In times as tough as the ones that we are all currently experiencing there is a natural tendency to see yourself as a victim; however, that is something that you can fight and control. Don’t give yourself permission to be a victim, to wallow in self-pity and to let yourself be swept down into the pit of despair. Instead, see yourself as a fighter who will overcome the adversity at hand and defeat pessimism through courageous acts of defiance. Don’t permit yourself to be a victim.
Once you adopt the attitude that you refuse to lose, you can turn your energies and creativity to the task and hand – moving from surviving to thriving during these tough times. Hunkering down into survival mode is the first thing that most people and small businesses do. You start to notice almost immediately the people and businesses that have decided not to be victims. The people who have decided that fight rather than fright will rule their lives, start forming or joining volunteer organizations to help others.
The small businesses who are on the offensive, rather than hunkered down in defense, shift to new and innovate ways of doing business and appealing to customers. I have already seen that locally with the Milford Pilates Club, where Tisha Ortiz was forced to close her gym, but has already begun leading Pilates workout using on-line streaming. Tisha refuses to give up and see herself as a victim. Is it easy? No. However, the alternative is much less attractive. Don’t permit yourself to be a victim.
There are lots of things that need to be done that this current lockdown situation actually facilitates. Taking this time to do those things that you’ve been putting off will help the time pass and reward you with a sense of accomplishment. My daughter used some of her downtime last week to finally get around to updating the scrapbooks that she has started years ago for each of her boys. That may sound silly or trivial to you, but there are tins of things that you’ve been putting off doing, both large and small, that you can get to right now. Don’t permit yourself to be a victim.
The same is true on the small business world. There are always tasks that we all push off because we think that there are more important uses of our time. We have time now. Boy, do we have time. So get that inventory done or clean up that storage space that you’ve just been tossing things into. Rearrange the displays that you’ve allowed to go stale. There may not be anyone in your store to see them right now, but that will change and you will be more ready for them that you have been. Now that you have time, sit down and plan for the months ahead – for the holidays, the events and the sales that you know that you’ll need to have. View this as a “time-out” opportunity to finally get caught up and to get ahead of the curve in your marketing. Don’t permit yourself to be a victim.
An even more pro-active approach for the small business owner is to view this crisis as a reset opportunity. You most likely would not have voluntarily brought your on-going business to a halt; nor would you have challenged yourself to completely rethink your business model. This crisis has forced and enabled both. Can you think outside the box and maybe move some of your business to the Internet, as Tisha did? Don’t permit yourself to be a victim.
If you already have an Internet presence, can you take it to the next level, so that it makes up for the reduction in traffic in your store? How can you present the same personal service experience on the internet that works for you in the store? How can your Internet presence and your brick and mortar facility complement and enhance each other? How can you use modern technologies and media like streaming video, blows and podcasts, social media and instant messaging services to reach your potential customers and entice them into buying online or in your store? Don’t permit yourself to be a victim.
All of those ideas are much less expensive to implement that you might believe. Not all fit your retail or service environment. The key to getting started with any of these ideas is that initial decision not to see yourself as a victim. Victims don’t do these things…fighters do. Be a fighter. We might not all get through this crisis, but I can almost guarantee your that the ones who do make it through will be those who decided to fight, not those who allow themselves to be victims. Don’t permit yourself to be a victim. Be a fighter!