Although COVID-19 has been tragic in many ways, it has created numerous opportunities as well. I was curious to see, aside from the vaccines and possible cures in the works, what positive effects were occurring on a personal level. Last night, I wrote to a dozen of my COREageous Coaching alums and asked them to complete this sentence:
If COVID-19 had never happened, I would not have_______________________.
I received over 25 thoughtful responses – thank you to those who contributed! But to keep this post short, I chose five to share:
Vickie: … had the time to realize that I was spinning the business out of focus, trying to be too much to everyone. I met with my team (remotely) and got consensus to return to the roots of our purpose. They were pleased, I was relieved.
Peter: …had the time to seriously connect with my best clients, only to find that one of them was ready to move on to a competitor! I listened to him and to his concerns; I let him yell at me, then it was over. I gave him my word that I’d fix the problems by the end of the week. He was back on my roster, we’re good. He appreciated the call. Awesome.
Maya: … had the opportunity to create a contingency plan in case something like COVID or worse struck again.
Hunter: … ended a particularly unhealthy and troublesome relationship that was hurting my business and me personally.
Phillip: …reunited with my 94 year old father after 5 years of silence. He was very angry when I announced that I was leaving a very cushy job to follow my passion; he didn’t get it. Still mad, but we talked. It’s better now.
In these next 2 or more weeks, the time is ripe to re-focus, repair and re-invent yourself and your small business. What can you do to make the best of this bizarre period of time?
CoreCoaching may be the answer. Contact me at [email protected]
During these challenging times, COREageous entrepreneurs and their teams:
• Put their thinking brain in charge of their emotional brain and make smart decisions.
• Put politics, past transgressions and personal vendettas aside.
• Spend time perfecting their product or service in preparation to come back.
• Communicate frequently with vendors, customers and investors.
• Build alliances with the community and companion businesses.
• Cultivate skills through training and coaching that enhance teamwork, sales, communication and emotional intelligence and management skills.
• Stay upbeat and positive. Find humor and share it with others.
Use this time to make your startup stronger and more competitive! Contact me for online help at [email protected]
Hello COREageous Founders:
Consider this time at home a rare opportunity to bolster the connections with your primary support team – your family and friends. As we endure the inevitable roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship, where quality time with loved ones is often limited, we depend on the stability and reinforcement of those cheering for us on the sidelines. Please take a minute to tune up your communication skills and read this:
“If you think tempers are churning a bit now, give it a couple more weeks.”
Listening mindfully to one another in times of trouble and apprehension can help calm nerves, adjust to inconveniences and resolve long-standing relationship problems.
I’m not talking about the “act-like-you-are-listening” tactics taught in business training classes. I’m talking about authentic, put-your-ego-aside kind of listening — mindful listening.
Could one of the reasons for this pandemic be to restore or rehabilitate our connections with those who are precious and important to us? World renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Edward Hallowell, calls “connection” with people, pets, nature and favorite activities as the Vitamin C of well-being. Why not use this time at home to connect or re-connect with loved ones?
Here are a few mindful ways to start creating healthier connections with key people in your life:
1) Ask an open-ended question like, “How are you doing?” and wait. Watch and wait some more. Your conversation partner will see this silence as a green light to share what’s on their mind. If they don’t respond or brush you off, try again later. Eventually, they may get the sense that you really care to listen.
2) Get into their movie! When they start to speak, forget yourself and your troubles, just like you do at the movies. Watch them carefully while you listen to their words. See how well the words and non-verbals match up. Just like at the movies, maintain your silence and keep your eyes on them. It’s all about them right now, not you. There may be long pauses, but hang in there, that’s where the gold is – their true feelings and concerns will bubble to the surface.
3) When you think they are done talking, pleasantly surprise them and tell back in your own words, what you heard them say – just a couple sentences. No rebuttal, no advice, no judgment, it’s what you heard them say. This lets them know they have been heard ( high Vitamin C content! ). Don’t be too shocked if they want to hear from you at this point. If you get that far, you have established a connection.
For more about Mindful Listening, get the audio book version of The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction at Amazon.com
Hello COREageous Entrepreneurs!
Even if you are off-site, you can keep yourself and your team on track! Darren Hardy, author of two of my favorite books “The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster” and “The Compound Effect” and executive coach who led a partially distributed team for 25+ years, and a 100% virtual (and global) team for 5+ years which has multiplied 20X, shared a very helpful and timely link with me called “Leading Virtual Teams Successfully.”
Go to : DarrenHardy.com/VirtualTeams
It includes a list of follow up resources:
>How to lead productive virtual meetings.
>Best practices for video conferencing.
>How to set up your morning routine.
> On-boarding and internal training resources.
Enjoy! Stay healthy and busy!
Need a coach to help you follow through with these suggestions or to customize a unique plan for you? Contact me at [email protected]
Entrepreneurs are famous for crazy sleep schedules. You know the drill. You stay up late working two or more jobs, do chores, and as the clock strikes midnight you start work on your venture. With barely 5 hours of sleep, the hardest thing to do is to GET UP. This quick intermediary step helps get you moving while you’re still in bed making it easier to “rise and shine.”
Lying on your back, inhale deeply and exhale as if you’re blowing out about 10 candles on a cake. Repeat. Follow with 2-3 repetitions of each stretch:
• Make fists and flick open your hands.
• Squeeze your toes and flick them open. Point and flex your feet.
• Breathe in and squeeze your shoulder blades together arching your back as you exhale.
• Inhale and as you exhale slowly, stretch out your arms and legs as if someone is pulling on each limb.
• Finally, inhale and bring your knees into your chest and squeeze your knees into your chest releasing your lower back on a slow exhale.
See if these stretches spark enough energy to get you up and out of bed!
If it’s a lack of structure and motivation that keeps you in bed, CoreCoaching could be the wakeup call you need. Contact me at [email protected]
If you’re dedicated and willing to make the sacrifices needed to turn your side hustle into a full time business, keep these COREageous tips in mind:
1. Is your side hustle something the market needs and wants? Or are you hoping to create a market for your product or service? Do your market research.
2. A 2019 Hiscox Side Hustle to Small Business survey (hiscox.com/sidehustle) showed that it takes 19 months of operation before you consider quitting your day job; 26 months before you could hire an employee; and 3 years before you can expect to earn an income similar to your day job.
3. Get some money management help to budget your expenses. The survey said to secure 6-12 months or more of living expenses in savings.
4. The survey recommends that you look into small business insurance to cover any liabilities you could incur in the process.
5. Are your executive functioning skills and routines solid enough to lop on a side hustle? That is your ability to get things done, done well and on time with as little stress as possible. You’ve got to be organized and disciplined to make the best use of the 20 hours or more a week you’ll need for a side hustle. If not, consider CoreCoaching to help you be the CEO of you! Contact me at [email protected]