Every single person on the planet has been affected by COVID-19. Most likely you are months into quarantine, working from home, or perhaps out of work due to low demand for your product. You may be worried and struggling for hope as your small business suffers. Or you may be surviving but struggling with restlessness and a lack of structure in your new work environment.
Where does the current economy leave purpose-driven businesses? And, how can we not just survive but thrive?
As I have always found to be the case, I believe times of struggle are calls-to-action: a call for us to reflect, readjust and renew. To shift our ways of thinking and our way of working in order to enter into the next season stronger than the one before.
And so, it is my hope with this episode of the Rank & File Podcast, that I can share my current thoughts around how we, as purpose-driven entrepreneurs, can turn this time of struggle into a time of strength-training, so to speak, for our lives and businesses.
In this episode, I’ll share 3 practical steps you can take right now to leave doomsday behind and enter into a more hopeful, growth-oriented mindset that will prepare you and your impactful business for now and the future.
It’s all coming up on this Founder’s Studio edition of the Rank & File Podcast, with me, your host, Kari Enge — founder and editor-in-chief of Rank & File Magazine and a business growth strategist for purpose-driven entrepreneurs.
Step 1: Reflect — acknowledge the season
The first step for turning this time of struggle into a time of strength for you and your businesses is to reflect. So often, business coaches will immediately jump to positive-thinking and goal-setting before we have truly allowed ourselves to process.
Reflection, on the other hand, is a practice that allows us to acknowledge the current season we are in and to pinpoint the things that are not working before we jump into panic “try-everything” mode.
For example, I am currently dealing with COVID-19 but also in a season of a new transition into motherhood. I have a lot less time to work than I did in the past, and I have many more distractions to deal with as I continue to work from my home office.
During my reflection phase, I have had to mourn the past self (the one who had endless time to work on my passion projects) and to find a way forward as my new self (one who is equally split between my purpose-driven role as a mother and a business owner).
Reflecting allowed me to see that I needed to do a reality check, and to filter my dreams and goals through my new working constraints so that I could move forward instead of staying in reflection forever. I was also able to see that I needed to leave behind a few limiting beliefs and bad mindsets and instead to carry a new attitude with me if I was going to continue caring for my business and my baby in the way I envisioned.
Finally, my time of reflection allowed me to step into the next phase with a new mindset: I now had a new 90-day goal that I was going to take advantage of this time at home to do the things I normally wouldn’t have time for.
You too, will need to reflect on your current season, what is no longer working, and what kind of attitude you will use to make the most of this time.
Some questions you should ask yourself during your time of reflection are:
What did I used to have that I no longer have?
What is no longer working?
What does this season call for? How should I respond?
What attitude do I want to carry with me?
Step 2: Readjust — find the ways you would like to improve
After you have your new-and-improved attitude in tow and you are finally ready to take positive actions during this time, you can move on to step #2: readjust.
The readjustment phase is all about looking at the specific ways you would like to improve.
For example, I’ve had to take a hard look at my schedule to see what is not a good ROI in terms of time-in and cash flow-out in order to create a new working routine that is sustainable. This led me to readjust my goals, and even my business model to account for the changes in my life.
Perhaps it’s finally time (now that you have the time!) to formalize that business idea you have been thinking about for so long.
Or maybe, it’s time to freshen up your branding, rework your website copy, or learn new ways to engage your audience online. It could also mean finally getting organized — trying out new calendars or planners, cleaning up your files, or purchasing a new software to help you monitor your money, your sales, or your projects.
When you’ve got a solution-oriented outlook on this season, you will be amazing at how many ideas will be sparked!
Jot down your ideas on a pad of paper, rank them in order of importance. And remember, that the most important ones are the ones that will lead to cash flow the fastest! Once you’ve got your list. You are ready for step #3: renew.
Step 3: Renew — create a plan of renewal for you and your business
The Renewal Phase is just what it sounds like, it’s a time for taking your priority items and working on the specifics on how you will implement them into your life and business.
We don’t want to become splattered paint on the wall, trying a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. We want to be an artist with a steady hand — using our brush with careful strokes.
To best plan out your implementation plan, it’s a good idea to start brainstorming all of the steps you will need to complete the project you’ve chosen. You’ll also want to set a timeline for yourself so you know when you’ll work on each step.
The biggest challenge here is to create a realistic timeline, so I like to block out times on my calendar to work on each step, so that I can see when the completion date will be, instead of just setting a random date that sounds good to me.
Blocking out time on our calendars to work on each step also allows us to stay on track — both in terms of time, but also in terms of our daily work schedule and our new mindsets we set out to have in step #1.
Remember that the renew phase should invoke a sense of renewal in you — that you will be energized each and every day to take positive actions. When you do this, day after day, it will have a trickle-down effect — leading to positive changes all around you for both your business and your life.
Like all seasons — they eventually come to and end. And so it’s safe to say that COVID-19 will also come to an end. I hope that we all look back as purpose-driven individuals and remember this time as a season of somber reflection, needed adjustments and meaningful renewal.
Need Inspiration and Business Advice to Get Your Purpose-Driven Business through COVID-19?
If you need some additional inspiration for this season as a purpose-driven entrepreneur, Rank & File Magazine is the perfect guide. Click here to view the whole library for free