Stop panicking – Top 10 tips to weather the business storm

Hold the toilet paper! Everyone seems to be in a tizzy at the moment at the recent news of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and some business owners are already predicting doomsday for themselves!

STOP!

Before you decide that it’s the end of the world, invest your life savings and risk your safety attempting to buy up all the toilet paper supplies, you should consider this… this is the PERFECT opportunity in your business to get ROAR!

Think about it? If the whole world is affected then you’re not alone. So there’s comfort right there. You’re not alone.

Businesses that are relying on trade manufacturing out of China are experiencing delays in manufacturing that are causing a bit of added pressure. But if you’re a totally kick ass business owner, why would that have you scrambling? Because fear is taking control. So drop that now. Think about it this way, have you ever been scared in your business to take a risk? Launch a new product? Heck even starting your business can render you fearful, what if it doesn’t work? Yet here you are, I’m assuming still in business, so drop the fear! You got this!

 

You may very well be feeling stressed, cash flow is stalling and you’re not feeling proactive, procrastination is prevalent and you need some fresh perspective and ideas. Well, I’m happy to offer you my top 10 tips for riding out the business storm, and while I’m using the recent events as an example, these tips can really be applied any time you are feeling the effects of business disruption that’s out of your control.

Don’t let the fear kill your hustle before you’ve even started moving! The fastest way to fail in your business is to allow your fear to convince you that you’ll fail before you even try. So tell your brain to STOP! That’s not your narrative, it’s not your story and it sure as heck isn’t your truth.

Fear can feel very real and for some can be truly debilitating. And your mental fear is soon felt in your physical sense. Some of the things you may experience include:

 

  • You’re finding it hard to concentrate
  • You’re agitated and on edge, conversations are short
  • You’re breathing is scattered and your heart might feel irregular
  • Your stomach is churning and you’re going to the toilet a lot
  • You feel exhausted after a nights sleep, a feeling of your muscles being weak
  • Your appetite is off and you can’t eat, or you might find you are binge eating
  • You’ve lost your sense of humour and ability to laugh at things
  • Your ability to think clearly is clouded
 

These aren’t all the signs but they are definitely a few examples and perhaps they rang true for some of you. The good news is you can change how you are feeling and you can beat the fear.

Fear is a great opportunity to look at the root cause of WHY you feel the fear? Once you can name the fear, you can tackle it head on. Take fear as a sign you need to change something, don’t let it control your actions, instead allow it to be an insight into what you need to work on.

Make a list of everything you have rattling around in your brain that is making you feel FEAR. 

Write each one down as if it’s an opponent you need to tackle head on. Once you’ve named each fear you can see clearly what it is you have to clear out of your mind (and body!) and you can start working on clearing them out.

We tend to admire those people who are quick to action but pausing for a minute and allowing yourself to create a plan, be deliberate in your focus and pace yourself in your actions can be really powerful. Haste isn’t always the answer and in some cases it can mean not doing things to your best ability and hence losing the opportunity. When fear strikes you have the time to dig deep and analyse your options, to make informed, clear decisions rather than just following the masses and scrambling to keep up!

While so many business owners are being affected right now (probably including your competitors) you have a golden opportunity to pause, delve into your business, your processes, your reliance’s and look at ways that you can improve, innovative and create. Now doesn’t that sound more exciting than flailing around like a wounded seal? Absolutely! Think of it as gifted time to step back from your business and the daily grind and really rip into everything. WHAT can you do better than before?

Take the time to get familiar with your business again, it might surprise you how IN your business you’ve been for too long and how you now have an opportunity to step OUTSIDE your business and reinvent yourself.

Make yourself a cuppa, make a list of things in your business that work REALLY well and then things that don’t work as well as you’d like. Where are the opportunities to improve these processes/connections? Once you’ve got a list, you have actionable goals you can now proactively work on.

If you’re finding yourself getting caught up in the hype and craziness of others then stop. Don’t be a sheep! Don’t rush into buying into the fear and chaos, educate yourself. Do your own investigating. Don’t buy the noise just because it’s loud.

I’ve seen so many people making wildly inaccurate statements over the last few weeks, predicting the fall of Countries, the end of manufacturing, doomsday stuff! And guess what? None of it has been my reality. I’ve taken the time to educate myself, relevant to myself, my business and my operations. I’ve kept great communication channels open with my suppliers, manufacturers, shipping agents, distributors. While people out there are trying to convince you things are over, for me I’m just warming up. 

See, nothing scares you more than the fear of the unknown. If your fear is based on a lack of information then go and get that information straight from the source so you can look at the situation based on facts rather than speculation and rumours. When things like this happen, there are plenty of “experts” out there who want you to listen to their predictions. But they aren’t your people are they? Any other day, you probably wouldn’t even listen but because we have some global issues happening, they get louder! And now you find yourself unsure, afraid and panicking.
Educate yourself, then you have the information you need to make well informed decisions and you can work on dealing with YOUR reality. Not someone else’s interpretation of it.

When your faced with a problem now, this probably seems like a waste of time or mental space, but setting a long term plan for your business is key to helping you solve your short term problems. If you’ve been in business for a while then chances are you’ve already set yourself some goals, and if you haven’t you should! What does the next 3 months look like, or the outlook in 5 years time? Creating your long term goals won’t solve your short term problems, but it often helps in the ability to see past the short term problems and that can be the motivating drive you need to keep you pushing forward.
You can’t have a game plan now if you don’t know what your chasing. What’s the game plan for you in your business? With the recent problems affecting lots of business owners, it’s a great opportunity to look at the goals you have in place, have they been affected? Can you set new goals? Can you create a new strategy for your game plan? There’s no better time than now to be looking at your long term plan.

Quite often whenever I’ve faced adversity or a problem in my business I’ve allowed my fear to escalate it far beyond the actual scope of the problem. We often get so caught up in the running of our businesses and the successes or failures that we often lose a sense of our values and where things fit with everything else. But honestly, what’s the worst that can happen? Sometimes the reality of your problem is bad, sometimes even really really bad, but you might also find that the fear that’s driving it to feel so bad is far worse than whatever the problem actually is.

Put it in perspective. And get really honest with yourself.

How bad is it? There is a fabulous and very simple (yet effective) way of looking at this when faced with a problem and dealing with your perspective.

Simply ask yourself the following then follow the arrows to your answer.

How did you go? Find your answer?

Of course you did, so why worry? Because that’s the truth. If you HAVE a problem and you can’t do anything about it, then stop worrying about it and deal with what you CAN do something about. Too often we get ourselves caught up wasting so much time worrying about the things we can’t change. If you can’t change them or do anything about them, then it’s time to stop the worrying and move onto the things you CAN do.

Perspective is everything. Anytime you find yourself stuck, go back to this diagram and ask yourself the questions, you’ll find the answer you need.

So you’ve got a problem and you’ve realised you CAN do something about it? Great! It’s time to get some help. Understanding you NEED help is the first big step in getting the problem dealt with. And there is no space in this tip for the pity party, there are no failures here. The failure would have been letting the problem go on too long and letting it destroy you. But here you are, you’re ready for help and you’re open to receiving it!

Whatever your problem is, whatever you are facing, no matter how big it seems, you don’t have to face it alone. If it’s a specific area of your business that you are drowning with that you need professional help with then commission that help. Drowning in book work? Tax man banging down your door? Then get a kick ass accountant and employ the services of a monthly book keeper to help you keep on top of this and not ever let this be your problem again.
Have an issue where you feel things are escalating out of control and you feel trapped? Get a kick ass lawyer who can give you rock solid advice on where you might stand and what options you might have. Even if you don’t action them just yet, it always pays to have that ace up your sleeve!

Get a mentor or a coach! Yes I am one, but I also have one. I believe in the value of good, honest advice to help steer your course. There are plenty out there to choose from, you need to find one that aligns with your values and has skills in the area you are seeking help with. There’s no point in going to a mentor or a coach who’s not in the game, you want to have someone who’s relevant and who can offer you amazing tips and tricks to get you through those tough times. Someone who offers contacts, connections, opportunities, not someone just posting Tony Robins quotes.

If you can’t commission a coach yet, then join a group! There are lots of groups out there, lots are free, some are paid. Often there are many resources, tips and tricks you can learn and feedback you can gain by being part of the right groups. And if you can’t find a group that is doing it for you, then consider our Members Club. It’s a private and supportive group where no question is to hairy or scary, you’ll have access to interviews, resources, documents and a network of like minded business owners. Yes yes, another shameless plug! But if you’re needing support then groups can be really helpful, particularly if you have a small budget to invest in advice.

No matter what your problem, there is someone out there who can help you. And beyond that, sometimes a good old fashioned vent session with a friend, outside your business circle can do the trick. A lot of the time, when we feel really stuck, we just need a chance to talk it out, have someone listen and then have it put back on us, usually in those moments you have the light bulb click! Or maybe you don’t, and that’s definitely where some help will get you through!

You’ve heard the age old saying “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” But you are probably also familiar with the saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” So which advice do you take? 

The answer is both. 

Chances are you’re reading this blog because your business is in a shit storm you feel you can’t escape. But have you ever considered that this might be the time to flip what you are doing and go a different direction? Sometimes the real problem isn’t obvious, it’s subtle, heck sometimes it’s hidden, but if you think really hard about where you are at right now, my question to you is, are you really happy? Before this shit storm hit you, were you happy? Were you aligned in your values, was your business keeping you motivated and were you still pushing forward? Or were you idle? Were you complacent? Were you lazy even?

I’ll share a story. I found myself in this rut, I was in a business and I wasn’t happy. My values were compromised, my vision was blurred and I found myself becoming more of a robot than myself in my day to day. Get up, pump through the day, eat, sleep. Repeat. Then the shit storm! BAM! Right in the face. Out of nowhere like someone had taken everything and flipped it out of this world. Except here’s the thing, none of it was my narrative or my truth. It was someone elses. Someone I couldn’t control. Someone who’s values were not like mine. It was time to flip the script.

Stepping outside the business and taking the time to look at it, look at what was working and what wasn’t, taking the emotion out of it. I realised this was not for me. And so, I changed it. It wasn’t easy. And the shit storm got louder and more aggressive, but I kept asking myself if it was something I could do anything about? Once I’d done what I could to deal with it, I realised that if that storm was still brewing, that there wasn’t anything I could do to stop it. So why worry? I strapped on my boots and got on with things. And sometimes that’s all you can do. Even when you want to tell the world what’s going on, you want to let your emotions get the best of you. You want to expose the truth. No one cares. And none of it really matters. If you take the time to pause, breathe and check back in with yourself you’ll realise that the storm doesn’t matter if you don’t let it fill you with fear. And here’s the thing about storms, even the ones you’re not sure you will survive, eventually they die down, it doesn’t always happen quickly, but it always happens.

Sometimes out of your adversity, you’re given the opportunity to completely flip the script. Make change. REAL change. Get back in line with your values, your happy. Start fresh. Why not? If things haven’t been working and you look at the guts of your business and where you’ve been sitting, or the direction that you’ve been heading, and you don’t like it, then change it. Make the change and when the next storm hits you, you’ll be ready with your umbrella, boots and raincoat to dance your way through it.

Have you ever paid attention to the things you are holding onto that don’t serve you? This applies in both your personal life and your business life. Whenever I am around people who are low energy, low vibration, aggressive or hot headed, it sucks the wind straight out of me and brings me down to a level that isn’t my own. This can happen a lot in business when you start to network and build connections and you can find yourself hanging onto relationships or business deals that don’t actually serve you. Everything might be telling you right now that there is something or someone in your space that is not serving you, but still here you sit.

Letting go of what doesn’t serve us will make way for more people to walk through the door and more opportunities to open up. And it really does happen. I’ve let people go before, and I don’t look back. You have to trust yourself and you can’t be afraid. You can’t live in the fear that if you cancel the deal, don’t do the work, don’t serve that client, that it will all fall apart. It won’t. What it will do is raise your vibration and you’ll start attracting the right people and the right deals.

In the past I’ve bought people into my business that took up so much of my energy, I gave more than I should and it rendered me empty. I’ve done business deals that I’ve ended if I felt the deal wouldn’t serve my values, no matter how much money it cost me. I had a distribution deal on the table for a 2 year period and a million US dollars committed and I pulled the pin. Why? Because when I discovered the company wasn’t paying their workers, wasn’t paying their taxes and wasn’t running with the same values I hold myself. I ran. FAST! And that company is still trading, still going strong, still making money. Do I kick myself? Not one bit. I stand strong in my convictions.

Whenever you find yourself in a time where things are crazy, the storm is brewing, look at the people you have around you. Sometimes you discover that somewhere along the way you lost your tribe and now you have the wrong people in your arena, the people who are only self-serving, parasitic, toxic. It’s time to let go. It’s okay to realise you’ve lost yourself, once you’ve realised this its something you can work on.

This applies to personal life and your business is no different. So often we mix business and personal so much to the point that we expose our vulnerabilities to the same people who in the blink of an eye would expose you to serve themselves. Business deals go bad every day. Money can’t be the only factor when considering what serves you best. You have to have a core to your business, something bigger, something you started for. We all want to make money but remembering WHY you started your business can sometimes help realign your perspective.

In my experience the successful business owners who have solid values around others and who work daily to build their businesses in support of the people around them are the ones who always come out on top. So ask yourself this, when you look at a business owner you admire, WHY do you hold them in such high regard? Is it their flashy house, new car, designer clothes, jet-setter lifestyle? Or is it something else? Is it something more substantial, something that stirs you inside? 

Whatever your values are, here is your opportunity to drop ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that doesn’t serve you right now and start steering a new course.

Blah blah blah. I know, this is an obvious one, right? WRONG! I’m not here to explain to you how important communication is, or even why you should be doing it effectively every day. I’m here to tell you that right now, in your business, if you’re not communicating with everyone and often you are CRAZY!

Your business has hit rocky water and my guess is you’re internalizing most if not, ALL of it. Because no one wants to tell the world they can’t pay their rent this month. But what do you think would happen if you did? Okay, so I’m not telling you to tell people that you can’t pay your rent, but you can tell people you’re struggling and that times are tough. It’s okay to ask for patience, support, rallying of the troops. Life smacks us all in the face so people will understand and in fact businesses who have a really honest relationship with their customers often bounce back much faster than those who keep everything hush hush.

So communicate and do it often. Ask questions. Engage your audience and it’ll help keep you connected so when things do open back up, you can access stock or the storm starts to subside you’re still moving forward.

And here’s an opportunity while you wait patiently for manufacturing to resume. Seek opportunities, new exciting ones. Go back to your goals and if wholesaling or distributing or finding brand reps or affiliates was on your game plan for 2020, start now, get stuck in, start those conversations, investigate, explore, make it happen! 

Email people, call people. Heck pop in and see people. Communicate. Conversations are so good for your business, it builds strong relationships and sets a solid foundation for opportunity to grow.

Know what you want to say and why. Know how you are going to say it. Listen. Take feedback and use it to drive you to do better, grow and innovate. 

Communicate people. Now is the perfect time to form new relationships, create new opportunities and share your ideas. 

Make a list of 5 people you could contact right now, then go and DO IT! Might just change your whole game!

That’s right folks! You’re still open for business.

What if you don’t have any products to sell because your manufacturer is closed? How can you make money if you don’t have anything to sell? Stop!

If your facing issues of stock due to the Coronavirus in China right now, then you’re not alone. And since when has having no stock ever stopped anyone from still working in their business and making money?

3 out of 4 of my businesses rely on China for manufacturing, but if you think for one second I am sitting around twiddling my thumbs, you’re dead wrong. While most people are scrambling and in panic mode because they’ve run out of stock and manufacturing is still closed down, I’ve been working on a solid game plan that will see my businesses soar this year because of the deals currently being executed behind the scenes. And one of the businesses has just had it’s biggest month to date, and fun fact, we’ve been completely SOLD OUT of stock now for more than 2 months! BAM!

Go back to this. If you’re quiet now, so are others. It’s the perfect time to reach out, source new suppliers, open conversations, create dialogue, think outside the box and make sure that business is still open.

You may not have product to sell, but what can you offer right now while you’re quiet? Are you a gun on social media? Could you outsource your services for a week or two to put some food on the table? Could you temp for someone? Could you write an eBook on an area of skill you have? Could you start a blog? Create a new catalog? Organise a joint photoshoot and get others involved? There are literally thousands of ideas out there right now that you could be running with in your business, so there are no excuses not to be.

Reality is you have to get out of your own damn way. Business is open people, and if you’re still stuck in fear then your competitors right now are going to be a million miles ahead of you while you sit in your rut. Get proactive. Get pumped up and get back into it. Time waits for no one.

I hope this helped, thanks for taking the time to read and if you found this helpful please let me know? I’d love to hear your feedback and any tips or blog topics you’d like to see come to life.

Go get em tigers, time to ROAR!!!

Dee