I'm sure you've experienced just about every single emotion these past couple weeks during this pandemic. I know I've gone from feeling hopeful to angry and everything in between.
But overall, I’m starting to feel grounded and curious, always curious.
It's important to know that during these times our businesses can still thrive. We don't have to hunker down, hoard our toilet paper (and our money), and close up shop or even offer our service at extremely discounted prices.
So today, I'm sharing a few resources that helped me to get grounded, create a plan for my business, and actually have one of my best month yet in my business (yes! during a pandemic).
Here's quick rundown:
- Rachel Rodgers’ Hello Seven Podcast, did an entire podcast that is excellent about how to thrive as a small business owner in the time of Coronavirus. She recommends to DECIDE that your business is going to survive and thrive during these times.
- Don’t fall into the hype that people aren’t spending money. With that, Tara Newman did an episode on her podcast called Bold Leadership in Uncertain Times, reminding us that we create our own economy. Hello! Our hoarding is what causes the recession.
- Take the help that is being offered to business owners and in personal finance, whether it’s through a tax deadline or small business loan. DO IT!
- Reevaluate your never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, evers in your business. Long story short? I didn’t think The 3 Word Rebellion would be a Kindle book, but now that’s in the works.
- Lastly, stay flexible. Things are always uncertain, usually, we just have the luxury of ignoring it.
Tune in to the episode or read below to dive deeper and create a plan for your business.
PS: If you listen or read till the end, you'll hear about some new services that I am offering in my business that can also support you during this time.
Listen in or read through the transcript below
Resources mentioned in this episode
Hey, rebel. Even though I'm not sitting right next to you, I still want you to answer this question.
How are you feeling at this moment?
All feelings are welcome whether you are anxious, uncertain, angry, or you're feeling content and optimistic. And I think for most people, we are cycling through a range of emotions as we are dealing with the Coronavirus, as we are dealing with the economic uncertainty.
As for me, today is March 24th, it's the day before my husband's birthday where all he is getting is a lousy stay at home order from governor Jay Inslee, who is the governor of Washington state, and some take out food, but at least we have each other and our three cats, Brody, Sampson and Addie, and we'll probably hang out and watch some movies and celebrate his birthday. Then, in three or four months, we'll go do something fun to celebrate for real.
But overall, I'm feeling grounded, optimistic and curious. I'm always feeling a little curious, I must say, but I'm curious about what's next. And at this time, I've also been going through this pandemic a lot longer than most of you in the US, and if you're listening from Europe or you're listening from Asia, you might be like, sister, you've got nothing on the rest of the world. But here in Seattle, we were kind of on the leading edge of things.
So on the podcast today, I wanted to share with you various resources that are helping me right now to navigate these times and the resources that are working for me.
I encourage you to take what you need from this podcast and leave the rest behind because. As I've said before, no one knows what the hell they're doing right now. We're all making this up as we go along. We've never been here before as business owners, as humans in this pandemic, in this economic crisis, but I feel called to tell you what works for me, what resources have been helping me, giving me peace of mind and helping me navigate the uncertainty and really helping my business thrive right now.
Because funnily enough, my business is actually doing quite well during this time period, which is not something that I was actually expecting..
Your business can thrive during this time, too.
I know it might not feel like it for some of you, but it can, and I want to offer that as an alternative story. One thought that has been really helping me these days, and this is a thought that came from Rachel Rodgers’ Hello Seven Podcast, and she did an entire podcast that is excellent about how to thrive as a small business owner in the time of Coronavirus.
She recommends to decide that your business is going to survive and thrive during these times. And I know that might sound, ooh, that's kind of woo-woo Michelle. But there is an energy in making a decision and sitting down and saying. Okay.
My business is getting through this. I am deciding that my business is going to survive, that my business is going to thrive during the next month, during the next two months, however long this lasts.
Because frankly, we don't know and. What happens when we make that kind of decision is that our brain then says, Oh. Okay. We've decided to do something. Let me get to work and start solving the problem for you, and there is all kinds of research that backs this up. I'm going to have my friend and client, Cathy Austin, on the podcast soon to talk about this research because this is what she specializes in her business coaching practice.
But once we do make a decision and we say, yes, this is what I'm going to do. This is my path. Our brain will start looking for the solution to the problems. So if maybe not enough revenue is coming in right now, or you're not sure how much leeway you have in your business or how much money you have in your accounts, your brain will be like, okay, let me find some resources to help you figure that out.
So it's almost like Marie Forleo's, Everything is Figureoutable. So make the decision. And I have found that to be true, and as I've gone through this Coronavirus here in Seattle, the first week when it really hit Seattle hard. That was my complete freak out week. I couldn't manage my mind. I spent way too much time on social media. Yeah, Twitter, I'm looking at you. I was way up in my head too much worrying. It felt like the world was ending. My business was going to end. I was never going to get another client again. All the terrible self talk that I was doing.
And then week two came and you know, I took care of myself. I took care of my family. I took care of my cats. Although my cats aren't my family, along with my husband, of course. I started to gain some focus. I had clients, so I focused on my clients. I started making plans and I decided, I was like, okay, this business, it's going to work. I'm very resilient in times of crisis. That's one of the things I learned from my childhood, and I started just dreaming up new services, and then in week three, surprisingly, I closed the most business I've ever closed in one day.
And that blew me away.
That actually extended like my runway for this business for like by a month and a half. And I was like, woo. That felt so good. And it also means for you that people are still spending money. They're still out there. They are investing money in their business. Do not buy into the media hype that nobody is spending money right now.
People are spending money. They are, one of my clients just booked a huge interior design deal for a huge house. People are still spending money, don't buy into the media hype. And that brings me to the second idea that's really been helping me, and this came from Tara Newman, who is a friend of the pod.
I’ve talked about her a lot recently because she's a member of her brave society and she's been instrumental in really helping me step up into my own leadership in this time. But she had a podcast called Bold Leadership in Uncertain Times. And yes, I've been listening to a ton of podcasts lately, and the idea she was talking about is how we create our own economy.
And during times like this, there is the instinct to hoard all our resources. And if you're currently going to the grocery store and you can't find toilet paper or paper towels, you probably are experiencing this. So we constrict, we start thinking about what can I cut? Should I fire my team? Should I cut all of my expenses? How can I get out of all of my contracts? And really, we should resist that urge, especially if we're in a state of panic. In fact, she said something I liked the other day that we should pause before panic, pause before panic and. Instead of hoarding our resources.
Because when we hoard our resources, that actually is what causes economic recession.
Because what we see in the stock market is actually just kind of a psychological indicator anyway. But when we hoard our resources and we start firing our teams and trying to get out of contracts that we have with other business owners, that's what creates the instability in our economy.
But when we create our own economy, when we still invest in our business, when we still invest in our teams and you know, we don't cut every little last thing, then our businesses can still thrive and other businesses still thrive.
So we have to resist that instinct. And that doesn't mean just spending money willy nilly, but it means figuring out how much runway or cash on hand do you have and how long will that last you. So it is that practicality, and in that podcast, she walks you through some of this.
And so for me, one of the most important things for me is keeping my team intact. The people that I have in place supporting me, I still want to invest in them and I still want to invest in my business. So taking those practical steps, but another thing I really love about this idea of creating your own economy is creating a list, not about what you need to survive, but as a business owner, what do you need to thrive to take care of yourself?
Tara is suggesting creating a thrive list. What are the things you need to really thrive to feel good about yourself? To feel like the most powerful version about yourself? And when I did this activity, it really surprised me. When I created this list about how many of the things on my list really don't cost money.
Because for me, things that make me thrive are reading books, which I can borrow from the library. Well, these, I can still borrow Kindle books from the library because our library is currently closed, but reading books. Going for walks, listening to music. Those are things that make me thrive. I also really love soft things. So soft socks, soft blankets, anything that's super soft. I think that's why I have three really soft cats to cuddle with. Right? So those things don't cost a lot of money, but they make me feel like my best self and those things make me thrive. So create your own thrive list and check out Tara's podcast on Bold Leadership in Uncertain Times.
The next idea that's related to taking those practical steps around money is to take the help that is being offered to business owners and in personal finance.
Right now, banks and governments are offering assistance, and I'm just going to say I am not an expert on this, but I know a few things.
Number one, the tax deadline has been extended to July 15th. So, if you owe taxes this year wait To file and keep that cash on hand. There is no penalty penalty. Yes, you will have to pay your taxes, but it's better to keep that cash on hand to see how things shake out and file your taxes on July 15th and pay for them then instead of being financially strapped and paying your taxes now.
So, we owe a little bit in taxes this year. I usually do pretty well managing putting more into the taxes throughout the year, but we have just a tiny bit, but I'm going to wait until July 15th to pay them.
Another thing, if you have student loans, the government is offering two months of interest free forbearance, take that, take the payments that you normally pay and put them into your emergency savings account. Like, I can still afford to pay my student loans, but I would rather keep that money, put it in my rainy day fund in case my business does contract so that I can keep paying myself and paying my team and it takes one call to your student loan company. That's all it takes.
You can also call your banks and see if they will lower your interest rates on your credit cards or if you can skip a mortgage payment or a car payment, because unlike the 2008 recession, the banks are still super stable and they're willing to help consumers right now and for small businesses.
There's also all kinds of small business disaster loans. I am definitely not an expert on this. I'm just beginning to look into this myself. Just kind of like just in case I need it, like these are loans, you will have to pay them back, but it's something good to know that exists, that is out there.
So be bold. Take the help that is offered. Plan for this now in case you need it.
So that's one way you can kind of shore up your business financially.
Alright, so this one's still very uncomfortable for me, but I'm going to talk about it.
Reevaluate your never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever is in your business.
So if there was something that you thought that you would never, ever offer in your business or never, ever do in your business for whatever reason. Maybe you thought, oh, I don't want to be offering that, or that's a skill set I no longer want to use because even though it's a strength of mine, even though it's easy to do, even though it'd be easy for me to sell, I just don't want to do that anymore.
It might be a time to reevaluate some of those never ever, evers. So for instance. You all know, I wrote a book called The 3 Word Rebellion and that I have been very adamant that the 3 Word Rebellion should be a physical book because I want you to hold it in your hands. I want you to write all over the book. I want you to highlight it and take notes, and the book wants you to pour wine on it, and I want you to use the book to get the result, right? Because if you don't do the exercises in the book, you can't find your 3 Word Rebellion.
So it's never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever going to be a Kindle book.
So on Sunday night, my husband and I are heading off to bed and he casually mentions to me that Amazon is delaying all shipments of non-essential goods. So if it's not like toilet paper and medicine and other essential supplies, they're not going to ship it for like a month. And the reason he was telling me that is because he's getting a computer so that he can work from home.
And I was like, oh, okay, cool. And I fell asleep and I didn't think much of it. And then the next morning I was like. Wait, the 3 Word Rebellion Book, that's probably non-essential. So I logged on and I looked and sure enough, you can't get the 3 Word rebellion book. If you ordered it today, it would take about a month to get to you, which makes sense. It's not essential. It's not toilet paper or aspirin or vitamin C. I get it. I totally understand.
And then I had to sit with it and be like, all right, does this book need to be a Kindle because I still want to put this message out into a world.? Because right now it's a really great time for you to go through the 3 Word Rebellion book and do the message to do your messaging, to do the activities.
So I had to reevaluate my never, ever, ever, ever. And as I am currently in the process of recording this, I'm not exactly sure when the Kindle book will drop, but the 3 Word Rebellion will become a Kindle book. It will be available on Amazon soon, and I am creating a downloadable workbook with all of the worksheets in it, so it will be clear as soon as you get the book, there'll be a new note from me in the book that's like go and download these worksheets immediately. So that's a never, ever, ever I had to reevaluate because it's in the best interest of my business and my message.
So think about those never, evers. So maybe it was like, I'm never gonna do a course, or I'm never going to do a virtual retreat or a webinar or whatever it is, and reevaluate that thing. And maybe you should offer that. And related, create new offers. What can you offer that's not your signature service? That could be of service? Because for me, you know, my one-on-one service is high touch. It's a premium service, and I'm like, all right, I am not slashing the price of that because I do not believe you should be slashing the price of your premium high touch services because it is a race to the bottom and I believe that the value is still the same, whether it's no matter the economic client and people are still buying it. So for me it didn't make sense. So how else can I serve people who can need help with their marketing and messaging right now?
So I've created new offers, like one of the things I'm doing is a marketing and messaging power hour, which is just while it's more than an hour, it's a 90 minute session where I work one on one with someone to adjust their marketing message, reposition their offer, and create an actual 30 day marketing plan for their business. And it's probably the lowest cost entry product that I've ever offered that is one on one. And a lot of people don't have a marketing plan or they don't know how to adjust their messaging so this is perfect for people who need to figure out what they're going to sell and how they're going to sell it in the next 30 days If you're interested in that, you can always go check it out here to get all the details about that.
So, think about what else could you be offering. And next week we're going to deep dive into this with Natalie Sisson. She is all about getting paid to be you and creating additional revenue streams. So she is the guest on the show next week and we're going to talk more about this very topic because now's a good time to do that.
The other piece of, I don't want to say advice, but something that's giving me peace of mind…
I've kind of thrown out all of my plans and I'm just staying nimble and flexible.
Like I'm doing my Q two planning right now, but as far as content planning, I'm not planning more than 30 days. Like I have general themes I'm thinking about, but I'm batching podcast two weeks ahead instead of 30 to 60 days ahead. And I'm doing a 90 day plan, but I'm keeping that kind of fast and loose knowing things will change and I don't know how they're going to change. And you know, I don't know, maybe the power hour offer will take off. Maybe the virtual retreat will be a better offering. I don't know.
So I need to be able to stay nimble and flexible, but I still do need a plan because it's easier to adjust a plan than to adjust nothing. And this is something I strongly believe in. Rebellions require plans.
I know they never show them to you in the movies. It's not like in star Wars. They cut away and show you how they're going to take down the Death Star in great detail. But rebellions require plans, so create a plan, but stay nimble. And flexible with it.
And the final thought that I just want to leave you with on this podcast, and this comes from my coach, former guest of the show, and a 3 Word Rebellion alum, Stacy Fisher, and her 3 Word Rebellion is “create how you feel”.
As she reminded me today that everything is always uncertain.
We like to create an illusion of certainty, and it's easy right now to say with the economic crisis and the COVID-19 that everything is so uncertain. I just don't know what's going to happen and it makes it so impossible to plan, but really everything is uncertain all the time.
We all know how to plan, we can make a plan and we can be nimble with it. So I'm so grateful that she reminded me that the future is always uncertain, that we're always under this illusion of control. But at this moment, we have been collectively reminded, we have all now seen the uncertainty. And guess what.
We still all know how to make a plan. We still can go out and thrive. We can still go out and create a new offer. We can still go out and sell. We can still decide that our business is going to survive and thrive. We can still invest in our businesses. We can still create our own economy because everything is always uncertain. We just get to pretend the vast majority of the time that it is not.
So I would love to know what's helping you right now, what works for you. And if you have any resources to share, there are two places that you can connect with me. And I've decided to bring back my Facebook group. So, you can join our Facebook community, because I think community is now more important than ever. And as always, you can just slide right into my Instagram, DMs on Instagram and share a resource with me.
So until next time, stay safe. Wash your hands and always honor the rebel rising in you.
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