I am writing to you during the first week of serious shut downs in the US during the Coronavirus pandemic.
This is a time of so many things that are simply out of our control. People are out of work for weeks. Chaos is spreading as people are frantically trying to prep for the unknown. None of us truly know how this is going to work out. Stress is at a full-time high for many.
I cannot speak as someone who is in the workforce and has lost their income. I cannot imagine the panic this has caused.
I have owned my own business for over 7 years now, so I am in a different situation, as I have flexibility and the ability to get creative in times like this.
Why I am writing this article is not to give my opinions on what employees who has lost their income for the next few weeks should do… (because I am not sure what they should do, to be completely honest.)
But instead, I am writing this to encourage the population of people I can relate to right now, fellow entrepreneurs, to take this time as an opportunity to not shut down in fear, but to rise in leadership.
We as business owners are so lucky right now, if we choose to look at it that way.
And I also think that if we as business owners step up to the plate and use are privilege right now, we can in turn help others that do not have the same fortune during this time.
I understand that many business owners have brick and mortar businesses that they are now being forced to close down (or are closing down by their own will, which I highly salute for being so honorable.)
However, there are many of us online entrepreneurs who are still able to work during this time.
But, it can be hard to know what is ok to do and not do right now. Or, what will even work.
We don’t want to be insensitive. But yet, many of us online biz owners are still able to go about business as usual for the most part.
So the question is…what do we do here?
I am going to share my opinions about how we as business owners, brick and mortar, or online, can use this time as an opportunity to shine in our leadership.
This is my perspective on how we can show up differently in the times of the coronavirus, and how I believe if we approach it with groundedness, love and innovation, this time could be a turning point of greatness for our whole world.
First off: Be kind and heal together
The most important thing I can say right now is to practice kindness.
I know that there are so many people who are driving you cray cray right now, either because they are hoarding all of the toilet paper, or they aren’t taking precautions, or they are making this all a political agenda…
However you are feeling, I invite you to see this as a time to rise and be kind.
You probably know I am a bit woo-woo and spiritual, and I truly believe that this virus can be a lesson that our world desperately needs if we let it.
We have been in a culture of such divide for so long, and this virus is literally FORCING us to come together and find solutions.
My invitation for you during this time is to ask yourself how you can show up as a light.
Maybe you start a donation fund for your local restaurant workers, or maybe you simple keep it positive on social media.
I think if we let it, we can see this time as a beautiful way to reconnect to the best parts of our humanity.
While we are stuck in a time of so many unknowns, why not embrace the chaos for what it is, and show up as your best self?
Use this as a time for growth
You know that project you’ve been wanting to start…forever? Or that skill that you’ve been wanting to improve on? Or that piece of your business that has desperately needed some revamping?
Now is your time.
In fact, it’s almost like this time was gifted to many of us, if we choose to look at it that way.
So my best advice is this:
Make a list of projects you would like to make some headway on during this time.
Then, list them in order of priority and/or how fulfilling it would be to complete these for you.
Then, take out your calendar and make a plan of how you will make these things happen (this is extra important for those of you with limited time due to kids–but you could get creative and try to get them involved as well!)
We are in a strange place with time management right now because it’s like we have all the time, but also no time (especially those of you with kids at home!)
So I encourage you to put these projects on the calendar with very detailed to-do lists, instead of just telling yourself “I’ll get to it!”–because we know how that goes!
Be as intentional as you can with this time. Know how you want these next few weeks to look like and feel, and then create your plan to make that happen.
Keep selling…and then keep the flow of money going
I think a lot of business owners are asking themselves if it is appropriate to continue selling right now.
My short answer is: yes.
My long answer is this:
The reality is that not everyone will be deeply financially affected by this.
Many, many people will be. But there are also tons of people out there who are still wanting your services during this time (and are still able to pay for them.)
In fact, the desire for your services could greatly increase right now, depending on what you offer, as many people are looking for ways to stay active, healthy, spiritually connected, educated, etc. etc. right now.
And when I say there are still people who won’t be financially affected (who can then still buy your services no problem,) this is a blessing for two reasons:
- You as a business owner need to keep yourself afloat financially if you can. It won’t help anyone if we have another entrepreneur losing their company.
- For the most part, online entrepreneurs are extremely loving, compassionate and heart-centered people. If we continue to have money flow to us during this time, we are able to flow money back out to our friends that don’t have the resources that we do at this time.
Now, I know that you might either not be able to sell like you typically do (ex. you offer a lot of things in person) or it just feels odd to offer your normal stuff.
So I have some ideas for you:
- If you typically offer your services in person, get creative and see how you could go virtual. Did you have a retreat or event coming up? Can you switch it to online? Do you teach classes in person? Zoom is such an easy service to make things virtual! Take this time to not get into worry, but to learn new ways to run your biz. In fact, you could invent things that you will use even beyond this time!
- If you don’t do a lot of things in person, but you are just feeling sad and confused during this time and don’t feel amped to sell your normal things, I would ask you this: “What could I offer right now that would be wildly valuable to people at this time, but I could also make super affordable?” For example, I created my business school where entrepreneurs can come take virtual classes during this time and each class is only $25!!! This way, I am able to serve people in a way that is supportive (and won’t break the bank for people financially affected,) but I am also bringing money in to my business.
Long story short: if you CAN keep selling during this time, you should, 100%, because money in and money out is what keeps our economy going.
Ask yourself what you are supposed to learn here
I almost hate using this phrase right now because I don’t want to be insensitive to people who are losing their loved ones, or are sick themselves.
But for many of us, we are not sick. We are at home, trapped, confused, frustrated, scared, or maybe even just antsy and bored.
Whatever you are feeling, you are here.
And you now either have tons of time on your hands, or tons of time with your family (or both!)
Ask yourself what this new reality means for you.
What are you going to do with this new space that has been created in your schedule?
Or, if you feel like your schedule has just been ripped away from you and given to your kids, what is the significance of that? What can you find in this newfound connection?
Ask yourself how you want to show up during this time. Ask yourself what you want to learn or grow into.
Go through this time and reflect on how you may want to continue some of the changes you experience during this time even when this is “over.”
Take the open space you now have to be present, reflect, ground and then dream.
Use this as a teaching moment
If we think about it, the chaos, fear and uncertainty of this time is exactly why we have to continue to teach what we teach.
And in fact, this moment is basically the worst case scenario where we can put all of our “tools” to work.
So my yoga/spiritual business owners:
Why is connecting inward even more important right now? And how can you teach people to stay grounded even in all the chaos?
My health coaches:
This period of uncertainty is a great way to teach your clients how to stay consistent no matter what is happening–getting creative with workouts and making healthy meals out of limited options.
If your clients can stay committed to their workouts and eating right now, they can stay consistent no matter what is thrown their way!
You need to speak up right now, for sure! Help the millions of business owners who are struggling to find solutions during this time! We need you more than ever! And again, what a better example of how to persevere no matter what obstacle is thrown your way!
I could go on and on and on, but I think you see what I’m getting at.
This is a moment where all that we teach, all we believe in and all that we do is more important than ever. So teach through this moment. And really, if we teach people how to thrive now, can you image how they will show up when we move past this?
So what’s your plan?
I’d love to know how this post resonated with you. What your next move is. How you are going to make peace with what we have been handed and do what entrepreneurs do best…turn a shitty situation into a beautiful opporunity.
Love you, hang in there