A few weeks after we reported the first coronavirus case, the trajectory of my life changed. I recall that time because things started to spiral downwards.
If anyone told me the events of that day earlier, I would have said that they did not know what they were saying. I did the usual routine, and I kept working as usual.
The retrenchment came as a shock to me. My business was long established and pretty diversified. The pandemic caused many of my customers to rethink their spending and hold off for a while on all projects
I did not know how to break the news to my family. My ex-wife had limited means and was relying on me for child support for our five kids.
I could not sleep that night. I stayed up worried about my family. Late night thoughts made me realize that I had to find a solution.
How We Respond to Challenges Defines Us
I had to completely pivot my business, but I had the effects of the pandemic to consider. An entrepreneurship class I had attended helped me find my idea. I realized that I needed to find an opportunity amidst the chaos.
I started calling all of my past customers and vendors and worked closely with them to see exactly what their needs are and worked on plans to help them. I aggressively pursued online sites that were doing well with people staying at home. I began to work much closer with agencies.
The first few weeks were tough, but the business excelled once I started getting referrals.
The Lessons I Learned
My experience taught me several vital lessons.
- Diversifying one’s portfolio is important. Losing most of my business almost made me file for bankruptcy. An earlier entrepreneurship class helped me learn how to diversify business and risks. It is now sustaining my family. Having over one source of income ensures you cushion yourself if you lose one revenue stream.
- One should not rush when deciding on issues affecting their future. I never envisioned that my income could drop that much so quickly. I got the sack, and I had to find an alternative revenue stream to pay rent on an expensive apartment and other costs. If I had not been innovative, I would have lost my apartment pretty quickly. I will make future decisions knowing anything can happen tomorrow.
- Just because you are down, it does not mean you are out of the fight. I had to be innovative in finding solutions. If I had not sought a way out of the difficulty, my ex-wife and kids would have have has a shaky life. I never gave up, and all my bills are current, I can sustain myself and have a stong cushion in the bank and a backlog of projects.
- Nothing is stronger than determination and a solid foundation. My business has been around a few years and I had plenty of levers to pull, doors to knock on and a lot of value to offer customers.
One cannot predict how life goes. Things can go well for you, but a second later, you are in trouble. Dealing with these challenges defines us.