A couple weeks ago, I was the guy saying we cannot stop the entire world from spinning just for a virus. Turns out, many people are more than happy to do just that.
Regardless of where you stand personally with the current situation of being in lock-down, your business will be forced to react.
Many businesses do not have the luxury of reacting with anything other than a sign that reads, “Closed”. Though a few businesses are actually thriving. Oddly, some are even brick and mortar places. A friend on social media posted that if your business is not completely online, it is already dead. I believe he is mistaken.
Anyways, I wanted to write about the reactions to all of this that I find myself going through, as I am sure other entrepreneurs are going through similar emotions.
First I said, “No way!” then I said, “Are you kidding?” then I said, “Seriously, a lot of great people are going to get hurt!” then I said, “FTW, this is really happening.” and then, I finally came to the correct reaction, which is, “How can we use this?”
As I wrote in The BOLD Business Book, it is not the facts, but your reaction to the facts that defines your life. In this case, a lot of us wanted to scream and cry, “Foul!” knowing that this societal reaction is not fair to a lot of us. But what will that get us?
So now that a bit of dust has begun to settle and the expected fallout is actually happening, I have decided to gain some composure.
But what does composure look like when payroll is due and your revenue is starting to dry up? At its most tangible form, it looks like loans, grants and getting help from others as needed. It also looks like you getting up every morning, making sure you are healthy, and kicking ass like you would typically do.
How, exactly, do you go about kicking ass when it is considered sinful to go outside, and personal interactions are limited to impersonal Zoom meetings?
For starters, you need to do the thing that I hate hearing, which is to change your mindset. I am all for you being pissed, upset and angry, for a moment, at all of this. You have that right and you can certainly do it in the comfort of your own home.
But what will that reaction get you, in the long run? The long run being anything beyond 20 minutes from now. It won’t get you more revenue, it won’t improve your health and it certainly will not improve the living conditions you have to tolerate with the other members of your household.
So you need to take on the long game. The long game being anything more than 20 minutes from now. You’ll need to shift your mindset by prioritizing your health, minimizing time-wasting distractions (I’m looking at you, Netflix), and asking yourself better questions. These questions could include:
How can this help me?
What can I do at this moment to make this a good thing?
How can I enjoy this?
What options do I have? – Don’t you ever say none.
What opportunities can I create?
Who can I help?
How can I keep my promises?
What can I do right now to improve my health, wealth or happiness?
The secret to a better question is deciding what type of answer you want. A productive answer, or a destructive answer. You want to include a presupposition in the question that guarantees a positive answer.
Many people are asking similar questions with a negative presupposition. For example, “Why did this happen to me?” is not a question that will net you any improvement.
To get a better answer, simply ask a better question.
To really have a blast, add to all of these questions a bit of jazz, by ending the questions with, “…and have fun doing it?”
Don’t get me wrong, this is tough. At least, at first. Eventually just about every entrepreneur will come to the realization that our job is to solve problems and improve the world. This worldwide reaction is creating a lot of problems that need to be solved and in solving them we will have an improved world. So this collection of challenges is pretty much built for us.
I’d love to fill you with a bunch of motivational words to help you get your head straight. But that probably wouldn’t last beyond a few minutes past this blog.
So I will offer you this. I am a phone call or email away from a conversation. If a coffee shop or bar were open, I’d meet you there, but, you know, a remote conversation will have to suffice for now. Ask me for help, complain to me about whatever you want or just talk with another person that you are not related to, as authentically as possible. I cannot promise anything beyond at least one smile from the conversation, but that’s a start, right?
I’ll also offer you a free copy of my You Got This! and The Awesome Book. Because you are, indeed, awesome and you do, indeed, got this. Just let me know where to send them.
As with any challenge, it is our reaction that will define the winners and losers. The losers are not necessarily those that may go out of business, nor the winners those businesses that remained viable.
We will define our winners and losers by the looks on their faces and how they made everyone else feel while powering through all of this.
Keep your chin up, because like a motorcycle downshifting, this too shall pass.
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 asking better questions of himself, he is busy guiding entrepreneurs to success in business and beyond. He blogs successfully to the world at www.drawincustomers.com 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. Remotely…for now.