We are in unprecedented times with the Coronavirus/COVID-19 global pandemic shutting down economies and affecting every aspect of everyday life (Report on Coronavirus Outbreak Impacts). As a matter of public health and safety, people have been forced to isolate themselves at home to slow the spread of the virus. Businesses have had to shut their doors indefinitely. At the time of this article, there is still no concrete timeline as to when life will return to some degree of normalcy. As the whole world is eagerly anticipating the “all clear” from governments and health organizations, with no indication of when that will be, people are faced with a big question: What should I do now?

A Greater Lesson to be Learned

As crazy as it may sound and feel at the moment, this pandemic is a teachable moment for the world. Governments and individuals are being challenged with moral choices of what is most important between protecting humanity and preserving the economy. 

Businesses and individuals are also being faced with their own set of challenges. As the Coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by surprise, businesses and individuals feel as though their freedom has been taken away, with forced mandatory business closures and shelter-in-place orders.

While the world continues to work on vaccines, cures, and economic recovery, we as business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs, should be working toward learning as many lessons as we can to determine how we will do business moving forward. As I tell my clients, “nothing wasted.” This experience has many hidden blessings and invaluable lessons.

Dealing with Crisis

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you will undoubtedly be faced with your own situation that is completely out of your control. At some point, a crisis will fall into your lap, and you will be faced with the same question that we are wrestling with during the pandemic: What should I do now?

Your livelihood and the livelihood of your employees are on your shoulders. There is no single solution for getting through this crisis. There’s no simple formula to move you from point A to point B unscathed. In fact, in a crisis, your goal should be to find a system that aligns with your values, instincts and natural reactions, to help you get through the storm with your sanity, and be prepared to move beyond the storm.

What Should I Do Now?

The simplest answer to the question that we all face right now is… whatever you can. Some of us handle crises in different ways, and every response is appropriate. I didn’t say every response was productive, but it definitely is appropriate. With that being said, here are a few tips to get you started, with more to follow.

  1. Be careful about where you are getting your information from. Make sure you are pulling information from credible sources and that you limit the amount of news you take in. I’ve had to limit myself to a morning check and an evening check, to avoid unnecessary anxiety or worry. I’m doing great with that all by myself.
  2. Every day, do at least one positive thing for yourself personally. Then do one productive thing for yourself professionally. Don’t overtax yourself trying to reinvent yourself during the crisis. One thing per day doesn’t feel overwhelming, but the consistency will pay off. Just like my mom always says, if you try to only lose 5 lbs. a month, that’s 60 lbs. at the end of the year! *As I sneak to put the bag of Oreo cookies away*
  3. Don’t lose your $***! I know, crass… but that’s where we are. You need to be patient with yourself. For most of us, there isn’t anything in our archive of experiences that we can dig into and pull out a previous lesson learned. So just do what you can to stay healthy.

Just as all crises, this too shall pass. As small business owners and entrepreneurs, the world is depending on us to restart the economy. It won’t be easy, but together we will rise.