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Just when we thought 2021 was going to end and give us some relief after a very intense 22 months, the rise of Omicron cases and the resulting questions about what comes next are leaving most business owners anxious and concerned.
The reality is that we do not know what will come next, so in the absence of knowing exactly what to expect and what the right plan is, do these four things.
1. Don’t Panic!
The good and the bad news is that we have been here before, and we will probably be here again. If we have learnt anything since March of 2020 it is that we really do not know what can or will happen. The business owners who are getting through this time with the most success are the ones who are staying calm and are doing their best to stay consistent despite the highs and lows of the moment that we are in. It is our first instinct to panic when we don’t know what is coming but if we can remember that we still have control over ourselves despite having so little control over our circumstances, it helps to ground us. I spoke with a small business owner who lost 99% of his revenue in March of 2020 and he said something that really stuck with me every day since. He said, “Carissa, the economy just stopped, but I did not. I am going to figure this out.” Circumstances do not define us. There is opportunity and challenge in everything. Control what you can — yourself.
Our first reaction to something going wrong is to jump into action. If we don’t have enough cash to pay rent or make payroll, we start to frantically find new business. If we see a problem happening with a customer we jump into frenzied action to try to resolve it. Taking action is great – but it has to be the right action. The first step to taking the right action is to Pause. This could be as simple as you counting to ten before responding or as significant as you taking a week away, turning off all technology, and quite literally giving yourself a real chance to pause. We live in a culture that is so focused on quick response and action that we need to consciously work on pausing so that we have time to think, be strategic and shift from taking any action to taking the right action. This applies to the moment we are in and the rising chaos due to Omicron. It is natural to feel like we need to jump into urgent action, but actually, the most strategic business owners will pause, see how this plays out and then take the right action.
Reflecting gives us insight and helps us see what we are learning as we go. Over the past 22 months, we certainly have had a lot to reflect on! Every single business owner that I know, myself included, has had to manage unexpected circumstances, seemingly impossible odds, and non-stop challenges. We have had good days and bad days and everything in between. In all of that, there is so much opportunity to reflect and process what we have been through. It is in these reflections that we can learn our greatest lessons and have our strongest insights. This is a powerful time of the year to reflect and is even more critical so that we can all take our lessons and learnings from the past months to better equip us for the months ahead.
4. Get Ready for 2022
None of us knows what to expect in 2022 – but we can bet it will bring more uncertainty, some surprises, some good and some bad. The number one thing that every business owner requires for 2022 is resilience – the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. How do we build resilience? By ensuring we are rested, healthy and whole. I have found myself feeling like I need to jump into action and respond to Omicron, but my brain and my body are tired. Being tired will not set me up for success in 2022 and so I am clear that the best thing I can do for myself and my business is to rest as 2021 ends. I invite you to consider that the best thing you can do for your business is to take a break before 2022 starts so that you can be physically and mentally ready for anything that 2022 brings.
Omicron is challenging us in new ways and reminding us that our battle with Covid is far from over. With the disruption it is causing, it is even more critical that we; do not panic, pause, reflect and get our brains and bodies ready for 2022.
About Silver Lining
Since 2005, Silver Lining has been helping small business owners worldwide build more proﬁtable and sustainable businesses through their proprietary tech-enabled and data-driven small business growth program, SLAP™ (Silver Lining Action Plan). Their proven behavior change science methodology is the modern approach to the age-old problem of growing a small business. In 2021, they launched Silver Lining Finance to give small business owners unsecured access to capital based 100% on their behavior, not on their credit score or cash flow. To learn more about Silver Lining, please visit: smallbizsilverlining.com
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