With the #ShowUpShowOff series I want to encourage you to pursue your dreams of entrepreneurship no matter the industry or your perceived limitations. Start here and work your way through the articles in the series as there are nuggets in each one, which are transferrable to your business.
Ecclesiastes 11:2 (NIV) says “Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.”
This verse is timely and reminds us that there is wisdom for life today hidden in God’s word. The current crisis has not left anyone unscathed. Even if financially you have always believed your business was rock solid, you can see that your clients are in difficulty and can no longer pay for your service or product.
However, if we heed the first part of the verse, when a tough time comes we can turn to a different source for the revenue we need to sustain us. Necessity is the mother of invention they say and now that your main source has all but dried up (at least for the time being) what will be your response?
Let’s suppose you ran a farm and it has been in your family for generations. Your daddy planted and sold raspberries, as did your grandfather and great grandfather. You also farm and sell raspberries. However, the raspberry market has disappeared but there is a demand for strawberries, blackberries, even plums. They each can grow in a similar environment as the raspberries. Do you persist in saying “Well my family has only ever planted and sold raspberries and that is how we will remain” or will you see the opportunity to use the resources around you to provide these other fruits that people are willing to pay for?
We can get stuck in traditions. We can get stuck in our own dreams. We can miss the moment provided for us to pivot and do something different that can sustain our families and employees.
Verse four tells us – “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”
This verse means, in the current condition many are frozen looking at all of the negative news and buying into all of the warnings of economic devastation ahead. While it is important to get the big picture, understand what is at stake and obey the instructions of the authorities, you can choose to look at the situation as an opportunity to create a new path for your business.
Make a list of the services you provide. Which ones can be adapted to fit your current restrictions? Can you provide coaching or teach a class virtually? Can you now offer a more personalized service as they have placed limits on the number of people who can be in your place of business at one time? What are some of the add-on services you were “thinking” of developing that could bring in revenue at this time?
If you’ve got a teenager in your house then they are probably somewhere watching or making a TikTok video about being in quarantine as many schools are closed or operating solely online. Your Facebook timeline and Instagram feeds are filled with influencers creating quarantine content and helping their fans and/or clients make the best of what is a worldwide challenge. Since you’ve been putting off making those blog posts or videos you feel like a fraud jumping into the fray. Guess what?
Do it anyway!
Verse six of that same chapter encourages us to “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”
This could be the start of a new area of business for you. Share with your audience how you do what you do? Let’s see you be a little bit silly trying to keep your life together with all that is happening. Share a word of encouragement so people know you are thinking of them and care that they do what is necessary to stay well and protect their family.
An old Caribbean saying Is Not Who You Know, it is Who Know You! Do your customers know you? It’s time they do so they can continue to support your business.
I believe it is time to #tellyourstory. I help my clients from the private and public sector to leverage traditional and digital media to increase their visibility and make more money. I am a mentor, business strategist, a certified Business Continuity Specialist and the author of seven books, including In Plain Sight and the Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth. Follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more great tips and ideas to help you grow.