We are living through some unique times! Besides the Spanish Flu of 1918 where the world was under assault, we haven’t ever experience anything quite like this in our lifetimes!
In a day and age when medicine is so far advanced, that we are able to grow hearts in a petri dish, we have now had to bow down humbly before a virus that has shutdown the world as we know it.
No one is insulated from its effects – rich, poor, young, old and everyone in between!
The first week following the COVID shelter-in-place, I was in utter shock like most of us were – life as I knew it had changed.
Being a single mom of a 15 year old, I had quit my well-paying technology job 8 months ago to start my own business. It all seemed like a perfect move at the perfect time until COVID hit. Then I was hit with a lot of self-doubts about the big step I had taken –
- Had I jumped into entrepreneurship without understanding the risks completely
- Would life ever go back to being normal again socially and otherwise?
- Would business (real estate in my case) bounce back – how long would this slump last?
- What would social isolation mean to me and my daughter?
- How would I visit my parents 10000 miles away if they needed me? How would their health hold up with the virus considering they were both high-risk?
- How would my daughter who has a heart condition that she lives with be affected? When would her school reopen? How could I send her to school? How would she cope with the extreme social isolation as a teenager?
So many worries and fears – How, when, what?
Fear can be crippling emotion and luckily for me it felt like God, Universe or Higher Power (whatever you believe in!) brought in just what I needed to hear in the nick of time.
A few weeks into the COVID shelter-in-place situation, I had John Maxwell, Tony Robbins, and a business coaching company all do outreaches with messages and resources that were immensely helpful for me to navigate this uncertainty.
A few key takeaways for me that personally helped me not just survive but thrive through this uncertainty were –
- Acceptance of Reality and a NEW Normal – Coming face to face with the reality of situation and the initial phases of sadness and denial. Knowing that I had no choice like everyone else in this world to accept the situation gave me peace. Knowing that all of humanity was experiencing this dramatic change was helpful in accepting it as a shared experience. Having been through a profoundly life changing event with my daughter’s health issues also gave me insight into knowing that as humans after processing the grief we always find a “NEW” normal, a different baseline with a different set of expectations of how life should look like. We adjust. We adapt!
- Sticking to a Morning Routine – Even before COVID happened I had joined an accountability challenge to stick to a morning routine of Silence/Meditation, Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading & Scribing (S.A.V.E.R.S.). A book by Hal Elrod called “Miracle morning” advocates this morning grounding practice and I found it extremely useful to continue this practice because it gave me a sense of stability in the midst of the uncertainty.
- Focus on What I COULD Control – We fear things when we feel uncertainty or a lack of control over a situation or outcome. I realized that I could not continue reading news and media that was focused on sensationalizing an already difficult situation. It didn’t make me feel better! It was better to focus on my sphere of influence and what I could control instead.
- Focus on GIVING to Others – Thanks to John Maxwell’s series of live events I pushed myself into focusing on giving to others instead of my own problems. I started a webinar series for educating kids and teenagers on finances, I brought more webinars together for adults so they could learn about the CARES Act and how their small businesses could use SBA assistance, how they could tap into 401K and more. All of these in retrospect helped my business build great rapport with clients even though there wasn’t an immediate monetary value attached to the time spent on these. During COVID, I also started a homeless food distribution drive with kids and adults donating and bagging food for distribution to the ever-growing homeless population in my hometown of Austin, TX (no thanks to ever increasing property values). In retrospect, giving has made me happier and helped me focus on how much I DO have instead of focusing on what I DON’T have!
- Looking for New Business Opportunities – I’ve always been a big proponent of creating multiple income streams. As a former technologist who retired myself from my technology job to start a business by building passive income and achieving financial freedom, I’m heavily focused on financial independence as a goal for most of my clients. My passive income streams were also definitely also affected due to COVID besides my business income, so I looked for new opportunities where I could expand my business with my existing clientele and that has been a goldmine business-wise and a huge value-add for my clients as well! Talk about a WIN-WIN!
Personally, I think it’s critical to look at setbacks as learning opportunities knowing that you will make it through because you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for. COVID has created uncertainty and fear but as humans we are resilient and we have been through tough times before as a community, as a society, as a nation, as a world and we will make it through this one too!
So embrace the uncertainty and thrive through the rough times not just survive!