There’s no doubt that these are worrying times.
There’s equally no doubt that this scenario is an incubator for opportunities to flourish.
Allow me to explain.
We’re looking at 2021 with no clear idea about what impact COVID-19 will have. None of us know when things will return to normal.
Perhaps just as worrying, is that things are almost certainly going to be very different from before, when they return to normal.
So even ‘normal’ will look different, whenever it arrives.
Here’s the thing: When faced with confusion, the tendency is to worry. To hunker down until things go back the way they were. That’s not going to happen. The past truly is the past.
This means that business owners waiting for the old, familiar ways to return before planning what to do, have no end point. No defining date to bounce back stronger. So they’ll drift, which is a lousy idea because you can’t drift your way to success or even survival.
Two points about this confusion and worry
Firstly, as business owners we need to learn to dance with the confusion. Move with the challenges. Live with the changing direction of our marketplace. This means planning for the super short-term as well as the medium and long-term. Checking the numbers once a month is like running blind. Keeping our finger on the pulse is essential.
Secondly, as business owners we have to be very aware that this same confusion and nervousness is impacting everyone else. Our clients and customers are confused. So are our prospective clients and customers. Their decision making is likely to be a lot less predictable than it used to be. We need to keep this in mind, as contracts come up for renewal. We also need to acknowledge that our marketing has to adjust (and adjust and adjust) to the evolving situation, or we’ll become irrelevant.
Every business challenge creates an incubator for opportunities to flourish. Before calling bullshit, take those two points I just mentioned.
- One business owner will see them as 100% negative.
- Another will identify (at least) a dozen opportunities to improve their business and own their competitors.
What makes this a perfect storm to flourish, is that the vast majority of business owners are focused on the gloom. This static majority wait and hope, leaving their marketplace wide open to the motivated and agile minority.
- Interestingly, both types of business owner are equally fearful.
- All that changes is the reaction they choose when faced with fear. Their response.
Fear either inspires us to respond with positive action, or causes us to respond by hunkering down and doing nothing. It’s where the phrase ‘scared stiff’ comes from.
The key here is that both responses are a choice we make. And our choice is a critically important factor in our results over the coming months and years.
In short, look for the opportunities. If you can’t see them, find someone who knows where to look. Adapt and adjust as required. If you don’t know how, find someone who does.