It’s OK to not be OK
How can your business thrive post pandemic? It’s going to require resilience – something all business owners must master. Debra Chantry-Taylor offers a five-step plan to help you succeed. 2020 was a year that most of us will never forget, even if we wanted to. Now moving forward into 2021, one thing is certain and that […]
How can your business thrive post pandemic? It’s going to require resilience – something all business owners must master. Debra Chantry-Taylor offers a five-step plan to help you succeed.
2020 was a year that most of us will never forget, even if we wanted to.
Now moving forward into 2021, one thing is certain and that is that uncertainty will be the norm.
We’re in a bit of a bubble here in New Zealand and we’re currently fortunate enough to be returning to some semblance of normality. However, we can’t ignore what is going on around the rest of the world.
There will likely be more outbreaks here in New Zealand and even if they are not as severe as the rest of the world we have to be prepared for things to change and change quickly. Plus we have to learn to adapt to being cut off physically from the rest of the world – a tough ask for a country that relies on imports, exports, education and tourism to create much of its wealth.
If you’re anything like me, you finished 2020 feeling exhausted, emotionally and physically. Don’t worry, you were not the only one and it’s OK to not be OK. As a slightly more popular US president once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.
If we compare ourselves to others, we may be left with feelings of inferiority or superiority, and neither creates an emotionally healthy human being. Rest assured, for all the success stories there are businesses that have struggled, partnerships that have come close to the edge and people who have just about lost it all.
And given we have even more uncertainty ahead, how do you navigate through this without losing your mind?
It’s reassuring to know that in times of such huge uncertainty, there are also big opportunities. Some of the strongest businesses in the world were born out of a global recession (Think Netflix, Uber, Slack, General Electric and Disney).
And whilst smaller, owner-managed businesses have been more strongly affected by the pandemic, due to less cash on hand and fewer resources, we also have the ability to shift focus, make changes and recover more quickly.
But how do you keep your mind fit and strong enough to recognise and take advantage of these opportunities so that you not only survive but thrive on the other side of the pandemic?
The key is in resilience.
Resilience is not something you are born with, rather it is something you learn. So, what does this mean for business owners?
Put simply, resilience is learning from your setbacks and mistakes to turn them into opportunities.
Resilience has been shown to make business owners richer, happier, less stressed and more satisfied, according to the Reckon Resilience Report.
If you can look past the immediate setbacks and continue to focus on the long-term goal, you can train your resilience ‘muscles.’
This may not be as difficult as it seems. There are 5 key areas:
- Prioritise self-care
It’s the oxygen mask concept – if you’re not able to breathe then how can you help others around you. Eat right, get quality sleep, practice mindfulness and gratitude and exercise regularly. This will help you to perform at work as the leader of the business. Your people need you to be the best you can be throughout these unsettling times.
- Leverage tools, technology and resources to Reimagine
I would use the term ‘pivot’ but it’s so widely overused. By Reimagine, what I am talking about is a chance to review everything you do – from customer communications, delivery, experience through to workflow automation etcetera – to see how you could do things better or stay ahead of the competition. Is there technology that can help you to leverage demand, deliver better, faster or scale quicker? Can it help you go global?
Going global doesn’t have to mean that you are looking to expand your product or service into new markets overseas, rather you can look to the world for global ideas that can be localised. Think of TradeMe – a giant New Zealand business that never went into other markets but used knowledge from overseas markets to bring an idea to New Zealand that effectively blocked the global competition (e-Bay) from getting a grip on the country.
However, it may also mean that with new ways of delivering you can tap into new markets around the world.
- Use the power of love and gratitude
Spending time with loved ones is a great way to bounce back from the hard times and with videoconferencing technology you can find yourself spending more time with those that you love even if they’re not close by.
Writing a brief journal of three things that you are grateful for each morning can also change your thinking for the entire day. It doesn’t have to be huge things – a warm bed, your health, the walk with your dog. Remembering the positives helps put you into a positive frame of mind.
- Don’t do it alone
Use expert help and networks when needed. Mentors, peers and experts can all help you to understand what solutions are working for others. Plus you can tap into overseas resources and peer groups easily enough now – the virtual conferences have come a long way and you can feel almost like you are in the same room with someone from the other side of the world. They may have a different solution based on what they have experienced.
There’s also some great resources out there that can help you as an owner manager – just google ‘Beyond Survival, small business’.
- Have a contingency plan
With a plan B you are prepared for worst case scenarios, which means that you feel able to bounce back quickly. And in this ever-changing global pandemic, we know the one constant is change, for at least the next 18 months.
Putting your black hat on is not negative, it’s recognising what could possibly happen and being prepared for it, remembering that you can only work with things that you can change. Stressing about things that are beyond your control will not help.
Just like muscles, you need to continue to work with resilience to maintain its effectiveness. And if all else fails, remember what Thomas Edison said; “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work”.
Debra Chantry-Taylor is a professional EOS implementer, entrepreneurial leadership coach, business coach and keynote speaker. Visit http://www.debrachantry-taylor.com