Many of us are faced with an interesting challenge that impacts both our daily professional and personal activities. Some businesses are closing, some are going on “pause” for now and others are getting creative to keep things running as normally as possible.
If you’re an executive or an operator you know that what you do today could very well change your business for the next few weeks, months and possibly years. At a time when you thought you had everything figured out, you’re learning how to flip your operations on end.
In the midst of headline reading you can be caught up in a cycle of negativity and let’s face it, there’s a lot to be upset about. But, you don’t have to focus on those things that will bring you or your team down. Taking negative energy and converting it into positivity will help you get past some challenges you might have otherwise been consumed by.
Here are some things you can do.
Now is a better time than ever to reinvent yourself. You might be a cleaning service that never answers the phone but loves getting email. It’s more important than ever that you get over your own fears and do more than write email replies. Maybe send a video recording along by using Quicktime, Windows or another tool to capture a quick message for the recipient. Who is doing this in your area? Nobody is the likely answer and this sets you apart from everyone else.
Change your service in ways that address our current state of normalcy. For example, an auto body shop could travel to a customer’s house to pick up a car for them and deliver it back when they’re done. Yes, this leads to a range of challenges to implement within your business, but it can be done if you’re willing to get extremely uncomfortable. It’s not easy doing something you’ve never done before, but it can mean the difference between losing or retaining valuable team members.
Use some new tools to increase engagement with your team. If you’ve never had to work from home before, this can be a very difficult time for you. Having done this for nearly 10 years I’ve learned a fair share about telecommuting and something that can really help you is to rely on various tools to help you stay organized, focused and connected. Here are some tools I recommend:
Trello – Task management and to-do lists that you can assign to yourself and others.
GSuite – Google Drive, Docs and Sheets are invaluable. You can also use “Meet” which is Googles video conferencing platform.
Zoom, Join Me or Meet – For video conferencing with team members, clients and family. All of them are effective and help you stay connected.
Slack/Google Chat – Using a chat tool can help you stay connected with your team.
Bonusly – This is an amazing tool for employees to recognize each other and the work they’re doing. You give points to team members which they can then use on gift cards and donations. This is a great way to build up the culture you already have.
You find what you’re looking for. Meaning, mindset is the entire game. If you focus in on negativity too often and for too long, you’ll likely become stagnant. You’ll be caught in a state of paralysis you feel you’ll never be able to escape from. Finding a path forward means suffocating the negativity and turning it into something that leads to a positive change or result. Staying positive during a downturn of global proportions is no easy task, but you can do it! As a leader, you have to find ways to rise up! Here’s a short list of things you can do now:
Stop dwelling on what you can’t control. Focus on what you CAN control.
Cut negativity out of your life. If a close friend calls you every other day to chat about all the things that’s wrong with their life, you should probably create a distance between you and that person to protect your own emotional state.
Avoid absorbing negativity AND excessive positivity. This helps you avoid feeling a rollercoaster of emotions through the ups and downs of your business.
Take massive action. We love to plan and sit in meetings to talk about new ideas and initiatives. That does have value, but nothing matters more than the actual execution. Create action plans and execute on ideas TODAY because your ability to execute quickly and efficiently will create the business impact you’re looking for.
Through all this massive change, just know that you’re not alone. There are tens of thousands of businesses facing the same issues you are. This is not the end, but rather a new beginning and your local community is here to support you.
Jason Wright is COO and director of creative with Webfor. He can be reached at email@example.com.