10 Ways Business Leaders Can Offer Hope Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic
Sixteen years ago I was washing dishes in my kitchen while viewing my mini television with breaking news interrupting my regular programming. Vivid images of one and then another plane severing the New York twin towers flashed over the screen. Many of you may also recall what you were doing when you witnessed the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks.
I suspect Coronavirus global pandemic memories will equally imprint brain.
Thursdays announcements of NCAA basketball tournament, NBA, NHL Masters, and The Boston Marathon cancellations and suspensions clued me in the world was not right.
More bizarre reports continued Friday when calling prospects to set up next week’s appointments. First, a financial planner in Louisiana delayed our meeting. He reported his state was shutting down the schools. His wife, a teacher, was preparing for online classes the remainder of the school year.
A local artist and businessman I called alerted me that the Bishops were cancelling all masses.
Within the next 72 hours, I, like the rest of the world, I saw business and our world turned upside down. Which brings us to today, where I started my new role as homeschool mom of my middle school and high school kids, on top of doing like I was before in a Corona Virus, socially distancing way over Zoom and online. Only now with the recently passed 30 day “Stay-at-Home” ordinance, I legally can’t leave my home for non-essential activity and am encouraged not to have guests outside of my social circle in my home.
I, like others, stretch to wrap my head around this evolving “new normal”. I’m struggling to formulate how our transition out of social distancing will eventually unfold. I’m wondering about the social or economic impact.
History will tell whether we under or overreacted to the newest health scare. It may validate our approach as world citizens, who collectively quickly learned the lessons of the initial hotspots, like Italy and New York city. Our quick response may have hit the mark for a brighter, healthier tomorrow sooner rather than later with prudently slowing the spread of Covid-19.
Kudos to our frontline workers in health care and those scientists working as quickly as possible on a vaccine! Thanks to those in essential businesses, like grocery stores, banks, and gas stations putting themselves at greater risk of contracting the illness to keep us supplied with needed goods and services.
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Those groups of people are keeping us healthy, fed, and supplied.
But who is going to protect the livelihood of the people of the world? If you are a business owner or business leader, you are that foot soldier standing in the front line between economic collapse and an invitation, new springtime of creativity, abundance, and hope.
Business owners, here are your top 10 strategies to fortify you for the task over the next 12 to 18 months to get our world flourishing once more.
1. Stay Emotionally Steady and Spiritually Grounded by Following Your Self-care Routine.
The transition requires innovative thought, out-of-the-box solutions, and calculated risks. Even though the world, your business, your finances, your routine, and your relationships have been turned upside down, unconventional solutions require that you ground yourself in abundance and opportunity, not fear and fatigue. Identify and do what puts you in that place and discipline yourself to maintain your daily rituals.
2. Understand You are Not Alone
Other calamities, like hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and tornados, isolate their suffering to a small region of the globe; the rest of the world beats on. Covid-19 shrunk the world. It redefined “our neighbor”. It highlighted our interdependence. You aren’t the only retail establishment or eyecare practice who’s doors were abruptly closed for 30+ days. Reach out to businesses in your community or professional or business associations to discover how the best of the best are adapting to the effects of the transition and what plans they are creating for a post-quarantine world. Create your own library of best practices for you to craft the best business and life strategy moving forward. Explore government packages and resources in agencies like the Small Business Association to help you rebound.
3. Create and stick to a schedule.
The rapid changes activate vulnerabilities and underlying propensities to anxiety and depression. Restrictions in regular activities can inflame natural temperament differences. Your current living arrangements
could exacerbate maintaining good mental health, like the single, but active extrovert, who is now forced to live and work alone a large portion of his or her waking hours.
4. Monitor and Filter Your News Sources
Mindset trumps the need to know. Guard the people and sources of information you ingest. Whether a person has 10 letters behind his or her name or not, our personality and worldview influences how we see, and affects how we translate the data before us. Be vigilant and clear about where you are getting your information and the inherent bias. It’s important to stay abreast of the unfolding situation. Your decisions will be as strong as the data and assumptions you use to make them. But too much data or emotionally laden or biased information leads to poor decisions and missed opportunities. Find the right mix and volume of news and news sources that keep you informed and able to be in the world of possibilities, rather than doom.
5. Use Your Excellent Decision-making Skills
With less distractions, coming from a good emotional, physical, and spiritual state, feeding yourself with high quality information, you can innovate and adapt quickly. Now’s not the time to binge on Netflix or let the good habits you did develop slide in the wayside. It’s an opportune time to listen to the whisper of the Holy Spirit. Be open to what God might be communicating to you about needed changes in your life and next steps towards financial and professional wellness. Don’t prejudge. Be open to innovation. Tune into your vision. Unplugging from the influence of others and noise lets you deepen your connection to your vision and what you truly want in your business and life. Successful business owners make the right decisions in a timely way. Be clear on what options God is placing before you and take thorough and bold action.
6. Obey the authorities, but be creative.
People who thrive operate in the social interest of others, while at the same time are intentional about continued action in the direction of their vision. With so many variables changing daily, a dynamic model that considers your well-being along with the higher good of others will lead you to new ways of thriving in the post-Coronavirus world.
7. Adapt to New Social Distancing Normal while being creative in Revenue-generating Strategies
Reach out in true charity to contacts. Learn from the unique individual responses and perspectives they offer. Understanding the needs of others will enlighten other opportunities and ways to serve you might not have considered. It also might open up possibilities of doing business in safe ways as we phase back into a more normal lifestyle.
8. Use Time Productively
The beginning of each quarter invites every business owner to re-look at his or her goals. With many having normal tasks being shut down, use this time prudently for vision work, planning, project management ideas, that during the normal pace of life don’t get your full attention. Model prudence, not panic. Keep up with regular spending patterns if it makes sense in your business to expand not constrict.
9. Take time to “be”
The time doing nothing or just “being” is just as important as your productive work time. During the “being” time when you let yourself do nothing, I get my best insights. With the slowdown, see if you can create more “being” time that you incorporate in your post-quarantine life.
10. Focus on Your Holy Spirit-inspired Vision
Tune into what you deeply desire, while being open to how God is calling you to use your gifts and talents to benefit others. People can feel it when you come from a genuine place of service and naturally are drawn to working with you or just supporting you in what you do.
View this event as diagnostic. How were you prepared for this crisis? Where were you vulnerable? Successful business owners address and transcend big, medium, and even colossal challenges – some that are self-induced and others that were out-of-one’s-control – as part of doing business. Although it’s less likely to be a global crisis, you are guaranteed to encounter potentially fatal episodes in the journey towards building a thriving business. Profit from the Coronavirus pandemic by learning from it. Commit to build on your strengths and shore up your vulnerabilities for the next small, medium, or colossal event in your private world or globally.
Christian Biz Owners on Fire Biz and Life Tip: Knowing your role, coming from abundance, and being flexible in how God is leading you to serve and support others will help your personal and the global economy rebound as quickly as possible.