As a business owner on the Treasure Coast or Palm Beaches, COVID-19 has brought up some familiar feelings in the last few weeks. When cases of infected people began to show up in Florida, it felt like a Hurricane situation. We had that urge to stock up, come up with a plan to protect the business, and hope that the cone of uncertainty doesn’t hit us or our clients. But unlike a hurricane, the whole world is impacted. There is no option for evacuation. Shutters will not keep the virus out. It is easy to watch the news and adopt a defeatist mindset. Especially for businesses deemed non-essential or those who have had to let employees go.
If your team is still working in some capacity, here are some tips to overcome the fear and anxiety that are plaguing us all. These are thoughts that we can visit daily so that when the threat of COVID-19 has gone we can all hit the ground running.
#1 – Remind yourself of your strengths as a professional
The effects of COVID-19 on your business have nothing to do with your abilities that got you to where you were a month ago in your business. No matter how many years you have been building your business, there is a skillset that made it all possible. Perhaps you are incredibly organized, a strong communicator, a born leader, a driven worker, graced with follow-through, a great negotiator or a skilled salesperson. Today’s news and updates have not changed who you are as an entrepreneur. Remind yourself of your strengths. Every day.
#2 – Revisit past successes in your company
Every business has a series of ups and downs. Make a list of those times when you had a win, made a great hire, had a profitable month, were recognized with an award, received a glowing customer review, solved a substantial problem for a client, created something amazing or celebrated a landmark event with your team. These things can happen again in time.
#3 – Take this time to grow
Remember those books you’ve been meaning to read on leadership or selling strategies within your industry? Thinking about finally jumping on the podcast train? This is a time when business owners can pause and seek out the wisdom of others to build up our own resolve to come out of this crisis on top. There is so much content available. Whenever you are tempted to read the latest COVID-19 updates, instead open up that book you ordered from Amazon two years ago. Listen to an industry-specific podcast and get excited about the wisdom others have to offer. Inc.com gives a list of the best podcasts for business owners.
#4 – Be an encourager to your team
Everyone needs a little positivity in their lives. Your team is looking to you for answers and reassurance you do not currently have to offer them. But that’s ok. You can take #’s 1-3 above and apply them to your team. Talk to them about their strengths, remind them of their past successes, and pass on a good book or podcast for their growth. Most importantly, show an interest in their personal well-being. When meeting with your team remotely, empathize with how they are struggling through these weeks. Maybe they have small children and no outlet for their energy. Maybe they are not expected to help homeschool their kids. They might be worried about an elderly family member or even know someone who is sick. Be a source of support and strength.
#5-Get excited to change it up
There are many articles out there that claim that the way we do business will be forever changed by COVID-19. Forbes magazine writes, “COVID-19 is a massive disruption to our lives. Finally-tuned ways of living, working, studying, manufacturing... all are now being destroyed. But with significant disruption comes great opportunities. This is our golden opportunity to reconstruct and redefine how we do business. How we study. How we provide services. Instead of waiting for COVID-19 to go away, realize that we are facing a new reality and that this reality holds within it great business opportunities. The need to reconstruct how we operate is an opportunity for creating new business value.” The good news is that we have the technology today to adjust. We have talent out there willing to adapt – hopefully within our own teams. As business owners, we simply need to be excited for the opportunity to stretch ourselves. It may just lead to more efficient ways to do business.