One of the most frustrating and unsettling feelings for people is feeling out of control.
Turbulent times like what we are going through now, bring with them the potential for feeling completely overwhelmed by a lack of control over your environment and what is going on around you.
For business owners and entrepreneurs, who are responsible for their own income and don’t have a paycheck to fall back on, there are additional concerns.
Feeling some sense of control in any one area can translate to other areas, so with that in mind, here are 10 things (in no particular order) you can still Conquer in turbulent times.
1. Conquer Your Fear
It’s important to find a balance between staying informed (necessary) without consuming so much media that you spiral yourself into despair (unnecessary).
You can decide to be careful and prepared but still rational; or you can let yourself be turned into Chicken Little x 10, running around in a panic about how the sky is falling.
I had a great conversation with someone yesterday who quipped, “These challenges are nothing compared with what it’s like starting and growing my own business.”
I love that thought because it keeps you in a take charge, positive frame of mind instead of victim.
Are we all a victim of circumstance right now? Yes.
Do we have to turn ourselves into an overall victim because of it? Absolutely not!
2. Conquer Your Reputation
We are learning a lot about people right now. There are extremes in many directions.
There are people who are paralyzed by fear and people who believe this is nothing more than a flu that will just blow over.
There are people who are hoarding necessities or those who are ignoring directives about social distancing and quarantines that keep other people safe because they don’t want to be inconvenienced; both extremely selfish behaviors.
We all see what our friends and colleagues are posting online and what their reaction is to what is going on. Even with our increasingly short attention spans, we are going to remember for quite a while how certain individuals behaved in this turbulent time.
You are a business owner. Odds are your clients and prospective clients are part of your social media world. Do you want to be seen as someone who freaked out, panicked and spread despair or do you want to be seen as a leader who figured out how they could add value and help others?
3. Conquer Your Opportunities
One of the things I have been focusing on lately is that there are always two sides to every situation. Every obstacle has an opportunity. You get to decide which side of the coin you focus on.
What is your opportunity?
Your clients and prospects have new challenges that they didn’t have two weeks ago. What can your business do for them?
If you think back to the recession in 2007-2009, one of the problems was that money stopped moving. The velocity of money – the measure of the number of times the average currency is used to purchase goods and services – came to a screeching halt.
Want to help prevent another recession? Help keep the money moving. Don’t price gouge, horde and overcharge, but absolutely keep buying what you need, charge for your services and help other people be able to charge for theirs!
4. Conquer Your Back Office
You know all that organizing and systematizing of your email, computer, office, etc that you have been avoiding taking care of? Now is a perfect time for putting ducks in a row!
With so many meetings being cancelled, not only do you have the extra time to take care of these things without sacrificing time “better spent” but being organized creates a wonderful feeling of control and accomplishment.
And just imagine how poised for quick growth you will be once things start moving again.
5. Conquer Your Environment
As someone who already works from home, I can tell you how important it is to have an inspiring and designated space for my business. If you’re not set up for that already, I would encourage you to get on it – no matter how small that space might have to be.
You may need to get a bit creative here, especially if there is another adult suddenly also working from home, along with children no longer leaving the house to go to school.
The boundaries of having designated working spaces as well as working hours will create that predictability that humans crave in order to be able to function and keep you feeling in control.
6. Conquer Your Knowledge
Is it time to learn a new skill? Personally I know that I have been underutilizing LinkedIn as a way to stay connected to more people, so here at Conquer Your Business, we’ve been digging up articles, podcasts and mini-courses on how to best utilize LinkedIn and learning some new things.
And so much of it is available for free!
You have more time on your hands than you did a week ago, what new skill can you invest that time in that will add value to your business?
(Shameless plugs for my friends who provide some of these courses absolutely available upon request!)
7. Conquer Your Health
If you’re new to working from home, let me introduce you to the peril that is having your office eight feet from your kitchen. Especially if that kitchen is now stocked to the gills with snacks and processed food you felt compelled to purchase the minute the news told you to stay home.
Getting out of a normal routine is one of the fastest ways to derail any health-related behaviors you have. Just think about your last vacation, right?
Well, if there has ever been a time that has knocked us out of “normal routine” now is that time!
The gyms are closing and you don’t really see people hoarding fruits and vegetables!
You need to be healthy to have the endurance to run your own business. Not to mention what a nice solid immune system can do for you right now.
Stay on top of your health.
I’ve seen dozens of free Facebook yoga and workouts listed. I’ll be doing some of those shortly myself as Orange Theory just announced they’re closing until April 1st.
(Shameless plugs for my friends who provide these are absolutely available upon request!)
8. Conquer Your Mood
There are two things I have found to lift my mood more than anything else.
Gratitude and Service
Without minimizing the seriousness of what is happening right now, I guarantee you have amazing things to be grateful for. I know I do.
You can agree or disagree with how the different levels of government are handling the situation, but bottom line – there is plenty of food available, our sanitation system is still in working condition, you have electricity, you have NETFLIX!
If you don’t already have a gratitude journal, start one now.
And speaking of gratitude, what can you do to become the person someone else is grateful for?
Who can you help? Do you have an elderly neighbor that is scared to go out? Can you shop for them? Can you order PeaPod for them? Can you teach them how to Skype or use Facetime so they can see their grandchildren and not feel so isolated?
Do you know a family whose children are dependent upon the meals offered by a school they can no longer go to? How can you help them?
Focusing on what you are grateful for helps you overcome challenges because when you are mired in misery you can’t even see the solutions available to you; and helping others is really the greatest gift you can give to yourself.
9. Conquer Your Technology
I could really put a little piece of technology-related insight into almost every one of these tips but I’m giving technology it’s own category, because it deserves it!
Right now I am beyond grateful for the fact that we have such amazing technology at our fingertips so that social distancing does not have to be social isolation. I’m grateful for the fact that many businesses – even those that didn’t think it was possible – can create a virtual version of themselves in order to weather the financial challenges of this time.
Be grateful for your technology.
Learn new ways to use your technology.
Use your new stuck-at-home time to organize your technology.
Help others learn new technology.
Clean up your technology – both physically with all those damn cords, and virtually so that you have a more inspiring environment.
Imagine how much harder this would all be if we didn’t have these opportunities to spread information quickly (yes, be careful what you believe) and talk to and see our family around the world.
If you have shied away from using certain technologies in your business or in your life now is the perfect opportunity to adopt new practices.
10. Conquer Your Business
This is a great time to take a look at your overall business.
Do you function in reaction mode or do you have goals and a plan to achieve them?
Are you maximizing how you can help your clients while also producing the level of income you desire or are you stuck at the bottom of a non-existent value ladder?
Do you have a magnetic message that draws your ideal client to you or do you approach marketing with a desperate “pick me pick me!”
Do you have the foundation, systems and support you need in place for growth or are you just doing whatever comes up that needs to be done?
A business that can survive in turbulent times is a business that can THRIVE in the future.
Now is a perfect time to decide which business you would like to have.
There are so many things you can be conquering right now. Amazing, positive things you can be putting your energy into, not in an effort to ignore the reality of our current situation, but as a way to not be victim to it.
If you are stuck in any way please reach out!