As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak startles and devastates businesses and individuals globally, it appears as if most businesses and workers are awaiting the same inevitable fate. The world’s leaders struggle to understand how to properly handle the situation and no good outcome appears to be in sight anytime soon. The fog of chaos looms over the heads of everyone as to how they are going to maintain their businesses or lives financially until the world comes back to normality. Business and workers of all shapes, verticals and sizes are being crushed, leaving nothing but a sense of impending doom.
However, in the midst of chaos lies opportunity.
What I mean by opportunity is not some scam or quick-fix, but rather a mindset. A mindset that can effectively turn your thought process around completely. Think of it this way, you’re not the only one this is happening to. You’re not the only one who’s drowning. Your competitors and your neighbors are just as devastated as you, if not worse. Now ask yourself what you can do to fix this situation? The answer is there is nothing you can do to fix this situation right at this moment. However, the damage that you’ve incurred and will continue to incur could have been minimized had you have done things differently before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) breakout happened. The mindset you need to have is ‘there’s nothing I can do right now but to look at myself in the mirror and sharpen my life and business model’.
I feel like the COVID-19 lock-downs are a sign. A sign to sit your butt on the couch, re-evaluate the choices you’ve made and make a plan to fix them. With many cities undergoing weeks of lock downs, this the perfect time to reanalyze everything that’s happening in your life. Don’t use this mandatory time off to catch up on The Sopranos or staring at your Facebook NewsFeed, that would just be a massive waste of time.
Focus your mentality on reseting, reanalyzing and developing a plan for moving forward from this, being smarter and better.
So with that being said, what things can we look at that may have made a difference in survivability of businesses and individuals in a situation like this one?
1. Yes, the whole world can go to hell
Before you can understand anything, you have to understand this point. Many people have the mentality that this could never happen, and the world could never just stop. Well, you’re wrong, pal. Aren’t you? Yes, the world can absolutely go to hell. Never forget it.
2. You’re inefficient and its obvious
Once you understand that the whole world can go to hell, and you could be left months with no money coming in, you’ll most likely realize just how inefficient you are. You rented a house that was too big and you can’t afford the rent for a few months with no money coming in, right? Your car payment is way too expensive and you could totally have not bought a Mercedes for $1,000 a month, right? You had 25 employees that did the work that 10 people could’ve done, and now you’ve gotta lay off all 25 instead of being able to afford to pay the 10 you had during hard times, right? Your business model relied too much on one source of income, and once that’s gone you’re now in trouble, right? You didn’t invest in an online strategy, so in the event of a physical world collapse and lock-out, where everyone is stuck inside on their phones, you could’ve been getting online sales. But you didn’t, did you? Now you’re in real trouble. If you would’ve just lived and operated more efficiently, maybe you wouldn’t be in such a heap of financial trouble right now.
Find your inefficiencies and exploit them. Go through every detail, and figure out a plan for the post-COVID-19 apocalypse.
3. Your savings plan is far less than good
If you had 6+ months of survivable cash in your savings, you wouldn’t have a hard time with the COVID-19 lock-downs. You’d be bored, and that’s about all. You wouldn’t be worried about not being able to pay your bills or your business surviving. You haven’t saved any money in the good times and now you wish you would’ve. That Hermes’ purse or that bad ass Mercedes Benz you bought doesn’t seem like such a good idea now, when your week-to-week living plan is about to leave you in a financial wreck. You spent your money on absolute nonsense, because you thought the world would never go to hell. Now you know that it can.
Use this time to develop a savings plan where you are able to consistently have 6+ months of living expenses in case of a zombie apocalypse. Trust me, it’ll pay off 🙂
4. Your attitude on financial survival is weak
The purpose of having a ‘job’ or career isn’t to pay your bar tabs and your rent on your one-bedroom apartment. The purpose of having a job is predicted survival. You work and you receive money, and money equals survival. It costs money to eat. It costs money to have a bed. It costs money to protect yourself from the elements. It costs money to have transportation. It costs money to live, period. Do you think Bill Gates went through the massive headaches and endless nights to build his giant empire just so he could live a lavish lifestyle on yachts with babes? Absolutely not, he did it for predicted survival. If the world goes to hell, Bill Gates will out-survive you. He’ll use currency to buy endless amounts of food, bunkers, supplies, private islands or even security should the world end up in an apocalyptic state. If Bill Gates gets infected, he survives…and you wait in a waiting room. If a cure becomes available, he’ll get cured before you do. This won’t happen because he’s a cool guy with a great attitude, this will happen because he has more money than you. Money is survival.
Re-evaluate your outlook on your ‘job’, your work ethic and how it relates to your survival. Money isn’t a game. It’s survival.
5. Stop relying on other people and things
In a world of apocalyptic chaos, its everyone for themselves. Just look at all the people in your local community ravage stores you relied on for essential supplies. You bought everything on Amazon, and now Amazon is only selling medical and life-saving products. Stop leaving the level your existence in the hands of other people and things. All of the things you depended on may not be there one day, and you need to learn to survive without them. That one source of income you had, is now gone, and now you’re broke. If you didn’t depend on that one source of income, you’d have a better chance of surviving this without it destroying your life.
Look at the things in your life that you depend on and think about how or what you would do without them being there. Learn to diversify your resources.
6. You’re greedy and you know it
If people weren’t greedy, there wouldn’t be masses of people invading grocery stores for their 11 month supply of toilet paper for no reason. If people weren’t greedy, there would be no reduction in toilet paper inventories, hand sanitizer inventories, grocery stores would have food, Amazon would be able to fulfill orders, and people would be able to still access needed supplies and food. However, most people are greedy by nature and don’t think about anyone but themselves. Your local grocery and department stores are a perfect example of this. Older people who need the help are left with nothing, because some lady who lives alone with her cat had to buy 50 packages of hand sanitizer at once at the local Walgreens. The irony in this is that in order to stop a virus from spreading, everyone has to wash their hands. And if you have all of the hand sanitizer in the world, then that doesn’t help anything, does it? This gets even worse when you hear about people buying mass amounts of essential supplies and selling them at ridiculous prices to get rich. This is a pathetic display of greed at its lowest point.
Think about how you and your business are greedy. Greed is instilled in human nature, but there is a time and place for greed. If we play Monopoly, I’m going to buy all the properties and take every last one of your dollars. If we work together, I’m going to try and out-work you and get the promotion before you do. That’s greed in life. In an epidemic where other people rely on you, put your greed on hold. Think about how you can be better prepared in your life to the point where you don’t need to be greedy in a detrimental situation to others. Think about how you can become financially stable enough to help others in a time of need.
You can’t predict and be totally ready for a global crisis, like COVID-19. However, you could’ve done things to put yourself in a place to help should that time come. Whether that be yourself, your family, your employees or your fellow neighbors. As business and individuals in today’s modern society filled with horrible role models and materialism, we have tendencies to be inefficient and greedy in our lives, which only hurts us. And should a global pandemic happen, we place ourselves in a position of survival and not a place to help. I’d like to note that I am completely aware that there are circumstances in which people could not have ever changed the outcome, such as health conditions. This article was intended for the average general person that has had the capacity to make a difference, but didn’t, and not only are they suffering, but they also can’t help.
This article was meant to guide people into a mindset of self-improvement and reflection during this period of hard times with the outbreak of COVID-19. We’re all guilty of many of the things listed above, but we can all be much better. And those that have been on lock-down periods should use this valuable time to reanalyze and gain perspective in their lives instead of binge watching The Bachelor for 3 weeks straight.
Use this time as an opportunity.
An opportunity to learn to be a better person and make the world a better place, not just for yourself, but for everyone else.