How to Inspire Positivity & Profitability During Difficult Times
“In the midst of every crisis lies opportunity.”
Life puts us all through unplanned change. However, sometimes the unthinkable can occur. The COVID-19 pandemic is a sound example of this. Many of us thought a pandemic could happen, however, many of us never thought it would happen. Unfortunately, rapid unplanned change can also bring with it prolonged uncertainty. When this occurs it is normal to have difficulty seeing the upside of things and a way forward.
Successful business owners understand that in order to help your business thrive, make your company profitable, and keep your customers happy, you need to be mindful of what is happening now. Prosperous entrepreneurs understand if you were to sell your product or service the same way for weeks, months, or years that you would be behind, not ahead of the curve. In other words, successful business leaders embrace change and see the benefits and necessity of doing so. The question then becomes, how does an entrepreneur embrace change and make cents of it all when change can change its mind anytime?
Acceptance is the first step towards navigating change of any kind—especially rapid, unexpected change. Accepting change is occurring in your marketplace does not mean that you have to like what is happening. Rather, it is the willingness to accept change is happening, not resist or deny it, that helps shift your perspective towards more positive, opportunistic thinking. In turn, a more optimistic outlook can promote adaptability and help you switch gears when you need to.
Outside-in thinking is looking at your business as an observer rather than as a participant. Looking outside-in helps us take the emotionality out of situations (fear, sadness, etc.), so we can look at the big picture, find clarity of thought, and uncover solutions when we need them.
An environmental scan or SWOT is a staple in the business world when developing a strategic plan. It is also a tool business owners can use to look at change more objectively. A SWOT is a review of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for a given scenario.
A business can consume an entrepreneur’s time and energy at the best of times, and especially during uncertain times. Consequently, just like we take care of our bodies, we need to take care of our minds too.
Mindfulness is another strategy business owners can use to achieve balance and successfully navigate change. This is because staying in the present helps us reduce anxiety about the future and depression about the past. Try taking time out each day to calm your mind, even for five minutes. Calming your brain can help you focus and set your compass for the day, move you towards a more optimistic attitude, and improve your ability to handle the unexpected.
Begin each day with intention and gratitude. There is always something to be thankful for, even if it is as simple as the sun is shining, and you are healthy. Research has shown people with a more grateful disposition are more likely to bounce back after times of great adversity. While we cannot control what happens during times of prolonged uncertainty, we can control our response to events. Our intention creates our reality and gratitude illuminates the path by helping us stay positive.
While it is not realistic to expect you can be positive all the time, positive thinking does give us an extreme advantage during times of extreme stress. It helps us respond to the ups and downs of life, rather than react to them, and can support us to move ourselves and our businesses forward, not backward, while upheaval plays out.