Lessons Learned During a CrisisAs I reflect on our world today and what the future holds, I am cautiously optimistic that our world can heal itself if we are all willing to look inside with deep introspection and look outside with deep empathy. As a small business owner, there are some key lessons that this crisis has taught me that are lessons that I will carry with me forever.
1. Core Values are the soul of your companyI knew this before to some extent; we’ve had strong core values from the beginning that have guided us on tough decisions and given us a purpose deeper than our products or services. During this crisis, our core values showed up in full force for our business. We could give examples every day, almost every hour, of how we were living those values and my employees, got to really see what they mean. In times of peace, living your core values is easy, in times of difficultly, it becomes a bit harder. I’m proud of our values, of my team that lives and breathes them and I’m also proud of the clients that we have the honor of working with, shoulder to shoulder, who share similar values.
2. Being resilient is not about being positiveI learned a valuable skill during this crisis – resiliency is not about being positive and optimistic every day, it’s about getting out of bed even when you don’t want to and taking one more step towards your goals. It’s about getting clear on what you can control when everything feels out of your control. Being resilient is about digging deep to curate confidence in yourself and your business when there’s not enough there. Core values are not just words on a sheet of paper and clients that have similar values are everything during hard times. Being resilient is not about being positive all the time it’s about choosing to get up every day and take another step in the direction of your goals.
3. You can build a business by being a giverWhile many people look at givers as being “soft”, I have chosen to build my business that way. While the growth may have been slower, my resiliency and continued business growth even during a crisis has proven that it was the right approach for me. We have given away just as much of our time for free as we have for paid work over the last few months. While some people may look at that and say it’s not a good way to run a business, we look at it and say it’s taking a long-term view to build the type of business we want to build and that we are proud of. We want to be part of the success and growth of our clients and not just part of an expense that they paid along the way. When they grow, we grow. Every crisis we encounter leaves us with lessons and new things to learn. From each of those lessons, you have the opportunity to internalize them and change, or you can let them come and go. The lessons are always there, and I believe they are the catalyst to drive change that’s required to get to the next level. See the lessons, use the lessons and make them your focus to drive the next evolution of your career or business
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