ASK ALAN: Covid-19/What Now … What’s Next? Part 2
For Entrepreneurs & Small Business Owners
As a small business owner myself, I’m just as stressed out and anxious as the rest of us. So, I turned to some experts for help.
They have told me that if we’re to survive, we must plan and act for: “What Now … What’s Next?” In my last column, I wrote about “What Now?” This column will highlight, “What’s Next?”
Moving ahead successfully, requires the ability and need to “change”
Virtually every business expert agrees that the ability to change ourselves and our businesses is the key! Another thing the experts agree on is that changing is not easy. Why? Because our minds trap us in our own comfort zone. The patterns in which we live keep us prisoners for as long as we let them.
Looking at change in a new way
You can look at change in two ways:
1. It creates opportunities
2. Change is horrible, something that is frightening.
Never has the old saying “same old thinking … same old results,” been more relevant. In this new normal, there is upheaval, uncertainty, and change spinning around us.
I encourage you to think of change as an opportunity to think differently. It is imperative for everyone to move past their comfort zones, use outside the box thinking so you can try new ways of doing things. And, embrace creativity!
One thing we can do…
Get more involved with peer-to-peer relationship opportunities. Join the Chamber of Commerce, BNI (Business Networks International, Vistage or other national/local groups. Attend webinars business strategy sessions and community meetings.
Networking groups like these offer us the opportunity to learn what other businesspeople are doing. Often, what we learn from attending these group meetings can stimulate our minds with ideas for us to try in our own businesses.
Other things we can do…
My colleague business coach and author, Jeff Wolf, suggests that we business owners also do the following as we move forward in this unchartered territory:
The common denominator effective leaders possess is the ability to be patient. Changing things while already in the middle of a change confuses people. The patient leader will ultimately be rewarded with the desired results.
Celebrate small success
Use baby steps to measure success and be sure to celebrate small successes. When even the smallest positive experience happens, make a big deal about it.
Do not think you must have all the answers
Instead, successful business owners should seek advice from the smartest and brightest people they can find. Sadly, those who are self-centered and narcissistic deny their failures. They would prefer to say that everything they do is perfect. — Jeff Wolf
Compassion and positive thinking
Obviously, there are many negative and challenging things happening in “the world” and perhaps, “in our own worlds,” as well. I feel two things are most important:
Be compassionate toward others. Do things that keep your mind focused on the positive.
You may recall the poem that reads: “The difference between the optimist and pessimist, the difference is quite droll. The optimist sees the donut, while the pessimist, only the hole.” — Anonymous