Well, it has been about a month now since it was recommended and now mandated that we work from home if we are part of a “non-essential” business. Thankfully, we’ve been doing the work from home thing for several years so that aspect of things isn’t a big deal. What is a big deal is the financial and emotional toll this is taking on our business community. Our front line of small businesses took the brunt of the economic shutdown quickly: restaurants, movie theaters, sports of all kinds, and any other business that relies on people meeting en masse to make a living. Having worked in the restaurant industry when I was in college, I’m especially saddened by our friends who own and are employed (or used to be employed) by restaurants. Think about it. They are in a tough business in the first place with perishable inventory and a workforce that makes its living from being busy in the back of the house and making tips in the front. To those restaurants that have found creative ways to stay in business, I salute you. To those hanging on by a thread, I wish you the best and I hope you’re taking advantage of the government programs available.
It could be worse
“It could be worse” comes off as trite when you’re trying to put food on the table and keep your healthcare. My father had what we think was a heart attack this past Friday and I shook my fist at God. Then I realized it really could be worse. He could have died. Every moment you are breathing and not in pain is a moment it could be worse. Yesterday was Easter and it was the recharge I needed to come back at full strength and be as productive as possible. I’m the type of guy who is very transparent and who you think of when people say “he wears his emotions on his sleeve.” There are great upsides to this but one of the downsides is, when I’m worried or having the proverbial “bad day” I can’t fake it. I simply can’t be chipper and upbeat when it feels like the world is crumbling around me. So, if you’re reading this and can relate, you’re not alone.
Spring is here
Spring represents a time of rebirth and renewal. It is time for us to accept the reality we have in front of us and embrace the new normal, even if it is temporary. I encourage you to work hard and find ways to keep yourself occupied and the revenue flowing in. Now is the time to cut expenses. Start building a content library for your website and marketing automation campaigns. Invest in e-commerce. Start a side hustle (mine is selling baseball cards and whiskey bottles). Offer free reviews if it is conducive to your business model. Whatever you do, don’t give up! Get creative. Write in your journal. Who knows, maybe your story will be a best seller five years from now.
Open for Business
I believe it is time to do business. The time for empathetic memes and inspirational quotes, while wonderful, has passed. Do you agree that the initial shock has worn off? Do you have a business like mine that can help people still? Yes, people are afraid to spend money. However, this is the time to invest in yourself and your business if you can afford to. Those who wait will be lapped by those who got in the woodshed and sharpened their tools. I know this is not easy and it is much harder for many of you than it is for me. I’m going to work on keeping a positive attitude even when I get bad news so I don’t have to fake it anymore. Easier said than done, of course. But I think I can do it and so can you.
We are all in this together.