Updated: Feb 19
As we inch closer and closer to a world post COVID-19, for me, this has been a great time to reflect on the lessons learned during lockdown. While there is no diminishing the fact that many small businesses are and continue to be financially impacted and may never recover. I would like to focus on some of the positive messages of 2020.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
In many ways, the pandemic taught us a lot about ourselves as business owners. For many, it forced us away from our desks and our 24/7 workplace mindset. It made us rethink our place in our own world and how we had not up until that point maintained a positive work-life balance. For me, it made me realize that I was spending so much time looking at the forest, I was neglecting the beauty of the trees held within and it was scary. Change is scary. Learning new things is scary. Telling our loyal followers we’ve made changes is scary. Trying to image a new normal is scary. Trying to lead through the unknown is scary.
According to Dr. Paula Barry, MD “A certain degree of fear is good for you because it allows us to survive. It aids in making decisions and keeping us away from undue harm.” I really do believe that what you did during lockdown could be a really great indicator of your life post lockdown. Did you make it through all five stages of grief and loss? Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. If you made it to ACCEPTANCE, you are a survivor, because at this stage you would have started to look at new and creative ways to continue what you love to do. You would have made it to “It’s going to be OK” or “I can’t fight it; I may as well prepare for it” stage of your life and your business. At this stage, you would have looked for alternative ways to earn income; you would have invested in training or learning new techniques or skills; you would have reached out to your customers to let them know how they could help you; or you would have reached out for help. You would have fought for you and your business. For some people, that fight may have meant closing the doors of the business to focus on a new chapter in your life and that’s OK, or even better GREAT, if it means that you can find the life-work balance you need at your individual stage of life.
WHERE ARE WE HEADED?
For me, as the Manager of The Small Business Centre, it made me focus on the individual skill set of my staff and the way in which we deliver our services. Each of us brings a unique skill set to our work and going forward we are going to focus on our areas of expertise in providing service, while continuing to expand on our knowledge through continuous learning. It also means that in order to meet the needs of our clients and potential clients, we are going to change the way we deliver services. You won’t need to come to us, we’ll come to you whether virtually, in-person, or by phone – we will strive to be more accessible. And we will do it within a business model that meets the work-life balance of the team. What does your future look like?
*Ramona Gallagher is a serial entrepreneur who has owned a number of her own successful businesses and who has coached and mentored over 5,000 entrepreneurs in starting or growing their own businesses. She considers herself a connector - connecting people with resources and supports to take their business from concept to reality. Ramona holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University and has worked in a variety of industries and businesses in Canada and abroad. She is a published author and speaker and is considered a subject matter expert in working with clients with disabilities and those with limited resources.
You can reach out to Ramona by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thesmallbusinesscentre.ca