This past year has tested business owners in ways that no one could have expected. Especially small and medium sized businesses who most likely didn’t have “Navigate a Pandemic” written into their business plans. Some founders have found themselves busier than ever, pivoting and finding creative solutions to keep them afloat while other companies have been forced to close their doors to the public, while the wait for the next health update. Forced to stand still. Forced to wait it out.
It’s true that we’re all navigating the same storm, but we all have different boats, and the conditions are not the same for everyone but at some point during the past year, almost all of us have felt the effects of standing still. Whether in business or in our personal lives, we have stood still in ways we couldn’t have expected from not having big family gatherings at Christmas to SMEs seeing their revenues slashed, sometimes all we could do is wait it out.
And as lockdowns continue around the country for the third time, we’re becoming accustomed to these lives we now live but it’s important to remember that eventually, we will get through this. It’s important to keep going, keep moving forward (even if it’s slower than usual), keep putting one foot in front of the other. These are three things that you can do to help get you through the periods when you feel like you might be standing still forever:
Be Patient (but Persevere):
It’s easy to give up and throw in the towel and far too many businesses have been forced with this reality. Whether or not your business is still operational, it’s important to dig deep and find your drive, even when it’s hard. Perseverance is an important quality to have and figuring out ways to pivot so you can continue doing what you love might be the best choice you make. Pair this with being patient (something that is hard to come by when we’ve all been far too patient for far too long) and you’ll be able to manage your expectations and reset your goals so that they look more feasible for the long haul.
As someone who does not deal with change well, this has been something I’ve really had to learn to get comfortable with. Changes happen in people’s lives every day, whether we’re in a pandemic or not, so if you feel that you’re standing still look for signs that might be pointing you in a direction you never even considered. Sometimes changes come to us when we least expect it and if we accept them and allow them in, they usually lead to something positive down the road. Change can feel really uncomfortable but when you lean into the discomfort there’s usually something great on the other side.
Lean into the stillness and the quiet that comes with not having to attend conferences or networking events (in person) every other day. Rarely in our lives will we be given the chance to do so many things virtually, in the comfort of our non-business attire, and even though working from home can get monotonous it might be something you miss in the future. So lean into it. Use this time to be more creative and lean into your imaginative side, allowing the lack of hustle and bustle to really tap into your deep-seeded passions and desires. Replace the hours you used to sit in traffic with hours spent reading, drawing, painting, coding or creating.
Most importantly, don’t give up. Even if your business has closed, don’t give up on yourself or your dreams. Even if you’re struggling with being home all day and missing your social life, don’t give up. Even if your frustrated with trying to work while helping your kids with online school, don’t give up. When life or your business continues to test your will, keep moving forward, keep trusting your instincts and keep standing. And always remember that even if you’re standing still, you are still standing.
by Shannon Ferguson
Shannon is the Co-Founder & CEO of FanSaves and has over 16 years of marketing experience and a flair for entrepreneurship. She is the co-host of the Living the Startup Podcast and an emerging public speaker with a passion for helping other entrepreneurs on their start-up journeys. Connect with her on Linkedin, follow her on Instagram and learn more about her here: http://www.shannonferguson.ca