How these 4 business lessons learned during COVID-19 helped flex our resilience in entrepreneurship.
If you were asked to visualize how leading businesses and start-ups were shaken to their very core during the global pandemic of 2020, what image would you pick up?
We would illustrate it as a smoothie blender! Toss in the ingredients such as uncharted waters, disrupted workforce and liquidity challenges. Sprinkle those emotional triggers for that extra crunch and blend the heck out of it. Yup, we got ourselves a chaotic juice! The global pandemic was indeed a whirlwind of abrupt occurrences that affected both our personal and professional lives.
Although we are still living in a pandemic-era and journeying our way through new challenges, it is essential to forge our resiliency as entrepreneurs. Here are 4 business lessons learned during COVID-19, that transformed adverse experiences into pivotal moments. Don’t worry…this is worth the sip!
- Global Interconnectedness
Needless to say, what we experienced as global citizens was unprecedented. In a matter of weeks, the virus had already spread throughout the globe, disrupting the very foundation of how we functioned both as nations and businesses. Although the pandemic shed light on various rudiments that unequivocally had to evolve, it also questioned established conceptions such as global interconnectedness. How truly inter-connected are we? To what extent does it impact our sense of belonging as entrepreneurs?
Having travel bans and witnessing countries closing frontiers ironically opened our eyes on the imbalance of business and global interconnectedness. The sad truth that most businesses faced was the dependency on international trade. Now was the time to break the pattern and re-think on the importance of local trade. Not only does it benefit the environment by reducing the carbon emissions due to lower transport costs, but it also supports local businesses and helps preserve the local know-how.
One of the business lessons learned during COVID-19 would be our capability to trust local capacity. This was a wake-up call. As entrepreneurs, it can be easy to fall into the trap, but as change-makers at heart, we shouldn’t forget the power we hold to harness the local community spirit and elevate our mutual business skills through collaboration.
- This meeting could have been an email
‘Can you hear me now’? More than EVER we realized the value of time and how significant it was when holding a meeting. Being isolated at home during a pandemic is definitely no piece of cake. We have errands to run on crisis mode, deal with daily family duties, parenting 7/7 and adding homeschooling in the mix…yup, here is the chaotic juice again!
Communication is another essential business lesson learned during COVID-19, but so does clarity. If there are tasks that can be tackled without holding virtual meetings, dive right into it. When holding meetings, either virtually or on-site, ensure that the objectives are clear and that there is a goal to be achieved. Your team (and even you) will be thankful for a meeting that brings results instead of adding more time constraints or confusion to the day.
Can we just take a moment to be thankful for the surge of online workshops, expert-led webinars and insightful courses during those difficult times? Nurturing entrepreneurial skills is necessary when managing a business. From financial skills, strategic thinking, networking to business management…this is only the tip of the iceberg. Honestly, who has had the time to carve that ice?!
As the world stood still, propelling us back to our homes during lock-down, it was THE time to re-evaluate and re-adjust our lives. Now that we weren’t racing against the clock daily, our priorities abruptly shifted. Answer me this: did you feel you were running on automated mode all this time
Continuous learning is one of the stepping stones that leads to success. However, the business lesson learned during COVID-19 was when you starve yourself with daily tasks, you lose track of what can nourish you to help grow your business (pun intended). Make time and treat yourself to those knowledge-packed courses.
- Mitigating Stress
It is a given that stress is the entrepreneur’s most faithful companion in any journey they choose to undertake. Nonetheless, trying to keep a business afloat during a global pandemic magnifies the impact of this uninvited guest. This is where mindfulness and boundaries come into play.
Being mindful about our thoughts and actions can help us mitigate stressful events. Always take a step back when you start to feel those triggers creeping in such as anxiety, headaches or exhaustion. Truth to be told, you know your body better than anyone. Although we cannot control the low-spirited events happening around us, we can control how we react to them.
The same goes for boundaries. In a digital era where all the latest news is accessible at our fingertips, we can easily fall in the mindless scrolling trap…eventually leading to a mental state of slump. The 4th business lesson learned during COVID-19? Re-frame old patterns by creating new habits. For example, reinforce your boundaries by taking 30 mins off to check-on the news from trusted sources. We cannot remove stress from our lives, but we can mitigate its effects by implementing small and healthier habits.
In a crisis, we tend to immediately react by providing short-term solutions. This is how we dealt with the pandemic in its early stages. However, being endlessly in survival mode is exhausting and not beneficial for either your business or your mental wellness. Addressing long-term strategies is the path to embrace towards a sustainable and fruitful recovery.
What is the biggest business lesson you learned during COVID-19?
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