This post was originally going to be a follow up to my last blog Why It’s So Hard To Let Go Of Control, however, like other entrepreneurs and small businesses making changes to adapt and respond to COVID-19, I’ve put that on the back-burner and instead will share some thoughts on how we can all get through this.
All businesses and industries big and small have been impacted by this crisis, a situation that is evolving daily. You are at the centre of your business. So right now, the most important thing you can do for your business is to take care of yourself.
You may be feeling a whole range of emotions at different times of the day or week. There is no one way or right way to respond to what is happening. A couple of days ago I broke down and cried. Because I miss seeing my parents, family and friends, because my nephew just had a baby and I can’t go see them, because I had a moment of just feeling helpless and I needed to let it out.
This is a stressful time and many of us are feeling a sense of overwhelm and anxiety. It’s a normal response to a situation that is constantly changing. Much of the anxiety we feel is not just about concerns about the virus and its impact on our lives and business, but also from feeling a loss of control.
You may find yourself having moments where you are questioning whether you should even continue doing what you are doing and may want to just walk (or run) away from your business. Again, normal. This is testing all of us. We are facing something that we have never seen before. There is no road map for what is happening now and so any feelings and thoughts you have about packing it in is just another way of processing all of this and trying to work through it. It’s important to accept and honour your feelings in order to move through them and to nurture your own resilience at this time. Accept what you are feeling and let those feelings guide you to action.
You may also be feeling a lot of internal and/or external pressure to “do something”. Unlike people who are now working from home for employers, your business depends on you continuing to keep it going and growing. It’s easy to fall into a guilt trap or feeling like you are lacking somehow if you aren’t “jumping into action” right away. Take the time you need to regroup, take care of your family and do what you need to do for you. Take one step at a time and if nothing else, remember to breath. The best answers for your business will come easier when you are not forcing yourself to be productive while you are feeling the weight of everything.
There are many available sources of support to help you deal with the stress of this time – all pointing to the need to eat well, rest well, and find ways to move your body and calm your mind. You won’t have to look far on social media or on line to find groups and communities – even among your friends and neighbors – who are coming together to provide needed social contact and support, as well as resources to keep us all sane. I didn’t realize how much I needed to connect with friends just to check in and see their faces, even if it wasn’t in person.
Many small business groups are offering ways to connect with other small business owners and talk about what we can do to support each other and how we can transform our businesses through this time. If you haven’t already done so, take advantage of free webinars and conference calls that can provide needed mutual support and ideas for your business. I was amazed at how much of a difference it made to me just to join a couple of webinars and conference calls. I’m inspired by all the small business owners who have stepped up and offered their services and products to their colleagues and communities.
We truly are all in this together. If you need someone to talk to directly about how to navigate your business through this time, I invite you to please email me to set up a complementary session. Stay well everyone!
Catherine Meyer is CEO and Founder of Catalyst Leadership Solutions. She provides coaching and leadership solutions to a wide range of businesses and industries. Her focus is on helping business owners and entrepreneurs develop their strength in leading people so that they can build their capabilities, enhance growth, and maximize results for their business If you manage a team as part of your business or are in the process of creating a team, Catherine can help you develop your leadership strength to ensure the success of this phase of your growth.