Are you seeing this time as a dip… or a ladder to the best that’s yet to come?
“Every now and then, something happens in life that seems to open a door you didn’t expect, and it serves as a threshold to other things.”
Last night I went to bed when I felt tired. Today, I woke up when my body wanted to. No alarm, just the feeling I’d slept exactly as long as I was supposed to.
It’s the first time I can remember that I have no schedule.
On the first few days of the quarantine, I set a rigorous agenda of waking up at 7:00 am, walking for an hour a day, going over my client list of obligations, making calls, then writing in the afternoon.
But about a week into this new work-from-home plan, I relaxed.
I began listening to my inner thermostat. What does my body want? What is my mind telling me to do? When is my optimum time for creativity? When am I at my best talking on the phone to clients?
It’s a strange new way of living… listening to where my body and mind want to go.
That’s what disorder does; it takes away what we know, and urges us to think differently by cutting the harness to our beliefs.
We’re in our homes and getting to know ourselves a little better. We’re learning who we are without our work schedule and our “labels.”
It was my belief that I could not be successful unless I had strict accountability for every hour of my day. I was taught that working hard was the only way to be successful, and hard meant a full schedule.
During this time, our lives are challenged beyond a schedule.
How I handle this interruption in my business and work-life is critical. I can’t just stop… I can’t afford to. But what I can do is make plans and shift the way I do business.
My mind wants to believe we’ll all be fine, but my fear wanders into the worst-case scenario arena with thoughts like, what if one of my loved ones gets sick, or what if my business and my income doesn’t recover?
Wow… How would I feel? What would I do? How would my life change?
Terrifying thoughts, but a normal and natural reaction to the time we are in. I can’t feel guilty for what we’re all collectively feeling. Why not explore those thoughts now?
“The focus that leads you through the Dip to the other side is rewarded by a marketplace in search of the best in the world.” -Seth Godin
My work as a real estate professional is currently shut down. I have no idea how long it will take to recover. We’re not allowed to show homes! I see the issue clearly. What if someone views a home and comes down with the virus a few days later. Who is libel?
We’ve all been through tough times before, and survived. Can we look beyond this crisis to claim our future?
Surviving is not the only goal… thriving is. Envision life beyond the gap.
The thoughts you have about your business and livelihood need you to be the most creative you’ve ever been! You are capable of opening the floodgates to new ideas within this 5 step framework:
If ever there was a time to use creative thinking, it’s now. Creativity is a God-given tool we have for expanding our dreams.
Don’t think you’re not creative… it’s in your DNA, you’re just not allowing yourself to use it.
Unbridal your thoughts and brainstorm all the wildest possibilities.
Oprah said she never could have dreamed big enough to imagine who she is today, but she dreamed big enough to let the world know she was willing.
Most of us have a secret desire that’s stuck in an abyss somewhere between the life you have and the life you’ve always dreamed.
Maybe now is the time to embrace that dream and take action.
You must believe it with all your heart. That’s how you put your dreams in motion. Dream beyond what you think is possible, there’s something bigger waiting for you.
And during this time, you might only be able to worry about how to pay your rent or buy groceries. We are collectively feeling that right now, but we must believe this time will not last forever.
Give it an end date in your mind without it being an actual date. Imagine yourself next year on your vacation, talking about how you not only got through the COVID-19 crisis, but you thrived beyond your wildest dreams.
With the next steps, you’re going to fill that gap with what needs to be done.
Hone in on where you want your attention to go (the most) and begin to feel the emotions around that. If it’s making your current job better or pursuing a new line of work, how does that feel?
Feel the feelings around those thoughts and actually see yourself doing it. See yourself successfully in that role. Envision the joy and satisfaction doing the thing that aligns with your goals and talents. See your bank account grow, see your bills being paid easily and happily.
“At the intersection where your gifts, talents, and abilities meet a human need, therein, you will discover your purpose.” — Aristotle
This is how successful people think… they see the opportunities when other people don’t notice them, and then fill the need with their unique gifts and talents.
Your best ideas are the ones that serve others… The ideas that help solve a problem by filling a need.
It’s why Tesla pivoted to now making necessary hospital breathing ventilators. They will continue to make cars, but the company found a way to make a massive difference in people’s lives…. By saving them.
It’s why my friend who’s a famous chef, made 200 dinners and distributed them to people who can’t cook for themselves. When her business is restored, people will remember that.
It’s why online courses are now thriving. People who didn’t have time to take educational courses before are currently appreciating this time to learn something new. It’s filling a need.
I can easily get stuck in doing the same things over and over for my stalled business and expect a different result. But now I have the time to explore new ways of doing things by using creative thinking.
When circumstances summon us to change, we’re faced with making choices we didn’t expect. But sometimes the result is even better.
Is this the time to consider a pivot?
What if that pivot has the potential to make you even more successful, more dazzling, more purposeful?
My husband’s company is wholesale based, selling glassware, and dinnerware to the restaurant industry. It’s a successful small boutique company, but it’s not set up to survive without active business.
Last week, we brainstormed to look at how we pivot during this critical time.
There’s a definitive gap between how we’ve made money in the past, and how we’re going to sustain the business during the quarantine.
We’re dreaming big, looking at our future company, then reverse engineering it. It’s another way of “beginning with the end in mind” (Stephen Covey’s famous quote).
We plan to pivot by adding more “retail focus,” providing people at home with our products because the heart of the home is the kitchen. It’s more important now than ever. That’s why you can scroll on the internet and see so many people baking bread! We want our products to make life in the kitchen even better.
Never doubt… your mind is a solution machine!
You hear people say “look at your options.” But look beyond choices that are familiar or routine. You don’t have to restrict brainstorming and dreaming. They can be wildly crazy in the evolution phase, but this is where all great ideas begin.
List them all! If you want to expand your business into another area, start mind mapping how that looks.
If one area of your work is no longer thriving, how can you change it?
If you want a new line of work, one that gets your heart pumping… what would you need to do to make that transition?
If you want to add an additional stream of income, what would that be?
My son worked at a Los Angeles restaurant full time and did social media marketing part-time. The restaurant closed in the quarantine, but my son amped up his social media clients and is now making the same money he did at the restaurant with the potential of it becoming even more!
Plus… he loves it.
There are no limits to dreams. They can be bigger than you ever thought possible. Then, hone in on the dreams that make sense to act on right now. You don’t have to know how it will work. All you need is to take the very next step.
You’re not the same person you were last year, nor is your business. Where will you and your business evolve after this?
“When you leave here today, I urge you to pursue something that is as exciting to you as it is important to the world.” — Dickinson Commencement by Pierce Brosnan
In the quote, “leaving here” is the time when the quarantine ends and our new lives begin.
And that’s the goal… to grow beyond the gap into something more…
Embrace what’s necessary; be willing to alter the way you’ve done things in the past. Picture yourself in the future… stronger, happier, and more aware of who you became in the process.
You’re not a job or a label. You’re a revolutionary thinker who figures out how to survive and thrive even better than before.
***Article originally published on Medium***