Are you a woman entrepreneur, coach, healer or consultant working from home during this “social distancing” period?
If you’re like many women entrepreneurs, you may be wondering how Coronavirus and the resulting social distancing are affecting business as usual? What are the implications?
As one business strategist asked, are we playing Hungry Hungry Hippos and looking for short-term results? Hoard more Clorox wipes, water and toilet paper?
Or is this more of a chess game? An uncertain time with long-term implications in every area of our lives? A time to create strategic plans to thrive in the new normal.
This could take a while.
Challenges and Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs Today
Over the last 3 weeks, I can’t tell you how many business women I have talked to who are struggling with the confusion around social distancing, the uncertainty around the future of their businesses, and how to navigate the current realities of their personal lives and relationships.
I totally get it.
The truth is that Social Distancing, and NOT the Coronavirus will kill the economy.
While many of us may have quit our cushy well-paying jobs many years ago to voluntarily socially distance ourselves and work from home; living the dream, the I’m the boss of me life, not everyone is experiencing that level of bliss right now.
And even with all the frustration out there, many women entrepreneurs, especially those who have paying clients in an online business are incredibly grateful that they have already built systems and networks that can support them, especially in times like today.
Indeed, there are many things actually going well in the lives and businesses of women entrepreneurs. As leaders, we all know there is always something to be grateful for.
Something good in the mess that inspires and challenges us to step up and Be women leaders that connect with love, serve with integrity and shape business in this decade.
It takes a powerful leader to have perspective of the current situation, be grateful for, and celebrate all that is good, and also acknowledge and feel the grief and pain we are all dealing with in varying forms.
Social Distancing and Sustaining a Profitable and Impactful Business
Speaking of challenges, one of the topics been discussed in the business community is what effect, if any social distancing will have on business as we know it. What does social distancing mean for women entrepreneurs, coaches, healers and consultants in the online space? Offline? In brick and mortar stores.
Does it mean isolating yourself from everything and everyone to wipe your entire life down with Clorox wipes? Is it spending all day struggling to sterilize our minds from scary and worrisome thoughts? Is it spending all day on Facebook or watching the news counting down the minutes to gloom and doom?
Whatever it is, here’s the deal.
With everything going on out there in the world with Coronavirus, life, business, everything on the surface, seems uncertain, and many of us in our own ways are cocooning, retreating, hiding, or just hoping and praying this passes away in the blink of an eye
And yet, even with all this uncertainty, all the anxiety and sadness of the situation (especially when we think of those who are actually dealing with the virus), many business woman are still choosing to NOT practice social distancing.
Count me in.
I am not practicing social distancing. Before you hit me with the judgment stick, let me tell you that though this is just an assumption on my part, it’s probably not what you’re thinking. I promise that I’m not bucking the rules and common sense, nor am I sticking my fingers in my ears or hiding my head in the sand.
So, what are we doing instead?
Physical Distancing and Business Success for Women Entrepreneurs
We are practicing physical distancing. We are following all the rules, flattening the curve, doing our part to keep our families, communities, countries and world safe and healthy. Been mindful and aware of how everything little thing we do adds or takes away from the collective quality of our lives.
Because our businesses depend on it. Because social connection and relationships are what make or break small businesses. Because staying socially connected is essential to life right now.
When it comes to social connection, I have personally been more connected to my family, friends and community during this time than ever. Now that I can’t physically see them, hug them or spend quality time together, we’re socially connecting more.
Times of crisis tend to bring out the best in us, even when we are physically apart. They tend to band us together; to keep us connected together socially.
The Power of a Premium Mindset for Business Women
The world is changing fast. Our businesses are changing fast, and fears, concerns and doubts are somewhat amplified for many women entrepreneurs. This social connection also offers support when our minds play ugly tricks and try to take us out of the game (our minds are not always our friends in times of crisis).
Yesterday, one of my best friends, who is a fellow coach, powerful leader and successful woman entrepreneur, suffered a panic attack because she ran out of Clorox wipes and thought she was for sure going to die now.
There goes the mind playing ugly tricks. We worked through the attack together with simple Money Mindset shifts, staying present to what is true about her life and business and what isn’t.
She’s very worried about her business. Like with some entrepreneurs during this time, she’s losing clients who are afraid to spend money right now. As businesses, including small business owners, navigate this uncertainty, clients are looking for something to control. Something to hold on to. And most times that thing is money.
Scarcity sets in. Hoarding sets in. The fear that there won’t be more than enough sets in, and people tend to stop paying.
It’s important to know we are still whole. We are still complete. We are still HERE. And we have the power and choice to shift limiting and money stories and choose to believe what serves and empowers us, even while being physically distant — washing our hands, wiping things down, working from home (if we can), and everything else that will flatten that curve.
For my best friend who went through the panic attack, it was never about the Clorox wipes. She had reached her anxiety max level from consuming scary news stories and stats on Facebook (her words not mine), and emotionally exhausted from arguments with her husband who is upset that she may not have a sustainable business to get them through this crisis.
After praying together, I shared this quote with my girlfriend, and it helped calm her fears and show her all the different ways she could choose to deal with whatever she’s facing right now.
“Everything in life can be taken away from you, except for your freedom to choose how you respond.” Viktor Frankl
Many of us are watching this with the knowledge that this too shall pass. We have lived through Ebola, Cholera, Civil wars and so much death. This doesn’t minimize anything happening with the Coronavirus, but it gives us perspective.
Yes, this is a uniquely challenging time for everyone. Things are real. This not about avoidance, willful blindness or even spiritually bypassing what we all know to be true.
We see the evidence on the news. People are getting sick. People are dying. Companies are laying off employees. Things are challenging. Many families, businesses and lives will be forever changed.
Self-Care and Women in Business
And it’s a reminder that self-care matters. I’m not talking about massages and facials. What we feed our mind, bodies and souls’ matter now more than ever. What are you filling yourself up with everyday? How are you taking care of yourself (spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically)?
No matter how much we want to lead, serve and support, we cannot pour water from an empty stone. Let’s fill ourselves up with the stuff that will sustain us during challenging times; let’s take care of ourselves. Let’s serve ourselves first so that we can be of service to others.
For women entrepreneurs, coaches, healers, consultants and any or business owner, there is a lot that we don’t’ know. We don’t have crystal balls, but I invite all of us to consider putting on our own masks first.
Pivoting, Evolving and Leading During the New Normal
As online business owners, there are so many opportunities to adapt and create our new normal. Yes, there are great financial vulnerabilities, but pivoting is just another phase in business. As we ponder how to pivot, it’s a great time to step up and serve and build relationships with our communities.
The question becomes how do we use this time of physical distancing to show create social connection and collaboration in our personal and business communities? How are we showing up?
For me, personally, I feel more committed now to step up and offer more love and support than I’ve ever felt been inclined to do.
Physical distancing reminds me that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and perhaps in some way, we value the things and people we once took for granted. Because our only means of communication is social. Telephone calls, email and zoom (I’m sure there are other ways too).
Whether we agree or not, we are all socially and psychologically connected now; all facing unique and many common challenges and worries.
My invitation for you today is to take time off from struggling to figure things out.
Few of us make great decisions when we think the sky is falling. Once we wrap our heads around everything and create our mindset shifts, let’s step out and thrive; this is not the time to wait until this uncertainty passes to get back to regular life.
Just waiting is not an option.
As an entrepreneur, it’s time to know what game you’re in – the game you’re playing and the rules for that game.
And Breathe. Feel free to start now, with the deepest breath you’ve taken all day.
Here are a few helpful questions to step into your highest level of service and leadership during this time.
What is my current reality?
What is going well?
What challenges and opportunities do I see in my business and industry right now?
What specific challenges are my clients facing?
When I look at these challenges and opportunities from a physical distancing perspective, what ways can I still create, connect and collaborate with others?
How can my business evolve to meet my clients’ specific current needs?
What value can I add in my unique way and still make that difference and impact while being physically distant?
What new skills will add value to my business and help my clients?
How can I support my current clients stay in business, and still continue to grow by offering new services that support other businesses to pivot and thrive?
What does service and leadership look like for me today – in my personal life, in my community, in my relationships, and in my business?
How can I practice physical distancing, while being consistently and intentionally socially connected?
How can I lead with guidance, compassion and hope?
These questions create a powerful Money Mindset perspective shift to allow in Possibility, Creativity, Resourcefulness, Abundance, and more than likely enough toilet paper to go around.
Cheers to your fabulous success!
I’m MiMi Dabo and I support Women Entrepreneurs who struggle with Creating Premium Clients and Charging their Worth, to Confidently Package, Price, Market and Sell their Services to their Ideal Clients in a Profitable Niche.
I help them to ditch the crappy Money Blocks and stories, and package their services into irresistible high-end offers for their ideal clients, raise their prices or charge what they’re worth, and market and sell with ease so they can radically increase their income and work less – while changing the world in the process. Visit www.lifecoachforwomen.com.