What can business owners learn from the global community about economics, the pandemic, social unrest, etc.?
It’s a very diverse picture out there at the moment. This is one of the few things in the world which everyone is experiencing at the same time. So, there are common lessons across the board.
One of the lessons I’ve learned is that adversity is actually the necessity of change. And the one thing about business and what we’re really, really good at is adapting. We are able to reposition ourselves and still be able to thrive. So, as business owners, we’re exceptionally hard to kill off.
How many are more things going to be thrown in our direction? But we are still able to adapt, overcome, and reposition. Hey, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows – I know that. But adversity is one of the big things which has really accelerated a lot of growth.
“This interview series was birthed out of the adversity of the pandemic – really just trying to share that while there’s a lot going on, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming, we can whittle it down to just the things you need to know about right now.”
It’s like the classic new year resolution when it comes to businesses still being enthusiastic about adapting and changing. You’re all hot, and you’re ready to go. And then, by mid-January, if you joined a gym, and before all this kicked off, you’d not be attending now.
I do feel it’s a war of attrition. But this is a battle, not a war. There is life after this. And the people who can stand up now and are preparing to become an expert in their area, positioning themselves to take advantage in the future, I think will emerge stronger.
We are not the same people now coming out of this as we went into it.
Also, there’s quite a lot of stuff we didn’t want to run back to – the long commute, the silly hours at work, the non-work-life balance. It wasn’t perfect to start with, but there are lessons that we can take forward, which will, I believe, make the business even stronger.
What’s one thing we need in business now?
If anything, this has shown us the compassion that is now needed, not just for your employees, but for you, as leaders. You need somebody.
Because you’re standing there and you’re picking up all the pieces, you need a support network yourself because you can’t fall over. Because there are people depending on you. Your customers are different now than when they went in. And you need to be able to make that connection with them.
And communities are so important. And I really believe it’s now a cultural leadership that actually blends both the heart, which is passion, and the mind, which is the measurable left brain – but don’t forget the right brain. And I believe that they’ve come closer together than anything before. And being authentic as a business owner is really going to hit the right temperament, and we have to be the right barometer of what’s going on.
“Being authentic not just in what you’re doing, but how you’re doing it and how you’re telling people about it is extremely important now. Businesses tend to want to show how they’re handling the pandemic or how they’re handling social injustice or economic crisis in their marketing. But when we don’t follow through with our actions, people see it. And they know they can take their dollars elsewhere, and they are calling businesses out.”
It is now a consumer market. And I believe that business is a people’s game. People will do business with people they like, period. And if you can be like that, and you can respond exactly to what they’re talking about and get on the same wavelength that will interrupt the conversation they’re having already in their heads, you’re going to have to try really hard to screw that up.
There’s always going to be adversity – and what do you think we can build and learn from over the next several years?
I believe that where we are with the pandemic, we haven’t even begun to see the impact of the mental side. And I believe that’s an area no one’s talking about. And it’s no good to say, “Oh, well, I’m going to give it up now.”
We need to be ready because the private sector is going to pick this up – not the public sector. So we, as business owners, need to be ready for this huge flood of people who are going to need our help at some point.
I’m part of a really good team called the Core Mentors Association, which is basically a group of business coaches, coaches across the board, which can help you if needed.
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Being an entrepreneur and business owner is hard! Once you have your business up and running it's not uncommon to hit a few snags: scalability, staff retention, launching growth projects, getting enough sleep!