There’s a lot of information about what to do in this coronavirus pandemic. Today, just to mix it up a little, I’m going to focus on what we should NOT do.
So, if you’re a small business owner like a solopreneur, a consultant, an author, a coach, or a creative type… here are the 5 things you should not be doing during this coronavirus pandemic.
And of course, I’ll sprinkle in some helpful bits about what to do instead. Because I’m am not a doom and gloom person. I actually think this time might have some amazing opportunities in it and that my friend is what I’m hoping for you and me.
That we find our way through this with some grace and ease. Because it is hard enough to handle!! We do not need to add any suffering on top of it, am I right???
I do want to note however that this is NOT for you if you’ve suddenly lost all ways of making money and your business is totally dried up right now. If that’s happening to you, I’m so sorry, please dm me and I’ll help you brainstorm some ways out of this. That is a completely different conversation.
This is for those small biz owners who still have clients but are scrambling to figure out what their next best move is, or how to work in this chaotic time or wondering if they should make new decisions in their business.
It’s for those small biz owners who, like me, had plans to be doing certain activities this month and can no longer do those things!!!
If you’re a planner, this time can be your worst nightmare. All those plans are most likely out the window. If you’re not a planner, then you may feel extra lost because your normal way of making intuitive decisions is probably feeling shaky and uncertain in this new space.
Ok, so here they are in no particular order…the 5 things you should not be doing during this coronavirus if you are a small biz owner:
1. STAY DISTRACTED: Of course, we are all going to find ourselves more distracted during this time. We’re dealing with a whole bunch of new…and we have to make a ton of decisions.
But it’s up to you how often and how long you will let these distractions take over. Remember, it’s your brain and your behaviors. So, if you are distracted, figure out what’s causing it and make a plan to change that.
For example, I’m am NOT consuming any news, any FB or Instagram or YouTube during the daytime.
Why? Because now I have two children at home and my hubby and I both are on a 5 hour shift with the kids, and then we have 5 hours to work. That means I cannot afford to be distracted!!
I’m suddenly way, way busier than I was before. I have to cram the same amount of work into fewer hours and my clients are needing more help to get through this time AND I’m also a school teacher, snack maker, playmate, etc.
If this is not you, and you suddenly have more time, then I promise you do NOT want to use it up being distracted. This is the time to clear out the clutter in your office, finish up those admin tasks you always meant to do, and review your business to make it better than ever.
This is a time to learn some new skills…like getting your business systems setup, try some new kinds of marketing, write that book you’ve been meaning to…
Do you get my meaning here? For all of us, the overarching question you should ask yourself is “what contribution do I want to make in the world?” and then see if the action you’re taking is moving you TOWARD that or not.
2. OVERHELP/OVERJOIN: For the love of all things good, please stop sending out so many emails and posts!!! We are all inundated with information right now.
Here’s what happens…when bad things happen, all of us who really care have our inner alarm helper bell go off. We go into DO mode and try to help everyone that we can.
That is just adding to the chaotic nature of what’s already happening. And even though you are doing it to feel better, it’s probably not helping you either as you are doing more and getting amped up by focusing so much on this time!!!
Here’s what you do instead: look at ONLY your ideal clients. If they need help of some sort, offer it. If they don’t, then don’t. If you have a deep desire to help, don’t assume it has to happen professionally.
There are charities that need help, older people in your neighborhood who do, heck, even your garden or your closets may need some help!!!
And if you’ve had the idea that you should not be creating all this helpful info right now, but then you see others doing it, and you start thinking maybe I “should” be, here’s your permission NOT to.
Take some space during this time to let the universe guide you toward what you “should” be doing, not your overactive brain, nor the actions of others.
3. STAYCATION OR IN WAIT MODE…Sure, if you need a couple of days or want to plan a retreat during this time, go for it. But make sure it’s conscious. This is not the time to stay in bed all day watching Netflix (until after 5pm then all bets are off!)
It’s also not the time to wait and see how this all turns out. IF you do that, then for sure you will be have a hard time restarting when things begin picking up again.
This is actually a great time to look for new opportunities!! It’s a good time to assess what is working in your biz, what’s NOT working and how you can do it differently.
Waiting is a kind of self-imposed energy suck. Instead use this mantra “I don’t have the full picture yet, but I can take my next step”. This pandemic kind of forces you to act in this way, but in my experience, this is actually exactly how you act to take any big step forward in your business when we are NOT in a pandemic.
So, get going with this new skill now and your biz will actually get easier.
4. GIVE INTO FEAR: As humans we are primed to focus on fears. This is explained well in Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson. The long and short of it is that focusing on what doesn’t work is how we used to survive.
But now it can totally cause paralysis and get in our way unless we consciously work around it.
So yes, feel your fear when it comes up. And feel all your other feelings, too. But do not keep feeding them. Kind of like the distraction piece we talked about earlier…
You are in charge of what you think about. If you start going down that fear path of “what if this…” and “what if that…” just stop it. Kind of like a meditation practice. You just bring your awareness back to the present.
5. MAKE BIG NEW DECISIONS: I for one, am super tired of hearing the phrase “life is never going to be the same” or “well, in our new reality…”.
Excuse me, but unless you are an amazing psychic, no one knows how this is all going to turn out. This is NOT our new reality folks. It’s the same as it’s always been: nothing is certain, nothing is for sure, and when we plan, God/Goddess/source or whatever you call it, laughs.
Ok, so other than learning to manage yourself in this uncertain time, it is not time to PIVOT in your business. It’s not time to make big radical decisions unless you have to. For most, it’s not the time to bring in a bunch of new.
Unless this is the chance you’ve been waiting for. Some of you have needed a change for a while and have been ignoring it!!! Well, you certainly could take this as a sign that it's time to get to that thing you've been putting off, that thing you always meant to do, that thing that's been tugging on you at the edges. Because the one thing this virus is teaching us is that life is unpredictable and possibly short. So go for it, my friend!!!
I could actually add in many more items here! In this time, there’s a lot more clarity on what we shouldn’t do than what we should. I want to encourage everyone to go slowly in these times. It’s not a time for rushing around and feeling ungrounded. In fact, the more you can slow down, notice what’s happening in and around you, the better your chance of making good decisions will be. This time could bring some powerful opportunities as long as you’re connected inward. Stay well and take good care.
Linda believes that small business owners can step into a better version of their business when they embrace authenticity and become more fully themselves. Her 25-year marketing career has included Kimpton Hotels, Jamba Juice, and Disney helping her clients win awards and placements in publications like The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine, as well as on the front cover of WIRED magazine. You can visit her website here: lindabasso.com or join her FB conversation.