I’ll start this article by saying ‘yes’ I acknowledge, times are hard for business owners all over the world. I’m not going to pretend this is going to be an easy ride for us entrepreneurs. Neither will I pretend that every business will get through this tough period because it’s just not realistic. Businesses will go bankrupt; people will lose jobs and some of what we have worked so hard for will be lost and it will be a devastating blow to many of us.
That said, if we dwell on these negatives and let ourselves be overcome by fear and despair, we have confirmed our own destiny from now. On the flip side of my points above, many of our businesses will survive, some will even thrive and for those of us who lose businesses and customers, many of us will rise again.
Entrepreneurs are problem solvers
What makes a business or product successful? Most importantly, it solves a problem for its target market. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we have achieved because we have identified a market and offered them a solution to a problem they face. This is what we are good at, so whilst it’s certainly going to mean a lot of work and pressure, it’s time to put our problem solving skills into action and identify new ways of selling our products and services, or new products and services that meet the needs of our market now.
See it as an opportunity
Whilst this may sound quite unrealistic at first when we are fighting fires and working out how we are going to go on with our businesses, once we are able to keep calm and take the time to really think things through, this is an opportunity. It’s a time for innovation and growth and if we are able to navigate this well, it will be us with businesses standing at the end when many have been pulled under. This isn’t a time for trying to do as we have always done and getting frustrated that it isn’t working, it’s a time for creative thinking and massive changes that will carry us through and lead us onto new things when this is all over.
Think back to when you started your business, it wasn’t easy right? But you have made so much of it since those early days. Starting a business is never easy but you did it and so you can do it again. Even if your business in it’s current state is not going to be able to continue in the same way, you have the skills and track records to take it and rebuild it, even if you have to shift your focus entirely. Success never comes without its setbacks and the most successful entrepreneurs have had business disasters which have been a part of their story and part of the reason they ended up succeeding. As a business owner you are creative, tenacious and in control (even if it doesn’t seem it).
You are in control
Ok, it may not seem like you are in control right now. Corona virus has brought with it so much uncertainty and one of the biggest things people are struggling with is that there is so much we cannot control. However, when it comes to your business, you are still in control. You control your decisions, and you can decide where you go next. For example, No, you can’t control the fact that we are on lock down and you’ve lost your physical customer base, but you can control whether you let that get the better of you or whether you find alternative ways of reaching your target market.
Being rock bottom brings out the fight in you
Many famous successful businesspeople talk about how it took hitting rock bottom before they made their biggest achievements. Tony Robbins explains it as an avoidance of pain. According to Robbins, we are driven to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Only when we experience true pain, do we find the fighting spirit to never go back there. Once we experience this pain, instead of avoiding the pain you are feeling, use it! Turn it into the power and energy you need to get yourself back where you need to be. Take that anger and frustration and instead of turning it on yourself and seeing it as failure, or turning it outwards and blaming others, use it to fight back and get back to the top.
Panicking and rushing into things are not the answer here. To gain clarity and to build a plan to get through this difficult stage, we need to take time out, reflect, re-evaluate and make a plan. Sometimes stepping away is the best thing we can do, so when you are in the midst of despair, switch off your computer, get some sleep and be calm before approaching it again. You will be in a better position if you are mentally well, rested and healthy.
You did this before, you can do it again. Sure, it’s not what any of us want but you have the skills, experience and past record to get through this.
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