Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Go to a grocery store before the media predicts, “SNOW STORM!” There’s a run on water. Bread. Batteries. Peanut Butter.
Shoppers with wafer thin patience wait in checkout lines thirty-seven deep. The predicted snowmageddon becomes a big nothing burger. Yes. The broadcast media’s job is to inform and report the news.
But large communication platforms shoulder serious responsibility. Because they have the power to ignite mass hysteria or to tamp down fear.
Enter the Coronavirus. What’s your mood? With lead-story, top to bottom, 24/7/365 coverage, are the refractory consequences impacting your business?
As an advisor, I can tell you the Coronavirus comes up in conversation. Client’s ask, “Paula, what do you think?” Are precautions wise, absolutely. Compassion for all afflicted by the illness is a given. I won’t diminish the topic, but what does all-consuming worry change and does it benefit your business? On a good day, running a business is challenging. Add a Force Majeure and a Herculean mindset is mandatory. So, here’s the conversation I’m having with clients about ways to shield a business against this type of adversity.
1. Duration varies. But typically, a crisis is finite. It doesn’t last forever. There’s an onset. Mid-arc. End. Afterwards, there’s a return to homeostasis. Balance. Or a new normal. As for your business, energy goes where attention flows. Focus energy on the things you can do to improve a situation. This mindset construct is beneficial because it assigns control to you and your ability to change what you can. Essential. It protects you from the lowest emotion on the scale of human consciousness, hopelessness.
2. Navigating a crisis calls for an imaginative, nimble and confident mindset. On the surface, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” sounds devoid of psychological heft. Consider the underlying meaning. It’s important. Because stress blocks access to the imagination and creative problem-solving capability, the faculties essential to transcend a crisis. Deep breath.
3. As a business owner, the team looks to you for reassurance amidst chaos. Couple decisive action with the voice of calm. Amplify strength. Optimism. Courage. “We’ll get through whatever happens,” or “Everything will be okay,” are not Pollyannaish, they’re the hallmark of leadership because energetically they move attention away from the crisis and inspire the team towards a vision of brighter days ahead.
4. Bull. Bear. The markets are cyclical and subject to fear or confidence of mass consciousness. Markets are like the tide, it comes in. It goes out. It’s how you prepare for the “ebb,” that keeps your business solvent and prosperous. Having a strategy in place long before any market fluctuation, is your Life Boat Drill, if needed, you implement. “Better to have and never need, than to need and not have,” works.
5. Developing horizontal income buckets is a long-term strategy, that protects your business and its revenue when the market goes up, down or sideways. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,”remains true. It’s another way of saying, diversify your business. Would you put one-hundred percent of your money in high risk investments? Or would you balance your portfolio with moderate and low risk options, to a degree, business is similar. A horizontal income stream is an egg in different baskets.
Blizzard. Recession. Coronavirus. Unfortunately, these are facts of life that impact business. How you navigate a catastrophe, susceptibility to group-think and your consistent focus effects the result. No doubt, anticipatory safeguards protect your business. Insurance policies. Force Majeure clauses. On it goes. Although, what I discuss with clients is equally important. It’s the single reliable thing within your control. It’s a principle tool to build a resilient business. This superpower can shepherd you through even the worst circumstances. A Herculean mindset. With it you are prepared to transcend any catastrophe. Paula M. Parker (C) 2020 Originally published in