Thanks to Covid-19, the first quarter of 2020 has been unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. The economy has come to a screeching halt, and millions of people are without jobs and now have ample free time. It’s been interesting to watch how individuals and businesses alike have reacted to the sudden change in everything we once knew as normal.
If you’re having a hard time adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic, here are some tips that have helped us make smart decisions during these uncertain times.
Rather than giving your energy to negative thoughts, flip the script, and focus on all the positive that has emerged. With ample free time comes an opportunity to learn a new skill, spend time with family, focus on projects you’ve been neglecting, or get a head start on building your business while others are taking it easy. Use this time to your advantage. Emerge from this situation as a better, well-rounded person or business.
Nearly everyone is feeling the same thoughts you have revolving around uncertainty or insecurities. It’s an uncertain time, and that’s ok. We’re all in this together and will get through it. Your problems and concerns are not unique to you, nor are they impossible to get past. Take an inventory of all the positive things you have in your life. Be grateful every day for those things.
Take responsibility for the things you can control and allow yourself leniency over the things you can’t. If you spend your day worrying about all the factors outside of your control, you’ll drive yourself crazy. It’s the quickest way to cause unnecessary stress and kill your productivity during a time when you could be thriving. Although things may be uncomfortable at the moment, it won’t be uncomfortable forever, and things will get back to normal. Keep this in the forefront of your mind. Dedicate all of your energy towards the things you can control and build on that positive foundation.
As long as you’re following all the recommended guidelines to stay healthy, we recommend limiting your news intake on the Coronavirus to significant events from official sources. Most of what is written are pure opinion and speculation. No one really knows when things are going to reopen or get back to normal. Most news outlets also have an agenda or requirements for how much content they need to publish each day. This makes it easy to get wrapped up in someones else’s feeling or emotions towards things if you are glued to the news. Don’t allow someone else’s perceived reality to become your actual reality. Instead, glue yourself to the things you can control like your physical health, mental health, your business, and your family.
It’s easier than ever to sit around the house all day as there is numerous shelter in place orders around the entire country. Fortunately, most of these orders allow for physical activity as long as social distancing is being observed. Don’t allow yourself to build bad, lazy habits that will be hard to reverse as time goes on. Get the body moving and breathe some fresh air every day. Go for a walk or a run every day. Do bodyweight exercises at home to build strength and conditioning. Start practicing yoga. Learn how to meditate. Do everything you can to keep the mind and body sharp. Don’t let your mind make unnecessary excuses for you.
The reality is, some small businesses will not make it through this time. Rather than be a statistic, be proactive, and look for ways to pivot your business model and accommodate the new environment we’re presently operating in.
Take a look at your entire operation objectively. If the quarantine or social distancing were to continue through the rest of the year, what adaptations could you make to keep your doors open? View things as if you were a potential buyer looking to purchase your business. How much waste exists, and where are you deficient? Where could you improve things? Are there any changes or updates you could make to secure your future? What new services or products can you implement? What opportunities exist that you could take advantage of?
These are all questions worth some serious thought. Have a hard conversation with yourself. Make the necessary changes and find your footing.
One of the biggest traps most business owners fall into is trying to keep things status quo for as long as possible to avoid any uncomfortableness. Embrace the pressure and make changes on your own terms. Confront your concerns head-on and make the potentially difficult decisions required to weather the storm. It may be uncomfortable now to make some of these changes, but we guarantee it will be even more painful when you’re facing these difficult decisions because you have no other choice. Being forced to make changes when you aren’t prepared will lead to a drastically different outcome than making smart decisions in advance. You owe it to your employees and yourself to be as proactive as possible.
Although there are some options available to help you weather the storm, you cannot get wrapped up in the idea that a bank is going to give you the money needed to keep your business afloat. Go through the grant or loan process if you need to, but keep working on a backup plan at the same time.
There frankly isn’t enough funding available to support every business, and the reality is that many companies will not receive anything. If you happen to qualify and get the financing you’re looking for, great. Don’t let a bank or government program be the sole decider of your future, however. Being disappointed in funding programs or how the government is handling things won’t save your business. Focus on what you can control and don’t make excuses for yourself.
Do your best to look at things objectively. Don’t allow your ego or emotions to make decisions for you that will potentially hurt you down the line. Now is not the time to let your pride or opinions get in the way of making smart decisions. Take time to mentally remove yourself from the situation and operate based on facts and what you can control. Run each scenario through your head multiple times to calculate anything you might be missing. Account for anything and everything that can happen.
Ultimately, remind yourself you’re amazing and will get through this.