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As the transformation cycle of the phoenix concludes, we can look forward to seeing the complete transformation, as she is renewed, restyled, and reintroduces as a brand-new creature. That is ultimately the goal for business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders, coming out of any crisis. We are striving for a renewed mindset, purpose, and business, which will not only survive but thrive in the new business landscape. As we commence with the reopening of the world and enter the recovery phase, there is still so much uncertainty about how things are going to work. As we’ve worked to take care of our most urgent needs in the reconstruction phase and reconnected with our purpose while controlling our negative emotions in the rebirth phase, we have put ourselves in a strong position to recreate our business environment as we enter the renewal phase.

For the phoenix, this is the phase when she makes her final preparations to take her first flight from the ashes. She is still a phoenix, but she is wiser, stronger, and more resilient than she was when this process started. As business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders, working through all of these phases, we too will be wiser, stronger, and more resilient than we were when this process started. The last three parts of the renewal phase include (1) clean up, (2) create, and (3) collaborate.

Clean Up. 

A cluttered space will result in a cluttered mind. In fact, in 2016, Psychology Today published an article about how cleanliness and organization in your personal space resulted in a healthier, more productive, and more active lifestyle. There have even been studies that show, simply making your bed each day results in a happier and more productive life.

As we look to create a better life and business, it is important that we get organized in every aspect of our lives and business. One of the things that I enjoyed the most about the shelter-in-place order… yes, I said enjoyed… was that things slowed down so considerably, I was able to take a survey of my life and business and reprioritize what was important. I decided on the business practices that I would no longer be doing, and the type of clients that I would no longer be supporting. I looked at each activity in my business and decided if it was something that I would continue doing, based on my new goals and new outcomes.

I also took the time to look at other things that may no longer serve me and who I want to be as a business owner, parent, and leader moving forward. That helped me to decide what activities, people, and information I would incorporate in my way of life. Allowing myself to let go of things in turn gave me a foundation for establishing boundaries and filters. 

Create.

As the way in which the world functions changes in response to the COVID19 Pandemic, it is important to focus on innovation and creation. This is especially important for industries hit the hardest, such as travel, entertainment, culinary and live events. There is mass uncertainty about how and when these industries will be able to move forward. This is a time for these industries and the companies that work within them, to reinvent themselves and look for other ways to reach and serve their customers. Even when restrictions are lifted and things go back to some level of normalcy, people have been exposed to diverse ways of consuming and spending their time. Businesses and business owners will need to make sure they are meeting people where they are now, which may not be the same as when they started. Also, there is the opportunity to keep new customers who were introduced to your business during the crisis and may be convinced to continue their patronage in the new normal. Outside of the necessity of reinvention to survive in this new landscape, there is an opportunity to dig deep and just let your creativity explode.

This is a time to create stories, music, and visual arts. This is a time when you can find ways to reach people through social media in fun and inventive ways. This is the time to make TikTok videos, write blogs, finish books, and learn how to play the ukulele. According to an article in Very Well Mind about the Psychology of Creativity, it takes a combination of energy, intelligence, and discipline to create. So, engaging in creative expressions in your personal life will also help you exercise creativity in all aspects of your life. Maya Angelou said, 

Creativity or talent, like electricity, is something I don’t understand but something I’m able to harness and use. While electricity remains a mystery, I know I can plug into it and light up a cathedral or a synagogue or an operating room and use it to help save a life. Or I can use it to electrocute someone. Like electricity, creativity makes no judgment. I can use it productively or destructively. The important thing is to use it. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have.”

Maya Angelou

This is the time to create the future you want for your business and your life!

Collaborate.

One of the things that many people (including myself) found to be incredibly difficult with the shelter-in-place order, was the lack of human interaction. As we move to reopen the world, and can connect with people more, there is a wonderful opportunity to prioritize collaboration and connection. 

Having the right tribe and circle of influence will be important to your success moving forward. There are 5 important groups that you should focus on creating to support you and your business.

  1. People within your industry. With so many changes coming on the horizon and such a long road to recovery, there will be a need to keep your ear to the street, regarding changes and updates in your industry. Joining trade networking groups or finding other people in your industry to share relevant information with, will help everyone navigate through the uncertainty toward the business landscape that you create.
  2. People that compliment your business. Vendors and other types of businesses that do not compete with you but work well alongside you are great connections to have. These people are great for collaborations and referral relationships. Plus, improving your vendor relationships will provide your clients with a better customer experience, by inviting the vendors to be more involved with your process.
  3. People that will hold you accountable. Accountability partners are a must-have to stay on track with your business goals. It’s important to have someone that will call you out when you’re not doing what you’re supposed to and encouraging you to continue doing things when you are doing what you’re supposed to. My accountability partners were responsible for me not backing out of launching The Phoenix Project or making the major changes to my business model during this COVID19 Season. The best accountability partners are the ones that are not always telling you things you want to hear but will always tell you what you need to hear. It has helped me to have a mix of accountability partners that would hold me accountable in different areas of my life.
  4. People that keep you inspired. Inspiration and motivation can come in waves. Some days you may feel ready to write a full-length feature film, and other days putting on pants is the win of the day. People that are doing things that you want to do, people that you are serving, or people that just have beautiful energy, are all people that can keep you inspired when inspiration is sparse. One thing that has been vital in the process of creating a new normal, is balancing the amount of negative and positive news that you allow in. Filters are an important part of keeping your headspace clear. Keeping people with high vibrational energy will help you keep going when you don’t have the motivation yourself. 

The growth never ends.

As we all prepare to take flight in our businesses, remember that when a crisis hits, this cycle starts all over. As you put this system in use, the time to move from one phase to the next will vary, depending on the situation, and will get increasingly easier for you as you get proficient at being nimble and adapting. In the end, no matter how bad a situation may seem, focusing on the growth and opportunity on the other side will give you a different type of energy to get through all of the difficult parts of change.

There are no experts, economists, or futurists that know for sure what the new business landscape will be after COVID19, but it is guaranteed to be different than it was before. The world will be different than it was before. There may be a greater focus on public health and safety and the responsibility of business owners to place customer and client safety at the forefront of their planning efforts. Consumers have built several types of experiences for themselves and have found diverse ways to navigate through their daily lives… who knows if they’ll go back to what they were doing before. Many businesses and industries will look different for an exceptionally long time, because of this pandemic. The economic recovery is anyone’s guess.
Since nothing is set in stone, this is the time for you as a leader to become an innovator and build the business landscape to be what you want it to be. Together, as a group, we can all find ways to change the things we didn’t like about our businesses and industries and amplify the things we loved about our businesses and industries. The Phoenix Project was built on the premise of doing just that. Bringing together several different small business owners and experts together, to share their experiences and recommendations to other small business owners, so we can build a future for small businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive. Is it a big dream? Absolutely… but this time has allowed me to do just that. Dream big and move toward that dream with a renewed purpose. Join me in the Phoenix Project, by visiting www.csd-marketing.com/thephoenixproject and check out the articles and videos all about life in the new normal.

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