Nothing hits your business quite like a global pandemic and a national lockdown. All those good intentions, targeted plans and strategic development campaigns fall to the wayside with the alarmist articles being published by the media and the mixed messages and uncertainty coming from the powers that be.
Now, your blocker might not be so drastic an episode but barriers will always appear. It might not be an economic recession or civil unrest but you will reach roadblocks and you will reach motivational challenges.
It's you out there on your own. Even if you have staff it can feel lonely at the top and it's important that you are prepared. I like to look at these challenges as mini tests of your resolve and true feelings towards something.
I had a boss once who always disagreed with you first. it was highly frustrating (of course!) but actually, it was a brilliant tactic. If I couldn't argue why we needed to do something or if I didn't have the motivation to argue, was it that important? Should we have been doing it in the first place? The answer is probably not.
Treat the challenges as a check for your passion.
Hindsight is an important learning feature. It’s what becomes experience. When those tentacles of doubt and fatigue start appearing, take some time out. Don't force it. Step away from what you're doing. Do something else. Play on your phone, go for a walk, pet the dog.
You'll come back with a fresh perspective, heightened productivity and a true reflection on how you feel about the task in hand. That's when you make improvements.
The first few weeks of national lockdown there was a huge amount of uncertainty across the country. No one was recruiting, everyone was curbing spend, unsure as to how it was going to all pan out. We humans are an adaptable breed, so it wasn't long before many businesses worked out how they could continue efficiently. Not all sadly, it was quite devastating for some industry but still people are resourceful. New ways of thinking and doing came around.
It didn't stop me questioning whether this was the right time though. It's unnerving not knowing if you're going to cover your costs that month or the next month but that is also the reality of startup life. So ask yourself the questions: What do I need to change or re-evaluate? What is motivating me? What inspires me? Why am I doing this?
As cheesy as it sounds, it is not how you fall (or stop) it's how you get going again that defines you. The tech industry’s "fail fast, move forward" mantra is the perfect motivation to get you through the difficult times.
There are always lessons to be learned. Always opportunities to be had. Always a different perspective to look from and grow. You just have to spot them and know when to take them.
A pandemic is a good test of resolve. Faced with a challenge, we find out how serious we are about something. If you’re thinking about setting out on your own, think about what you would do in national shutdown. Where would you like to be? In the security of a permanent job? Not having to worry about where your income is coming from? or having the power to pivot your own business and adapt quickly to help your clients in a time of need? You know your answer. I know mine.
What are your coping mechanisms? How did your business manage to adapt to lockdown? Is there anything that you think you’ll continue with going forward? Let us know in the comments.