Finding Potential in a Pandemic

These are unbelievably crazy times. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and afraid. We wouldn’t be human otherwise.

For better or worse, I always see the upside in any situation. Maybe it’s because I’m an entrepreneur, but I can’t help but see the opportunity in every situation.

Like all of us, I was shocked and paralyzed with fear at the onset of the coronavirus crisis. However, I quickly moved from fear to opportunity. Two perspectives helped me make that mental shift.

Two Perspectives Helped Me Chart a Positive Path Forward

Like other business owners, I worry about the ripple effect this economic seizure could have on the families of my employees and the clients we serve. I don’t want to see anyone suffer, and seeing what’s happening reminds me a lot of the pain I lived through during the recession in 2007 and 2008.

Remembering the past was the first perspective that helped me chart a positive path forward.

Thirteen years ago, I lingered. I didn’t want anyone to know my business was hit by the recession that was overtaking us all. My waiting nearly wrecked my company. I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I set my ego aside and made the moves I needed to secure the future of my business.

After looking back, I shifted my focus forward. This future-oriented mindset is the second perspective that helped me chart a positive path forward.

The instant I looked forward, I remembered that necessity is the mother of invention.

The social distancing and quarantine forced upon us will force the hand of something larger and more long-lasting. The technologies that were playing at the periphery of our lives have moved front and center.

Telemedicine and telecommuting are suddenly necessities. No longer optional, food delivery, virtual payments, digital currencies and video conferencing are what we rely on to work, live and play. As the beaches, trails, bars and parks around us shut down, we are finding new ways to explore, connect and refresh.

The people who have now been forced into a corner will use these circumstances to invent something that will change the way we live for the better. These inventions will make life easier, which will give us time back, which will lead to further innovation.

How To Innovate Right Now

During this time of crisis, it’s easy to go to a dark place mentally. If you are a business owner, leader or entrepreneur, this is your time to shine. The responsibility is ours to be a ray of light that reveals new paths forward for business and community.

Do you operate a manufacturing company? What can you make right now that people need? How can you contribute in a way that moves our country and our world forward? Facilities that made fiber two weeks ago could churn out masks tomorrow that will help our healthcare workers treat us safely through this storm.

Now is not the time to cower in the dark, clinging tightly to what is slipping through our fingers. We are lateral thinkers and can’t let coronavirus change the way we innovate.

The People Who Win Are the People Who Keep Pedaling

Those who emerge successful on the other side of this crisis will be the business leaders who didn’t give up. Who, when faced with layoffs and loss of revenue, kept moving forward until a new opportunity for profit presented itself.

At my company, OBI Creative, we’re giving away resources right now.

Resources that we would normally charge clients for. Those resources are helping other companies communicate better and have a better chance of surviving this crisis intact. This act of generosity is for the good of our larger community and I’m happy we’re doing it. Also, I understand that crisis is the time for brands and businesses to build trust with clients by showing their true colors.

When the world does start turning at full speed again, the brands who built trust will be the first ones people turn to with their business. The seeds of innovation, diligence and generosity we plant now will bear the fruit of increased opportunity when this is all over.

Don’t give up and don’t give in to fear. Reach out and seize the opportunities presenting themselves to you.

Doing so will help your business and our world stay strong.

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