Not All Business All The Time
We can’t escape it, we have a forced ‘moment’ of pause in different ways. Whilst there is undoubted reason for concern for so many businesses, many are taking solace and drawing on the positivity of the opportunities… like opportunities for the earth and nature to ‘reset’ and revive, or the opportunity to learn more skills or do some of the things that we felt we never had time to do before. While I feel that we can effectively do the same, I advocate for an approach that is responsive to you. This time can be utilised in the right way, but it has to be the right way for YOU. A focus, in a way that works for you, on Mind, Body and Business, (MBB), can help you get through, and emerge stronger.
So, MBB… it’s all understandably connected, but let’s talk about each of these in a bit more detail shall we?
If I’ve not heard it, I’ve seen it shared on social media hundreds of times over the last few weeks… ‘I’m losing my mind!’ When considering that we’ve been hit by a very sudden forced halt to our everyday way of life, and when you couple this with the uncertainty around health, our loved ones, our livelihoods, and add to the mix, the panic around commodities and even more primally, survival(!), this is no surprise. There is valid reason to be concerned, but we can only do as much as we can do, and now more than ever we need to take care of our psychological wellbeing. When we’ve gotten past the initial shock, it’s boredom that sets in, or the feeling that we have to be doing something productive every day, or there’s a sense of loss of purpose, or if we work from home and are now also taking care of the kids, there’s an added level of juggling, strain and stress about getting everything done. The only thing we HAVE to do, is to take care of the things we can, the best we can. We have to allow ourselves and find the time to take a breath, to maintain perspective, and to figure out what is best in our context. For some that will be time to reflect, to learn or do something new, to plan and lay the groundwork for what is to come afterward, or to simply and gently at times, do nothing. Decide what is important for your mind and spirit, more that endlessly browsing news and social media feeds to determine how you should be spending your time based on what others are doing- decide what’s best for YOU.
Now onto our bodies. Never in my lifetime have I experienced a situation where so many, globally have felt so vulnerable and afraid for their physical wellbeing. It’s important to be aware that the ‘stay-indoors’ lifestyle, can also be sneaky and act against our longer-term health. Repeat ‘trips’ to the food cupboard, streaming shows or being on our phones for hours, and the lack of mobility and exercise, can very easily start to affect not just our fitness levels and general health, but our psychological well-being too. To guard against this, watch your eating habits more carefully and if you need help use an app that helps you keep track of your food intake and exercise. Also do a bit of research on what’s possible for at-home fitness in the space that you have. There are a growing number of online groups and webinars that allow you to get into a routine with these, also allowing you to connect with others in the ‘class,’ and reduces the isolation somewhat. There are literally thousands of options available, and ranging from free to higher end price brackets, it is highly unlikely that you won’t find an option that works for you. So take the time to find options, set yourself some goals, (however small), to keep focused on, and set a routine that works for you. Your body will thank you.
Finally, let’s talk business. I’ve been consulting with a few companies as they try to pivot in these trying times, and aside from advising on adopting a holistic approach which pays attention to the mind and the body as well, we’ve been assessing opportunities that present themselves. While it may not seem like it, those opportunities do exist. Make a list of the things that can help your business moving forward, as well as everything that you’ve wanted to work on in your business, (and still do!), but didn’t have the time, or the know-how to. Consider what you can do yourself, and also look at skills swaps with other entrepreneurs for what you can’t, (if resources are an issue). Complete a review of your business, and look at what works, and what needs to change. Start drafting action plans and dependencies for that, and if your business doesn’t already have a remote working and online trading offer or angle, start thinking of what that could be, even if it is in partnership with others. Start taking the time to truly, genuinely engage with potential collaborators, supporters, clients and partners. Finally, bring all of this together for a firm foundation moving forward, and if you need to, get an accountability partner to help keep you on track.
We are moving into a new normal, and if nothing else, we can try to make the most of this forced reset, taking time to assess what best for you, all of you. We may be practicing social distancing, but we can take the time to really connect and reconnect with ourselves and our potential, as well as with others personally and professionally. Let’s move beyond just liking, commenting on and sharing posts, and move toward meaningful conversations, and reflective consideration, planning and action that helps to nurture our mind, body and business. Try it, and you may be surprised at the results!
Noleen Mariappen is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and strategy & operations consultant whose industry expertise is both far-reaching and wide-ranging. She is a self-professed lover of people and business, and despite her own business interests, continues to consult with entrepreneurs and non-profits to assist with their strategy and goal-achievement. In her mission to extend support further, she has also launched a community interest initiative, Inspiration For Good, which strategically aids the work of non-profits and community projects globally.
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