When the Passing Storm Fades, What Next?

I currently have three types of clients. There are those who have hunkered down, waiting for the new normal to arrive. Some are muddling along, trying to keep some cash-flow going. Then, there are a few who have stabilised their business. They are now looking for opportunities amid the chaos we see in the world.

Unfortunately, they are the minority. The majority are looking to bounce back. I wonder, however, what will be there at that moment of bouncing? Will they land ideally suited to a world that existed seven, maybe twelve—or more—weeks ago but now no longer exists?

Some business analysts suggest it is likely that those pre-COVID times will never return, such has been the pandemic’s impact on our societies, economies, and communities. Others suggest it will be weeks or months before the "new normal" emerges. While it is a passing storm and therefore temporary, by nature, an endpoint is not yet clear. So, who knows what any business might encounter in the "new normal"?

Are you thinking at a higher level?

So, thinking at a higher level, are you prepared or preparing for a new future? Do you see this time as an opportunity, rather than a curse? Are you fundamentally reviewing your business and business model? Have you determined actions to take now or soon, ready for that new dawn?

Tough times provide an imperative to cut loose poor performers and eliminate low-yield tactics. So say John Quelch and Katherine E. Jocz in their article in the Harvard Business Review. I would agree with them. Maintaining your visibility and credibility in a challenging marketplace is essential, even on a drip-fed basis.

But then, thinking of now as an opportunity, thinking thriving rather than surviving, I believe it is about so much more than marketing.

What might you do?

Thought leader Tony Robbins suggests five essential actions.

  1. Turn uncertainty into action—feel the risk and take action anyway.
  2. Focus on your vision—what you have and what you want.
  3. Decide and commit—make a decision and take that first step.
  4. Resolve to change—once committed, resolve to follow through.
  5. Give back—thriving is not about me, it is about we.

My thought encapsulates taking the first four actions; though in doing so, it may lead to the fifth.

Do this now!

Now is the time to fundamentally review you and your business. What I suggest is not easy. Changing behaviours and attitudes are the most challenging activities for anyone. Yet here you have the time, I assume, to do just that. Find some space and think. At that moment, apply openness, honesty, and curiosity. Above all, be intentional!

Here’s an idea that might help you in your reflection.

If you need a simple tool to help you with that, I recommend James Clear’s approach, which is his version of the Pareto Principle—focusing on the twenty percent of your activity that achieves the best results.

Make a list of the ten things you spend the most time on. Circle the two that truly drive results for your business. Do more of those activities!

Look at the others. Eliminate ruthlessly; automate or outsource what you can. Press pause on the rest. Repeat this process frequently, as things will always creep into your life unbidden and often unknowing. I believe doing so will put you in a better place for the future.

In the future, is bounce back an option?

I do not like the bounce back notion. It sounds like returning to your previous status quo. Like perhaps to a situation, you once knew but that no longer exists.

Think bounce forward to a better place, a better business and a better life.

Please remember, so that you make a full reflection on your current and future states—it helps to have someone to guide, challenge, and hold you accountable through that journey.

If you have no one that immediately springs to mind to help you in this reflection, I know that I can help and I am committed to doing that.

I am also known for turning my clients’ ambitions into their achievements.

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