9th, 2008 is officially April Drew day! April worked as a journalist with the Irish Voice in New York for nine years and returned to Ireland in 2012 armed with the skills to start up her own publishing business. A year after her return home to Ireland Brides of Limerick magazine was born. Since then April has successfully also launched Brides of Munster, Irish LGBT Weddings, Weddings in Ireland and Getaways with Kids. April’s husband John Mooney joined the company in June 2018 as Operations Manager and together they work everyday to make Drew Media a super publishing house. April’s passion in life is to show her three children the world before they get too old to want to travel with their parents anymore!

“My main thing is, and I’ve kinda only started doing this lately, is I get up really early and get out walking- when I say really early, I’m talking 8.30, 9 o’clock, now, but I get out for a walk and I spend about an hour and a half on that walk listening to a Business Podcast. I take twenty minutes to just breathe, listen to nature and then I spend the last ten minutes or so, checking in – I’ll give my mother a quick call, or a friend. So even though I’m going for my walk, getting my exercise, building up those steps, which is brilliant for my mind, and I might challenge myself some days for a quick run, but I also make use of that time. So I listen to a podcast, I am ‘one with nature’, as they say, which is really, really good, and then I give someone a quick call and then I’m home for the day”

(April’s Full Interview Video here)

  • Leonie Lynch, Leonie is a lovely bunch of ladies – one is into brands, the other Pilates and movement, the other music, another women’s health and the other art. Every one of her personalities studied each of those interests at some point in her life i.e. Leonie has a PhD in branding, a Masters in Marketing and a degree in fine art. She works as a visual artist for ten years but not since she was 30. She has taught Pilates for 11 years and recently set up the functional food company Juspy. That makes healthy products that taste amazing. Leonie turned 40 last week.

“Turn off the news. I, like, I live in this bubble, where, you know, if I go into the news, if I go into thinking about it too much, I can’t get work done, because I’m just down in the dumps. Em, worried about my grandmother, I haven’t seen my parents, you know it’s just… but, I’ve turned off the news, we’re turning on the radio, as in, like (imitates one of the kids), “‘I like that, put on Justin Bieber” so this is what I hear all day long. So, it’s Turn off the news. Just give yourself a break.”

(Leonie’s Full Interview Video here)

  • Evelyn McAleer, Evelyn McAleer is a published author of the books ‘A Life You Want’ and ‘Effortless’. As well as being a public speaker, certified life coach, and Louise Hay ‘heal your life’ coach, Evelyn is also a dance instructor and mother of 3 from the County of Tyrone Ireland. Evelyn’s journey through dance allowed her to excel and ignite a flame which in years to follow created a pathway of endless possibilities. “Manifesting is for everyone. You have all the power & magnificence within you to bring about a life of love, joy, happiness, health & wealth regardless of the outside circumstances. Everything is but an experience, in a world of infinite possibilities what will you choose?”- Evelyn Mc Aleer.

“Well, the tip is to Stay Present. Take your focus off that word. Take your focus of the word, ‘pandemic’. Change the way you see things. That’s a big thing. When you change the way you see things, and that’s the truth, everything changes in your life. But stay present, because, see in this present moment here, that we’re all gathered here now, everything’s perfect. You’re safe. You’re well. You have everything that you need. Everything is perfect. Try and bring your awareness to stay in the present, because it’s all perfect. And you’re safe, you’re very safe.”

(Evelyn’s Full Interview Video here)

I have another full week of interviews over Coffee at Eleven next week for Lockdown Week 2, with some very cool people, beginning on Monday featuring Liam Bourke, of Liam Bourke’s Ireland.

Join us FREE and LIVE on Zoom at 11am on Monday and every weekday thereafter at this link: or subscribe to my YouTube Channel here to catch the replays at a time that suits you.

Stay Apart, Stay Safe.

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