Entrepreneur Survival Guide Part 1: Being intentional in troubled times means flipping the script.

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Like many of you, I’ve been stuck in my head, glued to my news feed, distracted and disrupted by the rapidly evolving Covid-19 reality. The ‘what if’s’ and the cancelled plans and travel worries… the isolation and the postponed business development…not being able to see loved ones…the struggle to be present. 

It’s easy to list what I’m worried about. I could name a dozen more things preoccupying my mind.

I want…moreover, we need…. to focus on positive things as much as possible. The reports of strangers helping each other, of acts of goodwill by small and large business are uplifting. As are the thousands of cat memes I happily watch. (This one is a particular cheeky standout).

In the midst of this time which is part rollercoaster, part tornado, I recalled an intentional mindfulness practice I’ve leaned on when things feel like they’re closing in, like now.

Serenity Now: Q1

As entrepreneurs, small business owners and self-employed contractors it’s natural to worry about our future, our clients, our colleagues. But, in a few days the end of Q1 will be upon us. With it may come serious disappointments due to missed opportunities or missed quotas or dashed dreams. Some will face big decisions about our business. About survival. Everyone- business owner and worker – is struggling in their own way. (Kudos to you if you’re zen through a pandemic. Please share your tips).

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While much is not in our control during a global pandemic, we must, as the Serenity Prayertells us, remember that there are things we can change. In this case the script in our head. The one where we are preoccupied with impending doom. 

Our businesses will look different on the other side of this crisis. Opportunities have been, and will be lost, But, rest assured there will be new opportunities. I think of the newbies who who JUST launched a business in 2020 and are reeling from the curve ball we’ve been thrown. Recovery may take time but we will recover. 

Flip The Script

While we #wfh and maintain a safe distance; while we protect ourselves and our community, let’s make time for 15 minutes of mental hygiene today. It’s helped me as a human entreprenuer (PSA: despite the evidence, we’re not robots). Flip the script in your brain. It doesn’t change the reality of the #Covid19 global pandemic but it can remind us that ‘normal’ life and business exist beyond it.

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It means you have to cast your mind back to life before March 11, 2020 when the WHO declared a pandemic. Things are uncertain and surreal for many. It’s more reason that ever to acknowledge the hard work you’ve done so far in 2020 and stay positive as much as possible.

How To Flip The Script:A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs 

Part 1: Name five things that went well in the first 10 weeks of 2020. 

Did you lead with empathy?

Did you identify a way to tweak your business plan? 

Grow your CRM database? 

Land a big meeting you’ve been working on? 

Nail a presentation? 

Sign up for a course to improve your marketing skills? 

Commit to better work-life balance? 

Boldly reach out to a contact? 

Write an awesome blog post?

Write down as many as you can think of, at least five.

If you’re struggling to come up with something, go through your calendar. Be generous with yourself. 

Listing our fears and anxieties and disappointments is easy because we are used to feeding that monster. But, it’s worth it to take a few minutes to list what we’ve done well in the first three months of an unforgettable year. 

Shout it out loud (ie share below) so we can be inspired and cheer you on. (Mine are in question form, above.)

Stay tuned for Entreprenuer Survival Guide Part 2: Creativity vs Productivity, a Lockdown Story