I sent this message on March 12th to our private coaching clients.
While we typically keep the deepest insights and inner workings of strategy for clients of our programs, given what’s going on in the world right now, I wanted to share this with you as well…
Dear CS Family, it’s 6:02am. Still dark outside and my wife and kids are fast asleep upstairs.
I’m reflecting on what’s going on in the world right now and wanted to share my thoughts with you.
It may feel like the sky is falling. For certain we are in challenging and uncertain times.
But every challenge creates an opportunity. If you look for it.
Yesterday I spoke with a senior official in one of the world’s largest health organizations. Yes, COVID-19 is serious. Yes, people are overreacting. For the average healthy person this will be nothing more than the flu.
Precautions should be taken. You can read all about the importance of washing your hands and other measures to take elsewhere.
What I view as your biggest threat and opportunity at the same time right now is your mindset. How you choose to think and act based on what’s going on in the world.
While the virus is new and some of the measures taken haven’t been seen before. The world has faced severe economic and health challenges before.
Yet until recently the world economy was solid, if not thriving. We are living in a world of unpredictability, where markets are interconnected. Where one thing that starts in one country can quickly have an impact on the other side of the globe.
That’s just reality. Likewise, as an entrepreneur the only thing that is certain is uncertainty.
Every day we get up, not knowing what result are actions from that day or previous days will create.
But what I do know, and after 19+ years building and running businesses, is that when you keep doing the right things, when you focus on what matters, when you are unrelenting, great things happen.
It would be easy to look at the current pandemic and plunge in stock markets and acquire a negative mindset. But to let the media and realities of the current challenges and uncertainty seep into your mind would be of little value.
The data shows us that recessions always have an end and economies always bounce back. A vaccine will be developed for the current virus and deployed to make the situation much more manageable.
Life will go back to normal. It may take some time, but it will.
So what does all this mean for you, the entrepreneurial consultant?
Number one, in every situation look for the positive and focus on the opportunities in front of you. This is the biggest and most important choice you will have every day.
Don’t run for the hills. Don’t liquidate your investments. Instead, focus on taking action everyday and build your business. It’s the best, and highest returning asset you have today and into the future.
Number two, a complete shutdown of businesses is unlikely. Which means companies and organizations will still need expertise and support.
Many right now are in uncharted waters. They can benefit, they urgently need help. Figure out what impact the current situation is having on your ideal clients and infuse that into your positioning and messaging.
The more relevant and timely your message and positioning is right now the higher response and interest you’ll see.
Number three, leverage technology. In person meetings and events are being canceled or postponed. The opportunity is to support your clients virtually. Think about offering a virtual workshop instead of in person.
Look at virtual coaching and planning sessions. Avoid the temptation to say or even think “people don’t want to meet or talk because…..” Instead, be creative, there is always a way. Virtual meetings are just one.
Number four, life is never at a standstill. Your position in the market, in the eyes of your clients never stays in one place. You’re either moving up and becoming more relevant and desired and in demand or you’re moving down the hill and becoming less desirable.
The key to moving up is not to standstill and become complacent. Push past the metaphorical roadblocks in your mind, or even those that show up in reality, and keep moving forward.
While many of your competitors will stick their heads in the sand during these uncertain times, you, as a leader will grab the steering wheel and keep your foot on the gas pedal.
FedEx, GM, P&G, Apple all rose to become great companies out of recessionary periods. The point is, challenging times create opportunity, if you’re looking for it and take action on it.
There’s no doubt these are hard times. They’re uncertain times. But this is exactly the time we all need to stand up, focus on the positive in every situation, find the opportunities, and be true leaders.
I uploaded a PDF version of this on LinkedIn here.