Learning in Times of Crisis

When chaos and uncertainty strike on a global level, it is more important than ever to practice positive thinking. It’s something I practice not only in my personal life but also in my business. 

COVID-19 has hit us from all directions. For many, it is a difficult time, and reality is that as of right now, there isn’t certainty around when it will end. But it will end. Everything eventually does. And yes, while it does uncover everything wrong in our governments and broken in our health system, our supply chains and our business operations, surely we should be taking the opportunity to learn something from it? 

I, for one, plan to have a rising -from-the-ashes, Phoenix moment off the back of this pandemic and would like to share lessons and opportunities that I am experiencing. 

History shows that during times of recession, businesses who are agile and adapt actually thrive. Forget about the limitations and restrictions, and focus on the areas of our business that we can control. As always, in times of uncertainty, we have two options: fight or flight. Will you be the type who run to the bunker and wait to be rescued? Or will you choose to stand up and innovate? Will you identify new opportunities, to define new ways of working? 

The UK economy was healthy before this pandemic, and it will return. The question is, do you still want to be in business to take advantage of the opportunity? 

Here are three pieces of advice to come out on top:

Maintain a Positive Attitude

The brain produces serotonin when we think positively. It stimulates the growth of nerve connections and improves your ability to analyse, think and increase your mental productivity. This is essential when making a strategic decision about your business. Our mind can determine how our brain thinks about what happens in times of crisis. By maintaining a positive attitude, you can use it to your advantage to reframe events – you’ll be surprised how resilient this makes you and your business.

Take Action

It’s important to understand your position financially and identify any issues. Without doing so, it’s challenging for you to take corrective action. So don’t bury your head in the sand, if crises have hit your business, try to minimise your expenses. Companies like Google and Amazon cut costs to their organisational goals so you should do the same; they shut down multi-million dollar projects to save billions – follow their lead, take decisive action and do the same. If your situation is not dire, then this is the time to invest in new marketing activities – be visible, get attention while your competitors are perhaps hunkering down. 

Be Ready to Learn

Every crisis is an opportunity. I started my business off the back of the global recession of 2008/09. It was the perfect moment to break out of my comfort zone and build a business while companies who refused to adapt were collapsing all around me. Think proactively and strategically, speak to people, find out what challenges they are facing and consider how your business can help to solve these problems. By listening, learning and offering a solution to real-world issues – you will become a leader that controls circumstances.

Nothing in life worth having is easy. Realities can be harsh. But these are the moments that define us as entrepreneurs. The fantastic thing about the human mind is that we can decide what we think of these realities. We can choose to believe it’s a tragedy or a comedy. We can choose to believe that the pandemic will crush us, or that it is an opportunity to redefine how we live, conduct our business and how we operate. The only way forward is for us to identify those bits and pieces of what “works” and to do more of those.

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