This Is Our Time
As the Global Pandemic has forced businesses around the world to close their doors and people to stay at home, it’s hard to feel optimistic on the outcome with each passing day. Even as some economies start to slowly open up, the news we hear doesn’t always get better.
Yet day after day, everywhere I look, I see renewed signs of hope, resiliency and optimism as entrepreneurs and business leaders facing steep challenges in a new COVID-19 world, rise to the occasion with big changes to their business.
From distilleries making hand sanitizer and luxury clothing designers making masks, to farms offering up their livestock for fun Zoom calls and cafes milling flour for customers instead of crafting lattes. Everywhere I look I see the heartbeat of entrepreneurialism finding a way to thrive through new business lenses. I’m inspired by their ingenuity and as I’ve spent the past weeks talking to business owners, the one thing I hear more often is a resounding tone of optimism.
Those whose businesses are slow have been taking the time to finally focus on that one project launch they’ve been putting off, updating their website, launching a digital product or catching up on their bookkeeping. Some are focused on upping their marketing efforts and others are simply taking some much needed time to rest and re-energize.
But of course, that’s not the full picture of business ownership. Amidst all the feel good stories, there are business leaders forced to make some very hard decisions. Those with larger operational costs are having to figure out how they can even continue to operate another week as they run out of cash flow. It becomes a question of how they can weather the storm, when they don’t even know how long the storm will be.
And so, we see businesses shuttering their doors permanently, having run out of options and resources. Some have lost their lifetime of work in what feels like a blink of a second. Some have also lost the homes they’d leveraged to try and survive.
My heart breaks seeing these stories. Knowing the amount of sweat equity that goes into running a business, I know the loss is so much more than monetary. Those are dreams that are broken, time with family they gave up to work on their business lost and years of building up a customer base, only to have it pulled out from under them all without warning.
But despite these losses, the one thing I know is that no matter what these crazy times bring, in the long run, many of those business owners are likely to bounce back at some point in the future with an even better business that is more able to weather future storms.
These are the highs and lows of running a business that eventually makes us better leaders. Most of the world’s best entrepreneurs have survived huge failures and losses, but they served as important lessons on how to do better on the next venture.
No matter what your business is facing, I believe that entrepreneurs across the globe are best poised to handle whatever life throws their way. Why? Because the very core of what it takes to be an entrepreneur includes a healthy dose of aversion to risk, hope, optimism and a fierce level of unshakable determination. We are natural problem solvers, ready to change direction on a moments notice. And most of all we are resilient. We’ve already been through the trenches and survived. We’ve failed before and know those failures lead to lessons we wouldn’t have otherwise learned.
The world is going to need our determination and creativity to solve its unique challenges. It’s going need us to come up with new ways of living and working and to be there with new products and services that make it easier to transition to the new normal. It’s going to need to embrace our ability to take risks and try something new.
So while you may feel defeated by the current situation, look to what you can learn from this. How can you build a stronger business? How can you serve your customers better right now? If you’ve lost your business, how can you embrace the lessons learned and rebuild in a more viable way?
This is our moment to shine. To get up out of the mud, dust ourselves off and not give up on those dreams that brought us to this moment in time. The world needs us.
THIS IS OUR TIME.