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Who looks after the business owner during a pandemic?

Hopefully by now you’ve supported your team through the transition of COVID-19 and now they are stepping in to alleviate pressure and support you with genuine understanding and compassion. They’ve learnt this from you, as you have supported them throughout the good times and now into the bad. If this is the case for you, congratulations, take what you and your team have, bottle it, stick a label on it, and you’ll be able to sell it to the world.

Now it’s time to ask yourself, how are you being supported as the owner of your business? Do you feel you have concrete plans going forward? Are you in touch with how other business owners are leading their teams? Have you been able to really open up, free of judgement and bias to discuss the issues at hand?

The reality is that these conversations aren’t been readily had and many business owners are feeling a lack of support and connection. If this is you, I have a step by step plan.

Plan B:

  • Take a look around (well metaphorically anyway, you probably can’t see much from your lounge) to see what other business owners you know are doing.

  • Ask yourself: Could I pick up the phone and ring another business owner (be it even a client or a friend) and simply ask them how they have been getting through this. Ask them what’s been working for them and their team? Be honest with them; tell them you have a respect for them and the way they run their companies, and you are ready to listen if they’re willing to share.

  • Pay attention to these learnings and start jotting down ideas for your business. Particularly reflect on examples of bad leadership or things that haven’t worked for other businesses and remind yourself not to go there.

  • Talk to your trusted staff members, and ask them, “What do you think I/the company should do?”. Sometimes the answers to your questions lie with the people you work with every day and often they genuinely want to help you.

  • Be open to change your plans and opinions quickly. There’s a good chance that what works or is relevant this week could be the opposite of what you need next week.

  • Accept that you are going to make some mistakes. There’s no manual for this stuff, so be prepared to learn as you go.

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of this on you. But remember that you are not alone, and although some business owners look like they have it all figured out, they don’t! On that note I also encourage you to think of someone you know who is hurting in business and see if you can help in any way, pay it forward!

For many of us the feeling of having that control taken away will probably be the worst part.

It feels like you have little control in your business right now and you’re waiting for Jacinda or COVID-19 to make the next plan for you. For many of us the feeling of having that control taken away will probably be the worst part. It’s difficult to wait for someone to act or something to happen before we can make decisions. I encourage you to take control where you can. It’s your company and many of the choices still remain for you to make; no one (and no virus) can take this away from you.

Last but not least, we shouldn’t take this out on our loved ones. We might find ourselves doing this more than we should, because sometimes it’s all a bit too much. In these instances, we should make the effort to apologise for our behaviour - best to do this or the family might push us out of the bubble and then we’ll have homelessness to add to our troubles!

In summary, it’s simple (not that simple); talk to good people, be honest, accept there will be mistakes made, and be nice to the people in your bubble. And continue to be brave! We’re not through this shit storm yet, but with the right attitude we can make this easier on ourselves and those around us.

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