How To Navigate Your Way Through Uncertain Times As An Entrepreneur or Creative: Running a business can be hard at the best of times, but what happens when a very large wrench gets thrown in the works and things drastically change?
In the beginning phases of 2020, the world entered into a new era of adjustment. In Wuhan, the capital of Central China’s Hubei province, an outbreak of the novel Coronavirus spread rapidly across the globe.
Not only had the world’s population been put into isolation and lockdown, but many businesses, both large and small, were pulling on the reins to the point of complete standstill. The full extent of the economic fallout remains to be seen.
Noom understands that in business, we have to be constructive about working through significant changes and challenges. It is just part of the tapestry that makes up entrepreneurial life.
While many have entered into panic mode, Noom works from a more fluid belief that “a business is a life. It has a life. It will end one day.”
In these uncertain times, never has it been more essential that we work on our contingency plans and try to rebalance.
Prepare Your Mind for Rapid Changes
When we face a pandemic on such a global scale, things move quickly –sometimes, a little too quickly.
If you’re an entrepreneur, creative or even a parent for that matter, you probably have become accustomed to making off the cuff decisions. It’s just part of our daily routine, right?
But others don’t quite have that luxury.
If you fit into the latter category, try to get some clarity on your present emotional state, and check-in with your thoughts. Your thoughts have a lot of power in how you react to certain situations, so you have to keep them in check.
Reach out to someone, talk about it. Clear the air and break the fear cycle.
Start With The End In Mind
Starting at the end may seem counterintuitive, but when it comes to business, it could be what saves you. Not everyone makes it out of a catastrophe unscathed, and many businesses will come to a close.
It’s times like these that hindsight is always 20/20; it’s just so much easier to understand something after it has already happened, isn’t it?
When the dust of a drastic event has settled, we’re left thinking, “I could have done better.” But, what if you prepared for these kinds of changes, transitions, or even endings before it’s even happened?
This is where visualisation comes in.
Stephen Covey is the master of building effective habits. In fact, he wrote the book on it, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The second habit focuses on “Beginning with the end in mind,” a philosophy Noom certainly takes to heart. While this point initially focuses on the route towards success, visualising how you would control a drastic business change or even closure can take a situation from disaster to success.
“If I built the business and think about the exits before I start, then things will be handled differently,” he says. “I think for all entrepreneurs, we are a little bit gung ho. We only look at the positives. “
Arm yourself with preparedness. It can easily become your strength in the more challenging times. Visualise “how to prepare for that ending to make sure that it's a graceful end, not a horrendous ending.”
Understand Your Responsibility
“Responsibility.” It's that one word that calls upon your duty as a leader, to deal with something or take control. Pandemics bring to the forefront exactly that- your responsibility.
As a business owner, you are accountable for others livelihoods, so amid a difficult period, how can you navigate that responsibly? What kinds of practices you have in place should you have to let people go or make drastic cutbacks?
“If I have known or thought about it in the beginning, I would have been much more cautious,” explains Noom. “Every step that I take forward means that I'm more responsible. I feel more responsible for those who trust me, and those who work for me.”
Learn from These Tough Times
As entrepreneurs and creatives, we aren't immune to difficult periods either. The current world pandemic is testament to that. We are staring at a new level of uncertainty squarely in the face.
Rather than fall to the floor, curl up in the fetal position and steadily rock yourself back and forth until it all blows over, Noom takes a more proactive stance. “When all of this happens to me, instead of looking or blaming, why, why, why, why me?” he says, “I look at the things, okay, so what do I learn from this?”
Who do you have to become to overcome your challenges?
Look at what is happening, and try to establish the lessons that are coming through from this experience. “I have found that by looking at things from that viewpoint, I have sought out and try and work on self-improvement,” says Noom.
In Noom's eyes, we should all understand that life is an endless cycle of learning.
How To Navigate Your Way Through Uncertain Times
“We are meant to go through life to learn, and it's an endless cycle of learning. So I don't take it as a negative or a bad way, I just take it that- okay, I am being taught something that I need to know.”
The Psychology of Entrepreneurship
To listen to more of this incredible conversation, check out volume 26 of the Psychology of Entrepreneurship podcast hosted by Ronsley Vaz with special guest Noom Dara.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.