Advice by the members, for members


In this article: Long-standing IMI member Andrew Livesey, gives his advice on how we can all get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a long-standing member of the IMI and still in active business – I’ve been a member almost 60 years – and it isn’t all about money; but we do need to make a living. I got into it through my family. During school holidays, from eight years old, I served petrol on the forecourt of the family Esso station, I used to get a good tip for inflating tyres and checking the oil level. I served an apprenticeship before going to university. I’ve written many books and magazine articles and last year received an IMI Achievement Award. I’d like to offer my colleagues some advice and support to help get through this pandemic. Put simply:

  • This pandemic is a something that nobody has been through before; but you could say that about the 2008 depression – it shocked us all as Woolworths was closed. I can tell you now that Woolworths is still alive and thriving, albeit in Africa, I went in their flagship store in Cape Town last year – all the goods that you might remember were still there.
  • There is a saying, ‘Do what you always did and you’ll get what you always got.’ However, when customers don’t want it anymore you can’t do it, so you need to do something different, or do it in a different way. My great-grandfather ran a forge and farrier business, the local people started to buy cars, he swapped the hearth and anvil for a petrol pump. I’m looking to buy a new hearth, and I’ve already got a new anvil – as my interest goes back into vintage cars and I want to make parts – the ones that I worked on as an apprentice.
  • Training and education often get confused, you train to do a job efficiently and effectively; but education gives you academic, or mental skills. Now is a good time to improve your education, most colleges and universities are closed; but there’s lots of books that you can read – if you’ve not read a novel, try one. It’s not going to tell you how to sort out your business; but it will help you look at stuff – your life and business – in a different way and might give you an idea that you’ve not thought of.

For the latest information, advice and support please visit the IMI’s dedicated COVID-19 pages.