By Amber De La Garza
Right now, we are in uncharted waters and circumstances are outside our control. The question is: How are you going to react? Are you going to rationalize why it’s OK to not show up for your business? Or are you going to take a stand, fight for your business and ensure its survival through this global crisis?
If you want to come out victorious on the other side of this, mindset is the name of the game. That’s because even if I could wave a magic wand and give you the perfect, customized strategy to get your business through this storm, you could still very easily fail if your mindset is not protected.
Make the claim today that you will come out of this storm successful. Hold that affirmation sacred as you go about your days and make decisions for your business. Look for positive proof in the past so you know that it’s possible to make it through this. Also, look for positive proof in yourself. Consider all the obstacles and adversity you’ve overcome in your life to get to where you are today. Lean into those victories as proof that you can get through this too.
Here are some things you can do to strengthen and protect your mindset.
Fill your mind with everything you’re grateful for. Your family. The roof over your head. Food in the pantry. The list goes on. Throughout your day, look for reasons to be thankful. Commit to journaling or just continue adding to a gratitude list. Appreciating the small things will aid in keeping your mind in a positive, grateful space that allows room for growth.
Adapt and Overcome
The goals you set for this time months ago may not make sense now, but that doesn’t mean you need to trash them entirely. Look for ways to adapt your current strategy and continue progressing toward your goals.
Doing this will serve you now and in the future because there will always be struggles. There will always be opportunities to adapt your strategy and overcome a bad situation. Believing in your power to adapt and overcome will unlock opportunities currently unknown to you.
Double Down on Your Routines
When facing a crisis, there’s a huge temptation to throw our routines out the window, but those are the times when structure and a sense of control are needed most! Routines help you work toward your goals incrementally.
The routine you had two months ago is likely not going to serve you well considering everything going on now. Tweak it to allow for kids and your spouse being home 24/7, working strictly from home and not being able to go to the gym or out on the town on Friday night. Find a new way to work out each day. Make a candlelit dinner every Friday to share with that special someone. Host a virtual happy hour to stay connected with friends. Call your past clients, potential clients and strategic referral partners (because they are home!) to build stronger relationships every morning at 10 a.m. Stick to routines that work with your new normal.
You don’t have control over everything happening in the world, but news flash: You never had that control to begin with. What you do have control over is your thoughts and actions. Identify what you cancontrol in your personal life and your business. Can you control pouring love into your kiddos? Reaching out to your friends and clients? Showing up for your business every day? Exercising? How your desk is organized? Recognize that you are still in control of many things and reclaim control in those areas with renewed fervor, so it has a ripple effect throughout your business and life.
Move Through Decision-Making
The tendency in times of uncertainty is to freeze because you’re not clear what the right next steps are. Although decision-making feels especially overwhelming, you can’t stay in limbo because it creates stagnation in your business. You also can’t allow yourself to panic and make knee-jerk decisions like letting go of all your employees. Identify what decisions need to be made and when, then move through making those decisions thoughtfully, taking all the information you have into consideration. Don’t fear the possibility of making a wrong decision. There are few decisions that are a one-way door. If you make a decision and that outcome isn’t working for you, walk right back through that door and make a different decision that could produce a better result.
Put Boundaries into Effect
Your new normal requires boundaries, both physical and emotional. First, get really clear on what boundaries you need to succeed. One hour of working out a day? Four hours of distraction-free time to design and email contractors? Your loved ones are not mind readers. Verbally and lovingly communicate your nonnegotiable needs. Share why they’re important so everyone’s on the same page.
Once you’ve identified and communicated your boundaries, Hold. The. Line. You might be the first one tempted to trample them. If your family catches you scrolling through social media during your “distraction-free work time” even once, you lose all credibility.
Invest in Your Business
Surely, you used to feel like you didn’t have enough time to do everything you wanted. Now you just might have more time, so get excited about what’s possible in your business. What can you do now to serve your business in the future? Make a strategic pivot in your strategy so you’re not going off course, just taking a different route to get to the same goals. You can invest your time in learning a new skill set, so you can show up for your business and your clients in a different way. The possibilities are endless and e-learning enables you to attain these new skills from home.
Amber De La Garza, aka The Productivity Specialist, is a sought-after coach, trainer, speaker, writer, host of the “Productivity Straight Talk” podcast and creator of the S.T.O.P. Leverage Formula. She helps small business owners improve their time management and elevate their productivity to maximize profits, reduce stress and make time for what matters most.