The sheep mentality may kill your business.

We live in some challenging times, don’t we?  People are clamoring, the news is pretty much all about one thing and mass hysteria has taken on a new meaning.

I always thought that for some reason something like this would cause everyone to leave town.  It never dawned on me that some issue would arise that offered no escape.

There are a few things I know and a few things that I don’t in regards to all of this.  What I can tell you is that entrepreneurs are getting hit.

Compare this with the financial crisis of 2008.  That was an interesting time, though it weeded out some people that just were not the greatest at their profession.  That doesn’t mean there were not some valid businesses that did not end up closing after the fallout of the financial crisis, but that was not the norm.

Take this unprecedented reaction to a fancy named flu.  Governments are closing bars and restaurants, people are hoarding all kinds of odd items and if you do not cancel a meeting, even with only a few people, you are scorned.

All the while airports and stores are a packed mess.

I took some time to take a motorcycle ride yesterday to clear my head and gather my thoughts.  I looked around at all of the businesses around and took an inventory of who would survive and who would not.  Maybe a business will take a hit and recover, but almost all of them are feeling some pain.

The question came to my head, “Is all of this panic worth it?”

Suppose we are preventing some overcrowded hospitals, or whatever the current reasoning is for this hysteria.  At what cost?

Thousands of business owners will lose their business.  This will cause them stress, which will lead to health issues.

Are the health and financial issues as a result of this world community reaction worth it?  I would argue a clear and resounding, “No!”, absolutely not.

From the business coaching I have done with start-ups and even with businesses that have been going a while, a month’s worth of operating expenses is rarely in the bank waiting for something like this.  Plus, we have no real way of knowing if that would, or will, even be enough.

How long should you pay your employees before you realize that you cannot reopen?

How many people will lose their jobs, their livelihood, their financial contributions to society or even, their hope?

This reaction, in my opinion, is unfounded.  But it is happening, so as every experienced entrepreneur knows, we must acknowledge and overcome.

I wish I had answers for what to do as a business owner that is in the crosshairs.  Restaurant owners, employees of businesses that were shut down with no warning, although I am sorry, I am struggling to find sage advice that would be of immediate help.  I can motivate and build the drive in you, but that alone will not feed you.

This is one of those moments where people will argue that the business owner should have saved for a time like this.   These are the same people that yell at refs, having never refereed a game in their life.

I do not agree that the reactions that are happening are practical or useful enough to justify the cost.  So I will do what I can to keep my fellow business owners alive, successful and healthy. That includes financial, emotional and physical health.

Why don’t I agree with this reaction?  Ask a business owner if they would rather have a nasty flu for a couple of weeks or go bankrupt.  What do you suppose the response would be?

Now take into consideration that after all of this quarantining is over, the virus will still be around, infecting people.  So some entrepreneurs will have no business, possible bankruptcy and a nasty fever. We are not choosing one or the other, physical health or a strong business.  We are choosing to have neither for many business owners.

Although there is nothing more valuable than your health, your body is affected by many things.  We seem to be causing more damage than we are even attempting to prevent. Deep down inside, I think most of us know that.  That is the scariest part of all of this.

I wish you the best and will be happy to be someone you can talk to, at no cost, during this crisis about your business.

This too shall pass.  And I wish you the best as it does.

James Kademan is a Business Coach for Draw In Customers Business Coaching in Madison, Wisconsin as well as the author of The BOLD Business Book. When he isn’t observing the mayhem, he is busy guiding entrepreneurs to success in business and beyond. He blogs successfully to the world at and has a business podcast, Authentic Business Adventures. If you are considering hiring a business coach, take a moment to call James at (608)210-2221. If you need some guidance, give James a call and he’ll do his best to help you get through this challenging time.

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