Blog Post: How to Be a Courageous Business Owner During COVID-19

How to Be a Courageous Business Owner During COVID-19

Being a business owner is nothing less than courageous. So much can go wrong and at least 60% of the time we really don’t know what we are doing — even when the curveball of COVID-19 isn’t raising havoc. We are winging it. No one has ever walked in your footsteps before. No one has been YOU in the time and place you are in, with the clients and projects that are surrounding you, with the challenges that face YOU. 

Right now you are likely at home trying to work in a makeshift office, with technology helping you or possibly hindering you and frustrating you. Your projects have gone on hold or are in total limbo. No one knows whether to keep working on them or to halt everything for awhile. You have no idea what to count on for income and you are digging deep to keep it all together and be optimistic. Unless your income comes from dealing with infectious diseases in some way this pandemic is turning your world upside down. 

So why do we do it? Why are YOU a business owner? 

  • I have FREEDOM from other’s way of doing things
  • I am in control of my life and future
  • I enjoy the creativity of working on challenging projects and not being limited by a boss
  • I have more financial and time flexibility
  • Because I love ___________________

Does it kind of feel like all that good stuff is gone this week?  This month?  For the foreseeable future? 

Let’s walk together through this since we can’t have coffee or play tennis or golf with the normal people who help us deal with the day-to-day.

How are YOU? 

  • Freaking out inside, but trying to be super organized and efficient? 
  • Just falling apart and can’t get it together?
  • Grumpy? 
  • Lonely?
  • Mad?
  • Want to defy the stay-at-home orders and go do your thing anyway?

Be okay with where you are right now. None of it is wrong. Be okay with where your spouse is. This is new territory and temporary but BIG. 

Let's consider the 5-second rule here:

  • 5 seconds of a hug (with those you are living with) can go a LONG way to change a person’s feelings and thinking.
  • 5 seconds of listening (not responding with a fix, just listening and asking questions to let them talk)
  • 5 seconds of dancing like crazy 
  • 5 seconds of shaking your body    
  • 5 seconds of making silly faces
  • 5 seconds of just yelling out your frustrations
  • 5 seconds of stretching
  • 5 seconds of running a sprint in your driveway
  • 5 seconds of ... you name it! DO IT. It makes a HUGE  difference to everyone in your house

Today, and all the days for the foreseeable future, are going to be different than you planned and different than your normal. This is going to push you out of your comfort zone. Everyone around you is being pushed too. No one in the world is walking in their comfort zone right now. Whoa! That is a thought!

Our whole world has changed! How are we going to make this NEW WORLD comfortable again? How are we going to make it WORK for us again? It's kind of a neat thought though that we are getting a bit of a DO-OVER to rearrange our future in a way different from how we have been operating.

A mentor of mine showed me something she calls Focus Forward. I think that is what we need to do. Here's how ...

  1. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side start dumping your brain of all the worries and concerns you have about ANYTHING!  
  2. Once you’ve dumped all that on paper (ok, maybe 2 sheets right now!), take a 5-second break and shake it out — all that negative — get rid of it. 
  3. Take a deep breath and start with the first item on your list. IF THAT HAPPENS, how will you deal with it, what will you do? Write that on the right side of your paper. Take your time and really think this out. If you get stuck, move down to the next item. This part will take time to work through and you might even have to talk to some family, friends, cohorts, business partners, etc. to think through these things. Take the time to get answers for each one. This is where you take control again. As you are doing this, you may come up with ways to prevent these things from happening. Great Job! Write those down too. 
  4. Now that you’ve gone through each item you dumped look at it all and rejoice that YOU have a PLAN! THIS craziness that the world is throwing at you is NOT going to break you because YOU have a plan!

Walk together with others as they navigate this situation — share this exercise with them — use each other to bounce things off of. Learn to reach out to others who are suffering through this as well.

Join us on our Facebook page or LinkedIn where we are going to share tidbits throughout the week to help us all walk through this together. Let us know how YOU are doing and share some of your worries and your plan to deal with them. Your plan may help someone else who is stuck! 

Norman Schwarzkopf said, "True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that’s what courage is.” 

Be courageous, Focus Forward and keep going. You are not in this alone!