We are in uncharted grounds as the Coronavirus pandemic unfolds around us. Who would have thought a few weeks ago that we’d be hauled up behind closed doors in self-imposed isolation? Who would have thought we’d see supermarket shelves empty of staple foods and that people would be panic buying baked beans and toilet paper? Covid-19 is upsetting, scary and very, very inconvenient. But it is not just a short-term health crisis. We now know it is also going to be a long-term financial, cultural and social crisis. And before things get better it is likely to get worst and touch all our lives in some way or other. If it touches yours I hope it will not be your health, or the health of your loved ones. With the situation changing daily and so much uncertainty in the air one can’t help but worry about what the future may have in store for us. But a time of crises gives pause for thought and reflection. Normally we are too busy chasing stuff we think will make us happy and successful rather than find time to appreciate those things that matters most; connection, community and contribution. The need for a cohesive community spirit is now greater than it ever was so perhaps the virus has had the inadvertent positive effect of making us sit up and take notice; to connect more genuinely with the people around us and focus on being generous, kind and compassionate. However, the reason for writing this short article is not only to remind you to be kind to your neighbours and enjoy spending time with your nearest and dearest, as important as this is. No the point to appreciate is that even after the Coronavirus is gone – because this too will one day pass – things will never be the same again. A worldwide calamity like this cannot happen without leaving an indelible mark on our lives. So to believe everything will simply revert back to normal would be naïf. Preparing for what comes next will require you to rethink how you live your life, do your work and run your business; it’s an opportunity for reinvention. Those with courage to face uncertainty, ability to navigate complexity and foresight to see possibilities where there were previously none are those that will do well. To face this challenge successfully you need to lean into the process of transformation but if you resist you are likely to find the next several months, and the future beyond the Corona crises, harder than it needs to be. As we are stuck at home for the next several weeks, possibly even months, the Internet will be crowded with entrepreneurs wanting to take their business on-line; an obvious and reasonable strategy if your business lends itself to online trading, and many will see it as an opportunity for going global. A potential downside to this, apart from your Internet connection running slower than normally, is that it will increase isolation and social separation in a post-Corona World rather than bring us back together again after this is all over.
One could argue that globalisation is why we are now in such dire straights. So I think a potentially more successful future business strategy will be in building relationships and strengthen connections with our clients or customers closer to home, on a one-on-one, one at the time basis. Right now this may seem counter intuitive, as we are being told to keep a distance of at least two meters between ourselves and any other human being, but in the longer term communication with those close to us will I am sure become more important. Bear in mind that the word communication relates to the word community. So stay calm and use this enforced time of self isolation to reassess, and as an opportunity to create a new and better vision for your life and business, re-discover deeply held values and find clarity of direction to what’s next; to be at your best in the face of the worst.
If you need support with getting clarity of direction to what’s next in your life and want to figure out what you need to do to get to where you want to be I’d be happy to schedule an hour for a conversation. Let me know. I’d be pleased to help.