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DAG: Hold Steady and Don’t Derail

Turn on the news or read the news online and you’re likely to see another collection of health worries, business troubles and governmental officials delivering news that just doesn’t give ya that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Unemployment is rising, downsizing and layoffs are happening already, and economic woes are coming at us head-on.

Our big picture view, our long-term perspective, is giving way to the attention-grabbing realness of the COVID-19 crisis.

Getting saturated with that 24/7 can surely have an impact on our judgment and confidence. No doubt, it’s a tough challenge.

Day after day we face the bills, cash flow shortages and sales challenges. It’s easy to see how one might lose sight of the future. But we’re still gonna have one.

Sometimes you just gotta be intentional about finding calm. You’ve got make time to step away, breathe deep and focus further out on the horizon. In crisis mode you may have to forget about where you were on your goals last month.

You gotta stop and get a new plan.

Adjust timing on things.
Lower some expectations.
Look at reality and brainstorm new actions.

The plan you had 4 weeks ago may have to go out the window for a bit, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams.

I know one of the hardest things for an entrepreneur to accept is taking a few steps backwards. Slipping back in growth, holding back on expansion, or just treading water goes against the grain of an entrepreneur’s soul. But taking a step back is sometimes the best thing to do.

In this economic situation, holding steady is an accomplishment in itself.

Now is a time to balance long-term thinking with short, incremental steps to recovery. Revisit where you wanted to be in a year, then two. How as your two-year view changed now? Keep that in focus as you ponder decisions, but don’t let that drive what you’re going to do next week.

Concentrate all your energies on ways to stabilize the now. The short term.

When the immediate future is hard to see, then you have to shorten your view.

In other words, if you can’t see what things are going look like in a month, then scale back and look at the next two weeks. If that’s still too daunting and uncertain then look just a week out.

If need be, fall back and wrap your brain around one day at a time.

Daily bread. Give us Lord our daily bread.

Make it through one day then the next. Always wide-eyed and looking for the next opportunity to improve your position. One day at a time.

Slowing down a business is like slowing down a freight train – hard to do it really quick. However, you’re much better to brake and reassess rather than risk a derailment because you didn’t let go of yesterday’s metrics. Try not to focus on what we just lost. Focus more on how to pick up the pieces and start a new journey.

Find your own new perspective. Take a fresh look. See what you have to do to maintain and posture.

When the economy turns, and it will, you’ll regain momentum in no time. You’ll be ready.

Right now? Readjust your thinking. Pause a minute and just be still. Wait for new information. It’s coming daily. Rely on your business instincts. Your creativity. Your faith. You have those skills. You’re just going to have to use them in a different way for a while.

Keep the faith and keep calm. We’re going to get through it.

I know we will.

Be positive. Buy local. Help others.